Top-10 prospect Derik Queen commits to home state Maryland

Top-10 prospect Derik Queen, the highest-ranked uncommitted senior, has committed to Maryland, giving the Terrapins their first five-star and top-10 pledge since 2018.

Queen chose the Terrapins over a final list that also included Indiana, Kansas and Houston.

"It's home," the Baltimore native told ESPN. "The fans have always been great to me. Everywhere I went they were on me. Being from the area, I also know a lot of students. There is playing time open in the frontcourt. I am friends with many of the other players on the roster and am very comfortable with them."

A 6-foot-10 center who plays at Montverde Academy (Florida), Queen is ranked No. 10 in the ESPN 100 for the 2024 class. He's the No. 2 player at his position, behind only Kansas-bound Flory Bidunga.

Queen has been consistently dominant since early in his high school career and has been a key cog in Montverde's No. 1-ranked success so far this season. He had 25 points and 13 rebounds against IMG Academy (Florida) back in November and went for 20 points and nine boards against top-10 opponent Link Academy (Missouri) in December. Earlier this month, he had 18 points and eight rebounds against national power La Lumiere (Indiana).

Overall, Queen is averaging 16.7 points and 7.8 rebounds in 28 games.

He's a true post presence. Queen can go to either block or set up for a high-low action in the middle of the paint and score. What makes him special are his outstanding hands, allowing him to catch passes and then use his advanced footwork, court awareness and touch to finish inside. He is also a committed rebounder. Queen has great mobility defensively, enabling him to play effective ball-screen defense. He shows an uncanny ability to strip a ball handler on his hedges without fouling.

"Derik Queen is a unique combo of size, skill, IQ and personality," Team Thrill coach Donnell "Mookie" Dobbins said. "Montverde Academy and head coach Kevin Boyle did a great job instilling everyday work habits into Derik's regimen. Collaborating with them through this journey has been an amazing partnership."

Queen is the second commitment for Kevin Willard in Maryland's 2024 class, joining four-star guard Malachi Palmer, who committed to the Terrapins last month. He could combine with former St. Frances Academy (Maryland) product Julian Reese, who is averaging 13.8 points and 10.0 rebounds this season in College Park and has one year of eligibility left.

With star guard Jahmir Young out of eligibility, Willard will need to hit the portal for a backcourt player -- and the Terps have been linked to former ESPN 100 prospect and Virginia Tech transfer Rodney Rice.