Gaines opts for Louisville over Terps

Heavily recruited guard deals Maryland 3rd blow

April 29, 1999|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Maryland's basketball team received its third major setback in less than a month yesterday when Reece Gaines, a celebrated Wisconsin high school point guard, signed a national letter of intent to attend the University of Louisville.

"Reece felt most wanted by Louisville," said his father, Clyde Gaines, yesterday afternoon. "It was a close call between Maryland and Louisville. There were a lot of similarities and he made the final decision after seeing the Louisville campus last weekend and talking to the coaches there."

The 6-foot-5 Gaines averaged 24 points, six rebounds and five assists as a senior at West High in Madison, Wis., and became a primary target for Maryland coach Gary Williams 29 days ago when Steve Francis chose to enter the NBA draft.

Francis was the first blow for the Terps, then seven days later Parade magazine's national Player of the Year, 6-9 guard DerMarr Johnson, orally committed to Cincinnati and later signed with the Bearcats.

Reece Gaines said: "I like Coach [Denny] Crum's style and I like Coach Williams' style, but Coach Crum is more laid-back."

Clyde Gaines, an All-State first-team basketball choice with Lake Clifton in 1976, said he was a little disappointed his son would not be able to play in front of his many friends and remaining family members in the Baltimore area.

Pub Date: 4/29/99

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