Tag Archive | "Gary Williams"

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Former Terp Johnny Rhodes Named ACC Legend

Posted on 09 February 2012 by WNST Staff

Johnny Rhodes Named An ACC Tournament Legend

Former Maryland guard one of 12 players selected to 2012 class

    GREENSBORO, N.C.— Johnny Rhodes, one of the most versatile players in Atlantic Coast Conference history, who helped lead Maryland back to national prominence in the mid-1990’s, has been selected to the 2012 class of ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Legends.

    The 12-man class was announced Tuesday by Commissioner John Swofford and includes a member of the ACC’s 50th Anniversary basketball team, a National Player of the Year, three former All-Americas, six former All-ACC selections, ten former NBA Draft selections – including six first-round selections – and eight players who combined for 38 years of NBA experience.

    Rhodes, a native of Washington, D.C., is the ACC’s career steals leader and helped Maryland make three NCAA Tournament appearances in his four-year career. He is the only player in ACC history to score over 1,700 points (1,743) with over 700 rebounds (704), 400 assists (437) and 300 steals (344).

    Joining Rhodes in the class are former Wake Forest All-America Randolph Childress (Washington, D.C.), who led the Deacons to the 1995 ACC Championship, and former North Carolina All-America Kenny Smith (Queens, N.Y.), who led the Tar Heels to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances and was named the National Player of the Year by Basketball Times in 1987.

    Also in the class are Boston College’s John Bagley (Stratford, Conn.), who was named a third-team (NABC) All-America in 1982; Clemson’s Sharone Wright (Macon, Ga.), a powerful post player for the Tigers who earned All-ACC honors in 1993 and 1994; Duke’s Kenny Dennard (King, N.C.), one of the key cogs of the Blue Devils 1978 Final Four team who helped lead Duke to ACC titles in 1978 and 1980; Florida State’s James Collins (Jacksonville, Fla), a high-scoring wingman who was a three-time All-ACC selection in 1995, 1996 and 1997; Georgia Tech’s Malcolm Mackey (Chattanooga, Tenn.), a powerful post player who helped lead Georgia Tech to ACC Championships in 1990 and 1993.

    Completing this year’s ACC Legends Class are Miami’s Ron Godfrey (Coral Springs, Fla.), an Honorable Mention All-America forward for the Hurricanes in the 1960’s who also served as head coach for four seasons; NC State’s Todd Fuller (Charlotte, N.C.), a prodigious presence in the paint for the Wolfpack who earned All-ACC honors in 1994, 1995, and 1996; Virginia’s Lee Raker (Louisville, Ky.), a versatile forward who helped lead the Cavaliers to the 1981 NCAA Final Four; and Virginia Tech’s Dale Solomon (Annapolis, Md.), a high-scoring forward who helped lead the Hokies to two NCAA Tournament appearances and one NIT berth.

   The Legends will be honored at this year’s ACC’s Men’s Basketball Tournament at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Ga., March 8-11. They will be feted at the annual ACC Legends Brunch, which will be held Saturday, March 10, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel, and, later that day, will be introduced to the Philips Arena crowd at halftime of the first semifinal game. Ticket information for the ACC Legends Brunch is available on the ACC website at theACC.com.

   Rhodes (1992-96), the ACC’s career leader in steals, started four seasons for coach Gary Williams at Maryland, leading the Terrapins back to national prominence. An extremely versatile guard who played point or wing guard, Rhodes is the only player in ACC history to score over 1,700 points (1,743) with over 700 rebounds (704), 400 assists (437) and 300 steals (344). He helped the Terrapins post a 73-49 overall record during his four seasons in College Park, including three straight (1994, 95, 96) appearances in the NCAA Tournament. He was named to the 1993 ACC All-Freshman team, then earned 3rd-team All-ACC honors as a junior and 2nd-team All-ACC accolades as a senior in 1996. He still holds the ACC career record for steals per game (2.82), and his 110 steals and 3.7 steals per game in 1996 are still league standards. He totaled 704 rebounds in his career, the third-best mark by an ACC backcourtman, trailing only Georgia Tech’s Bruce Dalrymple (744) and Florida State’s Bob Sura (714). A native of Washington, D.C., Rhodes owns his own construction firm, Rhodes Construction, in the D.C. area, and is working towards starting the Johnny Rhodes Foundation.

   Bagley (1979-82), one of the top playmaking guards in Boston College history, played three seasons for the Eagles for Coach Dr. Tom Davis and led BC to a 64-27 record and one NIT and two NCAA tournament appearances. The first Eagle to earn Big East Player of the Year honors (1980-81), Bagley was an explosive scorer who averaged nearly 18 points per game and led BC in scoring in each of his three seasons at the Heights. A two-time All-Big East selection, he averaged 20.4 points per game in leading the Eagles to the 1980-81 Big East regular-season championship and the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16. The following year, Bagley upped his production to 21.1 points per game and led BC to the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight. He was named to the NCAA all-tournament teams for both the 1981 Mideast Regional and the 1982 Midwest Regional. Bagley left BC after his junior season and was the 12th overall pick in the first round by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1982 NBA Draft. He enjoyed an 11-year career in the NBA for the Cavaliers, the New Jersey Nets, the Boston Celtics and the Atlanta Hawks. Inducted into the Boston College Varsity Club Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995, he currently resides in Stratford, Conn., and is working to reintroduce athletics into the middle school system of his hometown, Bridgeport, Conn.

   Wright (1991-94), a dominating 6-11 presence in the low post for the teams of Coach Cliff Ellis in the early 1990’s, still ranks 5th on the ACC’s career list for blocked shots per game (3.13). An Honorable Mention All-America (AP) in 1994, he was one of 20 nominees for the Naismith Award that year. He led the ACC in blocked shots in 1992 and 1993 and finished 3rd in 1994. He ranked 6th on the Clemson career list for rebounds and 4th in rebounds per game. He still holds the Clemson single-season record for blocked shots (124) and was the only player in the ACC to average in double figures in points and rebounds in both 1994 and 1995. Named a Freshman All-America by Basketball Weekly in 1992, he was named a 3rd-team All-ACC selection in 1993 and 2nd-team honors in 1994. As a member of the U.S. team which participated in the 1993 World Games, he shot 73 percent from the field and averaged 10 points a game in leading the U.S. to the gold medal. He was the first Clemson player to declare early for the NBA Draft and was the 6th overall selection on the first round of the 1994 draft by the Philadelphia 76’ers. He played five seasons in the NBA with Philadelphia and Toronto and was named to the 1994-95 NBA All-Rookie team. His NBA career was cut short by a severe auto accident early in his fifth professional season. Wright currently resides in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., where he is involved in various basketball coaching projects.

