Tag Archive | "Greivis Vasquez"

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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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Go Time For Mosley As Terps Pick Up First ACC Win

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Go Time For Mosley As Terps Pick Up First ACC Win

Posted on 11 January 2012 by Glenn Clark

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Before opening his first season as the new basketball coach at the University of Maryland, Mark Turgeon took the microphone at the school’s annual “Maryland Madness” event to address the Comcast Center crowd.

At the end of his address, Turgeon prepared to pass the mic to the only four year senior on his roster, G Sean Mosley (St. Frances). Turgeon introduced the former Baltimore prep star as “the most important person in (his) life right now.”

Mosley proved how important he really was in helping the coach to his first ever Atlantic Coast Conference victory as a head coach.

The senior scored 15 points, including a crucial hoop from the paint off a missed Alex Len free throw with 8:37 to play in the game that kept the Terrapins out of reach of Wake Forest University in a 70-64 win Wednesday night.

The Terps (11-4, 1-1 ACC) badly needed the bucket after squandering what was once an 18 point lead late in the first half. The Demon Deacons (10-6, 1-1 ACC) had trimmed Maryland’s lead to three by the time Len got to the stripe, but was extended right back to six thanks to Mosley’s board and hoop.

“I just wanted it more” Mosley said of the big rebound. “My mentality is to just go get after the ball. I had the opportunity to get it, so I knew I needed to get it.”

Despite coming off the bench as punishment for a violation that Turgeon wouldn’t identify but did described as “nothing major”, G Terrell Stoglin again lead Maryland in scoring with 20 points. But Stoglin struggled from the field (6-18 for the game, 2-11 in the second half), which made Mosley’s contributions that much more significant.

(Turgeon did add “I’m trying to make Terrell a man” and noted that Stoglin’s parents were “on board” when asked about the sophomore’s benching.)

“It helps a lot” Stoglin said of Mosley’s effort. “It takes a lot of pressure off and it helps the team because it just opens positions for everyone else to score when Sean is scoring.”

Mosley was particularly effective from the field in the first half, hitting four of six shots from the field, including two of three attempts from beyond the arc. Foul trouble limited his effectiveness in the second frame (he would eventually foul out), but not before netting the big hoop off the Len miss.”

“(Mosley) was great early and we weren’t very good early in the first four or eight minutes” Turgeon said after the win. “He guarded well and played well. He probably had the play of the game (getting) the offensive rebound on the missed free throw to put us up six. That was a huge play for us because we didn’t have much going.”

After being a big time scorer in the Baltimore Catholic League, Mosley has struggled at times to get going offensively during his career at Maryland. He averaged 10.1 points per game during his sophomore season but followed it up with just 8.1 points per game last year. It was a particularly disappointing drop off as the school had lost a trio of scorers in Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes and Landon Milbourne and had hoped Mosley could make up some of the offense.

Mosley entered Wednesday night’s game averaging 10.4 points per game this season, making him the second best offensive option among players who have played every game. (Len entered the game averaging 13.5 points in four career games but scored only five in the win over the Deacs.)

As a senior, Turgeon’s expectations have remained high for Mosley.

“Sean is a senior, so it’s ‘go time’” the coach stated. “The next two months are a battle and he’s been through it, so he’s ready for it and it’s contagious.”

Mosley said he welcomed the challenge of leading the team during the final months of his college career.

“Definitely. Each and every day in practice I try to work as hard as I can and try to get the guys to follow. With great leaders like (PG) Pe’Shon (Howard) and myself, other guys can step up and just make big plays and carry the team. You don’t have to score every point in the game, it starts with the defensive end. When we get stops and run-we’re pretty good in transition-it helps us out a lot.”

While there’s an argument that the start of conference play represents “go time” for all Maryland players, it especially important for Mosley. This is his final chance to make an impact and alter his legacy with the program.

With 14 more conference games (and one key non-conference visit to Temple) still on the schedule, “Go Time” got a very important rev Wednesday night.

