Terps get point guard from Fla. Blake commits early, has year of high school left

May 14, 1998|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

Maryland's basketball program has landed its first prospect of the class that will enter in 1999, getting an oral commitment from Steve Blake, a junior from Miami who is considered the best high school point guard in Florida.

Miami Senior High has won three straight state championships, and Blake has been the starting point guard the past two seasons. He'll begin his senior year of high school in the fall, sign a national letter of intent then and enroll at Maryland in September 1999.

Miami Senior was ranked No. 2 in one national poll this past season and No. 4 by USA Today. Blake, 6 feet 3 and 170 pounds, averaged 10 points and eight assists while playing less than 16 minutes a game for a power that toyed with most opponents. Blake has played AAU ball for Gabe Corchiani, whose son Chris was a point guard for North Carolina State in the mid-1980s.

"Steve made a commitment to Maryland late last [Tuesday] night," Miami Senior coach Frank Martin said. "He had let everyone interested know that he was going to make his decision before summer recruiting began. He and his father just toured the country on a series of unofficial visits, and in all areas, Maryland had something he liked."

Besides Maryland, Martin said, Blake also made unofficial visits to Syracuse, East Carolina, Miami and South Florida. Martin said that Blake took the SAT for the first time two weeks ago, and that he's a good student who has no concerns about being eligible as a freshman.

Maryland is expected to sign two or three more players for the recruiting class of 1999.

The current incoming class is headlined by Steve Francis, the Allegany Community College point guard and first-team junior college All-American who last month said he was considering filing for early entry to the NBA draft.

Requests for early entry had to be postmarked by this past Sunday, and the NBA will release the final list of candidates today or tomorrow. Maryland is operating under the assumption that Francis isn't on the list, but Allegany coach Bob Kirk could not be reached to confirm his status.

Pub Date: 5/14/98

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