Friday, April 4, 2014

Terps show interest in '14 big man Michal Cekovsky

It has been nearly eight months since the Terps added their last commitment to the four-member class of 2014. But it turns out, Mark Turgeon and his staff may not be done just yet.

Meet Michal Cekovsky, a skilled 7-foot-tall, 220-pound Slovakian native who plays for Spain's Canarias Basketball Academy.

Cekovsky opened eyes last summer playing in the European Championships U20 Division, where he averaged 12.7 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game.

ESPN's evaluation notes that Cekovsky "knows how to post and play with his back to the basket," adding that he has soft touch and can stretch defenses due to his athleticism and movement.

The obvious comparison? "A poor man's Dirk Nowitzki," as his Canarias coach Rob Orellana put it.

It's rare to see a player of Cekovsky's size pop up this late in the recruiting cycle. But following on the heels of Ukrainian teenager Alex Len -- who Turgeon recruited and developed into a top-five draft pick two years later -- the Terps have an obvious and compelling sales pitch for future European big men.

Len, of course, was suspended for the first dozen or so games of his freshman season for eligibility questions stemming from playing a bit of professional ball in Europe prior to coming to the U.S. It's likely Cekovsky would be in the same situation.

But that's not turning any college teams away. At one point, Cekovsky held offers from Louisville, Arizona, Maryland, Oregon, Florida, Connecticut, Florida State, Minnesota and others. His teamate, Matz Stockman, will suit up for Louisville next season.

As it stands, Maryland doesn't have room to bring Cekovsky on board -- provided everyone returns from last year's roster. That's highly unlikely, though, and it's clear Turgeon realizes the importance of bolstering a lackluster frontcourt that provided too little production for the Terps this past season.

Cekovsky is rated the 143rd-best player in the class of 2014 by 247sports, and is rated the 14th-best center in the class by ESPN. Check out his highlight tape below...

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