   Dennard (1978-81), a versatile 6-8 forward who was effective inside or outside for the Duke teams of Bill Foster and Mike Krzyzewski of the late 1970’s and early ‘80s, helped lead Duke to the 1978 NCAA Final Four and two ACC Championships in 1978 and 1980. Dennard helped the Blue Devils compile a 90-37 record in his four seasons in Durham, including three NCAA Tournament appearances and one NIT berth. He was named to the 1978 ACC All-Tournament second team in his freshman season. Dennard played three seasons for Bill Foster (1978-80) and one for Mike Krzyzewski and was named team captain in his senior season. Drafted in the 4th round of the 1981 NBA Draft by Kansas City, he played three seasons in the NBA for Kansas City (1982-83) and Denver (1984). He finished his career shooting 51.3 percent from the field and is one of seven Duke players who have totaled over 1,000 points (1,057), 650 rebounds (671) and 200 assists (232) in his career. A native of King, N.C., Dennard is the managing partner at Dennard, Rupp, Gray and Lascar, an investor relations firm based in Houston, Texas. He will be a 30-year cancer survivor this coming September and has served on the Coaches vs. Cancer National Council since 1996. He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Nadine, for 27 years and they have a son, Mason (17).

    Collins (1993-97), a high-scoring wing guard for the Florida State teams of Pat Kennedy, was a three-time All-ACC honoree. Collins was named 3rd-team All-ACC in 1995 and 1996 and garnered 2nd-team honors as a senior in 1997. That year he led Florida State to a 20-12 record and to the finals of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) where they lost to Michigan. He completed his career as the third leading scorer in school history with 1,793 points. He also still ranks in the FSU all-time Top 10 for field goals (645), field goal attempts, three-point field goals made (255) and three-point field goals attempted (686) and made 37.1 percent of his shots from three-point range. Collins was drafted as the 36th overall pick by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2nd round of the 1997 NBA Draft. He played one season in the NBA with the Los Angeles Clippers (1998) and spent one year (1999) in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) before playing professionally nine seasons in Europe. A native of Jacksonville, Fla., he currently is the head basketball coach at his high school alma mater, Andrew Jackson High School in Jacksonville.

   Mackey (1990-93), Georgia Tech’s all-time leading rebounder who was a low post force for the Jackets both offensively and defensively, helped lead the Tech to a four-year record of 87-43 which included four NCAA Tournament appearances. Mackey completed his career with 1,205 rebounds, a total which ranks 11th-best in ACC history. He also had 199 career blocked shots, which ranks 26th on the ACC career list.  Mackey was named 2nd-team All-ACC in 1993 and 3rd-team All-ACC  in 1992. An Honorable Mention All-America in 1993 by United Press International, he was also a 2nd-team All-District in 1993 by the NABC. Mackey remains Tech’s career leader in rebounds (1,205), games played (130) and games started (127). He was named to the ACC All-Tournament teams in 1990 (3rd team) and 1992 (2nd team). He is the only Tech player to start for two ACC championship teams (1990,1993). The 27th overall pick in the first-round of the 1993 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns, he played one season in the NBA and 11 seasons professionally in the CBA, Europe, China and Puerto Rico. A native of Chattanooga, Tenn., he currently is the Internet Sales Manager at Hennessey GMC Buick and is also serving as a landlord for several properties in McDonough, Ga.

   Godfrey (1958-61), one of the finest forwards to play at Miami, was an honorable mention All-America as a senior in 1961. He finished his career ranked in the Top Ten in seven career categories in the Miami record book including 7th in points (1,384), 7th in field goals made (518), 6th in free throws made (384) and 7th in rebounds (767). Godfrey’s totals of 159 free throws made and 207 free throws attempted in 1960 still rank 5th and 6th in the Hurricane career lists. His total of 22 made free throws against Oklahoma City in 1960 is still tied with Rick Barry for the most made in a game by a Miami player. For his career, he averaged 17.5 points a game. Playing alongside former Miami All-America Dick Hickox, Godfrey helped lead the Hurricanes to their first-ever NCAA tournament bid in 1960 as the Canes finished with a sparkling 23-4 record. In his senior year, Godfrey led Miami to a 20-7 mark and a berth in the National Invitation Tournament. In his three varsity seasons, Godfrey helped the Hurricanes to a 61-18 record. As a coach, he guided Miami for four seasons, leading the Hurricanes to championships in the 1967 Hurricane Classic and the 1968 Marshall Tournament and was inducted into the Miami Sports Hall of Fame in 1988. A native of Martins Ferry, Ohio, he now resides in Coral Springs, Fla.

   Smith (1983-87), one of the top point guards in North Carolina basketball history, Smith ended his career second in ACC history only to Wake Forest’s Muggsy Bogues in career assists with 768, averaging 6.1 per for each of his 127 career games. His assist total still ranks ninth on the ACC’s career list.  Coached by the legendary Dean Smith, he helped lead North Carolina to a 115-19 record during his four varsity seasons. Smith also helped North Carolina to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, reaching the Elite Eight in both 1985 and 1987. He was named the National Player of the Year by Basketball Times in 1987 and also earned consensus first-team All-America honors that year. He was a 2nd-team All-ACC honoree in 1985 and 1986 and earned first-team honors as a senior in 1987. The 6th pick in the first round of the 1987 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings, he played 11 seasons in the NBA for Sacramento, Atlanta, Houston, Detroit, Orlando and Denver. A member of the 1988 NBA All-Rookie team while with Sacramento, he was a part of two NBA Championship squads (1994, 1995) while with the Houston Rockets. He scored 9,397 points (12.9 avg.), grabbed 1,424 rebounds (2.0 avg.) and passed out 4,073 assists (5.5 avg.) during his NBA career. In 1998, he joined Turner Sports and has since served as a basketball TV analyst for Turner Sports, NBA TV and CBS-TV for the NBA and for the NCAA Basketball Tournament. A native of Queens, N.Y. who attended Archbishop Molloy High School, he now resides in Atlanta, Ga.

   Fuller (1992-96), a strong low-post presence for the NC State teams of coach Les Robinson in the mid-1990s, led the ACC in scoring as a senior in 1996, averaging 20.9 points per game. The 6-11 center finished 4th in the ACC in rebounding in 1995 and 5th in 1996. He earned first-team All-ACC honors in as a senior in 1996 and was a third team choice as a sophomore (1994) and a second-team selection as a junior (1995). Also an excellent student, he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree from NC State in 1996 in Applied Mathematics. He was named to the All-ACC Academic team in each of his four seasons and he was a two-time first-team Academic All-America, earning that honor in 1995 and 1996. He declined to accept the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship in order to play professional basketball. He was the 11th overall pick in the first round of the 1996 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors and went on to play five seasons in the NBA with Golden State, Utah, Charlotte and Miami. He also played professionally six seasons in Spain, Poland, Greece and Australia. He sponsors an annual mathematics competition for Raleigh, N.C., area high school students through NC State, called the “Todd Fuller Math Competition.” He also has a scholarship fund arranged through the NC State Physical and Mathematical Sciences college. In 2007, the Wolfpack honored him by hanging his jersey, number 52, from the roof of the RBC Center.

