COLLEGE PARK -- John Walsh, a 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward from West Islip, N.Y., has committed orally to the University of Maryland and will sign a national letter of intent this weekend, his father, Greg, said last night.
Walsh, who played his senior year at St. Thomas Moore Prep in Oakdale, Conn., after playing three years on Long Island, will become the third player signed by the Terps for the 1991-92 season.
Considering what has transpired lately, with two major recruits being denied admission by the university, Walsh's grade point average (B+) and board scores (1,020) are just as important, if not more significant, than his scoring (18) and rebound (11) average.
"He's always wanted to play in the ACC or the Big East," said Greg Walsh, the coach at Babylon (N.Y.) High School. "He had a couple of offers from places like Rhode Island and St. Bonaventure. But he held out. I was ready to kill him."
The elder Walsh coached former North Carolina player Chris Brust and his brother Matt, who played at North Carolina and St. John's. He said that his son needs to develop physically and might not be finished growing. Walsh said that his son has been compared with another former Long Island player, Tom Gugliotta of North Carolina State, who was not highly recruited but is now one of the best big men in the ACC.
"He has to get some strength," said Greg Walsh. "He handles the ball very well. He shoots well from deep, which they [Maryland coaches] like. He's just surpassed all of my expectations because he wants it so bad."
Jere Quinn, the coach at St. Thomas Moore, said the jury is out on what kind of player Walsh might become. "At times I think John can play on that kind of level, and at other times I don't think he's ready," Quinn said last night. "John will either be a tremendous player or he'll just be OK. He won't be mediocre."
The signing period ends May 14. With the departure of little-used freshman forward Mark McGlone, who reportedly was given his release, the Terps have three scholarships available.