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Caps Start 2013-14 With High Expectations Once Again

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Caps Start 2013-14 With High Expectations Once Again

Posted on 29 September 2013 by Ed Frankovic

It is awfully difficult to win a championship in professional sports but heading into 2013-14 that is once again the goal of the Washington Capitals, who have yet to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup since their inception in 1974. The Caps, who have made the playoffs the last six years, have another quality team as they prepare to open their season against the defending champs, the Chicago Blackhawks, in the Windy City on Tuesday night at 8pm on NBCSN.

On Sunday, Caps General Manager George McPhee made several moves to help put some clarity to the opening night roster culminating with a trade of center Matheiu Perreault to the Anaheim Ducks for a 4th round pick and AHLer John Mitchell. In addition, several players were sent to Hershey, including defenesemen Tyson Strachan and Dmitry Orlov. For now, here is what the Caps roster looks like:

Goalies (2): Braden Holtby, Michal Neuvirth

Defensemen (7): Mike Green, Karl Alzner, John Carlson, John Erskine, Jack Hillen, Steve Oleksy, and Connor Carrick

Forwards (14): Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson, Mikhail Grabovski, Brooks Laich, Troy Brouwer, Martin Erat, Tom Wilson, Eric Fehr, Joel Ward, Jay Beagle, Jason Chimera, Aaron Volpatti, and Michael Latta

The move of Perreault was predicted here last week and makes sense from a hockey and salary cap standpoint. This Caps team needed to get bigger and more powerful up front and Wilson’s outstanding camp made keeping him up with the main club, rather than shipping him back to a weaker league (OHL), an easy decision. The 19 year old, who was the 16th overall pick in the 2012 NHL entry draft, brings a dimension that this Washington team needs more of in the post season: size and the ability to score the tough goals in close. Six months with Coach Adam Oates and some highly talented teammates is what is needed for Wilson to continue his development, the OHL is just not going to help him get any better.

As for the rest of the squad, the strengths appear to be in goal and up front. Braden Holtby has established himself as a number one goalie and has the chance to move into the elite category with a very strong season. As McPhee told the media last Tuesday, to win the Stanley Cup you have to have great goaltending. #70 is the guy being counted on to deliver that, but Neuvirth is a more than capable net minder and will be needed to play well so that Washington can qualify for the post season in a very competitive Metropolitan Division.

At forward, the Capitals have some serious depth on the wings but still aren’t sure who is going to be the third line center. Backstrom has the first line locked up with Grabovski manning the second unit. The club could go with Beagle as the 3rd line center and Latta pivoting the 4th to start the season, but that depends on the health of the others, primarily Laich, who has been battling a hip flexor issue. Right wing is just loaded up with Ovechkin, Brouwer, Fehr, Wilson, and Ward. Both Fehr and Erat were tried at center this preseason by Oates with some success, so the head coach has lots of options. Johansson could play 3rd line center at some point too. The Caps have not had as talented a crew of forwards to start the season in many years and with the players they have there is lots of room for flexibility.

On defense, the top three is awfully good with Green, Alzner, and Carlson. After that, it gets dicey. Erksine was super last spring in the regular season but is he really a top 4 d-man? #4 will have a chance to prove it starting this week. Oleksy came out of seemingly nowhere to take a 3rd pair spot in the spring and Hillen overcame an early season injury to play a lot of quality minutes last year. Carrick was the biggest surprise of training camp, has great offensive skills and his hockey IQ is high. Learning to play defense in the NHL is harder than any other position so Washington has to be careful to not put too much on the 19 year old, who has incredible potential. The organization still has high hopes for Orlov, but given his injury situation last season, starting him in Hershey made too much sense. The 2009 2nd round pick will play top pair minutes in the AHL and can hone his craft for what appears to be an inevitable jump back to the NHL at some point during the 82 game season.