   Raker (1977-81) combined with high school teammate Jeff Lamp and Virginia All-America Ralph Sampson to lead Virginia to two of the most successful seasons in school history in 1980 and 1981 for coach Terry Holland. An excellent shooter, defender and passer, Raker helped lead the Cavaliers to a 24-10 record which included the championship of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in 1980. UVa followed that up with a 29-4 record in 1981, including a 13-1 mark in the ACC and first place during the regular season. UVa advanced to the NCAA Final Four, garnering 3rd-place national honors with a win over LSU in the consolation game. At one point, Raker helped the Cavaliers win eight consecutive post-season games, still a school record. Virginia finished the 1981 campaign ranked 5th in the final AP poll and 3rd in UPI. During his four collegiate seasons,  Raker helped lead Virginia to a 92-32 overall record, averaging in double figures in scoring each year, and shooting 50.3 percent from the field for his collegiate career. He completed his career with 1,423 points, which still ranks 20th on Virginia’s career scoring list. He also led the 1979 squad in field goal percentage and was named a 2nd-team All-ACC selection that year. An excellent student, Raker was twice named to the All-ACC Academic Basketball squad (1980, 1981) and earned first-team Academic All-America honors in 1981. He was selected in the 4th round of the 1981 NBA Draft by San Diego. A native of Louisville, Ky., he is now the Head of Investor Relations with Camber Capital Management LLC and lives in the Boston, Mass. area.

   Solomon (1978-82), one of the best basketball players in Virginia Tech history, was a 6-9 center-forward who combined power with a soft shooting touch. He helped the Tech teams of Charlie Moir to a four-year record of 78-41 which included two NCAA Tournament appearances and one NIT berth. Solomon led Tech in scoring in each of his four  seasons and ended his career with 2,136 points which still ranks 4th on the Hokies’ career scoring list. Solomon’s career scoring average (18.4) is Tech’s 9th best. His career field goal percentage of .567 is the second best in Tech history and his 856 career rebounds rank 7th. He was named to the first-team All-Metro Conference in each of his four seasons. Solomon was named the Metro Conference Tournament MVP and Freshman of the Year in 1979, leading the Hokies to the Metro Conference championship. Solomon was selected in the 3rd round of the 1982 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers but did not play in the NBA. He did play professionally in Italy for 12 seasons. A native of Annapolis, Md., Solomon is currently living in his hometown.

   Childress (1991-95) turned in one of the spectacular performances in the history of the ACC Tournament in his senior season, as the sharpshooting guard led Wake Forest to the 1995 ACC Championship by averaging 35.7 points and 7 assists per game in the Tournament’s three contests. That year, Childress, playing for coach Dave Odom, saved his best for last, scoring 37 points and passing out 7 assists. In that title game, he connected on the game-winning jump shot with only four seconds remaining in overtime as Wake defeated North Carolina, 82-80. For his efforts, he was named the winner of the Everett Case Award as the 1995 Tournament’s MVP. He also was named the winner of the McKevlin Award as the ACC’s Overall Athlete of the Year for the 1994-95 school year. A second-team All-America selection in 1995, he was named first-team All-ACC in 1994 and 1995 and 2nd-team All-ACC in 1993. He scored 2,208 points during his career, which still ranks 18th on the ACC ‘s career scoring list, and he made 329 three-point field goals, the 5th-highest total in ACC history. He helped lead the Demon Deacons to a four-year record of 85-39 which included four appearances in the NCAA Tournament and two trips to the NCAA Sweet 16. He was twice named to the ACC All-Tournament team in 1994 and 1995. Childress ranked 3rd in scoring in the ACC in 1993 and 1994 and finished 2nd in 1994. Selected as the 19th overall choice of the Detroit Pistons in the first round of the 1995 NBA Draft, he played two seasons in the NBA with Detroit and Portland. He then played 14 professional seasons in Turkey, France, Italy and Australia. In 2002, he was named to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Basketball Team as one of its Top 50 basketball players. A native of Washington, D.C., he recently returned to Winston-Salem to serve as an Assistant to the Athletic Director of Wake Forest.

LEGENDS BRUNCH

   The Legends will be honored at this year’s ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament in Atlanta at the annual ACC Basketball Legends Brunch, which will be held on Saturday, March 10 beginning at 10 a.m. at the Marriott Marquis Hotel. Hosted by television personalities Tim Brant and Mike Hogewood, tickets for the ACC Men’s Basketball Legends Brunch are priced at $35 each and tables of ten are available for $350 each. Information on purchasing tickets may be obtained at the official ACC website—www.theACC.com/ACCtournament.

   2012 ACC BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT LEGENDS ROSTER

   Name School Years Position Hometown (Current Hometown)

   John Bagley   Boston College 1979-82 Guard Bridgeport, Conn. (Stratford, Conn.)

   Sharone Wright Clemson 1991-94 Center Macon, Ga.  (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.)

   Kenny Dennard Duke 1977-81 Forward King, N.C. (Houston, Texas)

   James Collins Florida State 1993-97 Guard Jacksonville, Fla.. (same) 

   Malcolm Mackey Georgia Tech 1989-93 Forward/Ctr. Chattanooga, Tenn. (McDonough, Ga.)

   Johnny Rhodes Maryland 1992-96 Guard Washington, D.C. (same )

   Ron Godfrey Miami 1958-61 Guard Martins Ferry, Ohio (Coral Springs, Fla.)

   Kenny Smith North Carolina 1983-87 Guard Queens, N.Y. (Atlanta, Ga.)

   Todd Fuller NC State 1992-96 Center Charlotte, N.C.. (same)

   Lee Raker Virginia 1977-81 Forward Louisville, Ky. (Boston, Mass.)

   Dale Solomon Virginia Tech 1978-82 Forward Annapolis, Md. (same)

   Randolph Childress Wake Forest 1991-95 Guard Washington, D.C. (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

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Same Old Story For Terps in Loss to Carolina

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Same Old Story For Terps in Loss to Carolina

Posted on 04 February 2012 by Glenn Clark

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — While I don’t think University of Maryland guard Terrell Stoglin has ever uttered the exact words before, they sounded particularly familiar.

“We came short again from getting that signature win.”

If Stoglin has never uttered some a combination of words before, I know for sure that I have. I’d be willing to guess that Terrapins fans throughout the Baltimore and Washington areas and across the country have said either the exact combination of words or at least something remarkably similar.

Maryland was predictably “almost there” in their 83-74 loss to the University of North Carolina Saturday at Comcast Center. The Terps (13-9, 3-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) had a second half lead and never appeared to be out of it, but couldn’t muster up enough to knock off the #5 Tar Heels (20-3, 7-1 ACC) and give head coach Mark Turgeon his first marquee victory since replacing the legendary Gary Williams.