-G

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Maryland Welcomes Radford to Comcast Center Friday Night

Posted on 23 December 2011 by WNST Staff

  • Radford (3-10) at Maryland (6-3)
    Friday, Dec. 23 | 8 p.m. | Comcast Center
    ESPN3 | Terrapin Sports Radio Network 

  • After playing only one game in a 16-day stretch, Maryland returns to the hardwood to face Radford and begin a stretch that has the Terrapins playing four games in 11 days. The matchup with the Highlanders is the third in a six-game homestand that lasts nearly a month.
  • Maryland is on a three-game winning streak and has improved to 6-3 on the season. The Terps’ last three-game winning streak came in late January last season, a year in which Maryland won three straight games on four different occasions. The Terps’ most recent streak with at least four wins came 2/15/10 through 3/6/10 when they ended the regular season with seven straight victories.
  • Sophomore guard Terrell Stoglin has scored at least 20 points in five straight games. It marks the fifth time since the start of the 1992-93 season a Terrapin has had at least five straight 20-point games. Most recently, current NBA player Greivis Vasquez had seven straight in the 2009-10 season. Stoglin is averaging 24.6 points per game in his current streak and is hitting .462 from the floor in those five games.
  • Redshirt freshman forward Ashton Pankey scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half of Maryland’s 65-61 win over FIU on Dec. 14. He missed some time in the first half getting three stitches in his lip before his second-half rally. Pankey scored 13 points for the second straight game.
  • Maryland had its best defensive game of the season in the win over FIU. The Terrapins held the Panthers to just 36 percent shooting after halftime and a 40 percent mark overall. That marked the worst shooting percentage by a Terp opponent this season. Maryland also matched season-highs as a team in blocks (6) and steals (7) against FIU.
  • Scouting the Highlanders

  • Radford is 3-10 following a 52-48 home loss to Eastern Michigan on Tuesday night… The Highlanders, under the direction of first-year head coach Mike Jones, won three of their first four games to open the season but have dropped nine in a row since.
  • Sophomore guard Jareal Smith, a member of the Big South All-Freshman team a year ago, leads the team in scoring with 10.5 ppg… Smith and freshman guard R.J. Price have started every game, with Price leading the team in assists (2.7 apg) and ranking third in scoring (8.5 ppg).
  • Jonathan Edwards, a senior forward, leads the team with 6.6 rebounds per game and contributes 10.4 ppg, good for second on the team.
  • As a team the Highlanders are shooting just 36 percent from the field and 28.1 percent from 3-point range… Freshman guard Brian Darden is the team’s top long-range shooter, having connected at a .439 mark on 3-pointers this year.
  • Radford will be playing a representative from a BCS conference for the fourth time this season, having already faced Penn State, Kentucky and Cincinnati.

    Upcoming

    The matchup with Radford is the third in a six-game homestand that also has the Terrapins home in eight of nine games through mid-January… Maryland’s next game away from Comcast Center is on Sunday, Jan. 8 at NC State in the Terps’ ACC opener… Maryland then returns home for two more league games (1/11/12 vs. Wake Forest and 1/15/12 vs. Georgia Tech) before finally hitting the road for back-to-back games.

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Roar Restored, Ambrose Easy Choice as WNST Local Sports Person of the Year

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Roar Restored, Ambrose Easy Choice as WNST Local Sports Person of the Year

Posted on 22 December 2011 by Glenn Clark

There are only a few qualifications for WNST’s annual “Local Sports Person of the Year” award.

First, the person must be local. They must be an athlete, coach or front office member for a pro, college or high school team in the state of Maryland. Individual sport athletes who represent the state of Maryland also qualify.

Second, the person must stand out from other people over the course of the 12 calendar months. The accomplishments of that individual must be comparable to if not greater than the accomplishments of others in the area.

And finally, that person’s year must stand out from other years during their tenure/career in the area.

With those qualifications in mind it wasn’t difficult to determine candidates for the honor in 2011. Baltimore Ravens LB Terrell Suggs & RB Ray Rice, Former University of Maryland Terrapins basketball coach Gary Williams, University of Maryland lacrosse coach John Tillman and Kentucky Derby winning Shackleford trainer Graham Motion all seemed to be quality candidates.

In the end, determining a winner wasn’t particularly difficult.

Rob Ambrose arrived as the head football coach at Towson University with an introductory press conference in January 2009. At that introductory press conference, Ambrose boldly called for everyone connected to the Tigers to get on board with a program that hadn’t finished with more than seven overall wins or an above .500 record in conference play since the turn of the century.

