Reporting Bobby Bancroft
ALEXANDRIA – The 39th edition of the Capital Classic may have found a new home in Virginia but it was Maryland, as in the Terrapins, which dominated the event.
Moments after both the United States and Capital All-Stars were introduced to the crowd on Saturday night at TC Williams High School, Sam Cassell Jr. (Notre Dame Prep/Fitchburg, MA) had his college choice announced over the public address system.
The 6-foot-3 combo guard, once again, gave his verbal to the University of Maryland and head coach Mark Turgeon.
Cassell Jr. had originally committed to the ACC school but opted to take visits to both Pittsburgh and South Florida before making his final decision.
“I wanted to compare the schools to see how different those schools were from Maryland,” Cassell Jr. said about his most recent recruiting trips.
“In the end I wanted to be a Terp.”
With five future Terrapins on the roster, the United States All-Stars turned an even game at the half into a comfortable 105-93 victory over the Capital All-Stars.
Despite 49 combined points from the Maryland recruits, Virginia Tech signee Montrezl Harrell (Hargrave Academy) earned MVP honors with a game-high 24 points, most coming off spectacular dunks.
It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the pro-Maryland crowd got their wish with all five Maryland commits on the court at the same time.
Shaquille Cleare, Charles Mitchell, Seth Allen, and Damonte Dodd joined Cassell Jr. on the floor for nearly three minutes giving a glimpse of the future for the Maryland fans in attendance who responded with ‘Let’s go Terps’ chants.
And it wasn’t just the crowd that was waiting for the all-Maryland lineup.
“I was excited to all get on the floor at one time,” said Cleare who led all future Terrapins with 14 points.
“We got to show what’s coming to College Park next year. I love those guys and I can’t wait to play with them. I can’t wait to get to College Park.”
While the 6-foot-10 center Cleare (The Village School/Houston) did his scoring down low, guards Cassell Jr. and Allen (Fredericksburg) tallied 12 and ten points respectively from the outside.
The son of Sam Cassell Sr. – a three-time NBA champion and current Washington Wizards assistant - did most of his damage during a three possession stretch towards the end of the second quarter.
A long jumper followed by back-to-back deep three-pointers gave the United States team its first lead at 41-39.
So where does Cassell Jr. see himself playing once he gets to College Park?
“I’d say I’m more of a combo but I’d like to be a point guard, I’m working on being a point guard,” Cassell Jr. said about his desired position at the next level.
T.J. Huggins, playing the final game of his prep career in front of a home crowd, earned MVP honors for the Capital All-Stars with a well rounded performance of ten points, six rebounds, and four assists.
The TC Williams Titans star is still in the process of deciding his college destination, with Patriot league Navy being the most likely destination.
“I was surprised to get the award but it’s exciting and it was great to finish out playing in front of such great home support.”
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