One of the culprits this time was offensive rebounds, as 19 second chances (on 39 missed field goals) became 18 second chance points for UNC. On the other side, Maryland had just 13 second chance opportunities (on 36 missed field goals) and converted those into just 12 second chance points.

“I know I’m going to watch the tape and probably be disappointed in our effort on the glass, (which) is something I’m on these guys about” Turgeon said after the loss. “I’ve never had more trouble getting a team to be more physical on box outs. We’ve worked on it, we talk about it, we work on it every day.”

Another culprit was Maryland’s inability to turn turnovers into points, as 14 Carolina turnovers resulted in just 11 Maryland points while 13 Maryland turnovers lead to 18 Carolina points.

As I feel like I’ve said before, they were very close to beating a quality opponent. They just weren’t quite good enough. Even Turgeon suggested in his body language (and a few uncharacteristic short answers) that this close call was a bit more frustrating than some of the other near-misses they’ve had against good teams this season.

It feels like a broken record. Much like in losses to Duke, Florida State, Tempe and Illinois earlier in the season; the Terrapins were in no ways blown off the floor by a superior opponent. They played at times exactly the way they needed to play in order to win games, but they just managed to let it slip away during a stretch where they got away from what makes them good.

“(We) had a stretch in the second half where we couldn’t get into anything” Turgeon said. “(Guard) Pe’Shon (Howard) was on the bench. (We) just didn’t look like we could get into anything, and when (North Carolina C/F Tyler) Zeller was out I thought we could’ve made a run.”

This is exactly the scenario that allowed what was once a 48-39 Maryland lead in the second to become a 50-50 tie in less than five minutes of game play.

Maryland is a good team. Well, they’re at least an improving team. They’re certainly better than the team that was blown out by both Alabama and Iona in the 5-hour Energy Puerto Rico Tip-Off in November. They’re just not going to be good enough to make any sort of imprint before the end of the season.

They’re not going to get into the NCAA Tournament, but we already knew that. They’re probably not going to make much of a charge in the ACC Tournament. They’re likely to find themselves on the outside looking in at even the NIT. They still have four games left against ranked teams (home and home against Virginia, games at Duke and North Carolina); but it is still hard to imagine this team improving enough to do more than perhaps steal one of two against the Cavaliers, and that’s honestly a best case scenario.

It will be tough for this team to show marked progress before the end of Turgeon’s first season, but it doesn’t make Maryland basketball a hopeless cause.

In fact, Turgeon probably said it best again after the loss.

“Obviously we’d like to win a couple more. We went to the wire the other night (in a 2OT loss to Miami), great comeback, great effort, really proud of our guys but we lost. Today we competed against the #5/#6 team in the country, great home crowd, lot of fun. I don’t look at 3-5. I really don’t. I’m going to look at the film and see how I can make them better.”

He then wrapped with this.

“You know what I need to do tonight to make myself feel better is pop in the Radford tape (the last game the team played before C Alex Len returned from suspension) and then pop in this tape to see how much better we’ve gotten in a little over a month. The kids are growing up, our preparation is better. We’re just not there yet.”

He’s right.

-G

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Turgeon Says Maryland Improving After Duke Loss…Trouble Is He’s Right

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Turgeon Says Maryland Improving After Duke Loss…Trouble Is He’s Right

Posted on 26 January 2012 by Glenn Clark

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — It was a fitting night for the Comcast Center floor to be dedicated as Gary Williams Court Wednesday.

Fitting because the atmosphere on campus at the University of Maryland was reminiscent to many nights during the 22 years Williams patrolled the sidelines for the Terrapins before retiring. The stands at the school’s nearly ten year old arena were absolutely rocking with Maryland students and no seats to be had. Students began chanting before the game and remained a factor almost until the game was over.

Unfortunately for the team inherited by Mark Turgeon, the performance on the newly dedicated floor was also fitting for a team that hasn’t really been good enough since Williams left.

The Terps hung in against the eighth ranked Duke University Blue Devils for much of the game, even leading 47-46 midway through the second half. But the Devils (17-3, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) would double up the Terps (12-7, 2-3 ACC) the rest of the way en route to a 74-61 victory. Sophomore guard Terrell Stoglin would again lead the Terps in scoring (16 points), but the Terps would again fail to offer significant help on the offensive end (guard Pe’Shon Howard was next with just ten points). Struggles from beyond the arc (4-13) and the free throw line (11-21) continued to doom a team that lacks enough ability elsewhere to overcome such struggles.

A third straight overall loss for the Terps, it was eerily similar to the defeats suffered at both Florida State University at Temple University last week. They played well enough for a good stretch of the game but their problems ultimately caught up to them against an opponent of either similar or superior ability. They’re pretty good…just not quite good enough.

Mired in a funk after back to back conference wins, Turgeon attempted to put a positive spin on the loss postgame.

“I thought our team battled well and think we had a game plan and we stuck to it and it kept us around” Turgeon said. “We’re getting better. If you could have been in Puerto Rico (for the 5-Hour Energy Puerto Rico Tip-Off), you would have never thought that we could play like we’re playing right now. So, we’re getting there.”

It sounds a lot like coach speak, but it’s actually quite honest. Of course, that’s really the biggest problem facing this Maryland team as constructed.

The difficulty with judging Turgeon’s first season in College Park is that struggles were to be expected. Even after getting Howard back from a foot injury that cost him the first nine games of the season and adding freshman C Alex Len after serving a ten game suspension for eligibility issues, this Maryland team remains uncomfortably thin. Their big bodies aren’t big enough to neutralize talented frontcourts (23 points and 12 rebounds for Mason Plumlee Wednesday night a glaring example) and none of their players in the backcourt have a dangerous enough inside-outside game to truly open things up for anyone else.

They’re trying to win without really having the horses to win. Perhaps that’s where Turgeon deserves the most credit.

The new coach has done everything he can to get players to stick to a game plan, improve defensively and get after the basketball. In losses to Alabama and Iona in San Juan, Maryland did very little of what they needed to do in order to win and were on the wrong end of blowouts.

Over the course of the last nine days, the Terrapins have shown in stretches that they can do all of the little things they need to do to win. But in the stretches where those good habits have disappeared, better teams have been able to walk away with victories in three games.

Turgeon attempted to sum it up after the loss.

“There are still four-minute stretches where we aren’t making a field goal, and that is not going to beat good teams. That happens, when we’re good offensively, we’re good. But we have stretches where we don’t make free throws too. It wears you out and you can’t keep up. In the end, our defense wasn’t quite good enough and rebounding wasn’t quite good enough, neither was our free throw shooting. But our effort was tremendous and I’m really proud of the guys.”

This is the issue. Maryland isn’t a “bad” team. They’re just a team that isn’t quite good enough to be able to win games against good teams. Five such games (two against North Carolina, two against Virginia and the trip to Cameron Indoor Stadium) remain on the schedule, and the other six conference games aren’t cupcakes.

