One of the best kept east coast secrets in the class of 2015 recently received a UTEP offer right as he is about to further explode on the recruiting scene.
A self described late bloomer, 6'9, 210 pound Isaiah Maurice from Durham, North Carolina will become an Division I mainstay after his final year at Bull City Prep. Rated as a three-star 2015 prospect by Scout.com, a breakout junior year, and a four-star level senior year have mid-to-high majors calling showing great interest with UTEP leading the charge.
Maurice would bring a high skill level along with his size as impact factors to the UTEP lineup next year if he chooses the UTEP Orange and Blue.
A true stretch power forward, Maurice is a well rounded offensive player that can pick and pop, post, and finish around the rim with his well rounded skill set.
Fitting right into what Tim Floyd is looking for defensively, Maurice has the footwork, length, and defensive prowess to guard multiple positions which is always plus when it comes to minutes in Floyd's system.
Last season as a junior Maurice averaged 19 points, and nine rebounds, but his hard work, and always evolving natural skill has helped him average 25 and 10 this season as a senior.
With his stock rising, Maurice has been exposed to great national attention by playing a national schedule and receiving top level basketball and life guidance under Daryl Harris who is the head coach at Bull City.
Playing a national schedule against some best prep schools on the east coast while at Bull City along with his strong basketball IQ, and overall well mannered character will have Maurice ready to immediately compete at the Division 1 level.
With his senior year of high school almost coming to a close, Maurice has an offer from Ohio, and has drawn interest from Clemson, Miami, and Tennessee. UTEP is the ideal landing spot for Maurice with the possibility of a Prop 48 spot available, Maurice can develop his game, and academics while learning Floyd's system, and getting acclimated to the college life.
I spoke with Maurice about his recruitment, and his UTEP offer, one of the nicest kids you will ever meet, and the kid granted an interview to talk hoops on a Friday night which should speak volumes about his character.
MinerRush: Talk about the recruiting process, and who are the teams that are talking to you?
Isaiah Maurice: I actually just got back from an unofficial at Tennessee and watched the game against Kentucky. Tennessee hasn't offered, they're just starting to recruit me now, I have an offer from Ohio University, North Carolina A&T and North Carolina Central.
MinerRush: What has the journey been like with your recent rise and explosion onto the recruiting scene?
Isaiah Maurice: Well we get up at 6 o'clock in the morning, its a ton of drills, and its about converting that stuff to the game. I consider my self a late bloomer, last year was a break out year, and its all about positioning. I can play the four, three or five on the high school level, at this point at the high school level its a little easy. I know college is going to be tough and that's why I am looking forward to college. I've just been putting in tons of hard work, trying to gain more muscle mass, and just play stronger and more aggressive and play more around the rim and try to dunk everything.
MinerRush: Outside of basketball, what are looking for in a college?
Isaiah Maurice: Good fan base, the academic part of the school, and great atmosphere. I'm not big on the whole diversity thing, I just want to go somewhere where I can become the best academically, and as a basketball player. I really don't care about distance, just the best atmosphere that fits me.
MinerRush: When UTEP called and talked to you, what was the one thing that has stuck in your mind since talking with them?
Isaiah Maurice: Coach Tim Floyd. He told me his background and guys he's coached. At this point, with the offers I have UTEP is a no-brainer. He was really honest, he broke down my game, he talked to my dad about that. There are a lot of things I have to work on, but there are things that he feels I can help UTEP.
MinerRush: What part of your game right now do you feel can immediately translate over to Division 1?
Isaiah Maurice: Stretching the floor, my jumper, getting to the basket with my size, finishing at the rim, and above the rim. I just have to get stronger but that will come. I have to get better with my on ball defense, and x's, and o's. But being long, and long bodied I think that can also help.
MinerRush: What is the feeling like when big name college coaches or schools come calling?
Isaiah Maurice: When big time coaches come in it gives me more motivation. I've heard from Cuonzo Martin and he sounded really interested, I've heard from coach Mike Winiecki at Clemson, and coach Huger from Miami. Those are just draws of interests and that just makes me want to work harder and I just want to maximize my potential.