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Westmoreland resident picks Terps
Justin Anderson, who played JV ball at Courtland, will
FILE/ROBERT A. MARTIN/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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BY TAFT COGHILL JR.
Maryland knew after a loss to Duke in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament that it wasn't going to the NCAA tournament for the fourth time in seven years.
Terrapins' fans were further deflated when the school didn't receive a bid to the NIT.
But Maryland got a bit of good news yesterday when Westmoreland County resident Justin Anderson orally committed to the Terrapins during a press conference at Montrose Christian School in Rockville, Md.
The 6-foot-7 junior swingman will be the fifth Montrose Christian player to head to Maryland.
"They had a tough year this year," Anderson said of the Terrapins. "Hopefully they'll bounce back next year. That didn't have anything to do with my decision. I just want to make sure when I go there, I make an impact."
Anderson said the opportunity to play as a freshman was a key to his decision. He had narrowed his list of school choices to Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. He said he knew "three or four days" before yesterday that Maryland was the right choice.
"It was a lot of things," Anderson said of what factored into his decision. "I think this is a great decision for me, a great decision for my family. The location of Maryland was definitely a factor. The coaching staff was definitely a factor. Just being able to make an impact as a freshman was another reason I chose to attend Maryland."
Anderson starred for Courtland's junior varsity team as an eighth-grader at Spotsylvania Middle School.
His family petitioned Spotsylvania County Public Schools so he could play JV as an eighth-grader.
Anderson transferred to Montrose Christian the following season. Mustangs coach Stu Vetter immediately recognized he was a special talent athletically, but also that he needed to refine his basketball skills. Anderson is still a work in progress, Vetter said.
"Justin is one of the best athletes I've ever coached," Vetter said. "He needs to work on the game of basketball, and I think he'll develop into one of the outstanding players in the Atlantic Coast Conference."
Vetter said Anderson, who averages 14 points per game for the Mustangs (22-1), also had scholarship offers from North Carolina, Duke, Virginia and Texas, among others.
Vetter said playing locally should give Anderson a jump-start.