They ARE better. It’s just that there’s not enough time left in this season for that progress to truly equal results. Maryland fans hope to have something to hang their hat on about this team this season, but it’s not likely to come.

Turgeon was going to need time to fully show progress and he still will. A stunning upset of Duke might have been enough to garner favor for until the 2012-2013 season tipped off. Similarly a stunning upset of UNC would do the same.

Unfortunately for Maryland fans, those achievements aren’t likely to be realized. It doesn’t mean Turgeon hasn’t done a nice job in his first season.

They’re better. They’re just not quite good enough.

-G

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Maryland-Duke Postgame Notes

Posted on 26 January 2012 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Postgame notes following Maryland’s 74-61 loss to Duke Wednesday at Comcast Center.

Tipping Off: Maryland lost its third straight to fall to 12-7 and 2-3 in the ACC, while Duke improved to 17-3 and 5-1 in the conference … Duke has won four straight and leads the all-time series 111-61 … the loss also snapped an eight-game home winning streak for the Terps.

`Gary Williams Court’ Dedicated: Former head coach Gary Williams was on hand prior to the game for the dedication of Gary Williams Court. Williams’ signature is now on the Comcast Center floor in front of the visiting bench, and across the court from the home bench. A few highlights from Williams’ 22-year career at Maryland:

  • Williams retired as the winningest coach in school history with a 461-252 record.
  • He took Maryland to two Final Fours, including the NCAA national championship in 2002.
  • Maryland made 14 NCAA Tournament appearances, reaching the Sweet Sixteen seven times. The Terps made 11 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from 1994-2004.
  • Williams was national coach of the year in 2002, and ACC coach of the year in 2002 and 2010.
  • At the time he retired, Williams was fifth among active coaches at the times with a 668-330 (.637) overall record in 33 seasons.3PT FG% Defense: Duke came into the game ranked first in the ACC and seventh nationally in 3-point field goal percentage at .409. Maryland held the Blue Devils to 3-of-16 shooting (.188), a season low. Though Maryland’s two previous opponents shot better than 40 percent from 3PT, six of the seven before that had been held under 30 percent.

    Balanced Attack: Maryland had a balanced scoring attack in the first half, as eight of nine players who saw the floor scored. Sean Mosley and Ashton Pankey were the high scorers with six apiece. Alex Len was the lone Terp not to score in the half but had a bucket in the second half.

    Pankey Gets Start: Ashton Pankey drew his first start since the Radford game (12/23/11) and delivered a solid performance. The redshirt freshman had eight points on eight rebounds in 23 minutes of action. His five offensive rebounds were one shy of a season high.

    Stoglin Strong In Second Half: Despite scoring just four points in the first half, Terrell Stoglin tallied 12 in the second to finish with 16. Stoglin had multiple assists for the fourth straight game, finishing with three. He also had two rebounds and didn’t commit a turnover in 33 minutes.

    First-Half Notes: The teams were near even on the boards, with Maryland holding a slight edge, 18-17 … Duke held a 22-16 edge on points in the paint and a 12-8 edge in bench points … the Terps committed just four turnovers and Duke committed just three … Duke assisted on nine of its 14 field goals, while Maryland had four assists on 11 field goals.

    Second-Half Notes: Duke held a 19-13 edge on the boards and an 18-10 advantage in the paint … the Terps had 10 2nd-chance points to seven for the Blue Devils.

    Tidbits: Maryland used a starting lineup of Pe’Shon Howard, Terrell Stoglin, Sean Mosley, James Padgett and Ashton Pankey for the first time this season … the Terps had their first sellout of the season, with 17,950 in attendance … afterAlex Len’s jumper put Maryland ahead 45-42, Duke used an 11-2 run over 3:57 to take a lead it didn’t relinquish …Pe’Shon Howard had a season-high two 3-pointers … Maryland’s largest lead was 8 (1st half, 13:16), while Duke’s was 13 (2nd half, 00:34).

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Maryland Hosts Duke Wednesday After Gary Williams Court Dedication

Posted on 25 January 2012 by WNST Staff

#8/6 Duke (16-3, 4-1) at Maryland (12-6, 2-2)
Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012 | 9 p.m. | Comcast Center
ESPN / ESPN3 | Terrapin Sports Radio Network

Maryland puts an eight-game home winning streak on the line in a battle with 6th-ranked Duke at Comcast Center. The Terrapins are tied for fifth place in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 2-2 record, having won both games at home and lost both games on the road. The Blue Devils are ranked sixth in the coaches’ poll, eighth in the AP poll and are in a three-way tie with NC State and Florida State atop the league with a 4-1 mark. Both the Wolfpack and Seminoles have beaten the Terps this season.

Tonight’s game marks the public ceremony for the dedication of the Comcast Center court for longtime men’s head coach Gary Williams. Pregame ceremonies are scheduled to begin around 8:45 p.m. Tipoff is scheduled for 9:06 p.m.

Maryland will be attempting to snap a three-game losing streak to Duke, having dropped all three games with the Blue Devils last season (including the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament). The Terrapins’ last win over the Blue Devils was a 79-72 triumph on 3/3/2010 in Comcast Center. Duke has also won nine of the last 10 in the series.

Senior guard Sean Mosley is closing on a number of milestones in his Maryland career. Long noted for his all-around versatility, Mosley could become one of only eight Terps in school history to record 1,000 points (now with 960), 500 rebounds (now with 513), 200 assists (now with 232) and 120 steals (now with 132). A full chart of the previous seven players to have this combination is on page 3.

Sophomore guard Terrell Stoglin continues to lead the ACC in scoring with a 21.2 points-per-game average. Stoglin now has a league-best 13 games with at least 20 points, with the Terrapins going 9-4 in those games. He ranked fifth in the nation in scoring through Sunday’s games.

Scouting the Blue Devils

Duke, the sixth-ranked team in the country, is 16-3 overall and 4-1 in the ACC… The Blue Devils are coming off their first conference loss, a 76-73 home defeat to Florida State that snapped a 45-game home winning streak.

Freshman Austin Rivers earned his fourth ACC Rookie of the Week honor last week and leads the team in scoring at 14.4 ppg… Rivers is one of three Blue Devils shooting at least 40 percent from 3-point range – Rivers is hitting at a .400 mark, junior guard Andre Dawkins is shooting .419 and junior forward Ryan Kelly is shooting .460.

Duke leads the ACC and in field-goal percentage (.492) and 3-point field-goal percentage (.409), marks that respectively rank 13th and seventh nationally… The Blue Devils are also first in the ACC with 8.2 3-point FGs per game – in addition to Rivers, Dawkins and Kelly, junior guard Seth Curry has made 32 of 83 (.386) 3-pointers this season.

Those four, along with junior forward Mason Plumlee, are all averaging double figures in scoring… Plumlee is shooting 61 percent from the field, averaging 11.2 ppg and 9.3 rebounds per game, which ranks third in the conference.

