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Former Terp Johnny Rhodes Named ACC Legend

Posted on 09 February 2012 by WNST Staff

Johnny Rhodes Named An ACC Tournament Legend

Former Maryland guard one of 12 players selected to 2012 class

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LEGENDS BRUNCH

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

   2012 ACC BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT LEGENDS ROSTER

   Name School Years Position Hometown (Current Hometown)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Nets Select Maryland’s Jordan Williams in Round 2

Posted on 23 June 2011 by WNST Staff

Williams Picked by Nets in Second Round

Maryland center led ACC in rebounding in 2010-11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Turgeon Formally Announces Maryland Staff

Posted on 20 May 2011 by WNST Staff

Here is the official release, courtesy of the Terps’ Sports Information Department…

TURGEON ANNOUNCES COACHING STAFF

Spinelli, Hill join Ranson as assistant coaches

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Head men’s basketball coach Mark Turgeon announced Friday that Scott Spinelli, Dalonte Hill and Bino Ranson will be the assistant coaches on his new Terrapin staff. In addition, Dustin Clark has been hired as the director of basketball operations.

“I feel good about the talent of the assistant coaches we have assembled,” said Turgeon. “They all have their own unique abilities as coaches that, as a group, will make us complete. They all have been successful recruiting this part of the country and will be a big part of the resurgence of Maryland Basketball.”

Spinelli will join Turgeon for the sixth straight season, having worked with him during each of Turgeon’s four years at Texas A&M and for one season at Wichita State. He was the Aggies’ associate head coach and helped direct the program to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances.

Hill, a native of Washington, D.C., will join the Terrapins’ staff after six seasons at Kansas State. Long noted for his recruiting ties to the D.C. area, Hill helped a resurgence in the Wildcat basketball program that had Kansas State hit the 20-win plateau for a school-record five straight years.

Ranson will be retained as an assistant after he spent last season on the staff of retired coach Gary Williams. A native of Baltimore, Ranson has strong recruiting ties in that area and aided in the recent recruitment and retention of shooting guard Nick Faust.

Clark has been an athletics assistant for three years and, last year, moved into the role as team administrator on Turgeon’s staff with the Aggies. A graduate of Texas A&M, he has played an important role in recruiting and in the recent success of the Aggies’ basketball program.

Bios on the new staff members follow:

SCOTT SPINELLI

Hometown: Leominster, Mass.

Education: Boston University ‘89

Following five seasons on various staffs for head coach Mark Turgeon, Scott Spinelli comes to College Park to be part of the coaching staff at the University of Maryland.

“Scott is a bulldog recruiter with tremendous connection up and down the east coast,” said Turgeon. “He is also an excellent coach with a tremendous basketball mind.”

Spinelli sent four seasons with Turgeon as the associate head coach at Texas A&M, and was in the same position with Turgeon at Wichita State in 2006-07.

Prior to that, he was an assistant at Nebraska for three seasons, when he helped land two nationally-ranked recruiting classes. He was the Cornhuskers’ associate head coach in 2005-06. All-Big 12 center Aleks Maric was among the players he signed at Nebraska.

From 2001-03, Spinelli was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Loyola-Chicago. He helped the Ramblers to 32 wins over two seasons (2001-02 and 2002-03) — the program’s most in a two-year span since the mid-1980s — including a berth in the championship game of the 2002 Horizon League Tournament.

Spinelli recruited and developed Paul McMillan, a junior-college transfer who won the Horizon League’s Newcomer of the Year Award in 2003. His first recruiting class for the Ramblers also included Terrance Whiters, who was ranked among the top 70 overall prospects in the country and among the top 20 point guards by ESPN.com.

Spinelli has been recognized by several media outlets as one of the nation’s top assistant coaches. Before joining the Ramblers, Spinelli spent one year as a scout for the Philadelphia 76ers, evaluating players in the Big East and Atlantic 10 conferences, along with high school players from the Northeast.

Spinelli served as an assistant coach for Cincinnati of the International Basketball League (IBL) in 1999-2000, helping the Stuff to an Eastern Conference regular-season championship.

Prior to his work in the IBL, Spinelli spent two years as associate head coach (1997-99) at American University in Washington, D.C., where he was responsible for two nationally-recognized recruiting classes. Spinelli’s first collegiate coaching stop came at Wyoming in 1996-97.

