Tag Archive | "nit"

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 19 March 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Auto Racing-NASCAR Auto Club 400 (Sunday 3pm from Fontana, CA live on FOX), IndyCar Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Sunday 12pm from St. Petersburg, FL live on NBC Sports Network); Tennis: ATP Tour WTA Tour Sony Open (Friday 3pm & 8pm Saturday-Monday 11am from Miami live on Tennis Channel); Mixed Martial Arts: Bellator MMA (Thursday 10pm from Lewiston, ME live on SpikeTV); Golf: PGA Tour Arnold Palmer Invitational (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel Saturday & Sunday 12:30pm live on Golf Channel 2:30pm live on NBC. All golf from Orlando); LPGA Kia Classic (Thursday & Friday 6:30pm Saturday & Sunday 7pm from Carlsbad, CA live on Golf Channel)

10. Sigur Ros (Sunday 7:30pm Patriot Center); Aaron Lewis (Friday 9pm Rams Head Live); Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk (Sunday 8pm Baltimore Soundstage); Rockapella (Thursday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Shovels & Rope (Saturday 8:30pm Rams Head on Stage), Kenny Wayne Shepherd (Monday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (Thursday 9pm Rams Head Center Stage); Anberlin (Saturday 7pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Garbage (Sunday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Bad Religion (Friday 8pm 9:30 Club); Mint Condition (Tuesday & Wednesday 7:30pm Birchmere), Travis Tritt (Monday 7:30pm Birchmere); Orgy (Thursday 7pm House of Rock); Kevin Eubanks (Thursday-Sunday Blues Alley); Justin Timberlake “The 20/20 Experience” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I want to be in Annapolis Saturday night for Shovels & Rope. Get me there. NOW.

Has Anberlin had more good songs since this one? Not that it matters, this one was funking amazing…

I honestly couldn’t tell you what my favorite Garbage song was. I just know how much I love Shirley Manson…

Justin Timberlake…I just…I don’t even know…oh my…

9. Mike Epps (Friday 8pm 1st Mariner Arena); Demetri Martin (Saturday 6pm & 10pm 9:30 Club); Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus (Thursday-Sunday Verizon Center); Flip Orley (Wednesday-Sunday DC Improv); The Hobbit“, “Zero Dark Thirty“, “This is 40” and “Les Miserables” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Admission“, “The Croods” and “Olympus Has Fallen” out in theaters (Friday); Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival (Friday & Saturday Timonium Fairgrounds); Baltimore Greek Week (Tuesday-Sunday throughout Baltimore)

I’d love to tell you more about my past experiences at the Beer Bourbon and BBQ Festival, but we both know I don’t remember much about any of it. I did some sort of fighting that involved putting a massive bubble on my head and then attacking my friend. I have no recollection of how it went and I’m reasonably certain I got a concussion.

It was the best time ever. I went back through my phone to find any photos I may have taken and this is the only one I could find…

But you know what? It’s fairly appropriate.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Maryland hosts Niagara in NIT play Tuesday

Posted on 18 March 2013 by WNST Staff

Maryland (22-12, 8-10 ACC) vs. Niagara  (19-13, 13-5 MAAC)

National Invitation Tournament – First Round

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 • 7 p.m. ET

Game #35 • Home Game #20 • College Park, Md. • Comcast Center

TV: ESPN2 – Mike Patrick (Play-by-Play) & LaPhonso Ellis (Analyst)

Radio: Terrapin Sports Radio Network – Johnny Holliday (Play-by-Play), Chris Knoche (Analyst) & Walt Williams (Sidelines)

 

Storyline

• Maryland opens play in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament when it takes on Niagara in Comcast Center Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Terrapins are returning to postseason play for the first time since 2010, when they advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

• The Terps are appearing in the NIT for the eighth time in school history and hold an 11-6 record in the tournament. Maryland owns one NIT title, in 1972, when they defeated Niagara in the championship game 100-69. That is the only time the two schools have met.

• The NIT appearance marks the ninth time in the last 11 years that head coach Mark Turgeon has led his team to the postseason. Turgeon led Wichita State to the NIT in 2003, 2004 and 2005, and the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in 2006. He then led Texas A&M to the NCAA second round all four of his years in College Station (2008-11).

