Tag Archive | "Greivis Vasquez"

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Nets Select Maryland’s Jordan Williams in Round 2

Posted on 23 June 2011 by WNST Staff

Williams Picked by Nets in Second Round

Maryland center led ACC in rebounding in 2010-11

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Jordan Williams, who earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference recognition after leading the league in rebounding as a sophomore, was chosen by the New Jersey Nets in the second round of the NBA Draft Thursday night.

Williams, a 6-foot-10 center, was the 36th selection overall in the draft and was the Nets’ second selection of the night.

I’m excited for Jordan that he realized a longtime dream of his to have his name called in the NBA Draft,” said new Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon. “It’s a testament of his hard work and the great opportunity he had to play college basketball at Maryland.  We wish Jordan the best as he begins his professional career, and we will follow him closely as he adds his name to the long list of Maryland alumni to play in the NBA.”

Williams averaged 16.9 points and 11.8 rebounds per game for the Terrapins, who went 19-14 in the 2010-11 season. He set a school record with 13 straight double-doubles this season and ended the year with 25, which was second in the nation.

With 388 rebounds, he finished second on the single-season rebounding list at Maryland and was only the seventh sophomore in the history of the ACC to grab at least 600 career rebounds (672). He finished third nationally in rebounding and was the first Maryland player to lead the ACC on the glass since Joe Smith (1993-94).

He was a third team All-America pick by Yahoo! Sports and FoxSports.com, and earned honorable mention All-America consideration by the Associated Press.

Williams’ selection gives the Terrapin men’s basketball program picks in back-to-back seasons for the second time since 2007. Greivis Vasquez, the ACC Player of the Year in 2010, was selected on the first round by the Memphis Grizzlies and was the 28th pick overall in last year’s NBA Draft.

D.J. Strawberry (2007) and James Gist (2008) were the most recent back-to-back picks, while Maryland had players taken in 2001 (Terence Morris), 2002 (Chris Wilcox, Juan Dixon, Lonny Baxter) and 2003 (Steve Blake).

Comments Off

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 20 June 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Pro Lacrosse-MLL Boston Cannons @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Saturday 7pm Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium); Arena Football: AFL Kansas City Command @ Utah Blaze (Friday 8pm from Salt Lake City live on NFL Network); Boxing: Friday Night Fights-John Molina vs. Robert Frankel (Friday 9pm from Temecula, CA live on ESPN2), Devon Alexander vs. Lucas Matthysse (Saturday 9:45 from St. Charles, MO live on HBO); WNBA: Indiana Fever @ Washington Mystics (Tuesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Tulsa Shock @ Washington Mystics (Sunday 4pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet)

10. Bad Teacher” and “Cars 2” out in theaters (Friday)

Both of these flicks appear to be watchable at worst. Bad Teacher looks particularly good, as it includes the great Jason Segel…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5ZtwbzUFZE[/youtube]

…Phyllis from “The Office”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCZIfPAWMis[/youtube]

…and of course the great Justin Timberlake…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pi7gwX7rjOw[/youtube]

9. Roots Fest (Wednesday-Sunday “Highway to Nowhere”-Route 40, Franklin and N. Gilmor)

Perhaps the highlight of the event? The dialogue on the future of Baltimore…with the cast of “The Wire.”

Given the folks involved, is it safe to say that the future of Baltimore somehow involves drugs?

I’d pay ten dollars just to go and watch the guys re-enact their interrogations. Pardon the language…it’s art.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EeFa8QOq_Y[/youtube]

8. Auto Racing: NASCAR Toyota/Save Mart 350 (Sunday 3pm from Sonoma, CA live on TNT); IndyCar Series Iowa Corn Indy 250 (Saturday 8pm from Newton, IA live on VERSUS)

Rex Snider said something on Twitter the other day about NASCAR TV ratings being up. I would have kept reading, but it involved NASCAR so I’m pretty sure no one cared.

Jeff Gordon recently won an event. With Cars 2 set to open soon, I will admit that I am much more concerned with how Jeff Gorvette is doing…

gorvette

7. Golf: PGA Tour Travelers Championship (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Cromwell, Conn.); Champions Tour Dick’s Sporting Goods Open (Friday 6:30pm Saturday & Sunday 7:30pm from Endicott, NY live on Golf Channel); Wegmans LPGA Championship (Thursday & Friday 12:30pm Saturday & Sunday 4pm from Pittsford, NY live on Golf Channel)

With the U.S. Open in the books (and Rory McIlroy still making a birdie somewhere at Congressional), all of us not named Drew Forrester now go right back to doing exactly what we were doing before-not really giving a crap about golf.