He began his coaching career on the prep level in 1990 at the Milford Academy, where he spent three seasons as head coach. In 1993, Spinelli started the basketball program at The Winchendon School in Winchendon, Mass., where he produced several Division I players. The school remains one of the top prep school programs in the Northeast.

The Leominster, Mass., native earned his bachelor’s degree from Boston University in 1989. As a student-athlete, Spinelli initially walked on with the Terriers before earning a scholarship as a point guard under Mike Jarvis, who went on to a successful stint as head coach at St. John’s.

Spinelli and his wife, Lynn, have three children: Gianna, Gabriel and Joseph.

SPINELLI CAREER

2007-11 – Associate Head Coach, Texas A&M
2006-07 – Associate Head Coach, Wichita State
2005-06 – Associate Head Coach, Nebraska
2003-05 – Assistant Coach, Nebraska
2001-03 – Assistant Coach, Loyola-Chicago
2000-01 – Scout, Philadelphia 76ers
1999-00 – Assistant Coach, Cincinnati Stuff
1997-99 – Associate Head Coach, American University
1996-97 – Assistant Coach, Wyoming
1993-96 – Head Coach, Winchendon (Mass.) School
1990-93 – Head Coach, Milford (N.Y.) Academy

DALONTE HILL

Hometown: Washington, D.C.

Education: Charlotte ‘01

Noted as one of the top coaches and recruiters nationally, Dalonte Hill is coming home to the Washington, D.C., area to join the staff of head coach Mark Turgeon.

“It was great to be able to bring Dalonte home,” said Turgeon. “He is a terrific recruiter and will be a great addition to our staff. His relationships on the east coast will be huge for the growth of our program.”

A native of Washington, D.C., Hill was hired as an assistant coach at Kansas State by former head coach Bob Huggins in April 2006 after three seasons at Charlotte.  He was elevated to associate head coach and recruiting coordinator just over a year later upon the promotion of Frank Martin to head coach.

Hill played a significant role in helping to revitalize the K-State program, which has tallied five consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time in school history.  With his help, the Wildcats have posted 118 wins the past five seasons, including 50 in Big 12 play, and have advanced to the postseason in an unprecedented five straight seasons, including trips to the NCAA Tournament in 2008, 2010 and 2011.

The 118 wins are the most in school history in a five-year span, shattering the previous mark of 107 wins set from 1957-62, while the 50 conference victories are the most since the squad posted 56 from 1971-76.  K-State is one of four Big 12 schools (along with Kansas, Texas and Texas A&M) in that span to total five 20-win seasons, while the Wildcats and Jayhawks are the only teams to finish in the top-4 in the Big 12 and receive a bye at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship in each of the past five seasons.

Hill has also played a major role in helping Kansas State land some of the country’s best recruiting classes, including the nation’s top-rated class by Scout.com and Rivals.com in 2006, which included No. 1 recruit Michael Beasley and No. 6 recruit Bill Walker.  In 2008, he helped the Wildcats pull down their second top-20 class in the past three seasons, including their fourth McDonald’s All-American (and second in last four seasons) in Wally Judge.  The four-man class was rated 17th by Scout/ESPN.com and 18th by Rivals.com.

Hill spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Charlotte under Bobby Lutz.  He helped guide his alma mater to a 61-30 (.760) overall record and three consecutive postseason appearances from 2003-06, including a pair of trips to the NCAA Tournament (2004, 2005).  He also helped the 49ers to a share of the 2004 Conference USA regular-season title as well as runner-up finishes in C-USA in 2004-05 and the Atlantic 10 in 2005-06.

During his tenure at Charlotte, Hill helped coach two All-Americans, one C-USA Player of the Year and seven all-conference players. Two 49ers earned All-America distinction as Eddie Basden and Curtis Withers were named to SI.com’s third team and honorable mention lists in 2005.  Withers was also named to Basketball Times’ All-America third team in 2004.  A two-time conference Defensive Player of the Year, Basden was selected as the 2005 Conference USA Player of the Year as well as the national Defensive Player of the Year by CollegeInsider.com.