Special teams will be an important component of Washington’s success. Last season the Caps were #1 in the NHL with the power play (26.8%). You can expect it to remain at least top 5 and Oates and assistant coach Blaine Forsythe will continually be tweaking things to counter opposition tactics. As for the penalty kill, Laich stated on Tuesday that is one of the areas this Capitals club will have to improve in if they want to do well in the regular season and playoffs. The PK has been one of the team’s weaknesses the last few years and it was 27th out of 30 in 2012-13 with a success rate of only 77.9%.

In summary, the expectations are high for this Capitals team. The playoffs are not a given, but if this club can stay relatively healthy, then they have the talent to compete for the division title. Every team in the Metropolitan Division has its issues. The Penguins are the pick of many but their goaltending and team defense certainly has its question marks. Will the Rangers respond positively to a new coach in Alain Vigneault? How will the Devils do with the departure of Ilya Kovalchuk? The Flyers added Vinny Lecavalier but will Ray Emery or Steve Mason step up and be a top goalie in a pressure packed Philly market? Are the Islanders ready to take the next step up the ladder or was their playoff run last spring a one time deal? Is Columbus going to play like the team that nearly qualified for the post season last spring or the cellar dweller crew that started 2013? Finally, will Cam Ward returning in net for Carolina propel them to a winning season? Nothing is set in stone heading into the season and in the salary cap era every team has holes and/or issues. What is important is that the Capitals get off to a good start since coming from behind in the standings is not going to be as achievable as it was in the Southeast Division.

 

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Towson visits George Mason Tuesday for road finale

Posted on 25 February 2013 by WNST Staff

TOWSON TRAVELS TO GEORGE MASON FOR ROAD FINALE ON TUESDAY
Game Can Be Seen Live on Comcast SportsNet


FAIRFAX, Va. - Towson will play its final road game of the season on Tuesday as the Tigers travel to George Mason for a 7 p.m. contest that will air live on Comcast SportsNet.

Al Koken and Ron Thompson will be on the call from the Patriot Center as two of the top four teams in the league standings square off.

The game can also be heard on the Towson Sports Network with Spiro Morekas and Vince Angotti calling the action.

Towson (16-13, 11-5 CAA) has won six of its last seven games, including a dramatic 72-71 win over Drexel on Saturday. The win gave the Tigers their most victories in a season since 1995-96.

The Tigers have played extremely well on the road this season, picking up 11 wins away from the Towson Center, including a 6-2 mark in CAA play. However, Towson has lost its last 14 games played at George Mason and have not defeated the Patriots on the road since 1977.

Towson is led by Lou Henson Award finalist Jerrelle Benimon, who is tied for the NCAA-lead with 19 double-doubles. The junior led the Tigers with 19 points against Drexel on Saturday and has scored in double figures in 17 of his last 18 games.

Tiger freshman Jerome Hairston was named CAA Rookie of the Week on Monday after scoring a career-high 20 points against the Dragons. Hairston shot 3-for-5 from beyond the arc en route to winning his fourth league award of the season.

George Mason (17-11, 10-6 CAA) has won three of its last four games, including a thrilling 60-58 triumph over William & Mary on Saturday. Sophomore Erik Copes hit a 13-foot jumper with less than a second remaining to push the Patriots past the Tribe.

Junior guard Sherrod Wright leads Mason in scoring at 16.6 points per game, while classmate Bryon Allen ranks fifth in the CAA averaging 3.7 assists per game.

Tuesday’s game will be the 41st all-time meeting between Towson and George Mason.

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Towson, George Mason meet in CAA rivalry Tuesday night

Posted on 22 January 2013 by WNST Staff

TOWSON, Md. - The Towson men’s basketball team is set to square off against George Mason in a battle between two of the top three teams in the Colonial Athletic Association on Wednesday night.

The game, set to tip at 7 p.m. in the Towson Center Arena, can be seen live on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) with Jason Knapp and Craig Esherick calling the action.

The CAA clash can also be heard on the Towson Sports Network with Spiro Morekas and Vince Angotti on the call.

