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Your Monday Reality Check-My Favorite Game Ever Happened Ten Years Ago

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Your Monday Reality Check-My Favorite Game Ever Happened Ten Years Ago

Posted on 26 March 2012 by Glenn Clark

You’re going to have to indulge me on this one. I have no one to yell at and no incredible statement to make about a current sporting event.

Instead, if this column was called “Your Saturday Reality Check”, I would have gotten this perfectly to the date.

Ten years ago-Sunday, March 24, 2002-the University of Maryland met the University of Connecticut in the East Region Final (or the Elite 8 if you well) of the NCAA Tournament. The game was at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University.

For full disclosure, I wasn’t there. It was my freshman year at the University of Maryland, but I didn’t make the trip. I didn’t make the trip to the Georgia Dome for the Final Four either, which is one of the greatest regrets of my still very young life. I actually think our own Luke Jones was at the game, but I’m just rambling now.

You certainly remember the shots that defined the game. The Terrapins trailed the Huskies 77-74 with just under four minutes to play as Caron Butler simply wouldn’t let UConn go away quietly. Juan Dixon calmly sank a three pointer from near the top of the key to even the game back up. Then in the final minute, a previously scoreless Steve Blake altered a play call in the huddle and used a ball fake to create an open three for himself to put the Terps up 86-80, effectively the final nail in the coffin of a 90-82 victory.

What I remember was how the game felt like the most intense college basketball game I had ever witnessed. While Gary Williams likely ruined an expensive suit due to sweat that afternoon, Glenn Clark also ruined a number of t-shirts and a pair of pajama pants. This was a game where neither team ever appeared to have the upper hand. Lonny Baxter was absolutely dominant in the paint against future NBA standout Emeka Okafor, but Butler’s 32 points kept the Huskies at Maryland’s heels all afternoon.

We’re planning to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the University of Maryland’s only basketball championship throughout the week on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net. I’ve admitted regularly that I openly wept at Cole Field House that early April night (the anniversary of the championship is this Sunday for those scoring at home) in College Park. I had two goals for my life from about the time I was eight years old. One was to become a professional broadcaster, the other was to attend the University of Maryland.

Being a “Terp” was in my blood. My grandmother (a journalism teacher in Baltimore County and later professor at Morgan State University) is a University of Maryland alum. While I was too young for the Bob Wade era of Maryland basketball to mean much to me, the early years of the Gary Williams era (which were not always pretty) shaped who I wanted to be when I stepped on a basketball court at Chapel Hill Elementary School or Perry Hall Middle School. I pretended to be Evers Burns. I pretended to be Kevin McLinton. I ABSOLUTELY pretended to be Walt “The Wizard” Williams, Joe Smith, Keith Booth and Sarunas Jasikevicius.

I really had no idea I’d ever witness my heroes playing in a Final Four or for a national championship. I had felt the 1999 team (lead by Steve Francis) had a legitimate chance, but Erick Barkley and St. John’s extinguished those hopes in the Sweet 16. Just weeks before Maryland’s initial Final Four run in 2001 there were calls for the head of Gary Williams after an embarrassing streak of five losses in six games (including a “rock bottom” defeat at the hands of Florida State on Valentine’s Day).

But there was something about the 2001-2002 Terps that made you believe the entire time that team was capable of finally breaking through. The heartbreak of blowing a big loss to Duke in the Final Four the year earlier seemed to fuel them to an ACC regular season championship and back to that afternoon at the Carrier Dome. The confidence of an incredible group of upperclassmen was never lacking at any point during the season.

Maryland’s run to the National Championship was unprecedented. After an opening round win over Siena, the Terps faced a modern day “Murderer’s Row” of basketball programs as they ran through Wisconsin, Kentucky, UConn and then Kansas and Indiana. Maryland faced the highest seed they could possibly face in every round as a 1 seed (16, 8, 4, 2, 1, 1) as well. Yet somehow they never really seemed to be in danger of losing.

In the Final Four a huge second half lead was cut into by the Jayhawks, but it never appeared particularly nerve-racking. The Hoosiers briefly held a second half lead in the National Championship game, but a quick baseline jumper from Dixon turned the game back toward the favor of Maryland.

The only game that involved great drama was the UConn game. It was the type of drama that sees eight ties and seven lead changes in the final 13 minutes. It was the type of drama that almost could never be fairly described in words. (ESPN’s Dick Vitale described it as a “Maalox Masher” immediately after the game. He’s certainly a wordsmith if nothing else.)

It was the type of drama that made you think “whoever wins this game is winning a national championship” in the second half. At least it made me feel that way…and I was right.

To this day, this is still my absolute favorite game I’ve ever watched. More so than the Tennessee Titans/Baltimore Ravens AFC Divisional Playoff in 2001, more so than the Mike Mussina/Randy Johnson showdown at Camden Yards in Game 4 of the 1997 ALDS, even more so than the Andre Agassi/James Blake thriller at the 2005 U.S. Open. If your heart can take it, it’s worth reliving below.

I’m not sure mine can, but I’m still grateful for these memories some ten years later.

Carry on.

-G

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 20 March 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Soccer-Cuba @ US Under-23 Men (Thursday 9pm from Nashville live on Universal Sports Network), Canada @ US Under-23 Men (Saturday 9pm from Nashville live on Universal Sports), El Salvador @ US Under-23 Men (Monday 9pm from Nashville live on Universal Sports), MLS-DC United @ Vancouver Whitecaps (Saturday 10pm from Vancouver live on Comcast SportsNet); Tennis: ATP Tour WTA Tour Sony Ericsson Open (Saturday-Monday 11am from Miami live on Tennis Channel); Boxing: Friday Night Fights-Antwone Smith vs. Roberto Garcia (Friday 9pm from Pharr, TX live on ESPN2), ShoBox-Diego Magdaleno vs. Eduardo Lazcano (Friday 11pm from Tucson, AZ live on Showtime), Erik Morales vs. Danny Garcia (Saturday 10pm from Houston live on HBO), Zab Judah vs. Vernon Paris (Saturday 10pm from New York live on NBC Sports Network); Mixed Martial Arts: Bellator Fighting Championships 62 (Friday 8pm from Laredo, TX live on MTV2)

10. The Head And The Heart (Tuesday 7pm Rams Head Live), Crack The Sky (Saturday 8pm Rams Head Live); Adema (Wednesday 7pm Recher Theatre); Psychedelic Furs (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Phil Vassar (Wednesday 6pm & 9pm Rams Head on Stage); Gotye (Thursday 7pm 9:30 Club), Fatboy Slim (Friday 9pm 9:30 Club), The Joy Formidable (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); Fiona Apple (Wednesday 9pm Sixth & I Historic Synagogue); Kevin Eubanks (Thursday-Sunday Blues Alley); Angelique Kidjo (Saturday 8pm Lisner Auditorium); ShamrockFest feat. Dropkick Murphys, Gavin Degraw, Carbon Leaf (Saturday RFK Stadium); The Shins “Port of Morrow” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

Here’s a truth. The Head and The Heart had one of the ABSOLUTE best songs of 2011…

Gotye is the band whose name you have NO IDEA how to pronounce but you just can’t get out of your head…

Fiona Apple once did a video in her underwear. It was awkward because 14 year old Glenn was both aroused and terribly disturbed…

I saw The Shins on Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago. I wasn’t sure I was into them. I’m into them.