Prior to joining the college ranks, Hill served two years as the head coach of the AAU’s DC Assault.

A three-year letterman at Charlotte from 1997-2000, Hill played on three postseason squads for the 49ers under head coaches Melvin Watkins and Bobby Lutz.  As a true freshman in 1997-98, he averaged 4.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in 26 games with one start for the 49ers in helping the squad to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 20-11 record.  As a sophomore, the 49ers captured the 1999 Conference USA Tournament title and once again advanced to the NCAA Tournament second round with a 23-11 record.  During the 1999-2000 season, he averaged 6.2 points and 3.5 rebounds in 23 games with 11 starts in helping Charlotte earn a Postseason NIT bid with a 17-16 record.

Hill transferred to Bowie State for his senior season where he averaged 10.9 points and 5.7 rebounds in helping the Bulldogs to a 19-9 record.  He returned to Charlotte following the season to complete his bachelor’s degree in sociology in 2001.

Hill and his wife, Tish, have three daughters: Danae, Dakotah and Daeja.

HILL CAREER

2007-11 – Associate Head Coach, Kansas State
2006-07 – Assistant Coach, Kansas State
2003-06 – Assistant Coach, Charlotte
2001-03 – Head Coach D.C. Assault (AAU)

ORLANDO “BINO” RANSON

Hometown: Baltimore, Md.

Education: Southern New Hampshire ‘99

Orlando “Bino” Ranson was hired as an assistant coach at Maryland in the summer of 2010, and the halls of Comcast Center immediately lit up with energy. He has been retained on the staff by new head coach Mark Turgeon.

“Bino is a young man I have known for a long time, and I have watched him grow as a coach,” said Turgeon. “He is a grinder when it comes to recruiting and he has many connections all over the east coast.”

Ranson has strong ties to the Baltimore-Washington area, having coached for two seasons at St. Frances Academy in Baltimore. He came to Maryland after one season as an assistant at Xavier, during which the Musketeers went 26-9 and reached the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. In his lone season on the staff of Maryland head coach Gary Williams in 2010-11, the Terrapins went 19-14.

Ranson said he’s followed the Maryland program for a long time and is familiar with its national reputation and rich history. He spent two years as an administrative assistant at Loyola University on the staff of long-time Maryland assistant Jimmy Patsos.

Prior to Xavier, Ranson was an assistant coach at James Madison for one season, helping the Dukes to a 21-15 mark, the most wins by JMU in a season since 1992-93. The Dukes advanced in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament for the first time since 2003 and their berth in the College Insiders.com Tournament marked their first postseason appearance since 1994.

Ranson also worked for Matt Brady at Marist University for three seasons. The Red Foxes were 62-33 in those three seasons and won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season in 2007. That season, Marist won at Oklahoma State in the Postseason NIT.

Considered an outstanding recruiter, he helped bring in excellent classes at James Madison, Marist and Xavier. Ranson helped land Jay Gavin at Marist, who went on to become the MAAC Rookie of the Year.

Ranson coached at St. Frances Academy for two seasons before joining the Loyola staff. He handled St. Frances’ junior-varsity program, directing the 2003-04 team to a 24-5 record, titles in the MIAA and the Baltimore Catholic League. He also founded Team Baltimore, one of the top AAU programs in the Northeast.

Among the players Ranson worked with at the AAU level are Sean Mosley and Juan Dixon of Maryland, Ricky Harris of Massachusetts, Jermaine Dixon of Pittsburgh and Donte Greene of Syracuse.

A 1999 graduate of Southern New Hampshire with a B.S. in sports management, Ranson completed his collegiate career as one of the top players in the history of the school. He ranked seventh in career scoring (1,899 points), fifth in assists (598) and fourth in 3-point field goals (226) after lettering for four seasons. He was inducted into the school’s hall of fame in January 2007.

Ranson and his wife, Shannon, have two sons: Orlando and Bradshaw.