Towson (10-10, 5-2 CAA) will be playing its third game in five days on Wednesday. The Tigers are coming off a narrow 71-69 defeat against Georgia State on Monday.

Junior Marcus Damas will look to pick up where he left off last year against George Mason. The forward averaged 22 points and six rebounds against the Patriots in two meetings last season. Damas shot 17-for-34 (50%) from the field and 6-for-10 (60%) from beyond the arc in those two games.

Junior forward Jerrelle Benimon continues to lead the nation in both rebounding (11.7 rpg) and double-doubles (14). Benimon is the first Tiger since Towson joined Division I in 1979 to post a double-double in six straight games.

George Mason (11-7, 4-2 CAA) has won four of its last five games and sits third in the CAA standings, just a half game behind the Tigers. Junior guard Sherrod Wright paces the Patriots with 18.1 points per game and he’s coming off a 21-point performance in a win against Hofstra on Saturday.

George Mason and Towson boast two of the best defenses in the CAA. The Patriots rank first in the league allowing just 61.9 points per game, while the Tigers are third, giving up 65.2 points per game.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 21 January 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Golf-PGA Tour Farmers Insurance Open (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel Saturday & Sunday 1pm live on Golf Channel 3pm live on CBS); Women’s College Basketball: North Carolina @ Maryland (Thursday 8:30pm from Comcast Center live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS), Maryland @ Clemson (Sunday 5pm from Clemson, SC live on YouTube); Soccer: MISL Rochester Lancers @ Baltimore Blast (Friday 7:35pm from 1st Mariner Arena live on MISLtv.com), Missouri Comets @ Baltimore Blast (Saturday 7:3pm from 1st Mariner Arena live on MISLtv.com); Boxing: Lucas Matthysse vs. Michael Dallas Jr. (Saturday 10pm from Las Vegas live on Showtime), Friday Night Fights: Sergiy Dzinziruk vs. Brian Vera (Friday 9pm from Verona, NY live on ESPN2)

10. Miranda Lambert/Dierks Bentley (Thursday 7:30pm 1st Mariner Arena); The xx (Monday 8pm Rams Head Live); Little River Band (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), The English Beat (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Ra Ra Riot (Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club), Cowboy Mouth/All Mighty Senators (Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club), The Used (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); Sister Hazel (Saturday 8pm Howard Theatre); Ladysmith Black Mambazo (Friday 8pm Strathmore); Bryan Adams (Saturday 8pm National Theatre); Tony Bennett (Saturday 8pm Warner Theatre); Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite “Get Up!” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

The xx? In the words of Joe Flacco, “I don’t know.”

Forrester and I have gone to see Ra Ra Riot a few times. What of it?

Sister Hazel should legally be forced to play a show here once a week.

This Ben Harper/Charlie Musselwhite thing is a “yes.”

9. Baltimore County Winter Restaurant Week (Tuesday-Sunday); Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters“, “Movie 43” and “Parker” out in theaters (Friday); John Witherspoon (Friday-Sunday Baltimore Comedy Factory), Todd Glass (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge (Saturday Sandy Point State Park)

The Polar Bear Plunge is a FINE reminder that…it’s been awhile since we’ve seen bikinis around here…

Now we should check in on Jennifer Lopez in Parker…

Okay. Nothing to see here obviously.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 04 December 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Auto Racing-Baltimore Indoor Auto Racing (Saturday 7pm 1st Mariner Arena); Ice Hockey: AHL Showcase Norfolk Admirals vs. Hershey Bears (Thursday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet); Women’s College Basketball: Virginia @ Maryland (Thursday 7pm Comcast Center), George Mason @ Maryland (Saturday 6pm Comcast Center)

