Who’s Got Next? Elite Big Man Diamond Stone Selects Maryland

Posted by Sean Moran on March 30th, 2015

Who’s Got Next? is a weekly column by Sean Moran, the RTC recruiting guru. Once a week he will bring you an overview of what’s going on in the complex world of recruiting, from who is signing where among the seniors to discussing the recruitment of the top uncommitted players in the country. We also encourage you to check out his contributions at The Intentional Foul dedicated to recruiting coverage and analysis. You can also follow Sean at his Twitter account @Seanmohoops for up-to-date news from the high school and college hoops scene. If you have any suggestions as to areas we are missing or different things you would like to see, please let us know at rushthecourt@yahoo.com.

Note: Scout.com used for all player rankings.

Maryland exceeded expectations by going 28-7 in its first Big Ten season and now Mark Turgeon’s club is doing the same on the recruiting front with the unexpected weekend commitment of five-star center Diamond Stone, the No. 4 prospect in the senior class. The 6’10” big man from Milwaukee committed to the Terps on Friday night and in turn significantly raised expectations for Maryland next season.

Stone’s name first popped on the radar in 2012 as he established himself as an overpowering freshman. He won a Wisconsin Division 4 championship that year and didn’t stop from there, having just capped off his fourth title in a row at Dominican High School with a 23-point, 15-rebound performance. Through it all, Stone maintained his status as one of the top players in his class and at times held down the overall No. 1 ranking. Over the past two summers, Stone was a regular with the USA basketball program, winning gold medals at the U-16 FIBA Americas event and at the U-17 FIBA World Championships. He started all 12 games for Team USA and averaged 13.6 points and 7.2 rebounds and 13.4 points and 9.7 rebounds, respectively, during those international events.


Stone’s recruitment has been a long and winding road with many twists and turns. Local powers Wisconsin and Marquette established themselves early with the Golden Eagles rumored to be the leader with Stone taking numerous unofficial visits to the campus right next door. Schools from all over the country soon joined that pair in the race as Stone received offers from Georgetown, Indiana, Duke, North Carolina and UCLA. When Buzz Williams left for Virginia Tech a year ago, Marquette received a commitment from Henry Ellenson and dropped out. The four schools that remained were Wisconsin, Connecticut, Oklahoma State and Maryland, with the College Park school seeming like the longest shot. UConn was discussed as the leader as recently as last summer (and a package deal with Malik Newman was supposedly in play), but Stone took official visits to all four schools in October and liked Maryland the best.

With Diamond Stone on the way, Maryland is setting itself up very nicely.

With Diamond Stone on the way, Maryland is setting itself up nicely.

While Stone’s recruitment has been extremely tight-lipped throughout, there are two logical reasons for his commitment to the Terps. Now a Big Ten school, Maryland will play its conference games throughout the Midwest (including the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis), but perhaps even more important than that, Mark Turgeon’s program is outfitted by Under Armour. Stone has played on the Under Armour AAU circuit over the past few years, with the apparel company sponsoring the team started by Stone’s father — the Young Legends from Milwaukee. Maryland made a strong push two years ago for the Harrison twins using its Under Armour connection, but now the Terps have broken through and have landed their highest-rated prospect in recent memory.


After going 9-9 in the ACC and missing the NCAA Tournament a year ago, the Terps suffered a tumultuous offseason in losing five players including starting guard Seth Allen and big man Charles Mitchell. Maryland, however, brought in a strong freshman class to offset the transfers, including Washington Post All-Met Player of the Year Melo Trimble, who exceeded all expectations in leading the team with 16.2 points per game. The Terps put together an impressive 28-7 season that included wins over Iowa State, Wisconsin and Michigan State (twice), and while they lost in the Round of 32 to West Virginia, they are poised to return the group’s core. If Trimble decides to return to school (he is not a guaranteed first round pick), the Terps will have outstanding offensive firepower with Trimble as well as smooth-shooting sophomore Jared Nickens and Jake Layman (also expected to return). Up front, the Terps return sophomore Damonte Dodd, freshman Michal Cekovsky, and gain the services of former Georgia Tech big man Robert Carter. The future is bright in College Park as the Terps look to challenge Wisconsin and the rest for the top spot in the Big Ten.

Stone Analysis

At 6’10” and 246 pounds, Stone is the most complete low post player in the 2015 class. While people should not expect him to immediately produce Jahlil Okafor numbers, Stone is similar to the Duke freshman in that they both know their strengths lie down low. Stone has a good set of hands when passes are sent his way and impressive footwork as well. His ability to score with both his right and left hands allows him to convert on jump hooks and crafty moves around the basket. While Stone prefers to stay close to the basket, he is also comfortable banking in shots from outside the key and stepping out to 15 feet. He has occasionally displayed an ability to knock in threes, but he likely won’t be taking many of those in college. Stone’s energy level and explosiveness are legitimate question marks, but he has shown improvements in both areas. A reasonable expectation for his freshman season would be comparable with that of Myles Turner at Texas. Turner averaged 10.6 points and 6.5 rebounds per game and was among the nation’s leaders in block percentage (12.3%). If Stone can contribute that level of production, combined with Trimble’s exploits, then Maryland should expect to be playing during the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament next season.

Sean Moran (79 Posts)

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2 responses to “Who’s Got Next? Elite Big Man Diamond Stone Selects Maryland”

  1. Tony Geinzer says:

    I still have issues how Maryland wrecked the ACC and act like they get the Nebraska Treatment in the Midwest, but thumb their nose to the Northeast,Southeast and being the 5th Member of Tobacco Road. Marquette hasn’t been Marquette or Milwaukee hasn’t been Milwaukee in years, but that don’t mean Marquette can’t lose high profile Students and Athletes like air.

  2. Cody Thrasher says:

    I’m not sure how Oklahoma State ended up in the top four, but I figured he was out on us after another rocky season in Stillwater. I kinda figured he’d stay home and go to Wisconsin, especially since he could’ve slotted right in for Kaminsky. If Trimble returns to Maryland, they’ll be a Final Four contender for sure. I’m looking forward to seeing how this young man develops in college.

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