Upcoming

The Terrapins returns home for two games, playing host to Duke on Wednesday, 1/25 on the night when Gary Williams Court is dedicated and Virginia Tech on Saturday, 1/28…

Following a trip to Miami on 2/1, the Terps then return home to face nationally ranked North Carolina on 2/4…

The Terps will then play five of their next seven on the road… Maryland has only three home games and six road contests in February.

Gary Williams Court

University President Wallace Loh announced in September 2011 the floor at Comcast Center would be dedicated in Gary Williams’ name. The unveiling occurred at a private event on Monday, with the public unveiling coming in pregame ceremonies on Wednesday.

  • Williams retired from Maryland with a 461-252 record in 22 seasons, as the winningest coach in school history.
  • He took Maryland to two Final Fours, including the NCAA national championship in 2002.
  • Maryland made 14 NCAA Tournament appearances, reaching the Sweet Sixteen seven times. Eleven of those trips came in consecutive seasons, ranging from 1994 through 2004.
  • Williams was national coach of the year in 2002 and ACC Coach of the Year in 2002 and 2010.
  • When he retired, Williams was fifth among active coaches at the time with a 668-330 (.637) record overall in 33 seasons.
  • Williams has been involved with a number of development initiatives across campus, including serving as co-chair of the scholarship portion of the Great Expectations campaign.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 23 January 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: NBA-Charlotte Bobcats @ Washington Wizards (Wednesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ Houston Rockets (Friday 8pm from Houston live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ Charlotte Bobcats (Saturday 7pm from Charlotte live on Comcast SportsNet), Chicago Bulls @ Washington Wizards (Monday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet/NBA TV); Women’s College Basketball: Virginia Tech @ Maryland (Thursday 7pm Comcast Center); Golf: PGA Tour Farmers Insurance Open (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from La Jolla, CA); Monster Jam (Friday-Sunday Verizon Center); Boxing: Friday Night Fights-Ruslan Provodnikov vs. David Torres (Friday 9pm from Airway Heights, WA live on ESPN2); High School Basketball: Parkville @ Perry Hall (Wednesday 6:30pm), Perry Hall @ Kenwood (Friday 7pm)

10. Miranda Lambert (Thursday 7:30pm 1st Mariner Arena); Matt Nathanson (Sunday 6:30pm Rams Head Live); Marc Broussard (Monday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Big Head Todd and the Monsters (Friday 8pm 9:30 Club); Ryan Adams/Jason Isbell (Tuesday 7:30pm Strathmore); Widespread Panic (Tuesday/Wednesday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); FUEL (Saturday 1:30pm Sandy Point State Park)

I feel as though I really shouldn’t admit how much I enjoy this song “Faster” by Matt Nathanson. It’s just that I can’t help it…

Ditto for “Rocksteady” by Marc Broussard…

Ryan Adams has made about a million songs in his life. None top this…

I saw FUEL like five times between 2000-2001. Make fun all you want, but you know you’ll be singing along to this…

9. Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge (Friday-Saturday Sandy Point State Park); Baltimore Winter Restaurant Week (Tuesday-Sunday); “Luck” premieres on HBO (Sunday 9pm); 50/50” and “Real Steel” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)

You know who’s part of Restaurant Week? A spot I can’t name (because they’re not a sponsor) but who makes the best salad in Charm City…

You know who it is. And you know it’s fantastic.

Also, did everyone see 50/50? I thought it was one of the best movies of 2011 (Clip NSFW)…

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Maryland Steps Out of ACC to Visit Temple Saturday

Posted on 20 January 2012 by WNST Staff

Maryland (12-5) at Temple (12-5)
Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 | 11 a.m. | The Palestra
ESPNU | Terrapin Sports Radio Network

Maryland hits the road for a Saturday-morning test against Temple at the storied Palestra. The Terrapins and Owls come into today’s game with identical 12-5 records. The Terps are attempting to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time this season.

The game is the last non-conference test in the regular season for Maryland. The Terps are 10-3 so far outside the Atlantic Coast Conference, including a 2-2 mark in neutral-site games. Today’s matchup with Temple is Maryland’s first non-conference matchup of the year.

Sophomore guard Terrell Stoglin led Maryland with 27 points and four assists on Tuesday at Florida State. Stoglin remains the leading scorer in the Atlantic Coast Conference at 21.2 points per game and was sixth in the nation in scoring coming into the game at FSU. Stoglin has an ACC-best 12 games with at least 20 points and is the only player in the league thus far with a pair of 30-point games.

Stoglin is third in the ACC in 3-point percentage (.413) and second in 3-pointers per game (2.6). He has made 29 of 61 (.475) in the last seven games for the Terrapins. His 45 this season are already fourth on the list for sophomores at Maryland. Greivis Vasquez had 64 for the Terps as a sophomore in 2008.

Senior Sean Mosley is closing on a number of milestones in his versatile and memorable Maryland career. Against Florida State, he became the 40th Terrapin in history with 500 career rebounds. He is 43 points away from becoming the 50th Terrapin in history with 1,000 career points and is 50 minutes away from becoming the 21st Terrapin to play 3,000 minutes in his career.Scouting the Owls

Temple improved to 12-5 overall and 2-2 in the Atlantic-10 with its 76-70 home win over La Salle on Wednesday… The Owls come in at No. 24 in the most recently released RPI and have a 4-1 record at home, with the sole loss coming to Dayton on Jan. 7.

A trio of guards account for a little more than 63 percent of Temple’s scoring: senior Ramone Moore leads the team with 17.0 ppg, junior Khalif Wyatt is averaging 16.4 ppg and senior Juan Fernandez is contributing 11.5 ppg… All three rank in the top 10 of the A-10 in scoring.

Wyatt has a 21.0 ppg average over the last four games, all conference contests, and is shooting 42.1 percent from 3PT this season… 6-foot-6 junior forward Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson is the fourth Owl in the starting lineup averaging double figures at 10.1 ppg…

In the absence of Michael Eric, a 6-foot-11 forward who was averaging 11.3 rpg and 10.5 ppg but has missed the last 13 games with an injury, the Owls have turned to redshirt freshman Anthony Lee in the starting lineup… Lee is averaging 7.1 rpg, 5.9 ppg and has a team-high 31 blocks…

Temple ranks second in the A-10 in 3FG% at .392… In addition to Wyatt shoting 42.1 percent, Aaron Brown is shooting 40.4 percent and Fernandez is shooting 38.7 percent from long range.

Upcoming

The Terrapins return home for two games the next week, playing host to Duke on Wednesday, 1/25 on the night when Gary Williams Court is dedicated and Virginia Tech on Saturday, 1/28…

Maryland has only three home games and six road contests in the month of February.