RANSON CAREER

2010-11 – Assistant Coach, Maryland
2009-10 – Assistant Coach, Xavier
2008-09 – Assistant Coach, James Madison
2004-05 to 2006-07 – Assistant Coach, Marist
2003-04 & 2004-05 – Administrative Assistant, Loyola, Md.
2001-02 to 2002-03 – Coach, St. Francis Academy

DUSTIN CLARK

Hometown: Waxahachie, Texas

Education: Texas A&M ‘07

Dustin Clark comes to the Maryland men’s basketball program as the director of basketball operations on the staff of head coach Mark Turgeon. In that role, Clark will be in charge of the administrative duties in the men’s basketball office, including scheduling, operations and travel.

“Dustin is one of the bright young coaches in this business,” said Turgeon. “He has tremendous passion for his job and will build great relationships with our current players. His understanding and experience of how I want the office and program to run is big in our transition.”

Clark spent five seasons with the Texas A&M basketball program. After serving as an athletics assistant for three years, he was the team administrator in the 2010-11 season. During his five seasons, the Aggies won 124 games, produced three NBA draft picks and had Turgeon earn back-to-back Big 12 Coach of the Year honors.

His duties included on-campus recruiting, coordination of recruiting correspondence, academic quality control and student-athlete affairs. Clark was the director of the Mark Turgeon Basketball Camp, as well as a coordinator for the Texas A&M Elite and Junior Elite camps. He has played a key role in helping the Aggies land multiple nationally ranked recruiting classes.

In 2008, the Aggies won the Preseason NIT and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament where they lost in the closing seconds to top-seeded UCLA. A&M closed the next regular season on a six-game winning streak and again reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

In 2010, Texas A&M reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament despite playing the second-toughest schedule in the nation. A year ago, the Aggies exploded to a 16-1 start, the best at the school in 91 years and earned its sixth consecutive NCAA Tournament bid.

A native of Waxahachie, Texas, Clark received his degree from Texas A&M in 2007. Clark graduated from Avalon High School, where he was a four-year letterman in both basketball and baseball.

CLARK CAREER

2010-11 – Team Administrator, Texas A&M
2007-10 – Athletic Assistant, Texas A&M
2006-07 – Student Assistant, Texas A&M

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Jordan Williams Signs With Agent, Will Not Return to Maryland

Posted on 04 May 2011 by WNST Staff

Here is the official release, courtesy of the Terrapins’ Sports Information Department…

WILLIAMS SIGNS WITH AGENT, WILL NOT RETURN TO TERPS

Center will remain in NBA Draft

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Jordan Williams has signed with an agent, ending his eligibility to play at the University of Maryland, it was announced Wednesday.

Williams, a 6-foot-10 sophomore center from Torrington, Conn., had earlier entered his name for the 2011 NBA Draft. He could have retained his eligibility by not signing with an agent and withdrawing by May 8.

“We wish Jordan well as he pursues his dream of playing in the NBA,” said head coach Gary Williams.

Jordan Williams led the Terrapins in scoring (16.9 points per game) and rebounding (11.8 per game) this season and led the Atlantic Coast Conference on the boards. A third team All-America selection, Williams also was an All-ACC first-team pick.

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5 W’s and 1 H

Posted on 22 June 2009 by Luke Jones

The Orioles certainly didn’t show the Phillies any “Brotherly Love” by completing a three-game sweep this weekend.

I attended the first two games of the series on Friday and Saturday night and had a great time.  Citizens Bank Park may lack the charm of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, but the wide-open concourse is an excellent feature for those wanting to grab a snack or cold beverage without missing a pitch.

It was a pleasure meeting many of the rabid Orioles fans on the WNST/Miller Lite Bus Trip, and it was even better high-fiving and celebrating the closing moments of Saturday night’s comeback win with them!

Here are the 5 W’s and 1 H for the week:

1.  Who will be the best player not named Blake Griffin to come out of this year’s NBA Draft?

The 2009 NBA Draft takes place on Thursday night, and the Los Angeles Clippers have already committed to taking power forward Blake Griffin (Oklahoma), the surest thing in this year’s draft class, with the No. 1 pick.

After Griffin, there is plenty of talent but many question marks.  From Connecticut’s Hasheem Thabeet to international point guard Ricky Rubio to Davidson’s Stephen Curry, there is potential, but none are regarded as a sure thing.  Some NBA executives are calling this one of the worst drafts in recent memory.