• Dez Wells led Maryland to the semifinals of the ACC Tournament last weekend, averaging 22.0 points per game en route to first team All-Tournament honors. The sophomore had a career-high 30 points on 9-of-13 shooting in the 83-74 quarterfinal win over No. 2 Duke, making all 10 of his free throw attempts while adding six rebounds and three assists. Over the past seven games, Wells is averaging 19.1 points per game on 55.6 percent shooting.

• Alex Len and Nick Faust also had solid tournaments, with Len averaging 13.7 points per game and Faust averaging 12.3 points per game. Len had his second career 20-point game in the semifinal against North Carolina when he finished with 20 on 5-of-7 shooting and 10-of-12 free throws. Faust has come on strong towards the end of the season, having averaged 13.1 points per game over the last eight games.

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Your Monday Reality Check: Don’t attempt to rationalize NIT disappointment

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Your Monday Reality Check: Don’t attempt to rationalize NIT disappointment

Posted on 18 March 2013 by Glenn Clark

After a furious second half comeback fell just short in a 72-69 loss to then #3 Kentucky in Brooklyn in early November, I asked University of Maryland basketball coach Mark Turgeon about whether the experience was the next stop in a process of learning how to win for a young basketball team.

Turgeon didn’t mix words in his response, and in the process created a standard that he has since been judged by in just his second season at the helm in College Park.

“We’re gonna win, and we’re gonna win this year. We just didn’t win tonight. I can promise you that.”

He had the chance to slow down or perhaps say something more along the lines of coachspeak terms before wrapping up the answer and postgame press conference, but instead Turgeon looked right back at me and repeated the sentiment.

“We’re gonna win. We’re gonna win.”

Turegon has been known for his honesty, which at times has drawn the ire of Terrapins who believe he should do more to protect his players in the media even if he’s frustrated with them on or off the court behind closed doors. Others have found the coach’s willingness to avoid hyperbole and instead answer questions directly praiseworthy.

On this particular night at the Barclays Center, Turgeon probably didn’t need to be quite so honest. Unfortunately for him, the tone had been set and the success of his second season would be judged against the statement.

Perhaps Turgeon should have qualified his statement by saying something along the lines of “we’re gonna win…at least a couple of times against Duke.”

Maryland is headed back to the NIT for the fourth time in the last nine seasons, only three of which have ended in the NCAA Tournament. They’ll play Niagara Tuesday night in Turgeon’s first postseason appearance since his arrival from Texas A&M, in front of what will likely be a small and hardly inspired crowd at Comcast Center.

Some will attempt to rationalize Maryland’s postseason fate by saying things like “this is a team that came on late and could make a charge through the Tournament” or “perhaps the Terps will use their NCAA Tournament snub to play inspired basketball” or “this will be a good chance for a young team to prove how much progress they’ve made going into next season.”

The truth is that Maryland went just 3-3 after February 28, no progress at all from their 4-4 record from January 30 to February 28. They only appeared to have made some significant progress because they managed to score a second victory over Duke in the ACC Tournament, clearly benefitting from a favorable matchup (partially based on Mike Krzyzewski’s unwillingness to abandon man on man defense) and a hot night from sophomore G Dez Wells.

The Terps did manage to defeat a woeful Wake Forest team and hang with North Carolina until late in Greensboro as well, but neither was drastically different than what we saw from this Maryland team the rest of the season. The Terps beat bad teams more often than not (losses at Georgia Tech and Boston College withstanding) and lost a number of other games against better opponents by close margins thanks to missed opportunities.

There are a number of concerns related to Maryland basketball that remain unaddressed. Many of the questions are related to Turgeon’s in-game decision making, punctuated by the team’s performance coming out of timeouts. (If you’ll remember, Maryland had called a time out at the end of the loss to UNC just before Logan Aronhalt tossed up one of the wilder last second three point attempts you’ve seen. It was particularly troubling because the Terps weren’t quite in their last seconds at that point.)

Many of the questions are related to the uneven performance of Maryland players. Center Alex Len has lacked toughness regularly, a concern that a trip to the NIT won’t help for a player most likely NBA bound in a matter of weeks. Guards Dez Wells and Nick Faust have had flashes of brilliance (Wells more often than Faust), but neither has maintained consistency. The group of players that have attempted to man the point guard position have played up to a level south of adequate.

The best thing to come from a NIT appearance will be extra practice time for Turgeon, a phenomenon akin to a college football team reaching a low level bowl game somewhere in Idaho.