10. Wiz Khalifa (Thursday 7pm Patriot Center), Smashing Pumpkins (Sunday 8pm Patriot Center); Everclear/Eve 6 (Thursday 8pm Rams Head Live), Robert Cray Band (Saturday 8pm Rams Head Live); Misfits (Thursday 6:30pm Recher Theatre); X/Reverend Horton Heat (Wednesday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band (Wednesday 8pm 8×10 Club); Gavin DeGraw/All-American Rejects (Sunday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds (Thursday 8pm Howard Theatre), Richard Marx (Saturday 8pm Howard Theatre); Grace Potter and The Nocturnals (Thursday 7pm Friday & Saturday 7:30pm Sunday 6pm 9:30 Club), Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit (Sunday 10pm 9:30 Club), Alex Clare (Monday 7pm 9:30 Club); Phil Vassar (Wednesday 7:30pm Birchmere); Brian Setzer Orchestra (Tuesday 8pm Strathmore); Blue Oyster Cult (Saturday 7pm State Theatre); Wiz Khalifa “O.N.I.F.C.” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday); GRAMMY Nominations Concert (Wednesday 10pm from Nashville live on CBS)

I have no idea if the Smashing Pumpkins are still any good, but I know they used to kick a ton of ass…

If there’s ANY WAY I can get out of Thursday Night Live early, I’d LOVE to head down to RHL. Do you have any idea how obsessed I was with Everclear growing up?

Hell…even Eve 6 for that matter…

There’s a part of me that’s pretty sure I’d go see BSO play Christmas tunes in Bethesda…

9. Judah Friedlander (Saturday 8pm Sixth & I Historic Synagogue); Paula Poundstone (Saturday 6pm & 9pm Rams Head on Stage); Dave Attell (Friday & Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); Gary Valentine (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Finding Nemo 3D” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show (Tuesday 10pm CBS)

What was that last thing?

Still not ringing a bell…

Oh! Now I know…

(Continued on Page 2…)

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UMBC, George Mason to square off Tuesday for first time since 1999

Posted on 03 December 2012 by WNST Staff

For the first time since 1999, UMBC will meet the George Mason Patriots in men’s basketball as the Retrievers visit the Patriot Center on Tues., Dec. 4. Tip-off time is set for 7:00 p.m. The game will also be televised by the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network with Jason Knapp and Craig Esherick on the call.

RETRIEVER UPDATE:  SR G Ryan Cook scored 18 of his game-high 22 points in the second half and JR C Brett Roseboro posted career highs with 19 points and 10 rebounds as the host Retrievers (2-5) never trailed in a 66-62 victory over Towson (3-4) on Dec. 1. The win snapped a four-game slide for UMBC and gave the Retrievers (2-5) a two-game winning streak over their beltway rivals.

PATRIOT UPDATE:  George Mason gave a great effort, but came up just short in a  69-62 setback vs. Maryland in the BB&T Classic held at the Verizon Center on Dec. 2. GMU had won three consecutive games, including a narrow 48-45 home triumph over Boston U. on Nov. 24. Sharrod Wright is the lone Patriot averaging in double figures, but the junior guard is at a robust 15.1 points per game. Mason also had a home victory over Virginia (63-59) to open the season.

WHO’S UP NEXT:  UMBC will play for the fourth time in eight days on Thurs., Dec. 6 when they host the American University Eagles. Tip time at the RAC Arena is 7:00 p.m.

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Turgeon not happy with turnovers, missed free throws in Maryland win

Posted on 02 December 2012 by WNST Staff

Maryland 69, George Mason 62

Head Coach Mark Turgeon

 

Opening:

“It’s a good win for us. I think George Mason is an excellent team that is going to win a lot of games. They have a great coach. It took us a long time to get used to their quickness. We couldn’t simulate their quickness in practice. We turned the ball over a lot, we actually turned it over the whole game. Nineteen turnovers and 16 missed free throws kept the game close. I thought our defense was outstanding. We did a better job on [Patrick] Holloway in the second half. He hit a 3-pointer late but we did a great job on him. Our defense got better and our rebounding was terrific down the stretch. I thought George Mason played better the first 23 minutes than we did. I thought the last 17 after that timeout we showed a little bit of toughness, enough to win the game.”