“This is for everyone in the room and everyone watching and everyone that is going to read about this in the newspaper. This is not about me – not at all. It’s about the players in this room and it’s about all of you. It’s about all of the people outside this room – the community and the faculty and the fans and the students and the rest of the state that hasn’t figured it out yet. It’s our job to take this program and make it the program that we know it can be and know that it is supposed to be and it’s about time. So, tell your friends and your neighbors and your buddies. Call them all up. They’re invited. They’re all invited to this beautiful new house (Johnny Unitas® Stadium) and let’s turn this thing around and win some ball games.”

Through his first two seasons, any progress made in the football program wasn’t particularly apparent to the general public. Ambrose’s Tigers compiled a 3-19 record over those trying seasons and it was hard to imagine Ambrose was really making progress at his alma mater.

But something strange happened when I bumped into Rob Ambrose at CAA Media Day this summer at M&T Bank Stadium. Ambrose (and everyone around the Towson football program) was talking about word they hadn’t used much during the two previous seasons.

That word was “winning”. It had nothing to do with Charlie Sheen. I’ll let Coach Ambrose describe it himself…

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 20 December 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Women’s College Basketball-UMBC @ Navy (Tuesday 7pm Alumni Hall)

10. Kix (Friday 7pm Rams Head Live); Cinder Road (Friday 7pm Recher Theatre); Mint Condition (Thursday 7:30pm Baltimore Soundstage); Cris Jacobs Band (Friday 8pm 8×10 Club); Carbon Leaf (Thursday 8pm Friday 3pm & 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers (Monday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Chuck Brown/Wale (Wednesday 6pm 9:30 Club); Common “The Dreamer, The Believer” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

Judge me all you want. I went to see Mint Condition (and Boyz II Men actually) on the 4th of July a few years ago in Phoenix. It was AWESOME.

Knowing CJB is playing in Federal Hill Friday night only makes me sad thinking about The Bridge…

I’m such a nerdy fan of Carbon Leaf…

Honestly, I don’t think much of Wale’s new record. But his first was a freaking JAM…

9. John Waters Christmas (Wednesday 8pm Modell Performing Arts Center-Lyric); “Warrior” available on DVD/Blu-Ray (Tuesday); “The Adventures of Tintin” (Wednesday) & “War Horse” (Sunday) out in theaters

If I can’t make it to The Lyric Wednesday night, I’d be willing to settle for watching old clips of John Waters talking to David Letterman…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRJ-CZAnQNs

“Warrior” was the best movie of the year you didn’t see. Did you enjoy “The Wrestler”? “The Fighter”? Yeah…that realm.

Oh, and “War Horse” is the movie your girlfriend REALLY wants to see but is also REALLY afraid might be very sad so she’s thinking about not seeing it.

Wait. Strike that.

“War Horse” is the movie MY girlfriend REALLY wants to see but is also REALLY afraid might be very sad so she’s thinking about not seeing it.

It’s confusing. Here’s this!

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Maryland Plays Host to Florida Gulf Coast on Black Friday

Posted on 25 November 2011 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Maryland returns to Comcast Center after its trip to Puerto Rico to face Florida Gulf Coast… The Terrapins are 2-2 overall after winning one of three at the 5-hour Energy Puerto Rico Tip-Off… The Terps beat Colorado, 78-71, in the middle of the three games… They lost to 15th-ranked Alabama, 62-42, before dropping the finale to Iona, 89-63.

