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With Hakim Hart Commitment, Terps' Offseason In Full Swing

April 19, 2019
It's been less than a month since Maryland basketball's devastating second-round loss in the NCAA Tournament, but the team's offseason is already in full gear as its focus now turns toward next season.

On April 18, consensus two-star shooting guard Hakim Hart announced his commitment to the Terps on his Instagram account, becoming the fourth player to join Maryland's 2019 class.

"I wanna give a complete thank you to Coach Turgeon and his staff for recruiting me and believing [in] me," Hart wrote. "110% committed to the University of Maryland!"

Hart is a 6-foot-5, 185-pound shooting guard from Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia. He had previously committed to St. Joseph's, but after the school fired longtime coach Phil Martelli last month, Hart decommitted and reopened his recruitment. 

Hart also had offers from Bowling Green, La Salle and the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Before his commitment, Maryland had the 27th ranked recruiting class nationall and third-best in the conference, according to 247Sports.

Turgeon, who is not permitted to comment on Hart's commitment because the player has not yet signed his letter of intent, opted to tweet out a .gif in apparent celebration.

Hart joins Makhi Mitchell, a four-star center, twin brother Makhel Mitchell, a three-star center and Donta Scott, a three-star small forward in the 2019 recruiting class. Scott, who is also a Philadelphia native, played AAU ball with Hart. The pair played in the Under Armour Association with Philly Pride.

The addition of Hart came just one day after rising sophomore and reserve forward Trace Ramsey announced he was leaving the program.

"In discussions with my family and Coach Turgeon, I have decided to enter the transfer portal and continue my education and playing career at another institution," Ramsey tweeted. "I appreciate all the support from the Maryland community and look forward to this next step in my journey."

Ramsey, an Indiana native who signed with the Terps last spring, appeared in five games last season.

As for the rest of the current roster, rising junior center Bruno Fernando and rising senior guard Anthony Cowan both announced April 15 they plan to hire agents and enter the NBA Draft. New NCAA rules allow players to hire representation to advise them through the draft process. A player may return to school before the May 29 deadline if they terminate their relationship with the agent beforehand.

Fernando, a first-team All-Big Ten selection this season, is projected as a first-round pick by some experts. While, Cowan, a two-time All-Big Ten selection who led the Terps in scoring and minutes the last two seasons, is more likely to return for his senior season.

Some experts thought rising sophomore forward Jalen Smith might also test the NBA Draft waters, but the Big Ten All-Freshman selection announced April 8 he would return to Maryland.

With Smith back in the fold, and assuming Cowan comes back as well, the Terps will return four of five starters and seven of their eight top rotation players from the 2018-19 team, including five rising sophomores who accounted for nearly half (47 percent) of Maryland's scoring last season.

Turgeon has no open scholarships after Hart's commitment, but Fernando turning pro would change that.

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox