Tag Archive | "Alex Len"

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Len first Terp selected in Top 10 since Wilcox in 2002

Posted on 27 June 2013 by WNST Staff

Len is the highest drafted Terrapin since Steve Francis went 2nd overall in 1999

BROOKLYN – Alex Len was selected fifth overall in the first round of the NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns on Thursday evening.

Len, a 7-foot-1 center from Antratsit, Ukraine, is the 18th player in Maryland history to be taken in the first round, and is the highest drafted Terrapin since Steve Francis went second overall in 1999.

“We are very proud of Alex,” said head coach Mark Turgeon. “He has worked extremely hard to become a top five selection in the NBA Draft. He is committed to getting better each day and will continue to do so as he makes the transition to the NBA. Alex has come such a long way in just two years both on and off the court and we are all very excited for what the future holds for him. This is a great day and exciting time for the Maryland Basketball program.”

In two years at Maryland, Len transformed his body and game, adding more than 30 pounds of muscle and nearly doubling his scoring average from his freshman to sophomore year. Len led the team in rebounds (7.9 per game) and ranked second in scoring (11.9 per game) as a sophomore in 2012-13. He also led the Atlantic Coast Conference in blocked shots and was a member of the All-ACC Defensive Team.

Len is the first Terrapin selected in the first round of the draft since 2010, when Greivis Vasquez was taken 28th overall by the Memphis Grizzlies.

Besides Vasquez, Jordan Williams (2011, New Jersey Nets), James Gist (2008, San Antonio), D.J. Strawberry (2007, Phoenix) and Steve Blake (2003, Washington) were Maryland’s most recent selections in the draft, all taken in the second round.

 

Maryland Basketball in the NBA Draft

– 1st top-10 selection since Chris Wilcox in 2002

– 15th top-15 pick

– 18th first-round pick

– 59th Maryland player selected in the NBA Draft

 

– Terps –

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Former Terp Len has stress fracture surgery

Posted on 03 May 2013 by WNST Staff

Gaithersburg Md.- Sports International Group announced today that NBA Draft candidate Alex Len has undergone successful surgery to stabilize a partial stress fracture in his left ankle. The surgery was performed by renowned Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“This was a preventative measure to stabilize a partial stress fracture of the ankle,” said Dr. Anderson. “Although it is possible that this injury could have healed on its own, surgery was felt to be the safest and surest option to ensuring a long and successful NBA career for Alex. His prognosis is excellent, and I
anticipate he’ll make a full return to basketball within the next few months.”

Len opted for surgery after several opinions from orthopedic specialists. “I decided that surgery was the best long term option for my career,” said Len. “I didn’t want to risk it not healing properly. I want to make sure I’m fully healthy and ready for training camp.”

The surgery will keep Len out of action 4-6 months and will force him to miss all on-court activities leading up to the 2013 NBA Draft.

“The tough part about Alex’s injury is the timing,” said Len’s agent Michael Lelchitski. “Everyone who knows Alex knows that he would have been incredible in the pre-draft workout setting. However, Alex is one of the elite prospects with arguably the biggest upside of anyone in the draft. The most important thing is his long-term health.”

Len, who is a likely lottery pick, was diagnosed with the partial stress fracture after he had declared for the NBA Draft.

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Len named MVP at Maryland basketball banquet

Posted on 17 April 2013 by WNST Staff

Dez Wells given the Greivis Vasquez Award for Most Inspirational Player

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Alex Len was given the Len Bias Award as the most valuable player as the University of Maryland men’s basketball team held its awards banquet Wednesday at the Riggs Alumni Center.

Players, coaches, staff and supporters gathered to celebrate a season that saw the Terrapins win 25 games, their most since 2006-07. Voice of the Terrapins Johnny Holliday emceed the event, which also featured a 2012-13 highlight video and remarks from coach Mark Turgeon and seniors James Padgett and Logan Aronhalt.

In addition to being named MVP, Len earned the Len Elmore Award for most rebounds after finishing with 298. He was also given the Buck Williams Award for Most Valuable Defensive Player; Len’s 78 blocks in 2012-13 are the eighth most in a single-season in school history.

Sophomore Dez Wells was selected for the Greivis Vasquez Award for Most Inspirational Player. Awards for MVP and Most Inspirational Player were voted on by the players.

Juan Dixon was on hand to present the award for Most Improved Player – named after himself – to freshman Jake Layman. Fellow freshman Shaquille Cleare was given the Walt Williams Coaches Award for being the most coachable player.

Pe’Shon Howard, who led the Terps with 131 assists, won the Steve Blake Award for assists, while Aronhalt won the Tom McMillen award for Academic Achievement. Aronhalt had a 4.0 GPA in his first year pursuing a graduate degree in exercise physiology.

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Turgeon thinks Len will be “special” in NBA

Posted on 16 April 2013 by WNST Staff

Alex Len

Opening Statement:

I want to start off saying this: it has been two wonderful years here. I am thankful for everything. Thank you to the coaching staff, the administration and academic staff to help me succeed at the University of Maryland.

“I have decided to take the next step and enter my name into the NBA Draft. My family and I have been thinking about this for some time now. With Coach Turgeon we came to the decision, and we think this is going to be a great decision for me, and my career. I am very blessed and thankful to have had the opportunity to be a Terp. I want to thank the Maryland Basketball family for welcoming me with open arms and for helping me become the person I am today.

“I want to thank Coach Turgeon. When I got here he asked me what my goals were. I told him that I wanted to be an NBA player. I want to thank him and the entire coaching staff for putting me in the position to accomplish that goal. I also want to thank my teammates. They were always there for me on and off the court. We shared some great moments together and I will always have these memories for the rest of my life.

“I want to thank the best fans that any team has. They always came out to support us no matter the score or even the weather. They always stood up behind us 100 percent and I hope they will continue to stand behind me in the next phase of my basketball career. I will always be a Terp.”

 

On how he came about this decision:

“After the season I talked to my family and met with Coach Turgeon to talk about it. We have been thinking about it and we came to the conclusion that the right time was now.”

 

On where he has to improve:

“The last two years I came here I learned a lot and really improved. All you can do is work hard. I am excited for this next step. All I want to do is work hard and learn as much as I can.”

 

On telling his teammates he was declaring and how they reacted:

“The guys were really excited for me and they told me it was the right decision. They were just excited.”

 

On favorite NBA teams:

“I watch a lot of NBA, but I don’t have any preferences. I have favorite players but I’m going to play for any team that chooses me. I want to go somewhere I can contribute and I can improve myself.”

 

On if he considered coming back:

“During the season I didn’t think about it at all. I was just focused on the season. After the season I made the decision together with my family and coach Turgeon and we just decided it was the best decision.”

 

On if he’s looking forward to the NBA game:

“I’m excited. It’s going to be a huge step. The post in the NBA is a different game and I’m ready for that. I’m just ready to work hard.”

 

Head Coach Mark Turgeon

Opening Statement:

“I want to thank everyone for coming out. I know this has been a lingering story. You can’t keep secrets, especially good secrets very easily. It is an exciting day for all of us, our program, for Alex. It just seems like yesterday that he walked into our office; it was August of our first year here. This big seven-foot skinny kid walks in. He knows very little English, and less than two years later he is going to put his name in the draft and most likely be a lottery pick. I think top ten pick before it is all said and done.

“Quick little story, his mom came in when he committed and he gave me this little turtle for Maryland. She said I am giving Alex to you as a baby, when he leaves here I want him to be a man. He has grown up a lot. In two years I have never seen a kid learn a language, learn the game, the European game is a lot different than ours, and just the way he has progressed. I don’t think I have ever been around a player who has progressed as much as Alex has as quickly as he has. The reason the NBA is so intrigued and I know he is going to be a great pro is that he is only 19. I can’t imagine where he is going to be when he is 23.”