You know how that would change? More Bubba Watson in overalls and “ooh-da-lolly lolly.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PM2NocuEihw[/youtube]

Seriously…these guys need to make one of these videos every week, especially if Tiger Woods is going to totally stop banging whores.

I mean, what the hell else are we supposed to do? Talk about golf???

6. Mixed Martial Arts: UFC Live 4-Nate Marquardt vs. Rick Story (Sunday 9pm from Pittsburgh live on VERSUS); Strikeforce Challengers-Caros Fodor vs. James Terry (Friday 11pm from Kent, WA live on Showtime)

A couple of things. One-Is Kevin Connolly REALLY interested in making a movie about the life of one-time MMA star Kimbo Slice? REALLY? Is Mr. T available to play him???

And also-did you see this picture of Conor Heun that Bloody Elbow posted after the Strikeforce event Saturday night? Looks normal at first…but keep looking at his right arm. I’ll give you about 5 seconds before you exclaim “Ohhhhh…………”

heun

Comments Off

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dear Football, Please Just Come Back Already

Posted on 15 June 2011 by Glenn Clark

Dear Football-

It didn’t hit me until Tuesday night. To be totally honest with you, I’ve been really enjoying some of the other things going on in the world of sports since you left my life in February.

My favorite NHL team (the Phoenix Coyotes) were quickly swept out by the Detroit Red Wings, but the Stanley Cup playoffs have been really good otherwise. Most of the cities I don’t like have already seen their teams eliminated (Pittsburgh, Washington, New York) and the Vancouver Canucks have the opportunity to deliver the most painful heartbreak to Boston Wednesday night, with a chance to win a Game 7 at home against the Bruins.

There’s been a ton of scoring but still a ton of close games, and the hockey playoffs in general have been pretty good.

My favorite NBA team (the Phoenix Suns) didn’t even qualify for postseason play, but it had little effect on how exciting the NBA playoffs were. Between the Los Angeles Lakers getting swept out, Greivis Vasquez and the Memphis Grizzlies getting within a game of the Western Conference Finals and the riveting series the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat played in the NBA Finals, the postseason was thrilling.

Even those of us that don’t spend too much time watching regular season hoops found ourselves making postseason games destination television.

Comments Off

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 03 May 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Mixed Martial Arts-Bellator Fighting Championships 43 (Saturday 9pm from Newkirk, OK live on MTV2); Arena Football: AFL Tampa Bay Storm @ Orlando Predators (Friday 8pm from Orlando live on NFL Network); Soccer: MLS-Seattle Sounders FC @ DC United (Wednesday 7:30pm from RFK Stadium live on MLS Direct Kick), FC Dallas @ DC United (Saturday 7:30pm from RFK Stadium live on MLS Direct Kick)

10. Carbon Leaf (Saturday 7pm Rams Head Live), Manchester Orchestra/Cage The Elephant (Sunday 6:30pm Rams Head Live), Donald Glover (Monday 7pm Rams Head Live); Mint Condition (Saturday 7pm Bourbon Street); Ballyhoo (Saturday 7pm Recher Theatre); Asia (Tuesday & Wednesday 8pm Rams Head On Stage); FOALS/Freelance Whales/The Naked & Famous (Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club), Airborne Toxic Event (Sunday 8pm 9:30 Club); Talib Kweli (Wednesday 8pm Sonar), Bowling For Soup (Friday 8pm Sonar); All Time Low/Yellowcard (Saturday 7pm RAC Arena-UMBC); Towson University Tigerfest feat. Brand New, Reel Big Fish, Far East Movement (Friday 3pm Unitas Stadium); Plain White T’s/Parachute (Saturday 12:45pm Pimlico); Harland Williams (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Beastie Boys “Hot Sauce Committee Part 2″ available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

If you’re not familiar with Carbon Leaf…I suggest you get familiar with them as soon as possible…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcyS90pdcuw[/youtube]

I REALLY dig Cage The Elephant. I mean, I REALLY dig Cage The Elephant. This song is quite good…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v27TRan1SBI[/youtube]

Airborne Toxic Event=totally underrated…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKEu3EmBCzQ[/youtube]

Really surprised Towson couldn’t do better than Brand New and Reel Big Fish for Tigerfest. But at least I really dig “Jude Law and a Semester Abroad”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlAqE1zgY-I[/youtube]

9. Maryland Film Festival (Thursday-Sunday Charles Theater), Ocean City Springfest (Thursday-Saturday 10am Ocean City inlet)

George Jones and Richard Marx are the headliners for this year’s Springfest. Now word on why Rick Astley wasn’t available.