Turgeon did himself no favors with his early season proclamation. The Terps did technically “win”, but did so against one of the worst non-conference schedules in all of college basketball and minimally against a conference that featured fewer NCAA Tournament teams than the Mountain West Conference. The wins over Duke provided moments of joy, but meant little as far as gauging the overall state of the program in comparison to a combined 0-5 record against fellow NIT teams Virginia, Florida State and Kentucky.

It’s easy to say that a run through the NIT would be preferred to a first round exit at the hands of their MAAC opponent Tuesday night, but it’s important to not be fooled by any success. This team appears to be closer to a turnaround than they were a year ago, but they’re still quite a bit away with the fear of future Selection Sunday disappointment quite real.

Happy March Madness.

-G

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Maryland to face Niagara in NIT Tuesday

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Maryland to face Niagara in NIT Tuesday

Posted on 17 March 2013 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland men’s basketball team will face the Niagara Purple Eagles in the first round of the 2013 National Invitation Tournament Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Comcast Center. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

The Terrapins earned a No. 2 seed, while Niagara (19-13) was seeded seventh. Maryland and Niagara have met just once before – a 100-69 Terrapin victory in the 1972 NIT Championship game.

Maryland, which owns a 22-12 record after advancing to the ACC Tournament semifinals this weekend, is 11-6 all-time in seven appearances in the NIT. The Terrapins last participated in the tournament in 2008.

The winner of Maryland’s first-round matchup will advance to face the winner of the first-round game between Denver (21-9) and Ohio (24-9).

Tickets for the first round are available for $25 to the general public. Students can reserve a free ticket through their online account at www.tickets.umd.edu. Guest tickets will be available for $4.

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Turgeon scratching head 2012

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Terps Disappointing Season

Posted on 12 March 2013 by Tom Federline

Mens Maryland Terrapin basketball – what happened? I do not recall a Maryland basketball team EVER getting worse……….. as the year progressed. Teams were either just “challenged” from the get go or there was developement of the players and the team. Not this year. They got worse……….. without losing a major player due to injury or suspension. Maybe the early season high expectations contributed to the disappointment. What it was, was painful. Another year of simply turning the games off, because it was not helping my blood pressure. Plus there were better things to do, like sleep.

Four (4) months ago, I had these boys in the Sweet 16. And unless they win the ACC Tourney, they are (NIT) bound, Not In Tournament. They are just not performing at a level, that they are paid to play at. Paid? I’ll leave that alone for later. Sunday versus UVA, they were up by 17 points – twice – and still lost. The Terps have lost five (5) staright games to UVA, our supposed “rival”. Nice rivalry.The Terps collapse at the end of the game and OT was a fitting microcosm of the year – turnovers, sloppy play and a bad attitude. Can the Terps head to the Big Ten now? I hear the Fightin’ Illini need a rivalry.

To many wanna be stars and not enough “team”. Lenny is gone. Is he talent ready? Heck no. Is he money ready? Heck yeah. There goes the Terps chances next year. P’shon Howard – goodbye, just leave, evidently you hung around Stoglin to much and caught some of his attitude. Benefit of the doubt P’shon – your leg is not fully healed? Maybe, but I’m not buying it – you gave up on your team and your coach. Dez Wells – might as well try and go with Lenny. Next year is going to be tough – only the strong will survive. Terps will not be an ACC favorite during their last year in the ATLANTIC Coast Conference.

The team never found a grove for more than one game. The coach never found team chemistry. Hey Turgeon, all that talent, six (6) months plus and you still can’t hook-up 5 boys out of 9, to play well together? For most of the year – Lenny and Dez Wells started, Layman and Faust seemed to be his next two probables. It didn’t really matter who started. What mattered was, finding out who came to play that game? Turgeon rarely found it. Kentucky, Va Tech (first game) and of course Duke (minus that Kelley guy). Come on Turgeon, are you a recruiter or a coach?

I don’t even think he knew halfway in. Yeah, Turge, you left the Terp fan base scratching our heads also. At times, it appeared Turge was “Dazed and Confused” – (Led Zep). Maybe he should have consulted with the “Turgeonites”? Besides the 3 games mentioned above – the Turgeonites were part of the few positives from this year. Positives – Seth Allen, Shaq Cleare, Charles Mitchell and Faust on occasion. Really though, they never got any better than when they first stepped on the court. Rough year, again, to follow. What the heck was with the turnovers? I’ve watched high school games with better ball control. To many wanna be’s, not enough team.

