InsideMDSports: Keith Gatlin updates recruitment of Theo Pinson, JaQuel Richmond

May 31, 2012|By Jeff Ermann | Special to The Baltimore Sun

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Maryland alum Keith Gatlin has been in the high school coaching game for a while now, but he’s never had a duo like he’s got in super-sophomores Theo Pinson and JaQuel Richmond. We caught up with Gatlin for the latest on the touted 2014 prospects, each of whom has caught Maryland’s attention.

“They haven’t planned any visits yet, not to my knowledge,” Gatlin said. “I’m sure they will [visit Maryland this summer]. It’s just a matter of coach [Mark] Turgeon’s schedule and the kids’ schedule. They just got back from the Nike EYBL in San Francisco and school just ended on Friday.”

Turgeon visited Wesleyan Christian Academy in High Point, N.C., earlier this spring to see the pair, and he’s far from the only head coach to make the stop. The school’s become a regular stop for high-major recruiters interested in Pinson, a 6-5 small forward rated the No. 5 player in the Class of 2014, and Richmond, a speedy 6-1 point guard who’s already picked up several major-conference offers.

As a result of the growing list of suitors and their busy travel schedules – Pinson will compete for a spot on the U.S. Under-16 team this summer – neither of the two has any early favorites, according to their coach.

“It depends on which coaches have come in to see them. One day it might be Maryland, the next day Syracuse, the next day Alabama and the next Tennessee. ... I don’t think [location is a factor]. I think it’s just finding a good fit,” said Gatlin, a former Terps point guard, who added that the duo is interested in Maryland.

“No question. We talk about Maryland all the time and I wear my Maryland stuff. They like Coach Turgeon,” he said.

Pinson, a skilled and long wing man, has been on the national radar for some time. But Richmond’s no slouch; he’s got offers from Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and Oklahoma State, along with interest from Syracuse, Texas and others.

“He’s a point guard that can shoot the ball. He’s a really strong kid. He plays like Ty Lawson – he’s really fast with the ball,” Gatlin said.

It may be some time before there’s any indication as to whether the Terps will be among the primary contenders for Pinson and Richmond, but it’s expected the staff will continue to keep tabs on both.

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