As far as the Maryland Film Festival is concerned-I’ve amazingly never attended the event. I feel a bit ashamed as a Baltimore native to say that, as the event is one of the city’s more significant economically.

Of course, I feel like I would have been more inclined to make sure I got out there had they ever screened something more along the lines of…say…Superbad…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNib30GghKw[/youtube]

8. Deadline for underclassmen to remove name from NBA Draft (Sunday)

This is a little bit different than the last time this day was significant for area sports fans.

In 2009, Terps fans were concerned about the future of guard Greivis Vasquez after an impressive run to the NCAA Tournament. The “Vivacious Venezuelan” rewarded Terrapins fans by returning and leading the team to an ACC regular season title.

This year-we’re not expecting the news to be quite as good.

Gary Williams’ team is coming off a disappointing year that ended with the team even being left out of the NIT. Now it appears that All-ACC, All-American big man Jordan Williams will not give Maryland fans the same good news that Vasquez did two years ago.

If the news goes the wrong way Maryland fans, take heart. We still get to keep this thing he did to Jon Scheyer…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAF6i1DvZ5s[/youtube]

7. Golf: PGA Tour Wells Fargo Championship (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Charlotte, NC); Champions Tour Regions Tradition (Thursday & Friday 1pm, Saturday & Sunday 3pm from Shoal Creek, AL live on Golf Channel)

I have no idea what’s going on in the world of golf. Forrester kept saying something about Bubba Watson this morning, but I figured that was because he was involved in some sort of weird dream sequence Drew had.

But in golf-related news, former “Big Break” star Nicole Sikora recently changed her Facebook profile picture. I’m assuming she did so because she loves America…

sikora

6. Auto Racing: NASCAR Showtime Southern 500 (Saturday 7:30pm from Darlington, SC live on FOX)

So we’ve reached the part of this where I literally have nothing to say about NASCAR. As I’m writing this, I looked at my girlfriend and said “can you help me with some shtick?”

She said…”How much does it cost for a pirate to get his ears pierced?”

I responded, “I don’t know.”

She said “A buck an ear.”

This has been the first episode of “a contribution from my girlfriend.” I’m sure it was a hit.

5. NBA Playoffs: Eastern Conference Semifinals: Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat (Game 2 Tuesday 7pm from Miami live on TNT, Game 3 Saturday 8pm from Boston live on ABC, Game 4 Monday 7pm from Boston live on TNT), Atlanta Hawks vs. Chicago Bulls (Game 2 Wednesday 8pm from Chicago live on TNT, Game 3 Friday 7pm from Atlanta live on ESPN, Game 4 Sunday 8pm from Atlanta live on TNT); Western Conference Semifinals: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (Game 2 Tuesday 9:30pm from Oklahoma City live on TNT, Game 3 Saturday 5pm from Memphis live on ESPN, Game 4 Monday 9:30pm from Memphis live on TNT), Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Lakers (Game 2 Wednesday 10:30pm from LA live on TNT, Game 3 Friday 9:30pm from Dallas live on ESPN, Game 4 Sunday 3:30pm from Dallas live on ABC)

Holy crap could Greivis Vasquez’s run in the NBA Playoffs be any more exciting? I’m not sure I can even find Memphis on a map, but I’m the biggest fan of the Grizz of all time!

So much so that I recently purchased this t-shirt…

grizz

4. Boxing: Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley (Saturday 9pm from Las Vegas live on Showtime Pay-Per-View); Friday Night Fights: Gilberto Sanchez Leon vs. Diego Magdaleno (Friday 10pm from Las Vegas live on ESPN2)

Is there any way for me to make a joke about the fact that the biggest boxing matches of the year always come right after Cinco De Mayo and yet not have it sound racist?

Nope. Okay, moving on…

Cinco De Mayo is Thursday. I’ll be celebrating by drinking a lot of Pacifico and doing the Macarena.

That’s what people do on Cinco De Mayo, right?

3. NHL Playoffs: Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (Game 3 Tuesday 6:30pm from Tampa live on Comcast SportsNet & VERSUS, Game 4 Wednesday 7pm from Tampa live on Comcast SportsNet, Game 5 if necessary Saturday 12:30pm from Verizon Center live on NBC, Game 6 if necessary Monday TBD from Tampa live on Comcast SportsNet & VERSUS)

So, while we all know I’m rooting for the Bolts during this series, but I encourage you to come join me at The Dark Horse in Bel Air Tuesday night to root on the Caps.

Yep, I’m as confused as you. But it’ll be fun because we’re drinking beer.

In the meantime, I share with you this picture. I’m not sure what it is, but here it is.

hockey

Hockey is so great.