No point gaurd, no center (when Lenny leaves), no “go to” guy, no calls from the ACC refs – Maryland basketball next year in the ACC – is gonna be tough. But hey, you know what? Who cares? They beat Duke! GO TERPS!

Side note – I believe I just heard the Ravens made another “bonehead player loss - after winning Super Bowl - move”, by trading their best “go to” receiver, to next years Super Bowl winner, the San Fransisco 49ers. The year following their first Super Bowl win - they let the QB, leader of the offense go, (Trent Dilfer). Now they let one of the most talented wide receivers in the game and another team leader go, (Anquan Boldin). Both main cogs in the wheel that got them to the Promised Land. Ravens – I’m done with you. Let’s Go O’s!

D.I.Y.

Fedman

 

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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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Navy associate head coach Kanaskie leaves for Va Tech staff

Posted on 10 May 2012 by WNST Staff

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech head men’s basketball coach James Johnson has announced the hiring of Kurt Kanaskie, Mark Byington and Ramon Williams as assistant coaches in the program.

“These three coaches will bring a lot of things to the table,” Johnson said. “They  have experience, youth, and energy. They are all very good coaches and all have been a part of some very good programs that have advanced to post-season play and competed in the NCAA Tournament. They are experienced recruiting up and down the Eastern Seaboard. We will be able to cover from New Jersey, all the way down to Florida, as well as some Midwest connections. We are excited to get going.”

Kurt Kanaskie comes to Virginia Tech after spending one season at Navy as associate head coach and eight seasons at Penn State, including two years as associate head coach. He was on the staff at Penn State with Johnson from 2003-2005. While at Penn State, Kanaskie helped the Nittany Lions to a spot in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, a 2009 NIT Championship and a berth in the 2007 NIT.

“We are very excited with the hiring of Kurt Kanaskie,” Johnson said. “He is a very experienced and knowledgable basketball coach. He is outstanding on the court, in recruiting and has a great relationship with players.”

Prior to Penn State, Kanaskie served as the head coach at Drake for seven seasons (1997-03). Before Drake, he was one of the most successful Division II head coaches in Pennsylvania, as he was the head coach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania for eight seasons. In the 1994-95 season, IUP grabbed its first national ranking in school history (No. 5), earned an NCAA Tournament bid for the first time ever and advanced to the Elite Eight. A year later, IUP earned a No. 1 national ranking and advanced to the national semifinals. Kanaskie was twice named PSAC Coach of the Year, earned NABC District Coach of the Year honors twice and was twice named the Basketball Times National Coach of the Year.

Before IUP, Kanaskie served as the head coach at Lock Haven University for three years (1986-88). His LHU team reached the NCAA Tournament a year later and earned the school’s first-ever national ranking. He was named PSAC Coach of the Year twice at LHU, giving him a total of four PSAC coaching awards.

The Mechanicsburg, Pa., native began his coaching career as an assistant coach at South Carolina for five seasons. Kanaskie was an All-State basketball player at Cumberland Valley High School and earned his Bachelor of Science degree from La Salle University in 1980 and a Master of Business Administration from South Carolina in 1985. While at La Salle, he earned All-Big Five and All-East Coast Conference honors, was an academic All-American, and left as the school’s ninth all-time leading scorer. He was drafted by the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.

Mark Byington comes to Virginia Tech from the College of Charleston. During his nine seasons in Charleston, Byington spent six seasons as Bobby Cremins’ top assistant and was the interim head coach the final month of the 2011-12 season. He was on the same Cougar staff with Johnson during the 2002-03 season.

“Mark Byington is a young, energetic and enthusiastic coach and I’m thrilled to have him join our staff,” Johnson said. “He is a local guy from Salem, Va., and knows the ACC area. He has a lot of contacts in this area of the country and is an outstanding recruiter.”

Byington was an assistant coach at Hargrave Military Academy in 2001-02. He served as the director of basketball operations at the University of Virginia during the 2004-05 season and was a graduate student manager at UVa for two seasons before that.

A 1998 graduate of UNC Wilmington, Byington earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education and was a three-year starter on the men’s basketball team earning second-team All-Colonial Athletic Association and All-CAA Defensive Team honors his senior year. A two-time CAA All-Academic selection, Byington scored more than 1,000 points during his career. He earned a master’s degree in
sports psychology from UVa in December of 2003.

