Cassell Jr. officially commits to Maryland at Capital Classic

Cassell Jr. officially commits to Maryland at Capital Classic
April 22, 2012, 5:19 am

ALEXANDRIA --When University of Maryland basketball fans arrived for the 39th Capital Classic, four future Terps dotted the United States All-Star roster.By the time player introductions concluded, there were five.Sam Cassell Jr.s roller coaster of a recruitment ride concluded Saturday night at T.C. Williams High School where he and his fellow Marylandnewcomers keyed the U.Ssquad's 105-93 win over the Capital All-Stars. Most of the players in the annual High School All-Star game had already let the world know where they would be matriculating next season. Cassell remained one of the few holdouts, officially anyway. During the player introduction, the public address announcer _ ironically, Georgetowns radio play-by-play voice Rich Chvotkin _ added a note onto the Baltimore products bio beyond his high school accomplishments. Next season, Cassell would play inCollege Park.I was thinking about it a lot like the whole the week, but I decided I was going to announce it here yesterday, Cassell said after scoring 12 points, including eight straight during a second quarter perimeter barrage.He told us last night, said Marylands top recruit Shaquille Cleare, who met his new teammate this week. We were just waiting for today."The 6-foot-10 Cleare powered his way to 14 points. Combo guard Seth Allen, the first of the six-man recruiting class to sign with Maryland, scored 10 points.Virginia Tech recruit Montrezl Harrell earned M.V.P honors for the U.S. team as the high-flying recruit scored a game-high 24 points.The annual showcase for local and national high school basketball talent lists the likes of Magic Johnson, Patrick Ewing,Michael Jordan and Carmelo Anthony among its distinguished alumni.With contributions from Harrell and Montrose Christian star Justin Anderson, the Capital All-Stars led 45-43 at halftime, but the U.S. team took control in the third quarter. Then in the fourth, theMaryland rooters got what they wanted all five incoming Terps on the court together. Chants of "Lets go Maryland" followed, echoing throughout the cozy gym.Everybody got a sneak preview of next year, said Cassell. Forwards Charles Mitchell and Damonte Dodd rounded out the hooping quintet. Jake Layman, a stretch power forward from Massachusetts, was the only member of coach Mark Turgeons 2012 class not participating.Mitchell, a wide-bodied power forward from Georgia, said he implored U.S. coach Jim Fitzpatrick (Episcopal) to put the five on the court together.All our fans here, all our supporters. We have to show them what is coming next year, the exuberant Mitchell said. I wish Jake Layman was here too because I would have asked for all six of us to be in the court.Anderson led the Capital All-Stars with 17 points. Nearly a Terp himself the scoring guard committed to Maryland before Gary Williams retirement Anderson watched the Terp-a-palooza from the sideline. Headed to the University of Virginia, Anderson will face Cassell and company on yearly basis in ACC play.Cassell showed he inherited a healthy dose of his former NBA-playing father confidence and long-range touch. The 6-foot-3 guard brashly drained three consecutive deep jumpers in the second quarter, including two 3-pointers on consecutive possessions. After the game, he also cleared up the confusion over his collegiate decision. After hastily stating he was going to Maryland last month, Cassells father and former NBA star Sam Sr. told CSNwashington no formal decision had been reached.I just wanted to compare my visits, said Cassell, who recentlychecked outPittsburgh and South Florida after meeting with Marylands coaching staff. I thought I rushed into it, but I knew Maryland was the place to be. I know I can make a huge impact there as a freshman.Othersin the game with a chance to make an impact as freshman includeGeorge Mason recruitPatrick Holloway (Paul VI), who will bring his penchant for late-game heroics to Fairfax next season. George Washingtons future backcourt of Joe McDonald (Landon) and Kethan Savage (Episcopal) combined for 14 points, but ultimately it was not enough against the Terp-heavy U.S. squad.Perhaps the victorious resultserved asa sneak preview ofMaryland's fortunesnext season with their new blood joining the hunt. Clearly,history shows usCapital Classic playersknow about winning.Notes: Dodd has yet to sign his Letter of Intent, but said it's just a matter of time...T.C. Williams guard T.J. Huggins, playing on his home court, was selected MVP for the Capital All-Stars...Anderson's Montrose Christian teammate Kevin Larsen was named MVP of the preliminary All-Star game between the District and Suburban All-Stars. The hulking 6-foot-8 center from Denmarkremains uncommitted for next season, but said George Washington, Marquette and Providence are among the schools on his final list.