 

On Dez Wells:

“He is a good player. He was a good player coming in. He is feeling more comfortable. A week ago Saturday, against Georgia Southern he was about as bad as he could be. He flipped a switch and got real aggressive. He got some open looks and got eight points right out of the shoot. He had a great week. More importantly I thought he defended well and rebounded better than he had. He is still turning the ball over too much. I told him he is on pace to set a record. He looked at me and said ‘For turnovers?’ and I said ‘Yeah.’”

 

On playing on the road:

“We went on the road and it wasn’t a really great environment but they had a great crowd at Northwestern. We weathered that and that will help us the next time we go. Than we had this neutral court game against a team that is well-coached and won 24 games last year and have a lot of guys last. They beat Virginia and should have beat New Mexico, which was a heart breaker for them. The game didn’t go the way we wanted it to go today but it will help us. Looking across this sheet we played 10 guys, every one of them played well defensively for us. That is comforting. That didn’t happen 10 days ago. I can look and see that we have really grown up defensively and are really dialed in. as a coach I need to figure out how to stop turning the ball over. Every time out I told our guys if we didn’t have a layup or wide open three to get into our secondary break. We got into it one time. They have to be more coachable. They kept guarding so I put up with a lot of it today.”

 

On Nick Faust:

“Nick was great tonight. We challenged Nick against [Patrick] Holloway, what a special scorer that kid is. I saw him last year when I was out recruiting and to bring it at this level against us was pretty amazing. Nick had a great week. He was good against Northwestern defensively and he was great in the two practices leading into this game. I anticipated that he was going to play well defensively. That is great growth for him. Nick isn’t caught up in scoring; he is caught up in winning. That took a long time. We are finally there.”

 

Sophomore Guard Nick Faust

 

On his dunk that drew cheers:

“It was real big. It was basically all Pe’Shon [Howard]. He saw me coming back door and he locked it up, but once again I ran the floor and got to the open spot.”

 

On his shot execution:

“It’s early in the season maybe. I’m not really sure. I’m just pushing through. I’m not worried about it. It will start falling as long as I just keep staying in the gym.”

 

On the defense:

“We’re definitely more together. Everyone is just playing together. You have Alex Len who is blocking shots like crazy, so being a guard, you just send them to the help. Everyone is stronger and attentive in helping one another on defense.”

 

On game takeaways:

“[We need to] just bring it right from the beginning. We felt like we didn’t have a lot of energy from the beginning of the game, so we tried to pick it up by using whatever we could to get energy and get it going. Overall, I think we did solid as a team. We have things to work on, but we’ll be fine.”

 

On playing with Dez Wells:

“It’s easy. The last few games Dez has been hitting nonstop, so I have been milking him. I try to do whatever I can and I try to make my plays when I need to. But other than that, having him there to help is helping us as a team and is overall giving me easy points. Dez is doing really well right now and so is the team, so we play off one another.”

 

On changing his mindset from scoring to winning:

“I’m trying to make the right play and get guys involved. Coach and I sat down and he basically just told me to keep making the right play and sometimes I don’t have the fortune, so lately I have been doing whatever I can to hit guys. I just want to help my team win.”

 

Sophomore Center Alex Len

 

On growing defensively:

“I think young guys have learned a lot between two months ago and now. We’re like a totally different team. We played good defense as a team. Helping each other is good for us. Also, rebounding for us is huge. Everyone goes on the boards.”

 

On running the fast break:

“It took us about eight minutes to start running. I think when we started running, it changed the game.”

 

Sophomore Guard/Forward Dez Wells:

 

On starting strong:

“Whatever my team needs from me, that’s what I’m going to provide. I don’t want to make this about myself because I couldn’t have done this without my team. They welcomed me with open arms when I first got here and I couldn’t have done any of this without those guys. My coaches have also done a great job developing my game and helping me and stringing me along with everything that’s happened to me. They have been here like a family. We’re just getting closer every game.”