 

On Alex’s contributions to the team:

“I think we finished third or fourth in the country in field-goal percentage defense, and it was for one reason. It was this guy right here. The Iowa game, we would have lost by 20 if he wasn’t out there altering shots and blocking shots. His shot-blocking late in the season — really it was at the Virginia game. I was always talking about being a presence at the rim. ‘Protect the rim, Alex.’ I’d hit him on his chest so he had to look down at me — I didn’t hit him hard — but he’d look down at me and I’d just say protect the rim. He’s an unbelievable shot blocker and that’s what I asked him to do. He’s special. I talked to a couple NBA guys yesterday that had really high picks and I told them don’t mess up. I think he can be the No. 1 pick. They’re talking about the other guy being No. 1, and you guys saw the same game I saw when we played them earlier in the year. This kid’s going to be special.”

 

On the sense of pride he has:

“Alex and I teared up a little bit in our office when he said he was leaving because I was like, “Wow, it happened so quick.” That’s why I came to Maryland. To coach guys like Alex. He wasn’t the first kid to commit to us, but he was the first player to commit to us that played for us – if that makes sense. For him to be a lottery pick a year later says a lot about him, says a lot about how lucky we were to get him and also our program and our staff. A guy who hasn’t been mentioned is Kyle Tarp, the strength and conditioning coach. He did a great job. He put 30 pounds on this guy in one summer and so it’s just really good for our program. Hopefully I’m here for a long time. I’m going to have an NBA wall and he’s going to be the first one and hopefully this becomes an annual event for us where we have someone going to the NBA draft in the first round.”

– Terps –

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Len “grateful” for experience at Maryland

Posted on 15 April 2013 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – University of Maryland sophomore center Alex Len is forgoing his final two years of collegiate eligibility to enter the NBA Draft.

Len and head coach Mark Turgeon will hold a press conference in the Comcast Center media room Tuesday at 2:30 p.m.

“I’m very grateful for the two years I’ve spent at Maryland and for everyone that has supported me during my time here,” said Len. “It’s been an honor to play here and I’ve learned so much. I want to thank Coach Turgeon and the coaching staff for believing in me and helping me grow as a player and a person. I also want to thank my teammates who were always there for me. We shared some great moments together. I’ve grown a lot, both on the court and off the court, over the past two years and I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life.”

“I’m very proud of Alex and am excited for what the future holds for him,” said Turgeon. “To see the progress he’s made on the court, in the classroom and socially has been a truly rewarding experience. Alex has worked incredibly hard since he got here and he has earned this opportunity.”

Len averaged 11.9 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per game while leading the ACC with 78 blocks in 2012-13. The 7-foot-1 native of Antratsit, Ukraine, was named honorable mention All-ACC and was a member of the All-ACC Defensive team last season.

Len dramatically increased his productivity from his freshman to sophomore season, making improvements in nearly every statistical category. His scoring went from 6.0 points per game to 11.9, while his rebounding increased from 5.4 to 7.8 per game. For his career, Len holds averages of 9.7 points per game, 7.0 rebounds per game and 2.1 blocks per game. He played in 60 games with 48 starts, 37 of those coming in 2012-13.

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Maryland battles Iowa in NIT semis Tuesday

Posted on 01 April 2013 by WNST Staff

Maryland (25-12) vs. Iowa (24-12)

 

National Invitation Tournament – Semifinals

Tuesday, April 2, 2013 • 9 p.m. ET

New York, N.Y. • Madison Square Garden

TV: Semifinals – ESPN2 – Bob Wischusen (Play-by-Play), Bill Raftery (Analyst) & Dan Dakich (Analyst)

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

 

Storyline

 

• Maryland is playing in the National Invitation Tournament semifinals for the third time in history and first time since 2005 after dispatching No. 1 seed Alabama, 58-57, last Tuesday. The Terrapins are 14-6 all-time in the NIT and 1-1 in the semifinals; they captured the title in 1972 with wins over Jacksonville and Niagara, and fell in the 2005 semis to South Carolina.