9. Ralphie May (Friday 8pm Lisner Auditorium); Bret Ernst (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Pablo Francisco (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” & “The Muppets” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); “The Hunger Games” opens in theaters (Friday); Beer, Bourbon & BBQ (Friday & Saturday Timonium Fairgrounds)

I will be at BBBBQ Saturday morning with my “Reality Check Players” partner John Collingsworth. If you intended to do something with me at some point during the day Saturday understand…well…just be prepared for anything.

I’ll be giving away a pair of tickets to Friday night on Tuesday and Wednesday on “The Reality Check.” Not sure if Beer, Bourbon & BBQ is an event for you? I have a simple question. Does this look like something you’d enjoy?

What about this?

See you this weekend.

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Kentucky Favorite, Loyola Given Longest Odds to Win NCAA Tournament

Posted on 12 March 2012 by WNST Staff

“As of this morning we have already seen some trends on who the public is liking to take this thing down. Florida State who won the ACC and who we opened at 40-1 have dropped down to 30-1 and are a heavy liability for us already.  Syracuse at 10-1 as a #1 seed has also taken quite a bit unlike Kentucky who are clear cut favorites at 9/4 but not seeing too much action at that short price. Michigan State took quite a lot of money when they were as high as 40-1 at one point during the season but now at 17/2 I guess some bettors feel they missed the boat on that one.”

-Kevin Bradley, Bovada.lv Sportsbook Manager 

Odds to Win the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship 

Kentucky (1)                                          9/4

Ohio State (2)                                        11/2

North Carolina (1)                                   13/2

Michigan State (1)                                  17/2

Missouri (2)                                           10/1

Kansas (2)                                            10/1

Syracuse (1)                                          10/1

Duke (2)                                                20/1

Marquette (3)                                         30/1

Florida State (3)                                     30/1

Baylor (3)                                              35/1

Wisconsin (4)                                        35/1

Louisville (4)                                          35/1

Vanderbilt (5)                                         35/1

Wichita State (5)                                    40/1

Georgetown (3)                                      40/1

New Mexico (5)                                      50/1

Indiana (4)                                             60/1

Florida (7)                                              65/1

Memphis (8)                                          65/1

Cincinnati (6)                                         75/1

Kansas State (8)                                    75/1

Connecticut (9)                                      75/1

Michigan (4)                                          80/1

Belmont (14)                                          100/1

Temple (5)                                             100/1

UNLV (6)                                               100/1

Murray State (6)                                     100/1

Notre Dame (7)                                      100/1

St. Mary’s (7)                                         125/1

Gonzaga (7)                                          125/1

West Virginia (10)                                  125/1

San Diego State (6)                                150/1

St. Louis (9)                                          150/1

Alabama (9)                                           150/1

Creighton (8)                                          150/1

Texas (11)                                             100/1

Purdue (10)                                           100/1

NC State (11)                                        100/1

Iowa State (8)                                        200/1

Virginia (10)                                           200/1

VCU (12)                                               250/1

Harvard (12)                                           250/1

California (12)                                        250/1

Southern Miss (9)                                  250/1

Long Beach State (12)                            250/1

Colorado State (11)                                300/1

Colorado (11)                                         300/1

South Florida (12)                                  300/1

Montana (13)                                         300/1

New Mexico state (13)                            300/1

Ohio (13)                                               300/1

Davidson (13)                                         300/1

BYU (14)                                               300/1

Iona (14)                                                300/1

St. Bonaventure (14)                               300/1

South Dakota State (14)                         300/1

Lehigh (15)                                            450/1

Norfolk State (15)                                   450/1

Detroit (15)                                            450/1

Mississippi Valley State (16)                   500/1

Western Kentucky (16)                           500/1

NC-Ashville (16)                                     500/1

Long Island (16)                                     500/1

Lamar (16)                                             500/1

Vermont (16)                                         500/1

Loyola Maryland (15)                              500/1

Odds to Win the South Region           

Kentucky (1)                              5/7

Duke (2)                                    5/1

Baylor (3)                                  11/2

Wichita State (5)                        8/1

Indiana (4)                                 12/1

UNLV (6)                                   25/1

Connecticut (9)                          30/1

Notre Dame (7)                          40/1

Iowa State (8)                            60/1

Xavier (10)                                 60/1

VCU (12)                                   100/1

Colorado (11)                             150/1

New Mexico State (13)               200/1

South Dakota State (14)             200/1

Lehigh (15)                                200/1

Western Kentucky (16)               200/1

Mississippi Valley State (16)       225/1

Odds to Win the West Region 

Michigan State (1)                      11/5

Missouri (2)                               9/4

Marquette (3)                             13/2

Louisville (4)                              13/2

New Mexico (5)                          9/1

Florida (7)                                  14/1

Memphis (8)                              14/1

Murray State (6)                         25/1

St. Louis (9)                              30/1

Virginia (10)                               50/1

Long Beach State (12)                75/1

Davidson (13)                             100/1

BYU (14)                                   100/1

Colorado State (11)                    150/1

Iona (14)                                    150/1

Norfolk State (15)                       200/1

Long Island (16)                         200/1

Odds to Win the East Region  

Ohio State (2)                            8/5

Syracuse (1)                              9/4

Vanderbilt (5)                             9/1

Florida State (3)                         10/1

Wisconsin (4)                            10/1

Kansas State (8)                        15/1

Cincinnati (6)                             18/1

Gonzaga (7)                              30/1

West Virginia (10)                      30/1

Texas (11)                                 30/1

Southern Mississippi (9)             60/1

Harvard (12)                               60/1

Montana (13)                             100/1

St. Bonaventure (14)                   150/1

Loyola Maryland (15)                  200/1

NC-Ashville (16)                         200/1

Odds to Win the Midwest Region        

North Carolina (1)                       8/5

Kansas (2)                                2/1

Georgetown (3)                          10/1

Michigan (4)                              15/1

Temple (5)                                 18/1

Purdue (10)                               18/1

Belmont (14)                              18/1

NC State (11)                            20/1

St. Mary’s (7)                             25/1

San Diego State (6)                    30/1

Creighton (8)                              35/1

Alabama (9)                               40/1

California (12)                            50/1

South Florida (12)                      100/1

Ohio (13)                                   100/1

Detroit (15)                                150/1

Lamar (16)                                 200/1

Vermont (16)                             225/1

Courtesy of Bovada (formerly Bodog), www.Bovada.lv,  Twitter: @BovadaLV. 

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Terps Tangle With Top 5 Tar Heels Saturday

Posted on 03 February 2012 by WNST Staff

#5/6 North Carolina (19-3, 6-1) at Maryland (13-8, 3-4)
Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012 | 4 p.m. | Comcast Center
ESPN / ESPN3 | Terrapin Sports Radio Network