 

On relaxing this game:

“I felt more comfortable and that’s because my team and my coaches have been there for me. They continue to back me and stay behind me no matter what and making me feel very comfortable. My hat goes off to those guys.”

 

- Terps -

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Maryland faces George Mason Sunday in BB&T Classic

Posted on 01 December 2012 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Maryland travels to downtown Washington, D.C., to play in the 18th annual BB&T Classic, benefiting the Children’s Charities Foundation. The Terrapins take on George Mason in the second game of a doubleheader, with George Washington and Manhattan tipping off at 12:15 p.m. in the opener.

Storyline

• Maryland has played in each edition of the BB&T Classic and comes to Verizon Center this year with a 15-11 record all-time in the event. The Terps topped Notre Dame 78-71 last year to snap a two-game losing streak in the BB&T. Since the tournament went to a single-day format in 2004, the Terps are 3-5. Maryland has faced George Mason once in the event, a 78-54 Terrapin win in 2004. All-time, Maryland leads the series with George Mason 7-0.

• Depth, rebounding and an ability to ride the hot hand has helped Maryland win five straight games. Nine players are averaging double-figure minutes, and the Terps lead the ACC with a plus-17.3 rebounding margin per game. In the five-game winning streak, a different player has led the team in scoring in each contest. Most recently, Dez Wells poured in a career-high 23 points to lead Maryland to a 77-57 victory over Northwestern in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

• Alex Len recorded his second double-double of the year against the Wildcats by grabbing 13 points and 13 rebounds. Len leads the team in scoring (15.2 ppg), rebounding (9.0 rpg) and blocks (2.5 bpg). Pe’Shon Howard, Maryland’s active career leader in assists (199), has been a solid distributor with his 6.8 assists per game leading the league. As a team, Maryland is averaging 18.7 assists per game, which also leads the league. In the five-game winning streak, the Terps have assisted on 95 of 143 field goals (66.4 percent).


Quick Hitters

• A different player has led Maryland in scoring in the last five games. Nick Faust had 12 vs. Morehead State, Seth Allen had 19 vs. LIU Brooklyn, Alex Len had 16 vs. Lafayette, Charles Mitchell had 13 vs. Georgia Southern, and Dez Wells had 23 vs. Northwestern.

• The Terps have made more free throws than the opponent attempted this season (93 to 86). The biggest margins are against Morehead State, when the Terps made 17 and the Eagles attempted 8, and against Lafayette, when Maryland made 22 and Lafayette attempted 7.

• At least eight players have scored in each of the last five games, and at least five players scored in double figures against Lafayette and Georgia Southern.

• Nine players have received at least 10 minutes of playing time for five straight games, and nine players are averaging double-figure minutes.


Super Subs

• Since being outscored by Kentucky’s bench in the season opener, the Maryland bench has outscored its opponents 147-42 over the past five contests. In those four games, the biggest contributors have been Seth Allen (7.2 ppg), Shaquille Cleare (7.0 ppg) and Charles Mitchell (6.8 ppg)

• Logan Aronhalt has found his shooting stroke off the bench recently. He hit all four of his 3-point attempts vs. Georgia Southern and made 3 of 5 at Northwestern.


Sophomore Jump

• After averaging 6.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per game as a freshman, Alex Len has developed into Maryland’s most consistent scoring threat as a sophomore. Len is averaging 15.2 points per game, which ranks first in the ACC among centers and tied for ninth overall. His 9.0 rebounds per game rank fifth. Len also leads the league with 2.5 blocks per game. He has two double-doubles this season: against Kentucky (23 & 12) and Northwestern (13 & 13).


 

 

Force on the Boards

• Maryland leads the Atlantic Coast Conference in rebounding margin at plus-17.3 per game, the only school averaging a double-figure margin. North Carolina is second at plus-6.9.

