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Midwest Center Notes Jalen Smith's Development, Talks Terps

Maryland extended an offer to 2022 center Shawn Phillips this summer as he's building the relationship with Maryland assistant DeAndre Haynes.

2022 center Shawn Phillips made the offseason move from Belmont (OH) to Ypsi Prep (MI), joining Michigan State commit Emoni Bates, as the 6-foot-11 big man is ready to make “noise” at the new prep school. Phillips spent the beginning of summer getting back into shape as he is up to 260 pounds and ready to take junior year by storm.

“This offseason due to quarantine I got really out of shape. At first, I was working to get back in shape because at first, I was 280 coming out so I had to work a lot to get back,” Phillips told All Terrapins. “As soon as I got back in the gym I started working on my craft, working on the physical aspect like the speed, jumping and things like that. I’ve been working on my jump shot and post-game a lot, as well.”

Phillips’ development has cemented himself among the top big men in the 2022 class after posting 15 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks as a sophomore. His dominance as underclassman has translated onto the recruiting trail as Dayton, Cincinnati, Indiana, NC State and Ohio State have all extended offers. “It’s been great, a great experience. Seen a lot of new things so I’m just enjoying it while I can before I have to officially pick a school.”

Maryland extended Phillips an offer back in August and has since kept in touch with assistant DeAndre Haynes as the two sides learn more about one another. “He texts me about twice a week, just try to check up on me to make sure I’m alright and things of that nature.” Phillips added he knows “a little bit” about the Terps’ program but had a chance to watch them in-person last season when he watched the Terps travel to Bloomington to take down Indiana.

“I went to a few games last year when they played at Indiana, so I’ve gotten a chance to watch them in-person. I was watching how Jalen Smith was moving without the ball and how much he’s grown and noticed he’s just tough. It’s always good to see growth.”

The hometown Dayton Flyers extended an offer back on September 1 as Phillips added the long-awaited offer. “It’s always a blessing to get an offer from your hometown. It was something that I was waiting on for a long time and figure one day I might possibly be playing for them.” While he’s taken in several games and is most familiar with the local suitor, Phillips isn’t ready to name a favorite.

“As of right now there’s no front-runners in my recruitment but I’ll always have them in mind because they’re the hometown and that’s a huge part.”

The junior center took in game visits to Cincinnati, Dayton, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio State and TCU as he basks in the “fun part” of the recruiting process. While he takes the next year to separate his contenders, he isn’t as worried about style of play in the evaluation process.

“I could adjust but something where they get the big men involved. I do think any school that I choose, though, I can adjust to their style of play. It’s all about the coaches, the relationship that you’re trying to build, and the university has a part of it, too. But the drive and the bond with the coaches that I have plays a huge part.”