  • Maryland plays host to North Carolina in a late-afternoon matchup at Comcast Center. The Terrapins (13-8, 3-4) are in seventh place in the Atlantic Coast Conference and will be facing a Tar Heel squad (19-3, 6-1) tied for first place in the league. UNC comes to Comcast Center on a four-game winning streak, including a 68-53 win at Wake Forest on Tuesday.
  • The Terrapins are coming off a 90-86 double-OT loss on Wednesday at Miami. The game was Maryland’s first overtime contest in 59 outings, with the last extra-session contest being a 104-100 double-overtime win at Virginia Tech on 2/27/2010. The Terps did not play an overtime game during the 2010-11 season.
  • Sophomore guard Terrell Stoglin scored a career-high 33 points Wednesday at Miami, his third 30-point effort of the season. He scored 11 points in the overtime after scoring 18 in the second half. Maryland rallied from a 62-46 deficit in the final seven minutes, and erased a nine-point deficit in the last 3:13 of regulation to send the game into overtime. He is 4th in the nation in scoring through Thursday’s games.
  • Stoglin continues to lead the ACC in scoring with a 21.8 points-per-game average. He also continues as the only player in the conference averaging above 20 points per game. Stoglin has also consistently stayed in the top 10 in scoring nationally, coming into the Miami game sixth in the nation. No other player in the ACC has more than one 30-point game this season, while his 15 games with at least 20 points is almost double anyone else in the league. Coming into the 2011-12 season, Stoglin’s previous career-high was a 28-point effort last season at North Carolina.
  • Senior guard Sean Mosley is 12 points away from becoming the 50th Terrapin to reach the 1,000-point plateau in his career. That achievement opens a window for him to be in the discussion as one of the most versatile Terrapins ever. He would become the eighth player in Maryland history to earn 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 200 assists and 120 steals in his career.
  • Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon has a long-standing connection with North Carolina head coach Roy Williams. Turgeon was an assistant coach at Kansas under Williams for four seasons (1988-89 through 1991-92), including the 1991 season when Kansas was the national runner-up.
  • Center Alex Len scored 11 points Wednesday against Miami, hitting 4 of 6 shots from the floor and 3 of 4 from the free-throw line. It was Len’s first game scoring in double figures in the last seven outings. Len had four blocked shots against the Hurricanes, the most by a Terrapin this season. In seven league games, the Ukranian freshman has 16 blocks, ranking third with a 2.3 bpg average in the league.
  • Maryland has won two of the last three and four of the last six in the series with Tar Heels. The Terps lost 87-76 in the Smith Center in their only meeting last season. The Terps won 92-71 on 2/7/2010 in the last meeting in Comcast Center.

    Scouting the Tar Heels

  • North Carolina is 19-3 and 6-1 in the ACC, having won 13 of its last 14 games… The Tar Heels are ranked fifth in the nation in the Associated Press Poll and sixth in the Coaches Poll.
  • Averaging 84.1 points per game, North Carolina possesses the top scoring offense in the nation and is winning by an average margin of 17.5 ppg, tops in the ACC and fourth in the country… The Tar Heels lead the conference in several statistical categories, including rebounding margin (plus-11.8 pg), blocked shots (6.5 pg) and assists (18.1 pg), while ranking second in field goal percentage (.471), field goal percentage defense (.384), steals (7.6 pg) and turnover margin (plus-1.82 pg).
  • Sophomore forward Harrison Barnes lead the team and ranks third in the ACC in scoring at 17.3 ppg, while 7-footer Tyler Zeller is contributing 15.0 ppg and 9.7 rpg… 6-foot-11 junior John Henson gives North Carolina more size and experience in the post, with Henson leading the team in rebounding (10.0 rpg) and ranking third in scoring (14.2 ppg)… Henson also leads the conference with 3.3 blocks per game.
  • Sophomore Kendall Marshall is one of the top point guards in the nation, averaging 9.5 assists per game with a 3.5 assist-to-turnover ratio, marks that are both second in the country.

    Upcoming

    Maryland has back-to-back road games at Clemson (2/7) and Duke (2/11) before coming home to face Boston College on 2/16… Five of Maryland’s final eight games are on the road…

    The matchup with UNC is one of five games to be played against nationally ranked teams in the Terrapins’ last nine games of the regular season.

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Towson Announces 19 Man Recruiting Class For 2012

Posted on 01 February 2012 by WNST Staff

TOWSON, Md. –  A talented group of 19 football players has signed National Letters of Intent to attend Towson University and play football, it has been announced by Coach Rob Ambrose.

The Tigers’ recruiting class includes five transfer students, including four FBS transfers. Joining the Tigers as transfers are defensive lineman Brendon Gannon of Western Michigan, defensive back Darrell Givens of Rutgers, defensive back Ben Harvey of South Carolina and cornerback Jordan Love of Georgia. In addition, offensive lineman Jake McDowell transferred from Golden West Junior College.

Of the 14 incoming freshmen, five are products of Maryland high schools. The Tigers have also added three newcomers from the Tidewater area of Virginia. 

“This is the best recruiting class we’ve ever had,” says Coach Ambrose. “That’s the natural progression of building a program. Each recruiting class needs to be better than the one before it. These incoming players are the biggest, fastest recruits we’ve ever signed.”

The Tiger coaching staff will officially announce the recruiting class at the NLI Signing Party at Bill Bateman’s Wednesday evening at 6:00 p.m.

BRYTON BARR, Linebacker
6-0, 220-lbs., Mechanicsburg Area H.S., Camp Hill, Pa.

Two-time All-State selection … honored as Keystone Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a junior and senior … four-year starter at linebacker for the Wildcats who made 504 tackles in career … two-year team captain for Coach Chris Hakel … also forced 20 fumbles in his career … had six career interceptions … three-time all-conference selection … led team with 154 tackles as a senior … also had 175 tackles as a junior … chosen to play in the Big 33 all-star game … also played tight end for the Wildcats and scored 24 touchdowns in career … had 1,500 receiving yards in career … two-time team MVP … honor roll student … PERSONAL: Has one older brother … has done volunteer work with Special Olympics … favorite NFL team is the Atlanta Falcons … lists defensive back Shann Schilinger of Atlanta as his favorite NFL player … had summer job as landscaper … lists “Tuesdays With Morrie” as his favorite book … favorite movie is “The Book Of Eli” …  favorite actor is Denzel Washington …enjoys eating steak … enjoys music by John Mayer … father is a graduate of Columbus College who played college baseball … father is a realtor … mother is a food service supervisor … son of Terry and Quinn Barr … born on February 6, 1994 in Harrisburg, Pa

CHRISTIAN CARPENTER, Athlete
6-2, 185-lbs., Aberdeen H.S., Aberdeen, Md.

Very talented two-way standout at Aberdeen High School … second team All-State selection … earned first team All-Metro notice as a senior … also named first team All-Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference … played wide receiver and defensive back for the Eagles … caught 64 passes for 1,112 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior … also made 148 tackles with six interceptions … scored one defensive touchdown for the Eagles … led Coach Johnny Brooks’ Eagles to a 10-3 record and the semi-finals of the Maryland state playoffs … Eagles showed vast improvement after posting a 1-9 record in 2010 … helped Eagles win UCBAC championship … named Most Valuable Player at the UCBAC all-star game … also played in the Crab Bowl … member of track and field team at Aberdeen where he excelled in the long jump … PERSONAL: Has one younger brother … lists mother as the person he admires the most … hobbies include video games … avid fan of the Baltimore Ravens … lists the late Sean Taylor as his favorite NFL player … favorite athlete is Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat … favorite movie is “Planet of the Apes” … enjoys eating spaghetti … parents are Syracuse University graduates … mother earned MBA from Strayer and works in Human Resources … son of Robert and Davita Carpenter … born on March 2, 1994 in Alpharetta, Ga.

ROB CHESSON, Running Back
5-9, 175-lbs., Old Mill H.S., Millersville, Md.

Explosive running back who earned first team All-State honors … named as Maryland State Offensive Player of the Year … led Old Mill High School to a 14-0 record and the Maryland “4A” state championship … set a Maryland state record with 49 touchdowns scored, breaking previous mark of 43 … rushed for 2,701 yards on 337 carries … scored game-winning two-point conversion in Old Mill’s 36-35 win in the state championship game over Quince Orchard … ran for 154 yards on 25 carries in state championship game … led the Patriots to a win over Catonsville in the state semi-finals by rushing for 312 yards on 24 carries and scoring seven touchdowns … ran for 247 yards and scored five touchdowns in win over Southern … picked up 216 yards on 35 carries with five touchdowns against Arundel … also scored five TD’s in 180-yard effort against South River … led Washington to a win in the Crab Bowl by running for 134 yards with one touchdown … PERSONAL:  Has one older sister and one younger brother … has two cousins playing football in Anne Arundel County … son of Robert and Tikira Barber … born on October 27, 1993 in Annapolis, Md.