• The Terps have built advantages on the boards in all six games this season. Against Northwestern, Maryland built a 47-19 advantage on the boards, the largest margin this season.
Alex Len and Charles Mitchell are the biggest factors in that; Len averages 9.0 rpg and Mitchell averages 7.2. Len ranks fifth in the conference and Mitchell ranks 12th, including first among freshmen.

• Len leads the conference with 3.8 offensive rebounds per game, and Mitchell is tied for seventh with 3.0 per game. As a team, the Terps are averaging 17.0 offensive rebounds per game, second in the league behind North Carolina (17.7).

• Mitchell made an impressive debut by grabbing 10 rebounds in his first career game, against No. 3 Kentucky. That’s the most rebounds by a Maryland freshman in his debut since Buck Williams had 13 against Bucknell in 1978. Williams went on to lead the ACC in rebounding that year (10.8 pg) en route to capturing ACC Rookie of the Year honors.
Two of the better rebounders in recent memory, Joe Smith and Jordan Williams, didn’t reach double-digit boards until their third and fourth games, respectively.

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Loyola, Coppin, Towson, Mason on UMBC hoops’ non-conference schedule

Posted on 31 July 2012 by WNST Staff

UMBC will open the 2012-13 men’s basketball campaign at the University of Pennsylvania and play six non-conference home games before America East Conference competition, it was announced today by head coach Randy Monroe.

The Retrievers open the season in Philadelphia, taking on the Quakers on Friday, Nov. 9.  They open the home schedule three days later, when they host Eastern (Pa.) University on Monday, Nov. 12. Eastern is coached by former UMBC assistant coach Nate Stewart.

UMBC plays the first of six games vs. local rivals on Wednesday, Nov. 14 when they face 2012 MAAC champion and NCAA Tournament qualifier Loyola (Md.) at Reitz Arena.  The Retrievers host Towson (Dec. 1), American (Dec. 6) and Coppin State (Dec. 12), and travel short distances to George Mason (Dec. 4) and Mount St. Mary’s (Dec. 29).

Long-time rival Central Connecticut State (Nov. 20) and Canisius (Dec. 15) also will visit the RAC Arena  in late 2012.

UMBC will also visit two additional squads that competed in the NCAA Tournament last season.  The Retrievers close the month of November at Marquette on Nov. 28 and travel to Norfolk State on Dec. 9. The Retrievers also visit the Chicago area when they play DePaul on Dec. 22.

“Needless to say, we are very excited about our non-conference schedule,” head coach Randy Monroe said.  “We are going to face some very competitive teams and feel like these games will prepare us for the always-tough America East Conference.”

UMBC’s America East slate will be announced later this summer.

Notes:  The Retrievers also opened vs. Penn in 2011-12 and dropped a 59-45 decision… UMBC has not faced George Mason since the 1999-00 season and Mount St. Mary’s since the 2002-03 campaign… They will face Eastern (Pa.), Norfolk State and DePaul for the first time… UMBC and Towson will meet for the 56th time- the Tigers are UMBC’s most frequently-played opponent.

2012 UMBC Men’s Basketball Non-Conference Schedule

November

Fri. 9 at Penn, TBA; Mon. 12 Eastern (Pa.) 7:00 p.m.; Wed. 14 at Loyola (Md.), TBA, Tue. 20 Central Connecticut State, 7:30 p.m.; Mon. 26 at Marquette, TBA

December

Sat. 1 Towson, TBA; Tue. 4 at George Mason, TBA; Thu. 6  American, 7:00 p.m.;  Sun. 9 at Norfolk State, 4:00 p.m.; Wed. 12 Coppin State, 7:00 p.m.; Sat. 15 Canisius, TBA; Sat. 22 at De Paul, 2:00 p.m.; Sat. 29 at Mount St. Mary’s, TBA

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Veteran assistant Nestor joins Navy hoops staff

Posted on 13 June 2012 by WNST Staff

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Navy men’s basketball head coach Ed DeChellis has announced that Ernie Nestor will join the Navy coaching staff, replacing Kurt Kanaskie, who took a similar coaching position at Virginia Tech last month. Nestor comes to Navy after spending the last season at Missouri and has been successful at every stop he has been during his 43-year career in the coaching ranks.