2. College Lacrosse: Johns Hopkins @ Army (Friday 7pm from West Point, NY live on CBS Sports); Colgate @ Maryland (Saturday 3pm Byrd Stadium); ECAC Tournament: Loyola vs. Fairfield (Thursday 6pm from Denver live on AM1570 WNST), ECAC Championship Game (Saturday 1pm from Denver live on ESPNU-and AM1570 WNST if Greyhounds win Thursday); America East Tournament: UMBC @ Hartford (Wednesday 7pm from Hartford); NCAA Tournament Selection Show (Sunday 9pm live on ESPNU)

Best news about Selection Sunday? Monday will be BRACKET DAY! $15 to get in on my pool, but don’t be a pansy and pick all one seeds to get through. No way Syracuse, JHU, Maryland and Notre Dame all find their way to Baltimore!

Good luck to the Retrievers and Hounds, who will be fighting to get their way into the Dance. If they don’t make it, they can get a nice parting gift from me…this picture of Lisa Marie de Oliviera. (Thanks, Gorilla Mask!)

lisamarie

1. Horse Racing: Kentucky Derby (Saturday 4pm from Louisville live on NBC), Kentucky Oaks (Friday 5pm from Louisville live on VERSUS)

I’m really bitter I won’t be going.

But I’ll share a few things with you anyway. One-if you’re headed to Chuchill Downs, bring sunglasses…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAKeXKwzmco[/youtube]

Two, don’t bet on anyone Rick from Reisterstown tells you to bet on…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJxkbTYekdY[/youtube]

Three, if you don’t like this…move to Russia. This is the best moment in sports…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWbNPQ7XWG4[/youtube]

And as a bonus, here are my friends from Nappy Roots. This song is incredible. I can’t believe I won’t be there…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_f8EiNTuh8[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

Comments Off

Terps coach Gary Williams on Jordan Williams draft decision: “Jordan is looking at things…he has every right to do that.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Terps coach Gary Williams on Jordan Williams draft decision: “Jordan is looking at things…he has every right to do that.”

Posted on 31 March 2011 by Ryan Chell

Jordan Williams and Gary Williams

Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams has had a little time on his hands to sit back and take in what occurred to his Terps squad in 2010-2011, and while he is already in gear for next season-hopefully with star Jordan Williams in the fold-he joined “The Morning Reaction” this week to give his thoughts on the Final Four from an outside perspective.

Williams-who has taken two Maryland teams to similar Final Four appearances in 2001 and 2002-joined Drew Forrester on Tuesday and said that each of these teams left in the tournament-from your major powerhouses like Kentucky and UConn and your newcomers in Butler and VCU-are here for a reason.

“I know that’s all the big part of it,” Williams said of how crazy this tournament has been given some of the upsets. “It’s all about how well you’re playing going in. Every once in awhile, you get one of those teams who just has one of the nights where they’re not shooting the ball well. But once the tournament is seeded, that doesn’t matter anymore. You need to win the game you’re playing.”

Williams had a ton of respect to throw toward two of his fellow coaching counterparts in Kentucky’s John Calipari and Jim Calhoun of Connecticut for leading yet another team to the Final Four, and the Maryland coach said that those two coaches in particular are the best of the best when it comes to getting that high level of play out of their players.

“Calhoun and Calipari first of all get their players to play,” Williams said. “The players they have in the program play really hard, and are very well coached.”

A lot of basketball fans and the media on the outside of the business may criticize a coach like Gary Williams for heralding coaches proven to be cheaters in the past, especially with Calipari who has vacated two previous Final Four appearances, but Williams said that it’s up to  them to make their own opinions of what Jim Calhoun and John Calipari are and how forgiving they are of their past transgressions.

“People will get their own chance to make their own judgment,” Williams said. “I think that’s what important with the media. They just put it out there there-every part of it. The fact is, they are good coaches and people can judge that. They can decide whatever they want to about that situation.”

In the end, Williams said-it’s all about something special for the players, and that’s where the focus should remain.

“I think that the one thing for these young guys-and obviously I’m not a young guy anymore in this game-this game is a great game.”

And for one of those young guys in Terps center-forward Jordan Williams, who was the Terps best player in 2011 leading Maryland in scoring with 16.9 ppg and 11.8 rgg.

He set a single-season record with 25 double-doubles and broke longtime Maryland great Len Elmore’s record of straight double-doubles.

It was also announced Tuesday-immediately after Gary Williams joined “The Morning Reaction” that Jordan Williams had submitted his paperwork and applied for the 2011 NBA Draft, but as of this moment has not hired an agent, keeping his NCAA eligibility alive.