BRENDON GANNON, Defensive Lineman
6-2, 260-lbs., Cardinal Gibbons H.S., Halethorpe, Md.

Transfer from Western Michigan University … has three years of eligibility remaining … two-year performer for the Broncos who was a redshirt in 2010 … appeared in one game in 2011 … made one tackle against Bowling Green … member of Broncos’ team that posted a 7-6 record and dropped a 37-32 heartbreaker to Purdue in the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl in Detroit … earned All-MIAA honors twice at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Baltimore … team captain of the Crusaders … led team with 98 tackles as a senior … selected to play in Baltimore Touchdown Club’s all-star game … also played basketball for the Crusaders and served as team captain … member of the track and field team at Gibbons … attended Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) for one year and played football … made 64 tackles with eight sacks in one year at Wyoming Seminary … PERSONAL: Has three brothers and one sister … lists mother as the person he admires the most … hobbies include baseball and lacrosse … had summer job working at a pharmacy … favorite NFL team is the Baltimore Ravens … lists Jason Pierre-Paul of the New York Giants as his favorite NFL player … favorite book is “Life On The Mississippi” by Mark Twain … favorite movie is “Paid In Full” … lists Dwight Howard as his favorite athlete … favorite actress is Jada Pinkett … mother is a dental assistant … son of Latonia Small … born on July 13, 1991 in Baltimore, Md.

DARRELL GIVENS, Defensive Back
6-1, 193-lbs., Lackey H.S., Fort Washington, Md. 

Transfer from Rutgers University … has two years of eligibility remaining … two-year performer for the Scarlet Knights … appeared in four games over the last two seasons … member of Scarlet Knights’ team that posted a 9-4 record in 2011 and beat Iowa State in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium … appeared in two games this season and made one tackle … also played in two games in 2010 … widely-recruited cornerback out of Lackey High School who earned scholastic All-American honors … rated as the No. 6 cornerback in the nation by ESPN.com … also rated as No. 29 cornerback in the nation by Rivals.com … two-time All-County selection who also earned All-State honors as a senior … had 57 tackles and intercepted two passes as a senior … also caught 18 passes for 268 yards and a touchdown … led the Chargers to an 8-4 record as a senior … helped Lackey make back-to-back appearances in regional championship game … made 82 tackles as a junior with three interceptions, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries … PERSONAL: Has two brothers and one sister … born on September 25, 1990 in Washington, D.C.

BEN HARVEY, Defensive Back
5-10, 185-lbs., Good Counsel H.S., Columbia, Md.

Transfer from University of South Carolina … did not play for the Gamecocks … has four years of eligibility remaining … member of Gamecocks team that posted an 11-2 record and beat Nebraska in the Florida Citrus Bowl … All-Metro defensive back at Good Counsel High School … helped the Falcons post a 10-2 record as a senior … member of Coach Bob Milloy’s WCAC championship team … also played basketball and ran track … helped the Falcons’ track team win the WCAC title … honor roll student … PERSONAL: Hoping for a career in computer science … lists mother as the person he admires the most … avid fan of the Baltimore Ravens … lists Darrelle Revis as his favorite NFL player … favorite movie is “Scarface” … lists Lindsay Lohan as his favorite actress … had summer job as camp counselor … favorite athlete is LeBron James … favorite book is “Art of War” … mother is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts who played basketball … son of Kenny Harvey and Juanita Matthews … born on January 9, 1993 in Boston, Mass

SYD HOLT, Defensive End
6-4, 210-lbs., Sayreville War Memorial H.S., South Amboy, N.J.

All-State first team performer at defensive end … team captain who led the Bombers to an 11-1 record and the 2010 Central Jersey Group IV state championship … named as New Jersey Defensive Player of the Year by The Newark Star-Ledger … made 90 tackles with 13.5 sacks for Coach George Najjar … earned All-County and All-League honors … also caught 17 passes for 198 yards and four touchdowns as a tight end … had 48 tackles and 13 sacks as a junior … also played basketball for the Bombers … PERSONAL: Has two younger sisters and one younger brother … lists father as the person he admires the most … has done community service work at food shelters and a retirement home … favorite NFL teams are the St. Louis Rams and the Pittsburgh Steelers … favorite athlete is Lebron James … favorite actor is  Tyrese Gibson … enjoys eating fried chicken … favorite musician is Chris Brown … son of Sydnor L. Holt and Telica Harrington  … born on March 2, 1993 in Newark, N.J.

Ra-ZAHN HOWARD, Defensive Tackle
6-3, 300-lbs., Asbury Park H.S., Asbury Park, N.J.

Third team All-State selection at defensive tackle … led Asbury Park High School to NJSIAA state championship … transferred to Asbury Park prior to senior season … keyed Asbury Park defense which allowed just 464 rushing yards all season … named as the Class B Central Defensive Player of the Year … made 68 tackles with 12 sacks and 15 quarterback hurries … also forced three fumbles and made 31 tackles for lost yardage … also named first team All-Shore Conference for Coach Matt Ardizzone …  made 57 tackles and had ten sacks as a junior at Winslow Township H.S. … also played basketball in high school … also wrestled and won regional title as a sophomore … PERSONAL: Cousin of Marcus Valentine, a four-year standout for the Tigers who was one of the captains of the Tigers’ Colonial Athletic Association championship team in 2011 … career goal is to work in juvenile probation and corrections … lists Marcus Valentine as the person he admires most … favorite NFL team is the Detroit Lions … lists Denzel Washington as his favorite actor … favorite musician is Stevie Wonder … lists “Friday Night Lights” as his favorite movie … enjoys eating chicken parmesan … son of Mark Howard and Tina Morris … born on August 9, 1994 in Red Bank, N.J.

DREON JOHNSON, Fullback
6-0, 235-lb., Mayde Creek H.S., Houston, Tex.

Versatile performer at Mayde Creek High School … saw action at offensive tackle, fullback and defensive end for the Rams … two-year team captain for Coach Lance Carter … earned first team All-District honors at offensive tackle … honored as top offensive lineman in the district as a senior … led team in tackles as a junior … three-year starter … also a member of the Rams’ wrestling team and track and field team … PERSONAL: Has one brother and one sister … lists mother as the person he admires the most … hobbies include playing basketball … favorite NFL teams are the Houston Texans, the New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers … favorite NFL player is running back  Brandon Jacobs of the Giants … lists LeBron James as his favorite athlete … favorite movie is “Dead Presidents” … favorite actor is Terrence Howard … enjoys listening to music by Z-RO … likes to eat Mexican food … mother is a substitute teacher … son of Lamonica Benton … born on December 12, 1992 in College Station, Texas.

CLIFTON JONES, Defensive Tackle
6-2, 250-lb., Tallwood H.S., Virginia Beach, Va.

Explosive defensive lineman who earned first team All-District honors at Tallwood High School … team captain of the Lions … also named first team All-Beach for Coach John Kepple … member of All-Region second team … named as team captain … standout performer for the Lions’ track and field team who finished fifth in the region in the shot put … honor roll student … PERSONAL: Has one sister … lists family as the people he admires the most … had summer job in child care … favorite NFL player is Michael Vick … lists “The Wood” as his favorite movie … favorite athlete is NBA standout Brandon Roy … mother is a nurse … father is a high school football coach … son of Clifton Jones Sr.  and Pam Archie … born January 9, 1994 in Norfolk, Va.