If I had to choose a rookie from this class other than Griffin, I’d take a chance on Curry.  His heroic run in the 2008 NCAA tournament put him on the map, and he followed it up by leading the nation in scoring last season (28.6 points per game).

Though Curry lacks the ideal size (6-3) and athleticism for the NBA, his strong pedigree—he’s the son of former NBA player Dell Curry—and fundamentals will allow him to become a successful pro.  He won’t become an All-Star, but Curry will be a solid addition to an NBA team.

2.  What was the best Orioles game you ever attended?

Saturday night’s win has to be one of the top five or six Orioles games I’ve ever attended.  Yes, that’s pretty sad, but when you consider I was two weeks old when the Orioles last won the World Series, you can probably begin to understand.

My choice for the best game I’ve attended was a 7-5, 10-inning victory over the New York Yankees on June 3, 1997.  The Orioles were in the midst of their wire-to-wire run for the American League East title, and Rafael Palmeiro hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to put the Orioles ahead by 8.5 games in the division.

Walking out of the ballpark while gloating among the Yankees fans was a great feeling—and is nearly a forgotten one 12 years later.

3.  Where is the best starting rotation in the Orioles’ organization?

Though the starting pitching in Baltimore has improved, I am still eagerly looking at the rotation in Triple-A Norfolk.  The Tides currently have four of the top pitching prospects in the organization with Chris Tillman, Jake Arrieta, David Hernandez, and Troy Patton.

While it’s doubtful that all four will crack the starting rotation by season’s end, I wouldn’t be surprised to see these four, along with Brad Bergesen, making up the starting rotation by this time next season.  Obviously, there’s no guarantee—and it’s quite unlikely—they’ll all become successful big league starters, but it’s clear the Orioles have come a long way from the days of counting on one prospect like Rocky Coppinger or Matt Riley to save the rotation.

We’ve heard quite a bit about these names over the last two years, so it’s exciting to see them at the Triple-A level and on the verge of making the jump to the big leagues.

4.  When was the last time the Orioles earned an interleague sweep on the road?

Before this weekend’s sweep of the Phillies, the Orioles last completed an interleague road sweep against the Atlanta Braves in June 1999.

The Orioles completed the three-game set by beating the Braves, 22-1, on a nationally televised Sunday night game.  This was Cal Ripken’s famous six-hit game that earned several standing ovations from the Turner Field crowd over the course of the night.

Mike Mussina earned the win over Atlanta’s John Smoltz, capping off one of the few highlights of the 1999 season.

5.  Why did Dave Trembley allow Danys Baez to pitch to Ryan Howard in the seventh inning on Saturday night?

I certainly was celebrating the exciting comeback win on Saturday night, but it didn’t excuse Trembley’s terrible decision to pitch to Howard with a base open and two outs in the seventh inning.  Yes, walking Howard would have put the go-ahead run in scoring position, but the pitcher’s spot was on deck, and the Phillies sent Carlos Ruiz to the plate after Howard’s three-run shot.  Howard is hitting .299 against right-handed pitching, so the matchup against Baez wasn’t favorable in that regard either.

Just a hunch, but I’d take my chances facing Ruiz with the bases loaded instead of Howard.

I was sitting with Nestor Aparicio and my friend Mike—two of the most knowledgeable baseball fans I know—and all three of us immediately said it was the wrong move.  A few moments later, Howard confirmed our fears.

Saturday’s win was a great example of a team bailing out its manager.  The decisions to allow Gregg Zaun and Oscar Salazar to hit in the ninth inning worked out, but they did not cancel out the decision to pitch to one of the best power hitters in the game—whether he had the flu or not.

I hope Trembley personally thanked Brian Roberts for saving his bacon.  Regardless of the big win, it was the wrong decision.

6.  How likely are the Ravens to make a serious play for Brandon Marshall?

Not very.

John Harbaugh, Ozzie Newsome, and the Ravens are very serious about avoiding players with questionable character, and Marshall—regardless of his immense talent—fits that description.  When you also consider the team would have to surrender high draft picks and doesn’t have the salary cap room to afford the $7-9 million per year Marshall is seeking, it really becomes an easy decision.

Marshall’s dispute with the Denver Broncos is different from quarterback Jay Cutler’s, because it is not based on a conflict with new head coach Josh McDaniels; it simply comes down to wanting more money.