Storyline

  • Terrell Stoglin led Maryland in scoring at the tournament, averaging 18.3 points per game on the island… Stoglin had a career-high 32 points in the win over Colorado, scoring 25 points in the second half to lead the Terrapins back from an 11-point deficit… The sophomore’s previous career-high was 28 points set last year at North Carolina, and he became the first Terrapin to hit the 30-point plateau since Greivis Vasquez had 41 on 2/27/2010 in a double-overtime win at Virginia Tech.
  • Stoglin comes into tonight’s game leading the Terrapins in scoring with a 19.3 ppg average overall… He has hit 23 of 25 free throws (.920) this season and is among the leaders in the Atlantic Coast Conference at the line.
  • Senior Sean Mosley led Maryland with 21 points in the loss against Iona… He hit 4 of 8 from 3-point range and went 7-for-12 from the floor… Mosley was hot from long range in San Juan, hitting 9 of 16 behind the arc… He is Maryland’s second-leading scorer overall with a 12.3 ppg average.
  • Redshirt freshman Ashton Pankey has been a pleasant surprise in the early stretches of this season… He already has two games with double figures in rebounds, and his 11 against Iona are the most by a Terrapin so far this season… His 8.8 rebounds-per-game average is among the top 10 in the ACC.
  • Junior forward James Padgett is third on the team in scoring (7.3 ppg) and second in rebounding (6.5). Amazingly, 20 of his 26 rebounds so far have come on the offensive glass.
  • Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon is only the eighth head coach in Maryland basketball history (1923-24) and only the fourth coach the Terps have had in the past 43 seasons (since Lefty Driesell became the new coach in 1969-70).Scouting The Eagles
  • Florida Gulf Coast had a record of 2-3 overall following a 60-50 loss at Miami on Tuesday night…. Sherwood Brown had 19 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out after playing 29 minutes in the game… Brown was 8-for-12 from the floor.
  • The Eagles lay claim to victories over Ave Maria University and Prairie View A&M, while they lost games to Texas Christian and Southern Methodist by one point each… Led by first-year head coach Andy Enfield, FGCU was picked to finish eighth of 10 teams in the Atlantic Sun preseason poll.
  • FGCU’s roster is laden with youth – seven of the 13 players are freshmen and two are seniors… Three Eagles average double figures in scoring, led by junior guard Sherwood Brown, who averages 11.8 ppg and 6.4 rpg.
  • Freshman guard Brett Comer scores at 11.2 ppg and averages 5.0 assists, with guard Bernard Thompson also scoring in double figures (10.8 ppg).
  • Christopher Varidel has connected on 11 of 24 3-pointers (.458) this season… As a team the Eagles are connecting at a .464 mark including .393 from 3-point range.

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Top 10 Games In Comcast Center History

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Top 10 Games In Comcast Center History

Posted on 12 November 2011 by Glenn Clark

The University of Maryland will open their tenth season of basketball play at Comcast Center Sunday night when they face UNC Wilmington. The 2002-2003 campaign was the first at the new arena in College Park, as the Terrapins moved after claiming the only NCAA Championship in school history during their final season at Cole Field House.

In honor of the start of the tenth season, I decided to put together a list of the Top 10 Games in Comcast Center history (at least in my humble opinion). And while both the men’s and women’s basketball teams call Comcast Center home, this list will focus only on the men. I will admit that I missed a few women’s games along the road.

10. Pe’Shon Howard plays savior (November 10, 2010)

I’m not sure which is more memorable about the Terps’ win over College of Charleston-Howard’s winning shot or the look on Gary Williams’ face that said “we probably shouldn’t have won this one.”

Either way, it was a surprisingly exciting night in a 2K Sports Classic victory over the Cougars.

9. Morgan State shocker (January 7, 2009)

morgan

If Greivis Vasquez is the greatest player in the history of the building, perhaps there is an argument Reggie Holmes checks in at Number 2?

The Bears guard was brilliant while the Terps fell apart in one of the more stunning losses in program history.

I still can’t believe this actually happened.

8. Great Vermont escape (November 21, 2008)

vasquez

I would assume then Catamounts coach Mike Lonergan (now at George Washington) probably still hasn’t figured out why he didn’t just have his team give a foul late instead of allowing Greivis Vasquez to knock down the game-tying three.

It was all Terps in the extra frame, and Dave Neal’s ten points in the game were a sign of positive things to come for the senior.

7. Florida ends Maryland streak (December 14, 2002)

gators

I remember this game for my introduction to John Gilchrist, my beliefs that Ryan Randle might be a pretty good player and my realization that I didn’t much care for Anthony Roberson.

The contest against Florida was the first ever battle between two ranked teams in the Terps’ new building and the loss would snap Maryland’s then 87 game home winning streak against non-conference opponents. It was a hell of a Saturday afternoon though.

