Jared Nickens commits to Maryland
For the second time in as many weeks, Maryland coach Mark Turgeon has significantly bolstered his 2014 recruiting class with an early summer verbal commitment.
Jared Nickens, a 6-6, 190-pound swingman from Monmouth Junction, N.J., has committed to Maryland, his AAU coach confirmed to CSN on Sunday afternoon. Nickens came to the university for an official visit this weekend and pledged his name to the program shortly thereafter.
"He seems really excited and happy about his decision. When he got there, he just was very comfortable with coach Turgeon," Nickens' AAU coach, Brian Coleman, told CSN in a phone interview Sunday. "He was already comfortable with those guys. He and his parents loved the university and he just felt like, 'I'm comfortable here.'"
According to Coleman, Maryland was one of the first schools to show a deep interest in Nickens, along with Oregon State.
His commitment comes one week after local 2014 prospect Dion Wiley (Potomac (Md.)) said he, too, would become a Terrapin.
Much like Wiley, Nickens will bring a perimeter threat to College Park, giving Turgeon another player who can stretch the floor out toward the three-point line and create space on the interior for his big men and guards who attack off the dribble.
"They’re going to be a really good shooting team," Coleman said. "Coach Turgeon told him how they would fit in. He played with some of the guys yesterday and thought, 'This just feels like home.'"
At 6-6, Nickens has good size for a high-major swingman and is rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals.com. He will come to Maryland by way of Westtown School (Pa.) and the powerhouse New Jersey AAU program Sports U.
Nickens joins Wiley and combo guard Romelo Trimble in Maryland’s 2014 class.
"Playing with Romelo, a guy who can create and shoot, I think that appeals to him," Coleman said. "They’re pretty close friends. They spent the whole last weekend together [at an Under Armour All-Star event] in Las Vegas. He fits in as another big-time shooter and he gives them length."
Turgeon’s three commitments from the Class of 2014 should go a long way toward correcting some of the scoring problems that the Maryland offense encountered last season, including a 34 percent mark from three-point range.
That 34 percent ranked Maryland in the bottom third of the ACC.
Wiley, Trimble, and Nickens will likely play alongside point guard Roddy Peters once they get to College Park, with the point guard Peters set to become a Terrapin this fall. This latest addition will give Maryland a strong four-piece scoring ensemble when it takes the floor in 2014.