i was thinking about how much i used to love maryland back in the day when they had dixon, blake, etc.
seeing as how durant is from the area, how did the east coast miss out on this guy?
All we used to hear is how Gary Williams couldn't recruit the area. Durant, Carmelo, Beasley, Lawson...big time college players who chose to go elsewhere.
And Rudy Gay...
Gay's college recruitment and decision to attend the University of Connecticut over the University of Maryland were controversial. Gay had expressed a desire to attend Maryland and said that he grew up rooting for the team, but he ultimately chose UConn. Because of the heavy involvement of an AAU coach and a high school coach, there was the appearance of impropriety, although no NCAA recruiting violations were discovered. The NCAA adopted a new scheduling rule after UConn paid $25,000 to schedule a game against the Beltway Ballers, an ad hoc AAU team that consisted of Gay's former teammates. Although it violated no standing rule at the time, media observers and Connecticut staff considered it directly connected to the recruitment. According to individuals close to Maryland head coach Gary Williams, the recruitment demonstrated that rule bending is often necessary to secure highly touted players, which Williams said he is unwilling to do, even at the expense of recruiting.
Durant was coming to UNC. I can't remember the exact story and what unfolded but he was going to be a Heel. Or, that's what UNC thought anyway. I only know the story from UNC's side and apparently he was a UNC "stone cold lead pipe lock". Again, something happened but I can't remember what it was, exactly. I'm also pretty sure ESPN had an interview with Durant, Aldridge, Rick Barnes, and some of the other big name recruits Barnes has landed. In the interview Durant said himself he was originally planning on going to UNC but didn't go any further than that. I know something specific happened to keep him from going to UNC and going to Texas instead.
Which is frustrating because they would have been loaded that year. I mean UNC made the Elite Eight that year without him (should have been a Final Four if it wasn't for the meltdown in the Georgetown Elite Eight game) so imagine what they could have done with Durant?
I mean look at the line-up that could've been...
PG Ty Lawson
SG Wayne Ellington
SF Kevin Durant
PF Brandan Wright
C Tyler Hansbrough
And the bench...