COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland basketball program furthered its success on the recruiting trail as head coach Mark Turgeon on Wednesday announced the signings of Roddy Peters and Damonte Dodd to National Letters of Intent.
Peters, a 6-foot-4 guard from Suitland, Md., and Dodd, a 6-foot-9 center from Centreville, Md., give the Terrapins the 21st-best 2013 class nationally according to 247Sports.com.
Peters committed to Maryland last month, while Dodd committed in February before electing to attend prep school at Massanutten Military Academy (Woodstock, Va.) this season. Peters is one of the top point guards nationally, having averaged 25 points and seven assists a game as a junior at Suitland High School. As a senior at Queen Anne’s County High last year, Dodd averaged 24 points, 16 rebounds and seven blocks a game.
DAMONTE DODD (6-9, 240, C, Centreville, Md.)
A three-star prospect and the 12th-ranked center nationally by 247sports.com … a four-star prospect, the No. 99-ranked player overall and the No. 13 center by Scout.com … ranked as the best shot blocker to sign in the ACC by Scout.com … committed to Maryland in February and is attending Massanutten Military Academy this season … averaged 24 points, 16 rebounds and seven blocks as a senior (2011-12) at Queen Anne’s County High … tallied 41 points, 21 rebounds and seven blocks in an overtime victory over Kent County during his senior year … played AAU for the DC Assault under former Washington Wizards head coach Eddie Jordan last summer.
Turgeon on Dodd: “Damonte will be fun to coach and he really has big upside. He plays extremely hard and he strives to get better every day. He's almost 6-foot-10 and still growing. He runs, rebounds, and blocks shots, and his best years on the basketball court are ahead of him. He fits the mold of who we recruit as an unselfish and good kid.”
Damonte Dodd: When the coaching staff came to see me play, I was just very excited. With Maryland being so close to home and so many people from my family, friends and high school coaches wanting me to go to Maryland, it was an easy decision. I like to make people happy so that weighed into my decision, but most of all I knew Maryland was the right place for me.
“The coaching staff is like a family and they really look after their guys. Ultimately, everyone wants to make it to the NBA but they really emphasized getting your education, and that’s something that’s very important to me. You never know what happens, so my education is my first priority and the University of Maryland is a great school.”
Dale Becraft, Queen Anne’s County High Head Coach: “Damonte made a steady progression through four years but the biggest progression occurred between his junior and senior years. He really got serious and hit the weight room hard, and really started working on his game and started playing more on his own time. Last year he made a quantum leap, it was really just astronomical. Just following him over the summer through the AAU circuits he’s continued to grow tremendously.
“He has tremendous timing in the post. He set a school record two years in a row for blocked shots and rebounds. He rebounds well and blocks a lot of shots. He intimidates people; even when he’s not blocking shots he’s able to alter them and just take people out of their normal rhythm. Plus he has a tremendous wingspan and I think his best basketball is ahead of him.
“Last year Scott Spinelli came down and saw him, then Mark [Turgeon] came down and saw him and they had him up several times. He just really fell in love with the family environment. He kept talking about how much it was like family and how he was included whenever he went on a visit. He was sold on Maryland from the get-go.”
Chad Myers, Massanutten Military Academy Head Coach: “First off, he’s an unbelievably good kid. I think he’s a got a chance to be really, really good. He’s got great upside, a great motor. He’s long and athletic. We try to work with those guys at Maryland and our idea here is when you leave here, hopefully, you are ready to go play at the next level. He’s bought into that and he works every day. He’s very in tune to what Maryland is doing. He’s always asking me if I saw the Maryland game and talking about the guys. He’s excited and I think he’ll be able to help right away. His ratings went up last summer, but I think he still may be a little underrated. His ceiling is very, very high.”
“Right now, his strength is really being able to run the floor. He’s rebounding well. He’s very active and he’s starting to do a pretty good job of sealing and catching the ball around the basket, around the post. But I would tell you right now, it would be his motor and his ability to run the floor.”
“I think the biggest reason he chose Maryland is what Coach Turgeon is doing with the program and Coach Spinelli doing a great job recruiting him. Once he went there, met those guys and felt that way about them, I think it was a no-brainer because he liked the idea of playing at Maryland and being close to home. The staff with having such a good relationship with them, there wasn’t a better option for him.”
Evan Daniels, Scout.com National Analyst: “There's a lot to like about Damonte Dodd. He has a big, strong body, is active on the defensive end and will lock down rebounds in his area. He's a post prospect with some nice upside and should continue to get better with another year of high school under his belt. This is a nice pick up for Maryland and someone that can help them in the post down the road.”
RODDY PETERS (6-4, 190, PG, Suitland, Md.)
A five-star prospect, the 19th-ranked player overall and the third-ranked point guard by 247Sports.com … a four-star prospect and the 11th-ranked point guard by Scout.com … a four-star prospect, the No. 45-ranked player overall and the No. 8-ranked point guard by ESPN.com … averaged 25 points and seven assists a game as a junior (2011-12) … chose Maryland over offers from UCLA, Illinois, Rutgers and Xavier … played AAU for the DC Assault under former Washington Wizards head coach Eddie Jordan last summer.
Turgeon on Peters: “Roddy is a great kid and comes from a great family. He’s a great example of us trying to keep the best local players home at Maryland. Roddy loves Maryland and we recruit that - kids that love it here and really want to be here. He has excellent court vision, a great feel for the game and his length at his position is a great asset. He's an unselfish basketball player that is all about winning.”
Roddy Peters: “I really liked the coaching staff and I’m looking forward to playing and learning from Coach [Mark] Turgeon. Coach [Dalonte] Hill and I really bonded during this process.
The Terps practice and work hard; they are very disciplined on the court and I feel it will be a great fit.
"Maryland basketball has great history and a rich tradition. I loved watching Steve Francis, Juan Dixon and Greivis Vasquez play. I am just excited to have the opportunity to continue playing basketball at the University of Maryland."
George McClure, Suitland High School Basketball Coach: “Roddy is a loyal young man who could have left public high school and attended a prep school - but he wanted to play at Suitland with his teammates. He understands the importance of getting an outstanding education and he will do well academically. Roddy is the best high school player that I have seen in the open court - not just the best player that I have coached in the open court - but that I have watched play. His skill-set will be unique to Maryland and will be a benefit when he is in the open court.
“The first time I met Roddy he shared with me that he was always a fan of Maryland. He loved the 2002 NCAA Championship teams with Juan Dixon. Once his game developed, he knew in his heart that if he was fortunate enough to receive an offer from Maryland he would jump at the opportunity. His heart has always been with Maryland.
“Roddy developed a bond with Coach [Dalonte] Hill. He also had a good relationship with Coach [Mark] Turgeon. He felt very comfortable and that was the final piece that pulled it all together and helped make his decision. That was the icing on the cake."
Paul Biancardi, ESPN.com National Recruiting Director: “He’s clever, he’s smart, he can beat guys off the dribble. He’s more of a combo guard right now. He’s got size on the perimeter. Roddy Peters can do a lot of things well. When you get a point guard with size, speed and clever with the ball, he’s going to help Maryland a lot.”