JULEON KILLIKELLY-LEE, Cornerback
5-10, 160-lbs., Woodlawn H.S., Gwynn Oak, Md.

Very speedy cornerback who earned second team All-State honors … also named All-Baltimore County … played three years at Western Tech and one season at Woodlawn … intercepted three passes as a senior at Woodlawn and scored seven touchdowns … threw for 546 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior … also ran for 521 yards for the Warriors … members of the first Western Tech team to post a 10-0 record … made 20 tackles and intercepted four passes as a junior at Western … played in Crab Bowl and the Chesapeake Bowl … outstanding sprinter for the Warriors’ track and field team … won Maryland state championships in the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash … PERSONAL: Has one older brother … lists father as the person he admires the most … has done community service work planting trees and feeding the hungry … hobbies include singing … avid fan of the Baltimore Ravens … had summer job working with automotive repair … lists Ray Lewis and Adrian Peterson as his favorite NFL players … enjoys reading “Of Mice and Men” … favorite movie is “Jason’s Lyric” … lists Steve Carell as his favorite actor … enjoys listening to music by C.J. Hilton … father is a fire alarm technician … mother is an IT analyst and a graduate of the University of Baltimore … son of Donald Lee and Lanca Killikelly … born on May 1, 1994 in Baltimore, Md.

DONNELL LEWIS, Cornerback
5-10, 160-lbs., Woodside H.S., Newport News, Va.

Honored as one of the Top 100 football players in Virginia … two-way standout who played quarterback and defensive back at Woodside High School … honored as Peninsula District Player of the Year … two-time All-Region selection at defensive back … led the Wolverines to a perfect 10-0 record … completed 49 of 88 passes for 760 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior … also rushed for 739 yards and scored seven touchdowns for Coach Danny Dodson … had two interceptions … intercepted seven passes as a junior and returned two for touchdowns … also played basketball and ran track … honor roll student … PERSONAL: Has one younger brother and one younger sister … lists father as the person he admires the most … career goal is to become a police officer … had summer job working at Busch Gardens … avid fan of the Dallas Cowboys … favorite NFL player is Michael Vick … lists LeBron James as his favorite athlete … favorite movie is “Friday Night Lights” … lists Walter Dean Meyers as his favorite author … enjoys eating lasagna … father is an Army veteran … mother works in daycare … son of Donnell Lewis Sr. and Hirut Lewis … born on March 12, 1994 in Fort Riley, Kansas.

JORDAN LOVE, Cornerback
6-0, 190-lbs., Deep Run H.S., Glen Allen, Va.

Transfer from the University of Georgia … two-year performer for the Bulldogs … has two years of eligibility remaining … played in 21 games in career at Georgia … appeared in eight games and started once in 2011 … made 12 tackles and forced a fumble … also broke up one pass … made first career start in season opener against Boise State … member of Bulldogs team that finished the season with a 10-4 record as Southeastern Conference runners-up … played in all 13 games as a freshman in 2010 … made nines tackle and forced a fumble as a freshman … had career high five tackles and forced a fumble against Coastal Carolina in 2011 … All-State selection at Deep Run High School in Virginia …. rated as No. 1 cornerback in Virginia as a senior … made 45 tackles as a senior … also ran for 281 yards with two touchdowns … also returned a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown … intercepted three passes as a junior … PERSONAL: Has two brothers and two sisters … father is a graduate of Southern Illinois who played pro football for the Seattle Seahawks … mother is a graduate of Jackson State who works for the FBI … born on December 31, 1990 in Chicago, Ill.

JAKE McDOWELL, Offensive Lineman
6-5, 290-lb., Los Alamitos H.S., Los Alamitos, Cal.

Solid offensive lineman who is a transfer from Golden West Junior College … two-year standout for the Rustlers who earned second team all-conference honors in 2011 … helped Golden West post a 7-4 record … earned all-league honors at Los Alamitos High School in California … helped the Griffins win their league championship … honor roll student … PERSONAL: Has two younger brothers … devoted fan of the St. Louis Rams  … career goal is to become a physical therapist … lists grandfather as the person he admires the most … hobbies include snowboarding … favorite NFL player is Clay Matthews … lists “Dark Knight” as his favorite movie … favorite actor is Christian Bale … lists Katherine Heigl as his favorite actress … enjoys music by Toby Keith … favorite athlete is Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels … father is a graduate of Cal State Fullerton … mother is a Carritos College graduate … son of Matthew and Susan McDowell … born on June 8, 1992 in Irvine, Cal.

WILLIE PONDER, Wide Receiver
5-11, 175-lb., Western Branch H.S., Chesapeake, Va.

Two-way standout at wide receiver at Western Branch H.S. … earned first team all-district honors as a senior … named as the Bruins’ Most Valuable Player … earned honorable mention All-Tidewater notice … two-year captain for Coach Scott Johnson … also played basketball and ran track for the Bruins … honor roll student every semester … member of Latin Club … also a member of Future Business Leaders of America … PERSONAL: Career goal is to become a pharmacist or work in physical therapy … lists parents as the people he admires the most … has been very active in community service work … favorite NFL team is the Atlanta Falcons … lists Percy Harvin as his favorite NFL player … had summer jobs working at Best Buy and Auto Bell Car Wash … cousin, Glenn Waldron, played football at University of New Hampshire … favorite musician is Drake … enjoys eating pizza  … favorite movie is “Friday Night Lights” …  lists Kobe Bryant as his favorite athlete … parents work for the U.S. Navy … mother is a graduate of Troy University … son of Willie and Nicole Ponder … born on October 7, 1992 in Olney, Md.

FRED SANTARELLI, Offensive Tackle
6-6, 295-lbs., The Hill School, Philadelphia, Pa.

Two-sport standout at The Hill School … earned All-State honors at offensive tackle … also named All-WAPL for Coach Grey Simpson … helped the Rams post a 6-3 record as a senior … also wrestled for the Rams … PERSONAL: Has two younger sisters … career goal is to become a coach … lists former St. Joseph’s Prep Coach Gil Brooks as the person he admires most … hobbies include playing video games … favorite NFL team is the Philadelphia Eagles … lists All-Pro tackle Jason Peters of the Eagles as his favorite NFL player … favorite movie is “The Godfather” … lists Robert DeNiro as his favorite actor … had summer job working at a pizza restaurant … favorite athlete is Usain Bolt … mother is a former All-American basketball player at Immaculata who coaches basketball … father played football at Juniata College and served as team captain … father is an attorney … son of Frederick and Letty Santarelli … born on February 25, 1993 in Philadelphia, Pa.


BRADY STUP, Offensive Tackle
6-5, 270-lbs., Tuscarora H.S., Frederick, Md.

Second team All-State selection at Tuscarora High School … two-way tackle who also earned All-Area and all-conference honors for Coach Dean Swink … team captain of the Titans … made 75 tackles with six sacks as a senior … honorable mention All-State selection as a junior … selected to play in the Crab Bowl All-Star Game … honorable mention All-Monocacy Valley League wrestler … also played lacrosse for the Titans … PERSONAL: Parents are both Towson graduates … father, Bill Stup, played football for the Tigers from 1985 to 1988 and was a team captain as a senior … older brother, Billy, played football for the Tigers from 2008 to 2011 … lists parents as the people he admires most … has spent a lot of time working on grandparents’ farm … very active in church activities … has three brothers … older brother, Bobby, plays football at Colgate … devoted fan of the Baltimore Ravens … lists Ray Rice as his favorite NFL player … lists “Gladiator” as his favorite movie … favorite meal is fried chicken .. has an uncle who played football at Virginia Tech … has another uncle who played football at Shepherd College … mother is an occupational therapist … father owns a business … son of Bill and Lori Stup … born on August 23, 1994 in Havre deGrace, Md.


