Blog Entry

Top-25 big man Shaq Cleare pops for Maryland

Posted on: August 24, 2011 11:27 am

By Jeff Borzello

In a class filled with great big man, Shaquille Cleare is perhaps the biggest of them all.

On Wednesday, the 6-foot-9, 280-lb. center ended his recruitment by committing to Maryland. Aaron Harrison Sr., Cleare’s AAU coach with the Houston Defenders, confirmed the news to

Long thought to be a Maryland lean, Cleare chose the Terrapins over Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, Florida, Arizona and others. The pick-up is huge for new head coach Mark Turgeon and his staff.

“A place where I fit in,” Cleare told me in June when asked about the biggest factors in his decision. “A coach that is there all the time.”

Cleare, ranked No. 25 in’s Top 100, is a space-eater down low that carves out areas on the block and goes to work. He has very good strength and solid footwork, which he uses in a variety of post moves. Cleare moves well without the ball and gets great position for entry passes. Once he improves his stamina and conditioning, his ceiling will rise tremendously.

Cleare, a Village School (Tex.) product, is the second commitment in Turgeon’s 2012 class, joining guard Seth Allen.

Photo: ESPN Rise

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