 

• In winning at Alabama, Maryland captured its 25th victory of the season, the most for the program since 2006-07 when the Terps were 25-9. A win in the semifinals would give Maryland its most victories since it had 32 in the 2001-02 national championship season.

 

• Since opening postseason play in the ACC Tournament, Maryland has played some of its best basketball, winning five out of the last six games. Dez Wells has carried the scoring load in the postseason, averaging 18.3 points per game on .574 shooting from the field, including .727 (8-11) from 3-point range. Wells’ scoring surge goes back to the regular season – the sophomore is averaging 17.8 points per game on .558 (67-120) shooting in the last 10 games.

 

• Alex Len recorded a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds at Alabama, his sixth of the season and first since the home win over Boston College on Jan. 22. Len also matched a career high with five blocks. At 11.5 points per game, the sophomore is one of four Terps averaging double-figure scoring in the postseason. Nick Faust is averaging 11.2 points per game and is shooting .400 (10-25) from 3-point range. The fourth, freshman Seth Allen, averaged 10.8 points per game off the bench in five postseason games, but fractured a bone in his shooting hand in practice on March 24 and will miss the rest of the postseason.

 

• The Terps are set to meet Iowa for just the third time in history. Maryland won each of the previous meetings, in 1984 and in 1999. Should they advance, the Terps would be playing their first ever game against either Baylor or BYU.

 

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Maryland visits Alabama Tuesday in NIT quarters

Posted on 25 March 2013 by WNST Staff

Maryland (24-12, 8-10 ACC) at Alabama  (23-12, 12-6 SEC)

 

National Invitation Tournament – Quarterfinals

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 • 7:30 p.m. ET

Game #37 • Road Game #11 • Tuscaloosa, Ala. • Coleman Coliseum

TV: ESPN – Bob Wischusen (Play-by-Play) & Jimmy Dykes (Analyst)

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

 

Storyline

 

• Maryland will play in the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament for the third time in history and first time since 2005 when it takes on Alabama in Tuscaloosa Tuesday night. The Terrapins advanced to the quarters with wins over Niagara and Denver last week in College Park.

 

• In its two previous quarterfinal appearances Maryland is 2-0, beating Syracuse 71-65 in 1972 and topping TCU 85-73 in 2005. The Terps are seeking their third trip to New York for the semifinals and finals, having won the title in 1972 and lost in the semis in 2005.

 

• Since opening postseason play in the ACC Tournament, Maryland has played some of its best basketball, winning four out of the last five behind the play of Dez Wells and Nick Faust. Wells is averaging 19.4 points per game on .586 (34-58) shooting, while Faust is averaging 12.8 points per game. As a team, Maryland is shooting .476 from the field, .386 from 3-point range and .797 from the free throw line.

 

• Over the past 10 games, Faust is shooting .500 (43-86) from the field, .442 (19-43) from 3-point range and averaging 13.2 points per game. He has scored in double figures in seven straight games. Wells, meanwhile, is averaging 18.3 points per game over the last nine and shooting .564 (61-110) from the field in that span.

 

• In both its first- and second-round wins, Maryland dominated the second half en route to double-digit wins. The Terrapins were tied at 35 with Niagara before outscoring the Purple Eagles 51-35 in the final 20 minutes. Against Denver, Maryland trailed 30-27 at halftime, but used a 23-4 run over the game’s final nine minutes to win 62-52.