SHAYNE SULLIVAN, Offensive Tackle
6-6, 285-lbs., Archbishop Spalding H.S., Crofton, Md.

All-Metro first team pick at offensive tackle … also named All-MIAA and All-Anne Arundel County … earned first team All-State honors among private schools … winner of Annapolis Touchdown Club’s Al Laramore Award as top lineman in Anne Arundel County … named to Baltimore Touchdown Club Super 22 team … chosen to play in the Crab Bowl All-Star game … two-way lineman who helped the Cavaliers post a 7-4 record as a senior … member of MIAA “B” championship team which posted a 10-3 record for Coach Mike Whittles as a junior … also played rugby … PERSONAL: Has two older sisters … lists his high school coach, Mike Whittles, as the person he admires the most … favorite NFL team is the Miami Dolphins … favorite NFL player is Brandon Marshall … outstanding XBox player who finished third in a world-wide Madden football tournament … favorite book is “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss … favorite athlete is LeBron James … lists “Ace Ventura” as his favorite movie … favorite actor is Steven Seagal … enjoys listening to music by Eminem … favorite food is crabs … father is a University of Maryland graduate who works as a mortgage banker … mother works as an administrative assistant … son of John and Susan Sullivan  … born on October 6, 1994 in Annapolis, Md.


MAX TEJADA, Defensive Line
6-2, 285-lbs., The Bolles School, Orange Park, Fla.

Talented defensive lineman who earned All-State first team honors as a senior at the Bolles School in Florida … three-year starter for Coach Corky Rogers … helped the Bulldogs to the state championshop and a 16-1 record … named first team All-First Coast … team captain … member of two state championship teams at The Bolles School … helped the Bulldogs compile a 39-3 record in career … also wrestled for the Bulldogs and finished fourth in the state … PERSONAL: Has two younger brothers … career goal is to become an Athletic Trainer … lists grandfather as the person he admires the most  … hobbies include fishing … devoted fan of the New York Jets … favorite NFL player is Ndamukong Suh … favorite movie is “Scarface” … lists Al Pacino as his favorite actor … favorite meal is steak and potatoes … father works as a clothier … mother is a financial aid advisor … son of Ramon and Kathy Tejada … born February 11, 1991 in Jacksonville, Fla.


2012 Towson University Football Recruits

Player Pos. Ht. Wt. High School Hometown Other
Bryton Barr LB 6-0 220 Mechanicsburg Area Camp Hill, Pa.
Christian Carpenter
ATH
6-2
185
Aberdeen H.S.
Aberdeen, Md.
Robert Chesson
RB
5-9
175
Old Mill H.S.
Millersville, Md.
Brendon Gannon
DT
6-2
260
Cardinal Gibbons H.S.
Halethorpe, Md.
Western Michigan
Darrell Givens
DB
6-1
193
Lackey H.S.
Fort Washington, Md.
Rutgers
Ben Harvey DB 5-10 185 Good Counsel H.S. Columbia, Md. South Carolina
Syd Holt DE 6-4 210 Sayreville War Memorial South Amboy, N.J.
Ra-Zahn Howard DT 6-3 300 Asbury Park H.S. Asbury Park, N.J.
Dreon Johnson FB 6-0 235 Mayde Creek H.S. Houston, Texas
Clifton Jones DT 6-2 250 Tallwood H.S. Virginia Beach, Va.
Juleon Killikelly-Lee CB 5-10 160 Woodlawn H.S. Gwynn Oak, Md.
Donnell Lewis DB 5-10 160 Woodside H.S. Virginia Beach, Va.
Jordan Love CB 6-0 190 Deep Run H.S. Glen Allen, Va. Georgia
Jake McDowell OT 6-5 290 Los Alamitos H.S. Los Alamitos, Cal. Golden West J.C.
Willie Ponder WR 5-11 175 Western Branch H.S. Chesapeake, Va.
Fred Santarelli OT 6-6 295 The Hill School Philadelphia, Pa.
Brady Stup OT 6-6 295 Tuscarora H.S. Frederick, Md.
Shayne Sullivan OT 6-6 285 Archbishop Spadling H.S. Crofton, Md.
Max Tejada DL 6-2 285 The Bolles School Orange Park, Fla.

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UMBC G Kurowski Named Lowes Senior CLASS Award Finalist

Posted on 27 January 2012 by WNST Staff

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – UMBC senior guard Michelle Kurowski (Hicksville, N.Y./Hicksville) has been named one of ten finalists for the Lowes Senior CLASS Award , which is awarded to the nation’s top female basketball senior who has excels in the classroom and makes an impact in her community, in addition to her accomplishments on the court.

The award, presented to NCAA Division I student-athletes each year in 10 sports, focuses on four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.

During her time at UMBC, Kurowski has achieved great success in all four areas.  On the court, the Hicksville, N.Y. native is the America East active scoring leader, ranks third all-time in scoring at UMBC, and places 29th in America East history with 1,519 career points.  In addition, she is one of only 12 Retrievers to ever score over 1,000 points and grab over 500 rebounds.  A 2011 America East All-Conference First Team selection, Kurowski ranked second in the conference in scoring (14.6 ppg) while leading the Retrievers to their first regular season conference championship.  For her career, she also ranks second in free throw percentage (.859), third in games started (109) and fifth in field goals made (510). 

Off the court, Kurowski graduated Magna Cum Laude from UMBC in May after just three years. She maintained a 3.82 grade-point average while earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in social welfare. This past semester, she earned a 4.0 in her first semester of graduate school pursuing a teaching certificate and a master’s degree in early childhood education at UMBC. The 2011 America East Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Kurowski was selected to the 2011 Capital One Academic All-District First Team, the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association Scholar-Athlete Team and the America East Women’s Basketball All-Academic Team, and she was also named the female recipient of UMBC’s Matt Skalsky Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award in 2011.

A women’s basketball team co-captain for the 2011-12 season, Kurowski is the vice president of UMBC’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and she won UMBC’s 2010-11 SAAC Award for academic achievement, community service and athletic involvement. Kurowski participates in UMBC’s Make a Difference mentoring program, which pairs student-athletes with elementary school students on a one-on-one basis to promote academic and personal growth. She has also volunteered with Autism Speaks and for the Department of Social Services foster care unit.

Kurowski is joined on the finalists by New Hampshire’s Denise Beliveau, giving the America East two of the ten award finalists.  Only the America East and Pac 12 have multiple nominees.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 60 candidates announced in November. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to determine the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote on either the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award website or the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award Facebook fan page through March 18. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I men’s and women’s basketball head coaches’ votes to determine the winner.

Lowe’s, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will announce the women’s award winner during the NCAA Women’s Final Four®, which will be held April 1 and 3 in Denver.

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Towson Hosts 2011 Final Four Participant VCU Wednesday on WNST

Posted on 25 January 2012 by WNST Staff

SETTING THE STAGE: Towson and Virginia Commonwealth will both be playing their third game in five days tonight. The Tigers, coming off a pair of competitive games at CAA-leading George Mason Saturday and at Delaware Monday, are still seeking their first victory of the season. The Rams finished fourth in the CAA a year ago, but were one of three league schools to earn a trip to the NCAA Tournament. Once there, VCU went on a remarkable run all the way to the Final Four. This season, the Rams are off to a 16-5 record with a 7-2 mark in league play. The Tigers and Rams will meet again in just two weeks in Richmond.