6. Cliff Tucker the hero (February 20,2010)

This game was of course MORE awesome because Tucker’s game winner came after a would-be game winner from Greivis Vasquez was waived off due to a timeout.

Look, this is simple math. If a buzzer beater is involved, it will probably end up on the list.

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NBA Stars To Hit Baltimore For Exhibition Monday at St. Frances Academy

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NBA Stars To Hit Baltimore For Exhibition Monday at St. Frances Academy

Posted on 02 November 2011 by WNST Staff

UNDER ARMOUR’S NBA PLAYERS BRANDON JENNINGS, DERRICK WILLIAMS, KEMBA WALKER, AND GREIVIS VASQUEZ KICK-OFF

“ARE YOU FROM HERE?” EXHIBITION TOUR IN BALTIMORE ON NOVEMBER 7

WHAT:To bring basketball back to the fans, Under Armour’s up-and-coming roster of NBA athletes, Brandon Jennings, Derrick Williams, Kemba Walker and Greivis Vasquez will take on three of the Northeast’s top high school programs in exhibition games that are free and open to the public.  The “Are You From Here?” Tour starts in Baltimore, on November 7, where the UA athletes will play an exhibition game against St. Frances Academy.

After the game, Jennings, Williams, Walker, and Vasquez will visit Foot Locker in the Mondawmin Mall to interact with fans, sign autographs, and participate in a Q&A session.

For more information, please visit facebook.com/uabasketball

WHO:                   Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks

Derrick Williams, #2 overall 2011 NBA Draft pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves

Kemba Walker, #9 overall 2011 NBA Draft pick of the Charlotte Bobcats

Greivis Vasquez of the Memphis Grizzlies

WHEN: Exhibition Game: Monday, November 7, 2011

3:30PM – 5:30PM

Foot Locker Appearance: Monday, November 7, 2011

6:45PM – 8:45PM

WHERE: Exhibition Game: St. Frances Academy

501 East Chase Street
Baltimore, MD 21202

Foot Locker Appearance: Mondawmin Mall

2401 Liberty Heights Ave
Baltimore, Maryland 21215

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Former Terps ready to hit court in first Maryland Madness under Turgeon

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Former Terps ready to hit court in first Maryland Madness under Turgeon

Posted on 14 October 2011 by Ryan Chell

The 40th anniversary of Maryland Midnight Madness starts tonight at the Comcast Center at 9:30PM, and while most occurred under Gary Williams’ tenure at College Park, Mark Turgeon is ready  approach his first as basketball coach of the Terps.

Festivities include the Alumni Game, featuring several prominent members of the 2002 National Championship Team including Juan Dixon, Steve Blake, Chris Wilcox, and Byron Mouton.

The game is set to honor the ten year anniversary of the National Championship-the school’s first in program history.

Terps from other squads include Steve Francis, Greivis Vasquez, Johnny Rhodes, Eric Hayes, Dave Neal, and Eric Hayes.

“We’ll be having a really good list of players playing,” Hayes (2006-2010) said to Thyrl Nelson Wednesday. “With guys like Steve Blake, Juan Dixon, Wilcox, Steve Francis…I’ve heard Greivis is coming to play…it should be a pretty star-studded alumni game.”

Chris Wilcox

“It’s definitely going to be great going back to see those guys,” Chris Wilcox (2000-2002)-a key piece of the National Title team-told Glenn Clark on “The Reality Check” Thursday. “It’s going to be a great re-union, and it will be a great time.

Some of them-like Wilcox and Grizzlies guard Greivis Vasquez-are current NBA stars, and with the league in labor limbo, this is the only basketball they’re able to experience at this point.

“It’s working out and getting better,” Vasquez said. “Obviously it’s affecting me, but all of us wants to play and unfamiliar…this is something that I’m not used to.”

“Tomorrow is going to be special,” Vasquez added. “I was there for Maryland Madness the last time and now I’m going for the first time not as a college player. It’s going to be fun, and I know it’s going to be a great environment.”

“It gives me an opportunity to work on my game more, so I won’t complain,” Wilcox said. “But at the end of the day, I definitely wouldn’t mind playing and getting the season started.”

Hayes meanwhile,-who has played overseas in Lithuania and Spain since leaving College Park-it’s an opportunity to come home.

