PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Despite a slow start the second day of the Pitt Jam Fest turned out pretty solid…
Georgetown Prep's Starks a Major Target
Starks, a 6-foot-2, 160-pound rising junior, has a bevy of schools interested in his service: Maryland, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, DePaul, Virginia, Virginia Tech, St. Joes, Tennessee, Clemson, Miami, Oklahoma, Florida and Stanford have all been paying close attention. Many have verbally offered Starks, who has been showcasing a fantastic all-around game on the AAU circuit with the D.C. Blue Devils.
"A lot of the guards [in the loaded 2010 D.C. area class] are good at different things, but he's good at everything. He could end up being the best all-around player out of all of them. I think he will be," said D.C. Blue Devils president Rob Jackson. "He's strong in everything."
Starks grew up a Terps fan, idolizing Steve Francis, and has been to College Park for games on multiple occasions. Assistant coach Chuck Driesell has been recruiting him and made it clear he has a solid verbal offer, and Starks has spoken once with head coach Gary Williams.
"I'm really good friends with Greivis Vasquez and Adrian Bowie," Starks said. "I like the style of play. Gary Williams lets his guards play and showcase their talent."
"I'm not making any quick decisions. I may stay on the East Coast, but if I have to go to the West Coast to find the best opportunity for me, then that's what me and my family will do. I definitely want to branch out, and though I wouldn't mind staying at home, I wouldn't mind getting away either."
We also asked Starks' brother and AAU coach, Renard Phillips, about whether the Terps have a decent chance with Starks.
"I would say so, with him growing up in the area and seeing as how his favorite player played there. I think they have a great shot," Phillips said. "I think it is safe to say any local school has a chance. I know he would like to stay close to home."
Despite attending Georgetown Prep and being coached by former Hoya Dwayne Bryant, those close to Starks say the Hoyas hold no advantage. And it remains unclear whether they will begin to recruit him seriously. Starks said repeatedly he will take his time and has not begun to seriously evaluate his options. He has no concrete plans for any unofficial visits, though Phillips said he'll take a ride over to Maryland in August, after the AAU season is done.
"At the end of the summer we will sit down and pick five schools to focus on, and then we'll start the process," Phillips said, adding that Starks will "probably commit next summer some time."
"It's been great being able to receive some of the attention I've received. It's kind of been a lot, actually, because never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have the opportunity to go to the schools that are recruiting me," Starks said.
Starks is a smart, dynamic player who can slash to the hoop and score against bigger players, distribute the ball deftly and do everything it takes to win. His biggest asset is his slashing game.
"I haven't seen too many guys who are able to stay in front of him. This summer he sort of looks like he's got it figured out," Phillps said, adding that Starks may still be growing. "He's still wiry. He looks young in terms of his face. He still has room to grow."
TurtleSportsReport.com will keep you updated on Markel Starks …
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