“Coach Nestor brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and success to our program. He has been a successful coach at all levels and will be an important figure in our program moving forward,” said DeChellis. “He has coached and recruited outstanding student-athletes and is one of the most respected and well-liked coaches in the country.”

“I am excited to rejoin coach DeChellis and be part of the basketball program here at the Naval Academy. I have the utmost respect for the institution and am looking forward to working with the current staff and players in building a strong, competitive team,” said Nestor. “There is a great admiration for the Naval Academy and what it stands for. It is a distinct honor to be a small part of such a great institution.”

Nestor comes to Navy after spending last season at Missouri as an assistant coach. The Tigers went 30-5 a year ago, won the Big 12 Championship and were ranked in the nation’s top five for the majority of the season. He has been credited in the development of Mizzou big man Ricardo Ratliffe, who showed drastic improvement from 2010-11 to last season, when he led the country in field goal percentage (.693) and averaged 13.9 ppg and 7.5 rpg while earning all-Big 12 second-team honors. In addition, guard Kim English spoke highly of Coach Nestor and the work the duo accomplished during the year. English averaged 14.5 points per game and shot a blistering 45.9 percent from three-point range.

Nestor arrived at Mizzou after one season as the Director of Basketball Operations at Penn State University under DeChellis. The Nittany Lions were one of the country’s most improved teams in 2010-11, going 19-15 and earning an at-large spot in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.Nestor’s coaching experience began in 1970-71 with a six-year stint as a high school head coach, but continued with stops at James Madison (1977-79), Wake Forest (1980-85), California (1986-88), George Mason (1989-93), a return trip to Wake Forest (1994-01), South Carolina (2002-03), Elon (2004-2009), the New Jersey Nets (2010) and Penn State (2011).

Nestor is no stranger to player development and bench strategy at the major college level. He has spent time in the Pac-10, ACC, SEC, Big Ten and Big 12 conferences as an assistant during his four-decade collegiate coaching career and spent time on Dave Odom’s staff at Wake Forest. He has also twice been a Division I head coach during his career, with stints at both Elon College and George Mason. During his career, he has helped recruit and develop Tim Duncan, Josh Howard and Darius Songaila into NBA stars.

Nestor’s five seasons at George Mason and six years at Elon were as the program’s head coach. He led George Mason to its first-ever NCAA Tournament in 1989 and topped the 20-win mark each of his first two seasons while reaching the CAA Tournament finals in 1991. He returned to Wake Forest in 1993 and helped the Demon Deacons to ACC Championships in 1995 and 1996 while the 1996 club advanced to the NCAA regional final, where it fell to the eventual NCAA National Champion, Kentucky. The 2000 Wake Forest team was the NIT Champion.

Nestor returned to the head coaching ranks at Elon College in 2003 and he directed the school’s first winning season as a Division I program in 2006. The Phoenix won 15 games (15-14 overall), including a 74-69 win at Clemson. The team also claimed the Southern Conference’s North Division crown and Nestor was named the SoCon Coach of the Year by both the league’s coaches and media. His 2008 Elon team advanced to the Southern Conference Tournament final, where it was defeated by a Davidson squad led by Steph Curry that reached the NCAA Elite Eight.

During his collegiate coaching career, he has been a part of 11 teams that reached NCAA Tournament play and eight more that advanced to the NIT.

Nestor is a 1968 graduate of Alderson-Broaddus College (W. Va.) and he earned his graduate degree from West Virginia in 1970. He and his wife, Janet, have two children, Stephanie and Jennifer. They also have four grandchildren, Kodiak, Lucy, Clio and Jude.

 

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