University of Maine men’s basketball coach Ted Woodward has officially concluded his 2006 recruiting season with the acceptance of former Bangor and Houlton High School star basketball player Mark Socoby.
Socoby, a two-time BDN All-Maine first-team selection who led Houlton to the Class C state basketball championship in 2004, missed all of his senior (2005-06) season due to surgery for a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
“Any time you recruit someone as much as we’ve recruited Mark, you trust his game and we fully expect him to bounce back,” said Woodward. “I’m not overly concerned that it’s something that won’t be healed.
“I can’t really comment on anything medically, but I trust that Mark is a guy who works incredibly hard on his game and his body and I know when he’s ready to go 100 percent, he will. We all hope it’s sooner, but he’ll be ready to go at 100 percent whenever that time comes.”
The 6-foot-5 guard was named the Big East Conference Player of the Year as a junior after he averaged 13.7 points and 7.6 rebounds per game for Bangor.
“His versatility and basketball IQ are really impressive,” Woodward said. “I think he’s a very versatile player with ballhandling abilities.
“He can make plays from the guard spot as a really big guard and can do a really good job scoring from the interior. He’s always been an outstanding rebounder, shooter and passer.”
The 19-year-old Socoby joins AAU basketball teammates Jordan Cook from Hampden Academy and Cheverus of Portland forward Sean Costigan, along with former Valley of Bingham star and University of Buffalo transfer Brian Andre, as Maine’s incoming recruits.
Playing on the same AAU team with future UMaine teammates Cook, a 6-10 center, and Costigan, a 6-7 forward, provided Woodward a rare chance to preview how his recruits play together in game situations.
“It was great watching him throughout his career and helpful to see three of these guys play together,” Woodward said. “It’s great to know how people will interact together and this was a unique opportunity to see them all play together.”
Costigan was an All-Maine first-teamer this year.
They may be freshmen, but Woodward doesn’t expect them to sit on the bench the whole season.
“Sure, they’ll need to develop, but I see them as being immediate contributors,” said Maine’s third-year coach.
Maine also has a verbal commitment from 6-8 junior forward Sean McNally, who will begin his senior year at Gardiner High next fall.