With Maryland and Rutgers entering their second season in the Big Ten, the recruiting landscape for many of the Big Ten programs has shifted to the eastern seaboard. Talented basketball players can be found in abundance along the east coast - specifically New York. Known for its tough, AND1 style of play, New York has a propensity of producing quality basketball players. There are exceptions to every rule, however. Clifton Park, NY (Shenendehowa) shooting guard Kevin Huerter is not your normal New York guard.
The 6'5", 180-pound guard is listed as the 72nd-ranked player in the senior class and 11th best shooting guard by 247Sports. Huerter, as his highlight tape indicates, is listed by some as a point guard. With average ball-handling skills, a wiry frame and a mechanically sound shooting stroke, shooting guard seems to be the likely landing spot at the next level. What Huerter lacks in lateral speed and foot quickness, he makes up for his ability to create separation from his defender in order to utilize his deep shooting range.
With Huerter placed as a shooting guard, here is a look at the three Big Ten schools in the mix for his services and how he fits within their respective rosters.
Should Huerter commit to the Hawkeyes, the prospect would fit in seamlessly. Iowa will be in need of scoring on the wing, as they will be looking to replace guard Mike Gesell and forward Jarrod Uthoff by the time Huerter steps on a college campus. The leading returning guard for the Hawkeyes is guard Mike Gesell, who averaged 7.4 points per game according to ESPN. The Hawkeyes shot 33% from the three point line as a team and if Huerter were to pledge for the Hawkeyes, look for that number to increase. The long-term potential is there for Huerter, as he could very well be the heir to Gesell for the starting off-guard spot. His shooting ability and ability to space the floor would work well for head coach Fran McCaffery's offense.
Huerter would be a great fit for Maryland, as some of the current Terrapin guards have the versatility to slide to different positions - 6'7" sophomore Jarred Nickens could move from shooting guard to small forward once Jake Layman finishes his collegiate career. 2016 point guard commit Anthony Cowan has been dubbed by many pundits as the next starting point guard once Melo Trimble presumably leaves for the NBA after this coming season.
Huerter's shooting ability could team up nicely with Maryland's style, as the Terps shot an impressive 37% from three point land as a team. With the Dion Wiley likely returning for his junior season, it'll be hard pressed for Huerter to land a starting spot by the time he gets to College Park. Wiley will be a junior with two years under Mark Turgeon's system, and there is a fighters chance the Terps land Josh Jackson, one of the top-3 players in the class of 2016. Huerter could prove to be useful as a reserve his freshman season with the chance of making an immediate impact due to his shooting and ability to drive with the basketball.
Of the three Big Ten schools in the running for Huerter, Michigan is the program that doesn't fit as well for Huerter. Michigan is loaded this season, and is set up well for the future with 2016 shooting guard Ibi Watson verbally committed to the Wolverines. The guard position in Ann Arbor will be crowded for the next two seasons, with starting junior point guard Derrick Walton Jr., sophomore Muhammed-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Watson in the fold for the class of 2016. Junior Zak Irvin and sophomore Aubrey Dawkins have the ability to slide down from the forward positions to shooting guard, which could limit Huerter's minutes should rotations need shuffling.
Irvin has a chance to leave early for the NBA draft, and Caris LeVert will have exhausted his eligibility by the time Huerter steps foot in Ann Arbor. Watson will be a player to keep an eye on in the future, and with Abdur-Rahkman in the fold for potentially three more years, playing time for the sharpshooting Huerter could be limited.
Huerter is a solid prospect and looks to be a four-year player wherever he ends up. With a mechanically sound shooting stroke, and the ability to fill in as a backup point guard if called upon, there is a chance for Huerter to be a productive college player, and a possible starter early in his collegiate career. The Terrapins and Wolverines have positioned themselves nicely with Huerter, as Maryland will host Huerter on September 5th, and Michigan will play host on September 12th.