Saturday, September 7, 2013
Terrell commits to Oklahoma State
By Adam Finkelstein
ESPN 100 shooting guard Jared Terrell (Weymouth, Mass./Brewster Academy) made a verbal commitment to Oklahoma State on Saturday. Terrell and longtime travel teammate, Abdul-Malik Abu (Marblehead, Mass./Kimball Union), announced their decisions side by side at a Saturday afternoon news conference. Abu picked North Carolina State.
ESPN 100 shooting guard Jared Terrell committed to Oklahoma State.
Why Terrell committed: While Terrell sat down with four hats in front of him, it had become apparent in recent weeks that his decision would be between Oklahoma State and Rhode Island. No coach recruited him harder than the Rams’ Danny Hurley, but ultimately the visibility and level of competition that Oklahoma State had to offer in the Big 12 proved too big an obstacle for Rhode Island to overcome. Terrell was also intrigued by the development of Marcus Smart and the potential to compete for minutes with both Smart's expected departure to the NBA along with the graduation of Markel Brown in the backcourt.
What he brings: A powerful, tough, scoring guard. He’s got a college-ready body, complete with muscle mass and definition, and the ability to fill up a scoring sheet. He’s a good athlete who attacks the rim like a truck running down hill in the open floor, but he's not quite as explosive in the half-court without that running start of momentum. His half-court skill set is much improved in recent years, with a pull-up game that is now a legitimate weapon and consistent range from behind the 3-point line. He also brings a level of toughness that includes physical durability, endurance and willingness to spend long hours in the gym.
Those hours in the gym have served him well over the years, while also helping him to highlight his ability to turn weaknesses into strengths. First, it was the improvement of his skill set and ability to shoot the ball. Then it was the progressions of his defensive game, especially defending the ball on the perimeter. Next, he’s focused on becoming more of a combo or lead-guard in terms of his ability to handle, pass, and make decisions with the ball.
How the class is shaping up: Terrell becomes the first player to commit to Cowboys head coach Travis Ford in the class of 2014, but certainly won’t be the last as Oklahoma State looks to rebuild its backcourt. Ford has focused on a pair of ESPN 100 point guards in Dominic Magee (Gretna, La./Helen Cox) and Quentin Snider (Louisville, Ky./Ballard), but appear to be in better shape with Magee. They’ve also invested a lot of time in the junior college market. Joe Thomasson (Sedalia, Mo./State Fair Community College) committed last month, only to recently re-open his recruitment. Jeff Newberry (Hobbs, N.M./New Mexico Junior College) is another target.
How he fits: Smart and Brown each averaged about 34 minutes per game last year, so there will be plenty of available minutes next year. Terrell would love nothing more than the opportunity to contend for some minutes at the point, but he’s much more likely to compete for time off the ball. Ford is a head coach who values skill development and needs athletes durable enough to withstand long minutes. Terrell has the work ethic and endurance to both satisfy those demands, and will potentially benefit because of them. Ultimately though, his future opportunity will have a lot to do with who else Oklahoma State lands. Phil Forte will be a junior when Terrell arrives, and 2012 ESPN 100 point guard Stevie Clark will be a sophomore. If Magee comes on board as well, then depth becomes a real weapon for Oklahoma State in the backcourt, especially the following season when ESPN 60 SG Austin Grandstaff (Rockwall, Texas/Rockwall) joins the equation.
Who he reminds us of: He’s a little bit like Arizona guard Nick Johnson in that he’s physically strong, aggressive, and naturally competitive. Johnson faced questions about whether he was already physically maxed out before reaching the college ranks, and Terrell, too, will hear similar whispers given the maturity of his frame. Both improved their skill levels throughout their career, but relied on their athleticism first and foremost, although Johnson relied more on his leaping ability. Power is Terrell's primary attribute.