Byington was a high school basketball standout at Salem High School. He was named Player of the Year in the state of Virginia as a high school senior, leading Salem to the state championship. He also earned honorable mention All-America recognition and was a two time first-team All-State selection. Following his senior season, he was chosen Most Valuable Player of the Virginia High School
League All-Star Game.

Ramon Williams, a native of Roanoke, Va., joins the staff after serving three seasons at Ohio University. During his three seasons at Ohio, the Bobcats advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2010 and 2012. In 2012, Ohio advanced to the Sweet 16 as a No. 13 seed with victories over No. 4 seed Michigan and No. 12 seed South Florida.

“We are excited about having Ramon Williams join our staff,” Johnson said. “He is a young man who has Virginia ties and Virginia roots. He was an extremely good player at VMI and has coached with some outstanding coaches in some very good programs. He has coached at the highest level while at DePaul and did a great job with John Groce at Ohio, as they made a run to the Sweet 16. He was
an integral part of recruiting those players and with the on-the-court coaching.”

Williams came to Ohio after a four-year stint at DePaul, where he helped guide the Blue Demons through the rugged BIG EAST Conference, widely regarded as the nation’s top league. In Williams’ second year on staff, DePaul posted nine BIG EAST wins and defeated three ranked teams en route to making its deepest postseason run in 17 years, a trip to the quarterfinals of the NIT.

Before DePaul, Williams spent three years as an assistant at Richmond under Jerry Wainwright. The Spiders reached the postseason in two of Williams’ three seasons on staff, qualifying for the NIT in 2003 and capturing the program’s second-ever at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament in 2004.

A 1990 graduate of VMI with a degree in economics, Williams was a member of the men’s basketball staff at his alma mater for nine years as both an assistant and associate head coach before heading to Richmond. Williams was a two-time All-Southern Conference and SoCon All-Tournament Team selection at VMI, and finished his career as the program’s third-leading scorer with 1,630 points. He
continues to hold VMI program records for three-point field goals in a game and single-season three-point field goal percentage.

Williams and his brother, Damon, who formed one of the most prolific scoring duos in NCAA history, were both inducted into the VMI Sports Hall of Fame in September of 2001.

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Your Monday Reality Check-Turgeon Deserving Of Praise With Work To Do

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Your Monday Reality Check-Turgeon Deserving Of Praise With Work To Do

Posted on 12 March 2012 by Glenn Clark

On Friday’s edition of “The Reality Check”, Ryan Chell and I decided to put together a Maryland Terrapins season ending report card. After the Terps’ loss to North Carolina in the ACC Tournament, it was easy to assume the basketball season was over in College Park.

That assumption proved accurate Sunday night, as the NIT failed to extend an invite to the Terps as expected. The University of Maryland declined to participate in the lesser known postseason CBI Tournament due to the financial model that forces schools to pay for participation. (Three schools from BCS conferences-Washington State, Pitt and Oregon State all accepted CBI bids.)

It’s a long winded way to say the season is over. The Terps finished 17-15 in Mark Turgeon’s first season since taking over for the retired Gary Williams, surpassing the expectations of many while still falling short of the expectations of others.

In our Report Card segment Friday, I graded Turgeon’s job in year one as a “B”. I noted the lack of both quality and quantity in Maryland basketball players that Turgeon was forced to deal with partly due to the late timing of Williams’ retirement announcement. Not only did Maryland lose All-ACC Center Jordan Williams to the NBA, they also lost F Haukur Palsson to a pro turn in Europe. Turgeon was only able to retain one from Williams’ three-man recruiting class (G Nick Faust) although he made up for that in part with a late commitment from C Alex Len.

(I point all of this out because some Maryland fans have decided to “blame” Gary Williams for the state of the program. They’re only telling half of the story.)

Len’s 10 game suspension to start the season and PG Pe’Shon Howard’s 18 missed games due to injury made an already difficult situation nearly impossible. Entering the season, there was legitimate reason to fear a “bottoming out” of sorts for the Maryland program.

While those fears never came to fruition, the team never fully came together. Sophomore G Terrell Stoglin at times carried the Terps during a 6-10 Atlantic Coast Conference campaign, but often proved to be as much of the problem as the solution. Len never showed progress during his freshman campaign, Senior G Sean Mosley offered valuable leadership but never overwhelmed with his play on the floor. The only player that showed marked progress was Faust, who was named to the league’s All-Rookie team.

