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Terps Land Commitment From Five-Star Big Man

Montverde’s Derik Queen (25) shakes teammate hand during introductions against Whitehaven for a basketball game in the Winter Classic at the McDonald Insurance Arena

After an incredibly long recruitment, five-star big man Derik Queen commits to the University of Maryland. He plays at Montverde Academy in Florida but is a native of Baltimore. He also used to play at St. Frances Academy with current terps Julian Reese and Jahnathan Lamothe. Queen selected the Terps over a trio of big-time programs: Indiana, Houston, and Kansas. Per 247 rankings, he is the second-highest-rated recruit in Maryland history.

Terps Land Commitment From Five-Star Big Man

Queen is the Terps’ second commit in the 2024 class. He joins Malachi Palmer as the only other incoming freshman next season for Maryland. Despite the poor on-court results this season, Kevin Willard has been recruiting well in College Park. Last season, he landed Deshawn Harris-Smith and Jamie Kaiser, both highly-rated recruits. This commitment continues to build upon Willard’s emphasis on recruiting the talent-laden DMV area (Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia).

Queen’s Playstyle

Queen’s game is fundamentals. He is a great passer and ball-handler, which Maryland has needed in a big man for a while. He is also a great inside scorer who relies on excellent footwork and post moves to score at the basket. Queen can create his own space down low with various hooks and fadeaways. He truly has a great offensive skill set.

There are three major flaws in his game. First, he is not an elite athlete. His highlight reel is not full of high-flying dunks or chase-down blocks. He is also not a great shooter. He doesn’t shoot from deep very well and is just an average midrange shooter. Finally, he is not an elite defender. He is solid but doesn’t get a ton of blocks or steals. Overall, he has a very good inside game and can be a facilitator, but he still has room for improvement when he gets to College Park.

What it Means for the Future

Queen’s commitment means a lot for the Maryland basketball program. Since Willard arrived, recruiting the Baltimore and Washington DC metro areas has been important. In 2025, there is another elite crop of DMV talent. This includes one of Queen’s former teammates, Tyler Jackson. The two used to play together at St. Frances Academy.

Queen can also greatly help Maryland in the upcoming portal class. The Terps will need to replace star point guard Jahmir Young through the transfer portal. Having a five-star freshman big man makes Maryland a much more attractive option for potential guards. One guy to look at would be Virginia Tech transfer Rodney Rice, who used to play AAU with Queen.

The Terps still have a long way to go. This season was supposed to be great, but it fell completely flat. However, Queen’s commitment gives fans something to smile about. If Willard can keep his talented players like Reese, Kaiser, and Harris-Smith and have a great portal class, the Terps may find themselves back in March Madness in 2025.


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