On rebound, Terps snag Holden Addition of 6-9 forward big lift to recruitment

November 10, 1998|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

What had been a frustrating recruiting campaign for Maryland took a turn for the better yesterday, when 6-foot-9, 220-pound forward Tahj Holden of Little Silver, N.J., announced he will sign a national letter of intent with the Terps.

"Academically and athletically, Maryland's the best place for me," said Holden, who also was considering Clemson and Syracuse.

He has been listed among the nation's top 50 prospects by some recruiting analysts. Holden averaged 14.5 points, six rebounds, three assists and two blocks last season for Red Bank High. At the AAU national tournament for 17-year-olds last summer, he was one of the 10 All-Americans selected.

"He's a very fluid finisher who runs the floor and blocks shots," said Fred Klatsky, the coach of the Central Jersey Hawks, the national runners-up in Orlando, Fla. "Tahj can go underneath and score, but the reason everyone loves him is that he's a great three-point shooter."

Holden has been compared favorably to Terence Morris, the sophomore from Frederick who is expected to start at power forward for Maryland this season. He will be the second prospect from New Jersey to sign with the Terps in as many years, as he has previously played with freshman wing Danny Miller.

Holden's assessment of his ability was candid.

"Maryland began to show an interest in me the summer before my junior year," Holden said. "I didn't think anything of it, but I guess they saw something. I guess I had the potential to do well.

"I've measured myself against people like Corey Maggette, guys like that. I'm sorry to say those people are better than I am."

Maggette is the only freshman at No. 1 Duke this season.

No. 6 Maryland had lost Good Counsel wing Roger Mason to Virginia and Charlotte (N.C.) center George Leach to Indiana in the previous weeks, but Holden will give the Terps three letters of intent when the early national signing period opens tomorrow.

Last spring, top 50 point guard Steve Blake, who is spending his senior season at Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., committed to Maryland.

In September, the Terps got a commitment from Drew Nicholas, a shooting guard from Long Island (N.Y.) Lutheran.

With five seniors on his 13-man roster, coach Gary Williams has at least two more scholarships to give.

Pub Date: 11/10/98

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