All of these were contributing factors in grading the job Turgeon did this season. It was a tough campaign, but it could have been significantly worse. Turgeon deserves credit for keeping the program afloat and avoiding any true embarrassment. (Only a late season loss at Georgia Tech stands out as a head shaker due to the opponent and Maryland’s most lopsided defeats came at the hands of NCAA Tournament participants like UNC, Duke, Virginia, Florida State, Alabama and Iona.)

Nearly five hundred words in, it’s time to look to the future. While Turgeon is absolutely deserving of praise for how he kept this Maryland team together in his first season, the coach offered a noteworthy thought Sunday night via Twitter.

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With Little to Play For, Maryland Offers Woeful Effort in Charlottesville

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With Little to Play For, Maryland Offers Woeful Effort in Charlottesville

Posted on 18 February 2012 by Glenn Clark

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — As a tie game at halftime turned into a blowout loss to the University of Virginia Saturday, University of Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon decided he couldn’t sit back and watch his scholarship players go through the motions anymore.

With roughly three minutes to play in the game, Turgeon inserted five walk-on players into the Terrapins’ lineup and stuck with them for the rest of the game. It only made a blowout loss more lopsided, but the head coach was in need of making a statement.

“I just had enough” Turgeon said. “Selfishness, not boxing out, not defending. I wanted to do it earlier. You can go down our whole list-if you can tell me one guy that played well today, I’ll argue that you’re wrong. We were 0-14 or however many guys we played today.”

The number actually was 14 players, and none had anything to offer in the second half of the Terrapins’ 71-44 loss to the Cavaliers at John Paul Jones Arena. The Terps (15-11, 5-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) had managed to erase an early deficit and tie things up at intermission thanks to 14 points from G Terrell Stoglin. Stoglin wouldn’t score again after the break, and the Cavs (20-6, 7-5 ACC) outscored Maryland 40-13 the rest of the way.

It was as ugly (if not uglier) than I’m sure it appeared on television. Maryland shot a putrid 5-24 (20.8%) from the field and turned the ball over 12 times after returning from the locker room. Those 12 points resulted in 20 points for the Wahoos, while the Terps forced just one UVa turnover after the half (which actually did result in two points).

There’s no silver lining to Maryland’s second half effort. It was abysmal. It made spectators wonder why the team even bothered to return to the floor after the break. It was so frustrating that the coach compared it to Maryland’s previous season low point.

“This reminded me of Puerto Rico today. I thought we looked like we were disinterested as far as trying to be tough on defense and rebounding. Our execution was poor.”

Turgeon was referring to the team’s early season trip to San Juan for the 5-Hour Energy Puerto Rico Tip-Off, where they lost two of three games-including a blowout defeat at the hands of Iona. After the stretch, Turgeon referred to his team as “the biggest challenge I’ve ever had in coaching; it’s not even close.”

Similarly, Maryland played the three games in Puerto Rico without sophomore PG Pe’Shon Howard, who missed his third straight game Saturday (and will be out for the rest of the season) with a torn ACL. The Terps were also without freshman C Alex Len in Puerto Rico due to suspension. Len tallied zero points, zero rebounds, zero assists, zero blocks and zero steals to go with one turnover and two missed field goals in 20 minutes Saturday. It’s difficult to determine which scenario would have been preferable.

This is the part of the column where I note that Maryland was playing a second game in roughly 40 hours after recording a win over Boston College Thursday night in College Park. Neither Turgeon nor senior G Sean Mosley would use the turnaround as an excuse, but Turegon was willing to admit the span “was hard” on his team. Now I’ve noted it.

I should also probably note that a tip of the cap is warranted for Virginia F Mike Scott, who bowled over four different Maryland defenders en route to a 25 point, seven rebound performance. Scott’s dominance of the Terrapins was perhaps “Plumlee-esque” Saturday. Consider that noted as well.

Sitting nearly an entire level away from the JPJ Arena floor, I started to wonder if the Maryland players had quit in the second half. For what it’s worth, the coach disagreed.

“We didn’t quit, we just hung our head. I wouldn’t say we quit, we just kind of felt sorry for ourselves and weren’t competing as hard as we can compete. I know it might have looked that way a little bit, but I don’t think we quit.”

