John Gilchrist, a Salem (Va.) High School senior who is one of the more highly prized point guard prospects in the nation, has committed orally to the University of Maryland, according to sources familiar with the Terrapins' recruiting efforts.
Gilchrist, 6 feet 1, 171 pounds, reportedly had been expected to commit to North Carolina State or Georgetown this month.
As a junior last season, Gilchrist led Salem to the Class 3A state championship and a 29-1 record. He averaged 19.6 points, 7.5 assists, 6.7 rebounds, three steals and only one turnover. Gilchrist made 86 percent of his free throws and shot 42 percent from three-point range.
The early-signing period for recruits from the incoming class of 2002 begins in November.
By adding Gilchrist, the Terps, who made a trip to the Final Four for the first time in school history six months ago, will have their preferred replacement for junior point guard Steve Blake, who has started for the past two years and will use his final year of eligibility in the 2002-03 season.
According to a source, Gilchrist was swayed by the thought of playing for a Final Four team in the Comcast Center, the new arena that is set to open on the College Park campus in the fall of 2002. Gilchrist, Blake and new addition Andre Collins would split time at point guard next year.
The Terps are hoping to complete their recruiting effort for next year's class by signing DeMatha High forward Travis Garrison, who could give Maryland an oral commitment this week.
Maryland already has received oral commitments from 6-4 junior shooting guard Chris McCray (Fairmont Heights) and 6-7 forward Nik Caner-Medley, out of Deering High in Portland, Maine.