Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
By ALEX KLINE & ADAM ZAGORIA
Maryland’s 2011 recruiting class took a big hit Thursday.
Sterling Gibbs, a 6-foot-1 point guard out of Seton Hall Prep in New Jersey, and Nick Faust, a 6-5 shooting guard from Baltimore City, both got their official releases from their Letters of Intent.
A third recruit, German forward Martin Breunig, asked for his release but his situation was “still in flux,” according to a source at St. John’s Northwest Military Academy in Wisconsin.
“Yes,” Gibbs said by phone. “I was officially released from my letter of intent.”
Gibbs spoke with new head coach Mark Turgeon by phone on Wednesday night and decided it would be best if he opened up his recruitment to see what other options were available.
Both Gibbs and Faust said they were still considering Maryland.
“I am definitely still considering Maryland,” said Gibbs. “I want to look at all of my options and see what the best fit for me and my family is.”
Faust gave similar comments to the Baltimore Sun.
“He’s a great guy, great coach,” Faust said of Turgeon. “I told him that I just wanted to do this to make sure I go to the best place for me. … I know he respected that. He gave me the option of being able to weigh my options. I respect him for that also.”
As for potential suitors, a number of schools have already inquired about Gibbs.
Louisville, Notre Dame, Seton Hall, Texas, Providence and Dayton are among those in the mix, according to New York Panthers coach Gary Charles. Seton Hall had recruited Gibbs extremely hard up until he decided to pledge to Maryland last April.
While he had no comments on any of the schools currently targeting him, Gibbs mentioned that he was feeling better about the process and that he is remaining optimistic regarding everything.
Gibbs and Faust are extremely close friends and have been in touch since Gary Williams retired a week ago.
“I’ve definitely been talking to Nick just about every day,” Gibbs told the Baltimore Sun. “And we’ve just been trying to talk it out. He’s pretty much doing the same thing, just making sure that Maryland is the right place.”
6-8 Louisiana forward Ricardo Gathers landed in New York Thursday night and begins his unofficial to St. John’s Friday. “The fun doesn’t begin until tomorrow,” he said by text…Daouda Soumaoro, a 6-9, 220-pound 2011 big man from Our Savior New American, will take an official to Washington beginning Saturday. He recently visited St. John’s…Georgetown officially offered Notre Dame Prep guard Myles Davis, per his father. Florida State is also involved…DePaul promoted Andy Farrell to Director of Basketball Operations. Matt Fleming is the team’s new video coordinator…Rutgers freshman Gilvydas Biruta will compete for Lithuania in this summer’s U20 European Championships July 14-24 in Bilbao, Spain.
“I am very excited to play for my national team,” said Biruta. “It’s a huge honor for me. In Europe, many young players dream of making the national team the same way Americans dream of playing in the NBA. I can’t wait to show everyone what I learned at Rutgers. I’m really looking forward to playing with my friends and former teammates.”
“This is a great opportunity for Gilvydas,” said Rutgers head coach Mike Rice. “He did everything we asked of him this past season and more. He will face a high level of competition at the European Championships and it will aid in his development. We have no doubt that Gilvydas will be a tremendous ambassador for the Rutgers basketball program.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.