T. Johnson's 6-8 star Morris plans to sign with Terps today He, Dixon and Karcher could become tough trio

November 14, 1996|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Thomas Johnson's 6-foot-8 forward Terrence Morris will sign with Maryland at 2 p.m. today at the Frederick County school, his coach, Tom Dickman, said yesterday.

"I think if you knew Terrence, it's like a dream come true to play at Maryland. It hasn't come true yet, but this is the first step," said Dickman of Morris, who averaged 21.4 points and 13.8 rebounds for last year's state semifinalist Patriots (24-3).

"He has the potential to be an absolutely tremendous player. I like this early signing period, because the kids can now concentrate on being high-school seniors. This removes all of the recruiting pressure."

Yesterday was the first day of the one-week early signing period of NCAA letters of intent for high-school seniors accepting scholarships for basketball and several other sports.

Morris orally committed to Maryland as a junior and is considered by some one of the nation's top 25 prospects. His signing will come one day after that of Calvert Hall's 6-2 All-Metro shooting guard Juan Dixon, who inked his intentions to play for the Terps.

It also comes a day after St. Frances' 6-foot-5, two-time All-Metro swingman Mark Karcher, last year's Baltimore Sun Player of the Year, put off signing with Villanova -- a school he orally committed to last month. Saying he would not sign until the spring, Karcher also announced that the Terps were back in the picture.

The presence of all three players at Maryland would amount to coach Gary Williams' best recruiting class ever from the state of Maryland, the program's best in the last seven seasons.

"Terrence played with Juan Dixon in the Charm City spring league down at Goucher College, and he knows Mark from the ABCD camp and other summer camps," said Dickman. "They seem to get along pretty well. I think, personally, those kids are very good players -- players I would imagine would complement each other very well."

Morris' Thomas Johnson teammate, Hasheem Alexander, a 6-foot-2 point guard, also will sign tomorrow, accepting a full scholarship to Loyola.

Alexander, who averaged 14 points and seven assists a game, has "great penetration and finishing ability, and he can shoot the three," said Dickman. "He's a solid player and has the ability to make others on his team better."

Brian Barber, a 6-foot-7 forward from Annapolis, is expected to sign with Towson State before the early signing period ends.

Pub Date: 11/14/96

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