Booth yet to decide on school Maryland, Towson on final four list

November 13, 1992|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,Contributing Writer

Dunbar High basketball star Keith Booth put a damper on reports that had him all but signed, sealed and delivered to the University of Maryland, saying his final list includes four schools -- including Maryland and Towson State.

"There is no particular school I'm in favor of at this point," Booth said Wednesday. "Right now, I'm concentrating on the upcoming basketball season and receiving my [American College Test and Scholastic Aptitude Test] scores."

Booth, a versatile 6-foot-7 forward, was a first team All-Metro performer for the second straight time last season, averaging 19.5 points, 11.8 rebounds and four assists per game for the Poets, who were ranked No. 1 in the country by USA Today and The Associated Press.

Regarded as one of the nation's top 100 players in every national high school scouting report, Booth has been chosen as a fourth-team All-American pick by Street & Smith's, which ranked Dunbar fourth in its preseason top 25.

Booth said that Maryland is on his final list of choices, which also includes Duke, Kentucky and Towson State. Booth was in attendance for Maryland's "Midnight Madness," the first practice the 1992-93 season, two weeks ago.

He also said there's a possibility that he would sign early if his ACT scores come in before Wednesday, which is the final day for the NCAA's early signing period. The signing period began Tuesday.

"If they were to come in early, I would have to discuss the situation with my mother and [Dunbar] Coach [Pete] Pompey," said Booth. "All the schools involved will get a fair look."

Booth has taken both the ACT and SAT. Under the NCAA's Proposition 48 rule, all incoming college freshmen are required to have a 2.0 grade-point average and a minimum score of 17 on the ACT or 700 on the SAT.

Booth, who said he expects to receive his SAT results in three weeks, hasn't made any official trips to his final four college choices, but plans to if he decides not to sign early.

"The schools have been very straight with me," said Booth. "The main point with these schools is the playing time and the academics. It really doesn't matter which school I decide to go to because I will get a degree.

"In Maryland's case, Coach [Gary] Williams has expressed himself well and has taken a chance on me, since some of the things that have happened in the past. Duke hasn't recruited a player from Baltimore, and they will give me the opportunity to play right away."

In recent years, Maryland has had difficulty recruiting Dunbar players. Among the problems cited have been the treatment of Dunbar graduate Ernie Graham under former coach Lefty Driesell and the university's perceived lack of support for ex-coach Bob Wade after he left Dunbar for Maryland.

It may be surprising that Towson State is one of Booth's choices, considering that it's not on the same level as Duke, Maryland and Kentucky, but he has ties to the school.

Terrance Alexander, a former teammate of Booth's at Dunbar, was the Rookie of the Year in the East Coast Conference for the Tigers last season, and Booth has a good relationship with Towson assistant coach Jim Meil, who has attracted other top players from the city, such as Devin Boyd (Walbrook), Stevie Thomas (Walbrook), Terrance Jacobs (Southern-Baltimore) and Kurk Lee (Dunbar).

"Since the ninth grade, I have had a good relationship with Jim Meil, and I keep in close contact with Terrance," he said. "Towson is definitely close to home and with the good relationship, it would be natural to consider them."

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