Eric Hayes & Greivis Vasquez

“It’s one of those nights that you look forward toward participating in,” Hayes added.

While in College Park, all of them have been  asked by new coach Mark Turgeon and some of the current Terps to pass on his knowledge and insight of the game having been in the league for 11 seasons.

“I’ll be down here for a couple days so I can get a chance to just go in there,” Wilcox said. “They’re going to have a couple practices and maybe I can get in there and just work out with them. I need to work out too…so maybe I can help them out.”

Wilcox was also one of those who felt like it was important for the old players to maintain close relationships with Turgeon and the new regime as opposed to holding a grudge or taking time to develop a relationship.

“They have invitations set up at Walt Williams’ house for everybody to come in and greet the new coach,” Wilcox explained. “I had a lot of time on my hands from this lockout that I was like, ‘Well, hey, let me go up there and meet the new coach’.”

Wilcox said with the pressure of replacing a legend in Gary Williams, Turgeon already has his hands full and Wilcox felt like he needed all the help he could get.

“I wanted to give him our support,” Wilcox said, “to let him know that we were backing him.”

Eric Hayes agreed, and sees good things out of the new coach.

“I am real excited,” Hayes said. “He has a great first couple months at Maryland recruiting-wise. He has done a great job and in a short period of time we’ll end being a good team.”

If anything, bringing a compilation of the 22-year run of Gary Williams at Maryland all at once should be quite the tribute to their former Coach Friday night.

“It’s about time,” Hayes said. “I think with him retiring and all the things he has done for the school…I think it’s only fitting.

There probably isn’t a player coming back Friday night that doesn’t love Gary more than Greivis Vasquez.

“I hope to see Gary there,” Vasquez said. “I haven’t seen Gary in a long time. I want to talk to Coach and say, ‘what’s up?’ I want to see the fans and everybody there. It’s going to be a big time and I’m really excited about that.”

“Gary is the most legendary character in Maryland to me, so that’s big time. I’m happy for him. Gary and I are always friends, and he’s like a dad to me. I’m always going to support him no matter what.”

And playing in the game will allow guys like Wilcox to dust off the championship rings and show them off one more time.

“I usually just keep it tucked away,” Wilcox said. “I don’t even wear it…just in case someone starts talking trash.”

WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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Former Terp Jordan Williams on if decision to go pro affected Gary Williams retirement: “I know he wouldn’t make a decision after just one situation”

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Former Terp Jordan Williams on if decision to go pro affected Gary Williams retirement: “I know he wouldn’t make a decision after just one situation”

Posted on 28 June 2011 by Ryan Chell

Former Terps center/forward Jordan Williams may not have realized his importance  when he submitted his name to the 2011 NBA Draft, but now after being selected with the 36th selection in last Thursday’s NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets, his career is going to be watched for an even bigger reason.

Following Jordan Williams out of Maryland was legendary coach Gary Williams, and with Jordan being the focal point of Gary’s final run in College Park, that also means that Jordan Williams maybe will Gary Williams’ last project to be sent to the NBA.

But Williams-who took a lot of criticism from Terps nation and NBA experts alike-said he felt like he was more ready to move on and is ready and honored to carry on what Gary Williams taught him at College Park toward his NBA game.

“It’s definitely an honor,” Jordan told Glenn Clark and Thyrl Nelson on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” Monday. “Just knowing the list of guys that he’s put through the league…for me to be a part of that list is just unbelieveable. I’m definitely excited.”

As a freshman in 2009-2010, Jordan Williams formed a solid 1-2 punch with senior guard Greivis Vasquez as Maryland made its way to an ACC Title. Making an impact right away, he was second in the conference in rebounding and was expected to take an even bigger role in the offense going forward the following season with Vasquez moving on to the NBA.

Which he did.

And despite freshman Terrell Stoglin coming on late in 2010-2011, Jordan Williams found himself as the team’s only option his sophomore year in College Park.  On the Naismith Watch to start the year, Williams averaged a double-double (16.9 PPG, 11.8 RPG) for the Terps this year, becoming one of the best players in the country.

He recorded 13 straight double-doubles as a matter of fact, breaking the longtime record set by Len Elmore and ended the season with 25 overall-also good for second best in the nation.