CRASHING THE BOARDS: Towson has outrebounded its opponents in three consecutive games, including matchups against Old Dominion and George Mason, which both rank in the Top 5 of the CAA in rebounding margin. Towson has been especially aggressive on the offensive glass, corralling 37.0 percent of its offensive misses, a mark that ranks second in the league. The Tigers are one of just three CAA teams (Drexel, Georgia State) to have three players rank in the Top 20 in the league in rebounding. Senior Robert Nwankwo and sophomores Marcus Damas and Erique Gumbs are each in the Top 20 with Nwankwo ranking fourth in the league at 8.7 rebounds per game. Early in the season, Towson outrebounded Kansas, which is ranked No. 5 in the latest national polls.

DOUBLE FIGURE DAMAS: Sophomore forward Marcus Damas has scored in double figures in 11 of his last 14 games and ranks in the Top 20 in the CAA in both scoring and rebounding. Damas tallied 19 points at George Mason Saturday and posted a game-high 16 points at Delaware Monday to lead the Tigers in scoring in both contests.

LAST TIME OUT: Towson trailed by just two at halftime, but Delaware outscored the Tigers 38-21 in the second half to capture a 62-43 CAA victory Monday evening at the Bob Carpenter Center. Senior Robert Nwankwo was just one point shy of his fourth consecutive double-double as the forward scored nine points and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds. Nwankwo also blocked two shots to become just the third player in Towson history to block 200 career shots.

SCOUTING THE RAMS: Virginia Commonwealth has won five straight games since dropping back-to-back league contests against Georgia State and Drexel earlier this month. The Rams are led by senior Bradford Burgess and sophomore Juvonte Reddic. Burgess leads VCU in scoring with 13.0 points per game while Reddic averages 10.6 points and 7.0 rebounds per contest. The Rams are among the leaders in the CAA in both scoring offense (67.7 ppg) and scoring defense (59.0 ppg).

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Morgan Visits South Carolina State Saturday

Posted on 06 January 2012 by WNST Staff

2011-12 MORGAN STATE BASKETBALL
Game 12
Saturday, January 7, 2012 – 4 p.m. (EST)
Morgan State (2-9, 0-0 MEAC) vs. South Carolina State (4-10, 0-1 MEAC)
Orangeburg, S.C. – SHM Memorial Center
Radio: n/a
LIVE AUDIO at www.SCSUathetics.com
BEAR FACTS
Head Coach: Todd Bozeman
Alma Mater/Year: Rhode Island/1986
Record at MSU/Year: 104-74/6th
Career Record: 139-136  
Basketball SID:  Leonard L. Haynes IV

OFFICIAL SCSU WEBSITE
GAME TIME
• Morgan State will continue its a holiday road swing when they take on the South Carolina State Bulldogs in their conference-opener. The contest will tip-off at Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center on Saturday, Jan. 7th at 4 p.m. (ET). This represents the 69th meeting between the Bears and South Carolina State.
BEAR BITS
Perris Blackwell and Angelo Caloiaro scored 19 points apiece and combined to shoot 13 for 20 from the field, leading San Francisco to an 87-74 win over Morgan State on Tuesday night at War Memorial Gym. Ameer Ali scored a career-high 21 points in 26 minutes for the Bears, who have lost their second consecutive game and suffered their eighth loss away from Hill Field House.
• The Bears lost to then-No. 14/15 Xavier, Southern California, Cal Poly and Ohio — all on the road by nine points or fewer.           
The Bears are in the midst of concluding a four game road swing, with its furthest road game against the USF Dons and its final road game at Savannah State on Monday night.
Kevin Thompson has scored in double-digits in eight of 11 games, and has posted four double-doubles (pts & rebs) so far this season.
Senior point guard Larry Bastfield is the only Bear to have started in every game (31) last season…currently he has started in 42 straight games.
Kevin Thompson’s 11 rebound performance at Southern Cal gave him 1,005 rebounds for his career, making him the No. 3 leading rebounder in school history and only the third Morgan State player to post 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in school history.
 
The Bears will look to rebound from last year’s fourth place MEAC finish and reclaim the conference title for the fourth time in five years.
The Bears completed the 2010-11 season with a 17-14 mark and posted a 10-6 conference record.
Morgan State was selected to win the MEAC Regular Season Title, edging out last year’s MEAC Tournament Champion Hampton. The Bears received eight (8) first place votes and a totaled 616 points to take hold of the conference’s top spot going into the season.
Redshirt sophomore Ian Chiles (7-foot-2) is the first 7-footer since MSU legend Marvin Webster to grace the campus of Morgan State University … Chiles, a Cliffside Park, N.J. product, is currently averaging 9.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks so far this season.
A BEARS WIN WOULD…
 Give the Bears a 1-0 record in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
•  Give Todd Bozeman his 105th win as MSU’s head coach.
•   Give the Bears its second road victory of the season.
•   Improve Todd Bozeman’s overall record to 140 career wins.
•   Improve Todd Bozeman’s regular season conference record to 63-20 (.759) since joining the Bears in 2006.
CHASING 1,000
• 
Junior forward DeWayne Jackson has 936 points, and needs 64 more to become the 21st member of the 1,000-point club at Morgan State.
NOTE ON THE BULLDOGS
• Morgan State and South Carolina State will meet for the 69th time since 1971.
 
• Todd Bozeman holds a 9-2 record against South Carolina State since becoming MSU’s head coach in 2006.
 
• Tim Carter (Kansas ’79) is in his fourth year as head coach of the South Carolina State University men’s basketball program. He led the Bulldogs to the MEAC Tournament Finals last season as the No. 3 seed. He is the all-time winningest coach in University of Texas-San Antonio history and led the Roadrunners into the NCAA Tournament twice during his 11- year tenure.
BULLDOGS LAST GAME OUT
South Carolina continued its dominance over in-state foe South Carolina State with a 79-51 victory Tuesday night at the Colonial Life Arena. The Gamecocks (8-6) improve to 18-0 all-time against the Bulldogs (4-10). S.C. State freshman Luka Radovic led all scorers with 15 points, but the Gamecocks were able to limit the Bulldogs to 34.6 percent from the field, marking the best defensive effort of the season.
BLACK OUT
Morgan State sophomore guard Justin Black will miss the remainder of the season due to a fractured ankle. Black has not played since the Bears’ home-opener against Murray State on Nov. 24th, in which he scored seven points with three rebounds and three steals in 29 minutes.  Black’s absence, by the numbers, has been missed in the backcourt. The 6-2 sophomore averaged 9.2 points and 2.5 rebounds in 25.5 minutes in his first two games of the season.
LOOKING AHEAD
MSU will face Savannah State in conference play on Monday, January 9.

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Towson Visits Virginia Friday Night

Posted on 29 December 2011 by Glenn Clark

PLAYING THE BEST: Including Friday’s game, Towson has played six teams either ranked or receiving votes in the national polls in its 13 games. According to the Pomeroy Ratings, the Tigers have played the second toughest schedule in the CAA thus far. Towson has already played teams from the ACC, Big 12, Big 10 and Pac-12 this season.

LEAVING HOME: Friday’s game will be the first time the Tigers have had to travel away from the Towson/Baltimore area in exactly one month. Prior to playing five of six games at home, Towson played at UMass on Nov. 30. The only road game since then was a quick trip to Baltimore to take on Coppin State.

