Class of 2012 small forward Justin Anderson (#45) committed to Virginia yesterday after new Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon decided not to keep assistant coach Robert Ehsan, the person who contacted Anderson the most under former head coach Gary Williams.
“I went to Maryland to play for Coach Williams and Coach Ehsan, that was my main reason for going to Maryland,” says Anderson. “To find out both of them were not there, that was pretty tough for me in my recruiting. I thought he (Ehsan) would be able to stay and we didn’t get that opportunity, so we had to move on.”
Anderson, who committed to Maryland in March, is a Virginia-native and said the Cavaliers were always on his radar during his recruitment. Says Anderson, “The Cavaliers were always my second choice behind Maryland. Also, my family lives in Virginia. After the departure of Coach Williams and Coach Ehsan it just feels like the right fit.”
Anderson’s high school, Montrose Christian, also has former players who recently played for the Cavaliers. “UVA is a tremendous institution and recent Montrose graduates Tunji Soroye and Doug Browman have had great experiences there as student-athletes,” says Montrose Christian head coach Stu Vetter. Anderson recently won the ESPN RISE National High School Invitational (NHSI) with Montrose Christian which made them the post-season high school National Champions.
Adds Vetter, “He has been heavily recruited since the eighth grade and it has been an exhausting and distracting process for a teenager. Although Mark Turgeon wanted to begin recruiting him, Justin and his family decided to conclude the process.”
However, Turgeon did say earlier in the week that he was disappointed that some of the Terps’ recruits didn’t give him a chance to recruit them. With class of 2011 point guard Sterling Gibbs heading to Texas and class of 2011 power forward Martin Breunig visiting other schools, Anderson may have been one of those people Turgeon was talking about.
Anderson did briefly make a statement about the contact Turgeon made with him. “He called me about two or three days after he was hired and we just talked about keeping me a Terp and hopefully he could coach me.”
North Carolina and Virginia Tech were two other schools that were involved with Anderson since the Tar Heels were in his top three before he committed to Maryland and the Hokies are an in-state school. Regarding Virginia Tech, Anderson said, “We thought about it,” Anderson said. “We ended up not doing it for our own personal issues.”
Anderson will be joining small forward Evan Nolte and center Mike Tobey in Virginia’s class of 2012 which gives them one of the top classes in the country so far. We named Anderson as one of the players with the most potential in the junior class because of his freakish athleticism and raw talent and believe he will end up being a top 25 prospect. He simply gets to the rim whenever he wants to and is one of the best slashers in the country among the junior class. He also excels in transition and has the ability to knock down the three but could improve in that area. Although, one of his best qualities is the obvious heart and passion he plays the game with.
However, Virginia isn’t done yet despite getting commitments from three future impact players. Two good centers in Robert Upshaw and Adam Woodbury are also considering the Cavaliers as well as DeMatha Catholic High School (MD) point guard James Robinson among others. Look for Virginia coach Anthony Bennett to be active in the upcoming year as he tries to add-on to this excellent recruiting class.