But with Maryland missing both the NCAA and NIT Tournaments and with question marks about both the program and the future of the NBA, Williams announced he was leaving the University of Maryland and signed with longtime agent Andy Miller of ASM Sports.

That decision, and his eventual selection by the Nets in the 2nd round last week, ended his career as a Terp.

Williams told Clark and Nelson that he’s heard every reason as to why people think he left College Park early to go pro.

But he doesn’t care.

“There’s been a lot of talk about why I did it,” Williams said, “but now I’m definitely happy I made the decision to leave.”

But it wasn’t always his intent from the start.

Williams did say he was planning to make to return to College Park after first testing the draft waters in Las Vegas before signing on with ASM, but ultimately he kept hearing good things about his draft stock at those workouts forcing him to move forward with his transition to the next level.

“I was planning on coming back,” Williams said, “but when I went out there my confidence built and I made such strides. I changed my body too much and it was just the right time for me to go.”

Williams said he consulted as many people as possible before making the decision to turn his back on Maryland, but ultimately the backing of two individuals- Gary Williams and Greivis Vasquez-made the decision that much easier.

“Greivis was very positive on my decision as well,” Williams said. “He just gave me all the advice he could which was, ‘Do whatever you feel is best and don’t buy into what other people tell you because you’ll have to live through it’.”

And he was surprised to see his coach as supportive as he was given the fact he knew Gary wanted Jordan Williams back in his lineup.

“He definitely helped me out a lot,” Jordan said. “He was a huge influence on my life basketball-wise. He knows so much about past players going into the league and making the right decision, so I asked him his advice and what he thought.”

“He definitely gave me a lot of good information as far as making the decision.”

Those staring at the situation from afar said that Jordan Williams entering the NBA Draft was ultimately the determining factor in Gary Williams’ abrupt retirement after 22 years coaching the Terps.

The former student-athlete and third-team All-American said that knowing Gary for as long as he had, he knows that his coach would not have made that rash of a decision over one player leaving, even if it was him.

“Knowing Coach, I know he wouldn’t make a decision after just one situation or one event that happened,” Williams said. “I know he put a lot of time and effort into his decision and did it for all the right reasons.”

Jordan said those same critics didn’t stop there-saying that he could have maybe done himself better by staying one more year at Maryland to fine tune his game. But again, Williams said just being in the NBA and going to a class-organization like the New Jersey Nets is all he can ask for.

“I couldn’t have gone to a better organization, a better place, or a better situation being a rookie coming into the league,” Williams said. “A lot of people were talking about maybe as high as 25 (where his new teammate Marshawn Brooks was drafted by the Celtics who then immediately shipped him to NJ) but at the end of the day I kind of knew where I was falling and I knew the teams and the different slots.”

In the end, Williams said-it was all about getting the call in general.

“I was just excited that my name was gonna even be called at that point…I didn’t even care what the number was.”

Williams says now it’s about getting ready to play in the NBA and getting comfortable with his new teammates, including two-time All-Star guard Deron Williams.

“Deron’s a great guy..one of the best in the league,” Williams said. “For me to be a part of his team, I’m speechless to get the chance to meet him and I’m so excited to pick his brain and learn so much about him.”

Williams has already been told by scouts to prepare himself to play the #4 power forward on the floor, meaning he’ll probably have to lose some weight from his 6’10”, 260-lb frame.

“I know that’s my goal,” Williams said. “That’s where they have met set up. That’s where I worked out for, and that’s why I’ve been trying to change my body from a five to a four. They saw that, and they’re definitely excited for me to start at that position and do what I can to help this team win a world championship.”

And ultimately for those still worried about the lack of his presence in the Comcast Center this winter, he knows that the keys have been left in good hands with Mark Turgeon coaching and, Terrell Stoglin, Pe’Shon Howard, James Padgett and others on the court.

“I talked to them all recently and they’re excited about it,” Williams said of the upcoming season. “They’re great players. They have a great head on their shoulders and great work ethic and they’re going to put themselves in a position to succeed.”

WNST thanks Jordan Williams for joining “The Mobtown Sports Beat” Monday morning! Be sure to follow Jordan on Twitter @JWilliams20 and continue to follow WNST-We Never Stop Trying to Save You Money!

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