Perhaps the players never actually quit, but it was a brutal effort that came at a time where it would be easy to see the team give up a bit. This is a difficult stretch for a Maryland team that has frankly overachieved with a thin roster. The players are smart enough to know that there’s no hope of a NCAA Tournament at-large bid and even slim NIT hopes aren’t enticing enough to maintain a high level of energy until March. The only tangible difference between winning and losing at this point is the reaction generated from coaches and fans.

When things aren’t going their way, it is understandable that players may be a little more willing to pack it in down the stretch. It’s not a condemnation of the collective heart of this group of players, it’s just more a look at reality for a team that is too thin in both quantity and quality.

It’s also not an excuse for poor effort down the stretch. Maryland’s second half performance was absolutely unacceptable even against a Virginia team in need of a strong effort to hold on their place in the nation’s Top 25. Things won’t necessarily get any easier for Maryland, as bubble dwelling Miami invades Comcast Center Tuesday and the final three games of the regular season include a return contest with Scott and the Cavaliers plus trips to North Carolina and Georgia Tech.

If Turgeon thought the stretch after the Puerto Rico trip was going to be a challenge, it would be hard to find the right word to describe the rest of the season.

The word is definitely not “easy”. That much I know.

-G

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Your Monday Reality Check-Stoglin Deserves Suspension After Twitter Display

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Your Monday Reality Check-Stoglin Deserves Suspension After Twitter Display

Posted on 13 February 2012 by Glenn Clark

I’m pretty sure you know the background here.

University of Maryland G Terrell Stoglin was benched for four minutes late in the second half of the Terrapins’ 73-55 loss to Duke Saturday at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

During the stretch when Stoglin was on the bench, what had been a close game turned into a bit of a blowout. Stoglin returned to the game and attempted just one more shot, a bad three point miss. He finished the game with 13 points on just 4-16 shooting.

These things were interesting, but obviously not as interesting as what happened after the game.

After not being made available to the media (according to reports…I know I said I was going to Saturday’s game but I was unable to make the trip), Stoglin took to Twitter to offer thoughts like “Loved sittin that bench today. [Smh] wow” and “shit its whtev my nigga. Just on this grind just was confused with today”.

The first of those two Tweets was deleted. The second was still available for consumption on Stoglin’s Twitter account early Monday morning. Stoglin offered something later that resembled an apology, “Never tweet after a loss. not a bad dude just frustrated. Love terpnation! My fault.” The Washington Times reported Maryland coach Mark Turgeon was aware of the Tweets. The Times also reported Stoglin was not suspended for his comments.

Turgeon is not expected to be made available to the media again until Wednesday, as the Terrapins do not play again until a Thursday night visit from Boston College at Comcast Center. It is certainly possible Turgeon could change his mind about Stoglin’s status, but it appears unlikely.

If he doesn’t, it will be a mistake. Stoglin’s comments absolutely warrant a suspension.

I’m certainly sympathetic to the difficult nature of the relationship Turgeon shares with Stoglin. While the head coach is clearly frustrated by the “me first” nature of the guard from Tucson, he’s also accepting of how important the sophomore has been for a Maryland team that has just managed to stay over .500 overall and keep within shouting distance of .500 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Turgeon has twice forced Stoglin to come off the bench and has openly questioned both his shot selection and defensive effort.

After two possessions late in the team’s February 4 loss to North Carolina saw only Stoglin touch the ball and no points scored, I asked the ACC’s leading scorer about the nature of his shot selection.

He answered “at the end of the game, I feel like I should just take more shots, so that’s what I try to do.”

Oh. Well then.

The issue is that as much as any coach (or fan…or analyst…or teammate actually) tries to tell Stoglin to “trust his teammates”, he knows what he’s dealing with. Only one other Terrapin (senior guard Sean Mosley) is averaging more than 10 points a game and even the St. Frances grad has been inconsistent at best. Stoglin probably SHOULD move the ball around a bit more, but it’s understandable that he’s not always been willing to move the ball.

I’m sympathetic to Stoglin for that reason. I KNOW he needs to pass the ball more, but I also know what he’s working with.

It doesn’t make his social media outburst Saturday acceptable or in any way excusable.

Stoglin’s “passion” and “fire” have been defended by Maryland fans since Saturday night. Fans have suggested excuses along the lines of “just be glad they didn’t have Twitter when you were 20 years old” and “what he said was the truth…if he had been on the floor perhaps the Terps would have beat the Blue Devils.”

(Continued on Page 2)

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