His coach addressed his potential interest in going pro after his sophomore year.

“Jordan, like a lot of guys, is looking at things,” Gary Williams said. “Other than that, that’s all he’s doing and he has every right to do that. It’s just an ongoing discussion, but he needs to do what’s best for him and his family.”

Williams compared Jordan’s situation to that of Greivis Vasquez a few years ago when he too probed his NBA draft status before deciding to come back for his senior year.

Williams said he wishes Jordan all the best in the NBA should he decide to go pro, but he also said that his star player should really think about his time in college as being several of the best years of a person’s life and an era that one shouldn’t pass up or take for granted.

“You only get four years in college, no matter how good you are,” Gary said. “If you’ve ever hung around the pros, once they go the play-no matter how successful they are in the NBA-they always talk about their college experience.”

“We had Kevin Durant in here playing pick-up games over the summer after his season was over. All he talked about was how much he enjoyed his one year at Texas…how he wished there was a way he could still play there. That’s a guy making a lot of money, but the college experience is unbelievable.”

Jordan Williams is a star at Maryland. In the pros, it will definitely take some time for him to get to that level again.

“When you go to the NBA, you’re not a star anymore. I’ve talked to Greivis a lot this year, and it’s really tough year for him because it’s lonely. You’re making good money, and that’s fine. But at the same time all your friends are here, and it’s dog-eat-dog out there. It’s like any other profession, you have to go hard everyday.”

WNST thanks Coach Gary Williams for joining Drew on “The Morning Reaction!” Check out his chat at the BuyaToyota.com Audio Vault at WNST.net! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

Comments Off

Tags: , , , , , ,

Terps land prized Montrose Christian wing Justin Anderson

Posted on 17 March 2011 by Luke Jones

Needing uplifting news after a deflating week for the program, the postseason-less Terps landed their highest-rated recruit in eight years.

Montrose Christian small forward Justin Anderson announced his intentions to play at the University of Maryland, choosing Gary Williams and the Terps despite serious interest from ACC rivals Virginia and North Carolina. The junior wing is a consensus four-star recruit and top-50 talent who has shown explosive athleticism and defensive tenacity while playing for the distinguished Stu Vetter. Should his current standing hold up or improve, Anderson would be the highest-rated freshman for Maryland since Mike Jones in 2003.

“I wanted to get the decision over with,” Anderson said in a televised interview with Comcast SportsNet. “Not in a rush, but I felt as though it was about that time I can start creating a relationship with coach Williams and with his assistants and start working on the game in the way that they want me to to be ready for Maryland when I get there.”

Anderson pointed to location and the success of former ACC player of the year Greivis Vasquez, who also attended Montrose Christian, as major factors in his decision to commit to Maryland so early. He labeled College Park as the “best fit” for him and his family.

Listed anywhere between 6-foot-5 and 6-foot-7 according to several sources, the recruiting sites have raved about his athleticism and potential to get better in his senior season. From the looks of his highlights (below), the Terps may have landed their most athletic recruit since Chris Wilcox.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBrCDbv82iM[/youtube]

Though his athleticism and defensive prowess are his biggest strengths, Anderson has room to improve over his final prep season before taking his talents to Maryland. Ball-handling and shooting ability are areas in which the junior needs to improve. Unlike the athletic Mychal Parker, who just finished a quiet freshman season at Maryland, Anderson has the advantage of playing at a school known for preparing its players for the next level.

“You should always improve your game,” Anderson said. “Coach [Vetter] always tells me, ‘Justin, you can be happy, but don’t be satisfied.’ And I live off that everyday. I’m never satisfied, but I am happy with my progressions.”

For a program heavily criticized for its inability to recruit locally, the Terps have now plucked a premium talent from the state of Maryland for the second consecutive year (City shooting guard Nick Faust is an incoming freshman this fall). With Anderson’s early commitment, it also opens the door for other top recruits to take the Terps more seriously when making their own college choices.

“I think it was a great decision for me and my family. We thought it over, and I think we’re ready to get this show on the road.”

After adding another high-ceiling player to the mix, that show could prove to be very exciting in the not-so-distant future.

Comments Off

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Maryland’s J. Williams, Stoglin grab ACC honors

Posted on 07 March 2011 by Luke Jones

Having completed one of the most successful seasons by a big man in the history of Maryland basketball, Jordan Williams was selected to the all-ACC first team on Monday afternoon.

