Whenever you can grab a top-50/75 prospect out of the recent national champions’ backyard, you can pat yourself on the back. That’s a win.
On Saturday, that’s what Mark Turgeon did. Aaron Wiggins, a top-20 shooting guard from High Point, North Carolina gave his pledge to Maryland, giving the Terrapins their first commit of the 2018 cycle.
The 6’6, 180 pound prospect chose the Terrapins over offers from Kansas, Arizona, Florida, USC and Virginia, amongst others. According to 247’s Jeff Ermann, Wiggins was a little known prospect when Turgeon offered him a scholarship.
Turgeon offered then little-known Wiggins a scholarship last September, becoming the second high-major coach to do so. Assistant coach Dustin Clark then took over the point in his recruitment, and both coaches made multiple trips to North Carolina to see him. The two spent much of the spring and early summer working to position themselves for Wiggins' commitment.
"I hear from them every day. They both call and text all the time," he said.
Turgeon saw something in the young guard, and made him the priority at the guard position in the class. After his junior season, Wiggins blew up. He received most of the offers he now holds, and saw his ranking skyrocket into the top 100.
The four-star prospect can sort of do it all. What jumps out at you when watching tape is his length. He’s a slender 180 pounds, but he is all of 6’6. Combining that length and his very wide wingspan with above average handles makes him a threat to put the ball on the floor and drive to the basket for layups.
You can see some of that in this highlight video:
'18 Aaron Wiggins Highlights from @UAassociation Day 1 #HoopMajor@Aaron_Wiggins_ @Team_CLT pic.twitter.com/mi5ga5yDuQ— HoopMajor (@HoopMajor) April 24, 2017
Then, you’ve got his shooting ability. He can absolutely fill it up from anywhere on the floor. His touch from deep, however, is what already makes him a truly complete offensive threat. His ability on that end will only get better once he reaches College Park, and wets his feet in Turgeon’s system.
On the defensive end, you’re looking at an unfinished product. His length and athleticism lends itself well to defending multiple positions, which bodes well for the future. Still, as a defender, he’s got a bit of work to do, and that’s not a bad thing. Once he gets a bit stronger, his ability to hold his own outside or inside the paint will improve drastically, and he’ll become a much more reliable defender.
Overall, you’re looking at a very talented prospect who is already more complete than some rated higher than him. You can still see the vestiges of the rawness that made him a sleeper prospect as recently as the fall, but you can’t deny the physical ability that has since made him a consensus top-100 player.
The ideal scenario for the Terps would be to have a backcourt combination of Wiggins and top-100 2017 signee Darryl Morsell. That would give the Terps a ton of length along the perimeter, and plenty of scoring options from all over the court.
Either way, Turgeon and the Terrapins got their man at the wing position for 2018, and they can now set their sights on completing the other positions on their board.