Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams has gotten a leg up on next year's recruiting wars with oral commitments from two of the Washington area's top guards.
Johnny Rhodes and Wayne Bristol have given commitments to attend Maryland next year, and both are accustomed to the uptempo pressure style that Williams employs.
Rhodes, a 6-foot-5 senior from Washington's Dunbar High, is described by his coach, Michael McLeese, as a rangy player with long arms and a very good jumper. He's ranked by the Bob Gibbons scouting service as one of the top 60 players in the country.
"He's legit," said McLeese.
A shooting guard, Rhodes averaged about 15 points as Dunbar's third-leading scorer last season. He was recruited by North Carolina State, Connecticut and St. Bonaventure, said McLeese, but selected Maryland because Williams' coaching style and his playing style were a good fit.
"Maryland plays a very similar style to what we do here," said McLeese. "His [Williams'] teams are disciplined and they work hard. We just kind of felt that it would be a great match."
McLeese said Rhodes was not intimidated by Maryland's NCAA sanctions, which will keep him from playing in the NCAA tournament in his freshman year.
"It's still the ACC, and Maryland's a fine institution. I don't think he could go wrong," said McLeese.
Bristol, a 6-2 shooting guard from Beltsville's High Point High, likely would play the point in Williams' system, said his coach, Ernie Welch.
"He's a Michael Adams type of player," said Welch, referring to the Denver Nuggets guard who played for Williams at Boston College. "He doesn't shoot with his frequency, though. He's a waterbug."
Bristol averaged 19.2 points last season for High Point, which has advanced to the state's Class 4A semifinals the last two seasons. The team averaged 92 points a game, playing the same uptempo system that Williams prefers.
"That's the way Gary Williams wants to play," said Welch. "It's a natural marriage of kid to coach."
Williams is prohibited from commenting on a recruit until he has signed a letter of intent, which could happen as early as next month, during the early signing period.
The Terps will play two intra-squad scrimmages, one in the Baltimore area. The team will work out next Wednesday at Western Maryland College in Westminster at 7:30 p.m. The Terps will scrimmage at Woodlawn High, the alma mater of sophomore forward Evers Burns, on Nov. 8, also at 7:30 p.m.