The sophomore from Torrington, Conn. received 210 points from the 75 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association, second-most overall behind Duke’s senior guard Nolan Smith who was the only unanimous choice. Virginia Tech senior — and Baltimore native — Malcolm Delaney, Duke senior Kyle Singler, and Boston College junior Reggie Jackson round out the first team of all-ACC players.

Williams led the ACC and was third nationally in rebounding (11.6 per game) and posted a single-season school record of 23 double-doubles in his second season in College Park. His 16.9 points per game average was sixth in the conference and 54.1 percent field-goal percentage was second in the ACC.

The national recognition continues to pour in for Williams as he also earned third-team selections on the FOXsports.com and Yahoo! Sports All-America basketball teams.

Point guard Terrell Stoglin capped off a spectacular finish to the regular season by grabbing all-freshman honors, joining North Carolina’s Kendall Marshall and Harrison Barnes, Wake Forest’s Travis McKie, and N.C. State’s C.J. Leslie.

The freshman from Tuscon, Ariz. averaged 19.1 points per game over the season’s final eight contests, boosting his scoring average to 11.6 and overtaking Cliff Tucker for second on the team. Stoglin grabbed ACC Rookie of the Week honors on Feb. 21 after back-to-back 25-point efforts and again the following week by scoring 17 against Florida State and a career-high 28 in a loss at North Carolina.

Stoglin scored 20 or more points in four of the team’s final six games — starting the final five — and led the Terps in free-throw percentage (83.5).

2011 marks the second straight year in which a Maryland player received first-team all-ACC honors (Greivis Vasquez in 2010) and a freshman received an all-rookie selection (Williams in 2010).

Comments Off

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In Shadow of Vasquez, Maryland’s Stoglin Continues Emergence

Posted on 20 February 2011 by Glenn Clark

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — It seemed fitting that the University of Maryland would hang the No. 21 jersey of Greivis Vasquez in the Comcast Center rafters during a season where the entire program faces adversity.

Fitting of course because “adversity” could have easily been Vasquez’s middle name during the four seasons he patrolled the floor for the Terrapins before being selected in the first round of the 2010 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies.

It was much too easy to point out coming into Maryland’s Sunday night tilt with North Carolina State that Gary Williams’ team was still looking for a way to replace Vasquez’s production on the floor and more importantly his leadership on and off the court. It seemed to be the biggest reason why the Terps entered Sunday in imminent danger of having their NCAA Tournament bubble hopes completely burst.

Greivis Vasquez came to Comcast Center Sunday night with a Maryland team facing significant adversity. It was a familiar script.

The difference Sunday for Vasquez was that he had to remain in his seat as the Terps faced a second-half deficit against the Wolfpack. Instead of personally carrying the team on his shoulders through a time of adversity, the “Vivacious Venezuelan” would simply have to watch from his seat to see if one of Maryland’s young guards could carry the team to only their third victory of the season in games decided by a single-digit difference.

Had freshman Terrell Stoglin not stepped up, arena officials may have had to use force to keep Vasquez off the floor.

Stoglin was fantastic for Maryland, scoring 25 points (matching a career high he posted just five days earlier in a loss at Virginia Tech), dishing nine assists and turning the ball over just once as Maryland (17-10, 6-6 ACC) held on for an 87-80 win over NC State (14-12, 4-8).

The win doesn’t get them much closer to the NCAA Tournament, but it at least kept them from burying their hopes altogether.

After being inserted to the starting lineup alongside fellow freshman guard Pe’Shon Howard for the first time all season, the young man from Tucson, Arizona may have well taken a mighty step towards replacing the Under Armours of Vasquez. It started with advice he received when his team faced a 40-38 deficit at halftime.

“I just wanted to push the ball and go, but coach told me to calm down and just stay within our offense” said Stoglin. “That’s what we did and that’s when we came back to take the lead.”

Stoglin was particularly impressive in the second frame, scoring 18 of his 25 points after intermission to go with four more assists and no turnovers. He admitted finding inspiration in the pregame ceremony honoring Vasquez.

“When I saw his jersey number go up there, I thought to myself, ‘Man, that’s what I want.’”

Stoglin is a long way from being remembered with the likes of Vasquez, Steve Blake, Lonny Baxter, Juan Dixon, Keith Booth, Len Elmore, Len Bias and the nine other men who have been honored in such a way just 27 games into his collegiate career. But performances like the one he put together Sunday night are at least reminiscent of some put together by Vasquez.

When the game was on the line, Vasquez came through. Stoglin was aware of that trait when asked what he most admired about the newest Terp to have his jersey honored.

“Honestly? His heart. He wasn’t the most athletic, most talented person but he had heart and I respect that a lot.”

Tying a career high in points and reaching a career high in assists in a potential bubble-eliminating game that was tied with 5:20 to play?

