Four-star power forward Julian Reese has committed to Maryland basketball, he announced on Instagram Sunday.
Reese, brother of incoming Maryland women’s basketball guard Angel Reese, starred at nearby St. Frances Academy in Baltimore. He jumped up recruiting boards over the course of the season, rising to No. 103 in the nation and No. 5 in the state, per 247Sports. He is the first member of the Terps’ 2021 cohort.
However, despite his high ceiling and improving pedigree, Reese won’t be able to fix Maryland’s pending 2020 woes. Following Jalen Smith’s presumptive departure to the NBA, and the transfers of Ricky Lindo and Joshua Tomaic, Maryland’s frontcourt is frighteningly thin. As of now, Maryland’s only options in the paint are Chol Marial — a talented, albeit oft-injured center who was once ranked as one of the top players in his class — and Donta Scott, who saw the majority of his minutes playing on the wing last year.
Coach Mark Turgeon’s squad has scoured the transfer pool for potential replacements, but has often come up short. While the Terps landed Boston College forward Jairus Hamilton, the well has dried of late — prospect after prospect has spurned Maryland, leaving it exposed at the moment. Due to transfer rules, Hamilton won’t be able to make an impact next year — unless the NCAA provides transfers with a one-time exemption.
So, Reese’s commitment is a welcome sight for the Terps, a precocious young talent who may be able to step right into a rebuilding squad for the 2021-22 season. But with a glaring hole in the frontcourt for next season, it will be interesting to see how Turgeon and his staff react.