PLACE IN TIGER HISTORY: Senior Robert Nwankwo is quickly moving up the Towson career record books. Nwankwo is currently eighth all-time in Towson history with 588 career rebounds. He’s just six boards behind Steffan Bunsavage for seventh place. The senior forward has 170 career blocks, the third most all-time in Tiger basketball history. He trails just John James and Pat McKinley.

RELYING ON ROB: Senior Robert Nwankwo ranks in the Top 10 in the CAA in rebounding, blocks and field goal percentage. The forward is third in the CAA in 10+ rebound games (5) and his four double-doubles is fourth in the league. Nwankwo leads all CAA players with 4.4 offensive rebounds per game. The senior leads the team and is 16th in the league in scoring (12.3 ppg) and is first on the squad and fourth in the conference in blocks (1.9 bpg). Nwankwo registered consecutive double-double efforts against nationally-ranked Kansas and Michigan in the first two games of the season. With four double-doubles this season, Nwankwo has 13 in his career.

ON THE OFFENSIVE GLASS: The Tigers have grabbed 39.6 percent of their offensive misses, a mark that leads the CAA. Towson’s 168 offensive rebounds are second among league schools.

LAST TIME OUT: Vermont sophomore forward Luke Apfeld came off the bench to score a career-high 24 points in only 22 minutes of action as the Catamounts raced out to an early lead and didn’t look back in a 65-49 non-conference win over Towson University in the Towson Center Arena last Friday. Towson committed a season-low 10 turnovers in the game. The prior season-low was 13 turnovers against George Mason on Dec. 3. The Tigers also grabbed 30 or more rebounds for the fifth straight game. Freshman Deon Jones paced the Towson attack with 11 points on four of eight shooting for his fourth double digit scoring game of the season. Freshman Alex Giergen tallied a season-high eight points and did not miss a shot from the field, including two three-point field goals.

SCOUTING THE CAVALIERS: Virginia has won nine straight games and is currently ranked in both major national Top 25 polls. Virginia’s win streak is the longest for the Cavaliers since 2001-02 and UVa is 11-1 for the first time since the 2000-01 season. The Cavaliers are a perfect 7-0 at home this season, winning by an average of 25.1 points per game. Mike Scott leads Virginia in both scoring (17.1 ppg) and rebounding (9.6 rpg). Scott has won back-to-back ACC Player of the Week honors.

COMMON OPPONENTS: The Cavaliers and Tigers have two common opponents thus far in the season. Virginia defeated George Mason and Michigan at home, while Towson fell on the road against the Wolverines and lost at home to the Patriots. Virginia is 2-0 verse teams from the CAA this season. The Cavaliers picked up wins against Drexel (49-35) and George Mason (68-48).

 

-TowsonTigers.com-

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Wild Expectations Only Greater After Len Debuts in Maryland Win

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Wild Expectations Only Greater After Len Debuts in Maryland Win

Posted on 28 December 2011 by Glenn Clark

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Perhaps a statement from an athlete has never been more accurate.

“I’m ready to play.”

The words were uttered to close a video package before starting lineups were introduced Wednesday night at Comcast Center. The words were uttered by freshman Alex Len ahead of his long-awaited debut for the University of Maryland.

Len saw his first action as a Terrapin after missing the team’s first 10 games due to suspension. (The NCAA suspended him for a violation of amateurism guidelines based on club team play in his native Ukraine.)

He didn’t disappoint.

Len showed just how ready he was when he stuffed home an alley-oop pass from Sean Mosley just 54 seconds into the game. The surprisingly large Winter Break crowd exploded and a likely love affair was officially underway.

The early electricity was possible because head coach Mark Turgeon decided to start Len in his debut, a decision that was apparently weeks in the making.

“I kind of decided two weeks ago that I probably should (start Alex Len) because in the long run, he has the potential to be pretty good and be our best guy” Turgeon said after the win. “I didn’t know who I was going to start, but I knew I was going to start Alex.”

The big man would go on to score 14 points, grab eight rebounds and add three blocks as the Terrapins (8-3) would pull away from the University of Albany (7-6) 83-72. With the debut of Len and the return of injured G Pe’Shon Howard just days earlier, the Terps finally had their full complement of eight scholarship players and posted their first double digit victory of the season.

Len didn’t necessary “lead” the Terrapins to the win over the Great Danes (G Terrell Stoglin once again posted a team high with 22 points and Howard scored 11 to go with a Maryland season high eight assists), but it was clear to his teammates that Len’s presence made a significant difference.

“It opened up the plays more” noted Stoglin. “It gave us more opportunities to get into the game. We are a deeper team now with a good bench. We are looking more like a team now.”

Specifically, Stoglin said “Alex is an offensive threat. He is a great passer. If we get him the ball down low we can expect it to get back to us. We can play inside-out more now.”

While Len didn’t record an assist in the final stats, he certainly displayed a level of passing that helped the team settle more into a half-court offense.

As a point guard, Howard said he deliberately worked to get the ball inside to Len early on. “That was one of my goals. I wanted to get everyone involved. Coach (Turgeon) told us that adding another piece, we were almost starting over.”

Howard appreciated what the team received from the new big man.

“He was very impressive. When we were eating (pregame meal) he seemed nervous. He said during Midnight Madness he was very nervous and shaky. In practice he was doing well but we weren’t sure how he was going to handle the game. The first play was the alley-oop. He came out and played very well. I was happy for him because of everything he has been through. He has gone through all the practice without playing which is tough.”

Len was not made available to the media after the game as he still works to get past the language barrier. He didn’t really need to speak for his immediate impact to be understand.

Late in the second half, Maryland students began a “We love Alex” chant after Turgeon substituted him out during an offensive/defensive switch. His every move was met with anticipation from the crowd. There was a sense of significance to his presence throughout the game.

This Maryland team is still establishing what they have the potential to be during Atlantic Coast Conference season. It is significant that they have two more games to play outside of the ACC (Samford Saturday and Cornell January 3rd) to allow them to keep adjusting to the return of Howard and addition of Len. Turgeon said he expected to further tinker with the starting lineup (senior G Sean Mosley and redshirt freshman F Ashton Pankey joined Len, Howard & Stoglin Wednesday night) and would like to see the deeper group run a bit more.

The anchor appears to be Len, whose 7’1″, 225 pound frame won’t always be more beefy than opponents, but who showed the necessary aggressiveness to compete with even those who will be capable of matching up against him.

Len has never matched up with the likes of North Carolina’s Tyler Zeller or Duke’s Mason Plumlee and will still have much to do when it comes to acclimating himself to ACC basketball. Humorously, Turegon said that an offensive goaltending call on Len in Wednesday night’s win would not have been whistled in the Ukraine, but instead would have been applauded as a play that counted for two points.

It is hard to prevent wild expectations for the young man given the wild nature of his already existing legend. Great Danes coach Will Brown said he received an impressive scouting report on Len just before his team faced the big man.

“20 minutes before the game, I guess (Maryland assistant) Scott Spinelli tells my assistant that (former Kansas & NBA coach) Larry Brown was at practice the other day and said the kid’s going to be a lottery pick. That’s the last thing you want to hear about the opposing team when you know nothing about him and you’re about to take the court.”

Brown’s own assessment after the game seemed to match that of the Hall of Famer.

“That kid’s going to be good. He might be a lottery pick one day with his frame and skill.”

This is usually the part where I bring the expectations back to earth, but perhaps even I will have to defer to the coaches. It was just one game, but this kid could truly make a difference for a rebuilding Maryland program.

-G

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