I’d say that qualifies as showing heart.

Williams noticed Stoglin’s performance, but admitted there was one area in particular where the freshman still needed to improve.

“Terrell thinks the green light is always green. He’s never seen a red light.”

The coach would go on to add of his 6-foot-1 freshman: “He’s going to make some mistakes once in a while in terms of shot selection, but what he gives you is someone who wants to be out there and really likes the competition. He really enjoys playing. He’s a tough little guy, and it’s great to see him advance during his freshman year.”

If you take out the word “little”, does it sound like something you heard Williams say about Vasquez?

“It’s the great competitor that thinks he can score against anybody,” Williams added about Stoglin. “You gotta channel that a little bit because you’re going against good people now, and see where it’s best for you to pick your spots. I thought he took two bad shots the whole day, and he scored 25 points. So I’ll take two bad shots for 25 points.”

Williams thought the comparison to Vasquez was fair.

“Greivis gradually came along to where he realized he had to be a leader. That’s what I think changed his game more than anything else was knowing that he had to get people (like) Landon Milbourne and Eric Hayes involved in the game. That’s what moved Greivis up to the level where he could play in the NBA.”

For his part, Vasquez was happy to see Stoglin and Howard both in the starting lineup.

“That’s great,” said Vasquez. “That puts a lot of pressure on the upperclassmen. They’ve got to take it as ‘if these guys as freshmen are playing hard, now we’ve got to wake up.’”

It’s not worth getting too carried away about a game against NC State, but 50 points in two games is enough of a statement that it cannot be totally ignored.

Maryland has a long way to go to reach the NCAA Tournament, likely needing to start with wins against Florida State and North Carolina this week to have any hopes of reaching the NCAA Tournament.

But the emergence of Stoglin alongside the continued dominance of sophomore big man Jordan Williams (who scored 26 points and collected eight rebounds against NCSU) give Maryland fans hope that a magical run like the one Vasquez lead Maryland on in 2009 might still be possible.

And in the eyes of Gary Williams, the comparison between Stoglin and Vasquez is favorable towards the youngster in at least one area.

“Greivis is a lot crazier than that. Terrell’s like easy to coach in his freshman year.”

-G

Comments Off

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Maryland-NC State pre-game notes

Posted on 20 February 2011 by Luke Jones

***Join us in the Turtle Power live chat beginning at 5:30 as the Terps take on the Wolfpack***

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Despite Maryland’s NCAA tournament hopes looking bleak with five games remaining in the regular season, Comcast Center is abuzz for tonight’s contest with NC State.

Former Terp and current Memphis Grizzlies guard Greivis Vasquez will have his No. 21 jersey raised to the rafters at halftime in what figures to be an emotional moment in College Park.

And while he wouldn’t admit, Gary Williams has some extra incentive taking on NC State with former Maryland athletic director Debbie Yow now holding the same position in Raleigh.

Despite the subplots, the Terps (16-10, 5-6 ACC) desperately need to stack wins to keep their remote tournament hopes alive and figure to have an excellent chance against Sidney Lowe’s Wolfpack. North Carolina State (14-11, 4-7 ACC) has won two in a row against Clemson and Wake Forest but has underachieved in what appears to be Lowe’s swan song season with the Wolfpack.

Maryland has won seven straight against the Wolfpack and looks to rebound from a disappointing 0-2 road trip with critical losses at Boston College and Virginia Tech in the last eight days.

Tonight’s game will be televised on Fox Sports Net (locally on Comcast SportsNet) beginning at 5:30 with Ron Thulin, Dan Bonner, and Debbie Antonelli calling the action.

As always, join us in the Turtle Power live chat at 5:30 and follow us on Twitter (@WNST) as Glenn Clark and I bring live updates and analysis from College Park.

Comments Off

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lights go out on Terps in 80-62 loss to Duke

Posted on 03 February 2011 by Luke Jones

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — As media waited for Gary Williams’ post-game press conference, the lights went out in the auxiliary gymnasium where the Maryland coach speaks to reporters after games.

It was an appropriate ending to a disappointing night for the Terps in an 80-62 loss to No. 5 Duke, a game in which Maryland tried to climb back in it at several points behind an electric atmosphere at Comcast Center.

Poor shooting, the surrendering of second-chance baskets, and lackadaisical perimeter defense spelled out what anyone who watched Wednesday night’s game could plainly see.

“It’s a team thing,” said Williams, questioning his team’s energy level much like he did after a home loss to Virginia Tech two weeks ago. “You have to be ready to play. You have to believe that you can win that game. That’s what we have to work on.”