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Maryland Faces Tough Test Tuesday Night at FSU

Posted on 17 January 2012 by WNST Staff

Maryland (12-4, 2-1) at Florida State (11-6, 2-1)
Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012 | 9 p.m. | Tucker Center, Tallahassee, Fla.
ESPNU | Terrapin Sports Radio Network

  • Maryland takes the momentum off back-to-back wins in the Atlantic Coast Conference to Tallahassee for a Tuesday-night matchup with Florida State. The game matches teams with identical 2-1 records in the league standings, part of a five-way tie behind league-leading Duke. Both the Terrapins and Seminoles have won their last two straight.
  • The Terrapins are playing their second game in three days, as they beat Georgia Tech at home, 61-50, on Sunday afternoon. The Terps were on a plane at 4:30 p.m. Monday on the way to Tallahassee for the 9 p.m. tipoff against FSU. Maryland faces a similar turnaround in mid-February when it plays at home against Boston College (2/16) and heads to Virginia for a 2/18 afternoon game.
  • Maryland has won nine of its last 10 games, with the lone loss in that stretch being a 79-74 defeat at NC State on 1/8 in the ACC opener. Prior to the loss to the Wolfpack, the Terrapins had won seven straight. The Terps have turned up the defensive pressure of late, holding their last eight opponents to .403 shooting from the floor, a .289 mark from 3-point range and a 63.9 ppg scoring average.
  • Senior guard Sean Mosley had an outstanding outing Sunday in the win over Georgia Tech. He scored 16 of his game-high 18 points in the second half, including the final seven Maryland points. His clutch 3-pointer with 3:08 left came after Tech had pulled within four points. Mosley went 10-for-10 at the free-throw line against the Yellow Jackets, marking the 19th time in school history a Terp had been perfect from the line with at least 10 attempts.
  • Free throws have been increasingly important to Maryland of late. The Terrapins have outscored their opponents at the line 13 times in 16 games and are 12-1 in those 13 games.

    Scouting the Seminoles

  • After a 90-57 win over then-No. 3 North Carolina on Saturday, Florida State has an 11-6 overall record including 2-1 in the ACC and 9-1 at home…
  • The Seminoles are a strong defensive team, as they lead the conference in field goal percentage defense (.361), blocks (6.8 bpg) and steals (8.8 spg)… Though North Carolina leads the ACC in scoring offense averaging 85.2 ppg, Florida State held the Tar Heels to 57 points on .373 shooting.
  • Deividas Dulkys led the way in Florida State’s win over North Carolina by pouring in 32 points on 12-of-14 shooting, earning ACC Player of the Week honors… The senior guard knocked down 8 of 10 3-pointers and also had four steals as the Seminoles forced 22 Tar Heel turnovers.
  • Leading scorer Michael Snaer is averaging 13.2 ppg and had 17 against North Carolina.
  • Bernard James, a 6-foot-10 senior forward, is averaging 10.1 ppg, 9.1 rpg and is shooting .573 from the field… James’ 2.3 blocks per game rank fourth in the ACC and he is third in the conference in offensive rebounding at 3.5 rpg, behind James Padgett and North Carolina’s Tyler Zeller…
  • 6-foot-11 forward/center Xavier Gibson joins James in the FSU starting frontcourt and is chipping in 7.6 ppg and 5.3 rpg.

    Upcoming

    Maryland faces its last non-conference matchup of the regular season on Saturday, 1/21 against Temple in The Palestra…

    The Terrapins return home for two games the next week, playing host to Duke on Wednesday, 1/25 on the night when Gary Williams Court is dedicated and Virginia Tech on Saturday, 1/28…

    Maryland has only three home games and six road contests in the month of February.

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Maryland Tries to Make It Back to Back With Visit From Jackets Sunday

Posted on 15 January 2012 by WNST Staff

Georgia Tech (8-8, 1-1) at Maryland (11-4, 1-1)
Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012 | 4 p.m. | Comcast Center
ACC Network-WNUV 54 locally in Baltimore
Terrapin Sports Radio Network

Maryland plays host to Georgia Tech in the second of back-to-back home games early in the Atlantic Coast Conference season. The Terrapins and Yellow Jackets are in a pack of league teams in the middle of the standings at 1-1. Each team won their most recent outing with Maryland winning at home 70-64 on Wednesday over Wake Forest and Georgia Tech winning Wednesday at NC State, 82-71.

The Terrapins are finishing a run of home games that had them playing only two games away from Comcast Center over a long period. The Terps played at Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C., in a win over Notre Dame on Dec. 4, 2011, and traveled to NC State on Jan. 8, 2012 to open their ACC schedule. Surrounding those two trips, Maryland played 10 home games, and comes into this afternoon’s matchup with the Yellow Jackets with a 9-1 mark at home this season. The schedule evens out over the next 1-1/2 months as eight of Maryland’s next 13 games are away from Comcast Center.

Maryland has won eight of its last nine games in a stretch dating back to the 78-71 win over Notre Dame on Dec. 4. During that time, the Terrapins have been playing considerably more of a Mark Turgeon-style by concentrating on defense and rebounding. Maryland has held opponents to just 67.3 points per game and .420 shooting from the floor. The Terps have held a plus-8.3 per game edge in rebounding and have out-boarded eight of their nine opponents in that streak.

Maryland is also taking strong advantage of the addition of sophomore point guard Pe’Shon Howard and redshirt freshman center Alex Len. Howard leads the team with a 4.8 assists-per-game average and has been on the floor an average of 31.8 minutes per game since his return. In his five games, Len has missed only eight shots from the floor (.729, 21-for-29), averaged 11.8 points per game, grabbed 7.4 rebounds per game and blocked 2.4 shots each outing.

Junior forward James Padgett continues to lead the ACC in offensive rebounding and is sixth in the nation in that category. Among his 96 rebounds in 15 games this season, 63 have come off the offensive glass (66 percent). Padgett had 11 points and eight boards (six offensive) in 19 minutes on Wednesday in the win over Wake Forest.

Sophomore guard Terrell Stoglin led the Terrapins in Wednesday’s win over Wake Forest with 20 points. It marked the 11th time in 15 games this season that Stoglin has hit the 20-point plateau. He remains the ACC’s leading scorer with a 21.3 points per game average. Stoglin has 38 3-pointers this season, already tied for sixth with Duane Simpkins (1994) on the sophomore list of 3FG. Greivis Vasquez hit 64 treys in 2008 to hold the school record by a sophomore.

The matchup with the Yellow Jackets is the first of two this season. Maryland returns the home game in a Feb. 25 trip to Atlanta. Maryland, which holds a 38-34 edge in the all-time series with Georgia Tech, has won 10 of the last 11 in the series. Maryland had a nine-game winning streak against the Yellow Jackets snapped in the 2010 ACC Tournament in a 69-64 loss before winning in Atlanta, 74-63, in last season’s only meeting between the teams.