The Pro Bowl receiver is scheduled to become a free agent after the season, but an uncapped year in 2010 would change his status dramatically.  Since an uncapped system would change the number of years before free agency from four to six, Marshall would remain under the Broncos’ control for two more years—as a restricted free agent—and would not become an unrestricted free agent until after the 2011 season.  The Broncos hold all of the leverage in this situation, so Marshall desperately wants a new deal before that happens.

When you consider all of these factors, I would be surprised to see Marshall in Baltimore—or anywhere else other than Denver—this September.

*****

I hope all of the fathers out there had a great Father’s Day.  This is a tough day for me after losing my dad in 2004, but I have numerous great memories—many centering around the Ravens, Orioles, and Terps—to cherish.

He deserves more credit than anyone for cultivating my passion for Baltimore sports.  I’m sure he would have loved this weekend in Philadelphia.

Have a great Monday.

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Thursday Morning's Crab Cakes and Light Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crab Cakes and Light Beer

Posted on 19 March 2009 by Chris Bonetti

The Swinging Bunt

Barack-etology, really?  In an ESPN exclusive (weird), college hoops reporter Andy Katz got a chance to go to the White House for an interview with President Barack Obama… and the subject?  NCAA Tournament Brackets, of course.  His picks were not all that exciting… he took practically all chalk!  Aside from taking two 8’s over 9’s and two 5’s over 4’s, and one #2 Memphis over #1UConn in a regional final, President Obama only picked two games to be what I’d consider an upsets, well maybe small upsets.  Interestingly he chose #10 Maryland over Cal, and #11 VCU over UCLA.  Give him credit for scoring points locally picking the Terps and Rams… but damn, what’s he got against California?  He did get 60% of the vote in the Golden State… but he is new in the neighborhood, I guess you really do need to make a good impression.

Say it isn’t so, Gus!  Gus Johnson, best-known for his incredibly exciting edge-of-your-seat broadcasts of NCAA tournament games like UCLA-Gonzaga and Xavier-Ohio State, left a Memphis restaurant in handcuffs and in the back of a police car late last Friday night.  No charges were filed, but allegedly Gus wasn’t at all happy with the service at a restaurant he went to trying to get a late dinner.  More details are sure to come, and fret not he will still team with Len Elmore to announce Kansas-North Dakota State and West Virginia-Dayton on Friday night.  I shouldn’t say I’m shocked, but more just mildly surprised I guess that it takes 5 days for this story to hit national media.  I understand privacy and that even though he’s my boy, Gus isn’t a huge star, but with the climate of news media today, like I said, I’m just mildly surprised.

Ambassadors of Sport.  Here’s a great link to a list of more people in sports who should be appointed as ambassadors for the U.S. after news broke that the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dan Rooney, is now the representative to Ireland.  Best line… Jay Bilas … Italy – That way he won’t have to stop fawning over Tyler Hansbrough after the 2009 NBA Draft. (Zing!)  Honorable Mention… Terrell Owens … Canada – A, what the hell. The Bills are headed there anyway.

Scanning the Blogosphere

College Hoops.net has an excellent NCAA Tournament Preview… Thursday’s betting lines, Grades on all the announcers, Writers’ picks… basically the whole kit and caboodle.

Coed Magazine gives a tour through pictures of “The Babes of March!”  (Hint: THIS IS BEST LINK I HAVE TODAY!!!)

Gunaxin.com has the best mix of humor and actual basketball analysis in a great NCAA Tournament.

The SI Vault takes a look back at some of the best photos taken during the NCAA Tournament over the years, included is this shot of Len Bias.

SFT Sports tells us how the celebrity babes of Hollywood are picking their Final Fours.

SI’s Tom Verducci explains why the U.S. WBC roster has been poorly constructed from the start.

CMS Video of the Day

Being today is a National College Basketball Holiday… I will give you a funny college hoops video from this week at the NIT.

White men can’t, er, shouldn’t dunk!

The Morning’s Final Thought

As a graduate of Loyola, a Catholic College that participates in the MAAC, I will be rooting for Siena when they play THE Ohio State University tomorrow in Dayton…

That said, I can do without Sister Mary-Agnes giving everyone the finger!

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