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The Chris Mack recruiting map: Maryland

Maryland has been a mixed bag for Xavier. Is this a coincidence, or is Xavier better served to recruit where they have local leverage?

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Musketeer I most associate with Maryland is Dez Wells, which is interesting for the purposes of this exercise because he isn't from there. Instead we'll feature one player who began his career at Xavier before moving on and another who began elsewhere before coming in and getting a degree from X. Beyond a home state and a position, these players could hardly have less in common in terms of their impact on the program during their time on campus.

Isaiah Philmore 71 37 1519 516 306 28 7.3 4.3 0.4
Jordan Latham 16 76 8 12 1 0.5 0.8 0.1
Maryland totals 87 37 1595 524 318 29 6.0 3.7 0.3

When Jordan Latham initially signed, he looked more like the possible next Jason Love than a guy who would transfer out after just one nondescript year. He decommitted when Sean Miller left but signed back on with Coach Mack, eschewing offers from a handful of east coast schools. He was an undersized (6'8") but stout F/C type who used his broad body to carve out real estate under the rim. He was reported to be a strong rebounder and had good scoring moves to each shoulder. Athleticism was an asset in both a quick second jump on the glass and the ability to disrupt shots around the rim. Scout had his as a four-star player while ESPN and Rivals saw his as a three-star.

It never really happened for Latham at Xavier. He got 76 minutes as a freshman - unimpressive but still dwarfing the 42 that future contributor James Farr got in his first campaign - before transferring back home to Loyola (Md.). The 8 points and 12 boards he put up as a Muskie have left almost no impression on me to the point that I struggle to recall him on the floor. He carved out a decent career at Loyola, averaging over 7 PPG as a senior, but he never shot even 50% from the floor. When people talk about Coach Mack's early recruiting misses, Latham's is a name that often comes up, and for good reason.

Following basically the opposite path was forward Isaiah Philmore. He started out at a hometown school in Towson University before transferring to Xavier, jumping from the Colonial to the A-10 and ultimately to the Big East through the course of his career. He was a good outside shooter at Towson and carried a lot of their load on offense and on the glass. Transfers have been a traditional source of high-quality talent for Xavier, and the fanbase was hoping that the trend would continue with Philmore.

Philmore mostly came good for Xavier, especially if you ignore the fact that he only shot 10% from behind the arc. He was a glue guy when the team needed him to be, but he was also a relentless force on the offensive glass and a reliable source of 8-10 PPG without having to be targeted by the flow of the offense by the time he was finishing his career. Some Xavier fans will remember him for the way his junior season ended, but one unfortunate moment shouldn't overshadow the fact that he came into the program and gave two very solid years to a team in need of what he did well.

Maryland has been a mixed bag for Xavier. In fact - with one notable exception - moving out of the upper Midwest has led to spotty results in recent recruiting. Is this a coincidence, or is Xavier better served to recruit where they have local leverage? I'm honestly not sure. I wasn't even sure why I did what I did most of the time when I was the age of the average recruit; I'll leave it to you all to speculate about why things are the way they seem to be with these players.