Scouting the Yellow Jackets

Georgia Tech is 8-8 with a 1-1 mark in the ACC after picking up an 82-71 win at NC State on Wednesday… The Yellow Jackets had lost four consecutive prior to the win over NC State, dropping games to Mercer, Fordham, Alabama and Duke… Brian Gregory is in his first season as head coach after spending the previous eight seasons at Dayton.

Glen Rice Jr., a 6-foot-5 junior guard, is averaging a team-best 14.4 ppg and is shooting 51.8 percent from the field, which ranks fifth in the ACC… Rice has come off the bench the last three games and poured in 28 points vs. Duke and 22 against the Wolfpack, making 7 of 10 shots at NC State as Tech shot 51 percent as a team…

Rice was one of five Yellow Jackets to score in double figures in the win over NC State – guards Mfon Udofia (17), Brandon Reed (12) and Jason Morris (10), along with center Daniel Miller (10) helped make up a balanced scoring attack… Udofia leads the team with 40 assists and ranks second with 11.2 ppg, while Miller is averaging a team-best 6.8 rpg and ranks second in the league with 45 blocks…

Georgia Tech is one of the better teams on the boards in the conference, outrebounding its opponents by an average margin of 6.6 rpg, trailing just North Carolina (plus-12) and NC State (plus-6.7)… The Yellow Jackets are also third in blocked shots (5.7 bpg) and fourth in field goal percentage defense (.385).

Upcoming

Maryland hits the road for its next two games, having to face a tight turnaround after the Georgia Tech game on Sunday. The Terrapins will practice Monday, then fly to Tallahassee that night in preparation for a 9 p.m. tipoff Tuesday at Florida State… Maryland faces its last non-conference matchup of the regular season on Saturday, 1/21 against Temple in The Palestra…The Terrapins return home for two games the next week, playing host to Duke on Wednesday, 1/25 on the night when Gary Williams Court is dedicated and Virginia Tech on Saturday, 1/28…
Maryland has only three home games and six road contests in the month of February.

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Turgeon Continues to Push Right Buttons as Terps Improve

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Turgeon Continues to Push Right Buttons as Terps Improve

Posted on 31 December 2011 by Glenn Clark

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — As University of Maryland basketball coach Mark Turgeon closed his final press conference of 2011, he slipped in a comment that told a bigger story.

After the Terrapins’ 75-63 win over Samford University Saturday afternoon at Comcast Center, I asked Turegon if he felt his team had improved as much over the last two games as he had expected. The Terps (9-3) played just their second game this season with their full complement of healthy scholarship players in the win over the Bulldogs (3-9).

Turgeon’s answer made a lot of sense at first.

“I thought we really played well against Albany (in a win Wednesday night), I wasn’t certain that we would beat them to be honest but we really played at times. Today we took a big step.”

Sure they did. Maryland lead by as many as 20 points in their win over their Southern Conference foe and Turgeon was able to put in all of his walk-on players in the game’s closing minutes. As I considered writing a column about the team’s improvement over the last ten days, I felt as though the coach had given me a very usable quote. But then he threw in a curveball.

“If we learn how to practice better we can keep taking these steps. I threw them out yesterday in the morning and brought them back last night. Hopefully they will know that we won’t take bad practices. I have high expectations for this team.”

Maybe you should re-read that. I’ll wait.

You read it correctly both times. Turgeon called a 9:30am practice Friday morning (G Terrell Stoglin told us players had to be on the floor at 9:15am) and then proceeded to send his players home after being frustrated by their effort. Players guessed they weren’t on the floor a full 30 minutes before being sent off. Turgeon then forced players to scramble to get back to the arena for a 7pm practice to get a better effort out of his group.

You can imagine a surprise Friday night practice wouldn’t sit well with a group of college students.

“We all had plans” Stoglin said Saturday while shaking his head.

But here’s the thing, instead of bitching and moaning and whining and complaining (or as Turgeon likes to say, “saying boo”), the players appeared to understand the reasoning behind Turgeon’s decision and handled it well.

“It wasn’t too surprising” G Pe’Shon Howard said. “The two plays leading up to (being sent home), he just went off. I definitely saw it. I take partially the responsibility for that, being the point guard I’ve got to be a leader.”

Howard fully understood the reason why improvement is necessary in practice.

“It just wasn’t acceptable for a team that’s trying to get to the NCAA Tournament. You see how our conference is, we really could do well. We have to bring it every day in practice if we want to be good, we just can’t do it on the court in games. You saw the potential we have today.”

Howard said stopping practice was nothing new to him, as former coach Gary Williams would regularly kick players out of practice. But Williams would have players meet together and talk to the assistant coaches, then bring the group back to the floor without leaving the arena.

That wasn’t the case Friday, as players faced an entirely new schedule after their lackluster effort in the morning.

Turgeon has been trying to push buttons all season, including all but benching F/C Ashton Pankey for the team’s win over Notre Dame in the BB&T Classic and at times offering public criticism of players during press conferences.

Just a day earlier, Turgeon had told reporters that he considered benching Stoglin for the team’s Wednesday night win over the University of Albany out of frustration about Stoglin’s defensive effort. Stoglin promised the coach his defense would improve and Turgeon was happy with the effort he received from his leading scorer.

Once again, Stoglin did not appear to have an issue with Turgeon’s criticism.

“When (Turgeon) told me I wasn’t going to start, it just showed me that I’m not too good or anything” the sophomore guard said Saturday after the Samford win. “You’ve got to always play hard, so I decided I’m going to play defense from now on. It’s a challenge. If that’s what it takes to win, I want to do it.”

It was a seemingly mature response that would make you believe the coach is really getting to his players.

Stoglin could have said something along the lines of “Bench me? I’m the only good offensive player you have!” He could have tried to show his coach up during the Albany game by playing better defense but not trying as hard on the offensive end. We’ve seen plenty of talented athletes alter their play in an attempt to send a message to a coach over the years.

That doesn’t appear to be the case for Maryland.

Instead of whining and moping up and down the floor Saturday, the Terrapins responded with one of their more complete efforts. Stoglin was outstanding again, nailing six of eight attempts from beyond the arc en route to a game high 24 points. Freshman C Alex Len reached double figures for the second time in as many career games and added seven rebounds. Even struggling freshman G Nick Faust got hot, drilling three of four attempts from outside on his way to a 13 point, four assist performance.

I guess you can Turgeon has been pushing the right buttons.

It’s worth pointing out that these buttons are easier to push when the team is winning. With just a visit from Cornell Tuesday night remaining before Maryland opens Atlantic Coast Conference play, it can be assumed that Turgeon will have to figure out a way to reach his players in more trying times before the season ends. Maryland could well find themselves in the midst of a three or four game losing streak or having suffered a 20-30 point defeat at the hands of one of the conference’s powers (Duke, North Carolina) and it might not be quite as easy for Turgeon to get a rational response from his kids.

But right now, it’s working. And for a first year head coach in a difficult situation, it’s hard to not be impressed.

-G

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