To beat Duke, Maryland (14-8, 4-4 ACC) needed to play a near-perfect game to compensate for their deficiencies on the perimeter, using its size and playing tough defense (ranked ninth in the nation in opponent field-goal percentage entering Wednesday night’s game) to knock off the more-talented Blue Devils.

The Terps did neither as Duke (20-2, 7-1 ACC) scored 18 second-chance points and went 10-for-23 from 3-point range. Maryland was outrebounded 34 to 31 and allowed Duke to shoot 52.6 percent from the field.

Even when given opportunities to take control in the first half as three Duke starters battled foul trouble, Maryland fell behind by 15 points before a late run cut the deficit to seven at the half.

Offensively, Jordan Williams again led the way with 20 points and 10 rebounds despite being swarmed in the paint, as the Duke defense had no reason to respect any other options offensively for the Terps. Maryland shot just 40 percent from the field and went 2-for-9 from beyond the arc.

The Terps cut the Duke lead to five with 9:20 remaining, but the Blue Devils responded with a 10-3 run to push the deficit to 66-54 with 5:42 to play. Maryland would not challenge again.

“It’s hard coming back,” Williams said. “You have to really dig down deep against a good team, and then when you do, to get over the top that’s when it gets tough. I don’t know what happened to tell you the truth. I’d have to look at that and see exactly what happened.”

The Terps coach refrained from expressing what’s become painfully obvious about this team 22 games into the season.

Against the stiffest competition, Maryland doesn’t have enough to complement the fantastic play of Williams.

Not nearly enough.

Yes, Cliff Tucker has had his moments — he scored only seven points in Wednesday’s loss — in an up-and-down career as a role player. Adrian Bowie has played well since sliding to the off-guard position, chipping in 11 points against the Blue Devils, but lacks the size and perimeter game to be a consistent threat night in and night out.

And freshmen point guards Terrell Stoglin and Pe’Shon Howard have shown enough promise that they can be effective backcourt players in the ACC — one day.

But when the chips are down against the better teams, Williams is the only man the Terps can count on, a difficult proposition with a player who doesn’t handle the ball in the guard-dependent world of college basketball.

In contrast, Duke’s senior leadership — and overall ability — prevented the Terps from really challenging despite cutting the lead to five in the second half. Forward Kyle Singler had 22 points — 13 in the second half — while guard Nolan Smith scored 13 points after halftime to finish with 21. Even underclassmen Andre Dawkins (three 3-pointers) and Seth Curry (two triples) hit shots at opportune times for the Blue Devils, who avenged an embarrassing 15-point loss at St. John’s on Sunday in an emphatic way.

Maryland simply lacks the guard play necessary to beat good teams, at least with any kind of consistency. While it’s easy to say the Terps should give the ball to Williams every time down the floor, you need the players to get him the ball in the optimum position to score. And it certainly doesn’t help that defenses can collapse the lane at will, with no real trepidation of being burned by the perimeter shot.

“I felt like they couldn’t stop me without fouling me,” the Maryland sophomore said. “That’s why I tried to get the ball inside more. They did a good job of getting guys on me. We need to hit shots. I missed a couple of shots towards the end that I normally make. It’s an all-around team effort.”

An all-around team effort that has now produced the Terps’ two biggest margins of defeat (a 17-point defeat to Virginia Tech on January 20 being the second worst) in the nine-year history of Comcast Center.

To be fair, no one expected the Terps to be as good as they were last season after the departure of Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes, and Landon Milbourne, but two blowout ACC losses — at home — are tough pills to swallow.

Despite the disappointment of Wednesday’s loss to Duke, the Terps still have plenty to play for in terms of their postseason hopes. Whether they’re good enough is the real question as they continue deeper into February.

“We have to win games, that’s the bottom line,” Jordan Williams said. “We don’t have a quality win under our belt. We beat some tough teams, but we don’t have a win against a ranked opponent. … We just have to keep moving forward and trying to improve.”

The Terps should find few problems in their next two games as they host Wake Forest Saturday and Longwood next Wednesday night in what amounts to a pseudo bye week before back-to-back road games at Boston College and Virginia Tech in mid-February, critical contests indetermining their postseason fate. Gary Williams will undoubtedly use the next week to challenge his players’ intestinal fortitude and prepare them for the second half of the conference schedule.

Finding alternative options to Jordan Williams as well as the consistent, 40-minute effort will be the continued quest in determining the Terps’ destiny over the regular season’s final month.

“There comes a point in the season where you either do it or you don’t do it,” Gary Williams said. “There’s no magic answers to those situations. You have to get it done.”

Comments Off