 

• The Terps will be meeting Alabama just the fifth time in history. Maryland leads the series 3-1, though the Crimson Tide won the last meeting, 62-42 in the 2011 Puert

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Maryland hosts Denver in NIT second round Thursday night

Posted on 20 March 2013 by WNST Staff

Maryland (23-12, 8-10 ACC) vs. Denver  (22-9, 16-2 WAC)

 

National Invitation Tournament – Second Round

Thursday, March 21, 2013 • 7 p.m. ET

Game #36 • Home Game #21 • College Park, Md. • Comcast Center

TV: ESPNU – 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 continues play in the National Invitation Tournament as it plays host to the University of Denver Thursday at 7 p.m. in Comcast Center in the first ever meeting between the two schools. The Terrapins advanced to the second round of the NIT with an 86-70 win over Niagara Tuesday night.

• The quick turnaround has Maryland playing its fifth game in eight days. Despite the busy stretch, the Terrapins have played some of their best basketball as of late – over the last four games, Maryland is averaging 80 points per game, shooting .479 from the field, .408 from 3-point range and .798 from the free-throw line.

• Dez Wells and Nick Faust have increased their scoring recently, with Wells averaging 18.3 points per game over the last eight games and Faust averaging 13.3 over the last nine. In that eight-game stretch, Wells is shooting .550 (55-100) from the field and .438 (7-16) from 3-point range. Faust has also shot it well, having hit .506 (41-81) from the field and .450 (18-40) from 3PT.

• 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.

• In the win over Niagara, Maryland dominated the second half after going into the locker room tied at 35. Faust, Seth Allen and Logan Aronhalt each had 15 points, while Wells added 12 and Charles Mitchell had 10. That marked the third time in the last four games that five Terrapins scored in double figures. Aronhalt scored all 15 of his points on 3-pointers (5-7), and Faust recorded his first career double-double by grabbing 11 rebounds to go along with his 15 points.

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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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Maryland opens ACC Tournament Thursday night against Wake

Posted on 13 March 2013 by WNST Staff

Maryland (20-11, 8-10 ACC) vs. Wake Forest  (13-17, 6-12 ACC)

ACC Tournament – First Round

Thursday, March 14, 2013 • 7 p.m. ET

Game #32 • Neutral Site Game #3 • Greensboro, N.C. • Greensboro Coliseum

TV: ESPNU – Dan Shulman (Play-by-Play), Sean Farnham (Analyst), Jeannine Edwards (Sidelines)

ACC Network – Tim Brando (Play-By-Play), Dan Bonner (Analyst). The game will be broadcast on WDCA in Washington, D.C., and WNUV in Baltimore.

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

 

Storyline

 

• Maryland begins play in the opening round of the 60th annual ACC Tournament in Greensboro when it takes on Wake Forest at 7 p.m. Thursday. The Terrapins are the No. 7 seed and the Demon Deacons are the No. 10 seed, and will be meeting in the opening round for the second straight year. Last season, Maryland defeated Wake Forest 82-60. The winner of Thursday’s game moves on the quarterfinals to face No. 2 seed Duke Friday at 7 p.m.

 

• The Terps are the seventh seed in the ACC Tournament for the 11th time (3-7 record). Maryland is 6-3 in matchups with Wake Forest, having won six straight. The Terps lost their first three tournament meetings with the Demon Deacons (1954, 1961, 1963), but started a six-game winning streak starting with the 1973 semifinals. The other wins have come in 1984, 2001, 2004, 2009 and 2012.

 

• Sophomores Dez Wells and Nick Faust have provided the majority of the scoring for Maryland recently. Wells is averaging 17.0 points per game over the last four contests and Faust is averaging 13.6 points per game over the last five. In the 61-58 overtime loss at Virginia on Sunday, Faust had a team-high 15 while Wells turned in his first double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

 

• Sophomore center Alex Len earned honorable mention All-ACC on Monday in balloting by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. Len, who ranks second in the league with 60 blocks, was also named to the All-ACC Defensive Team. The Antratsit, Ukraine, native is averaging 11.8 points per game and 8.1 rebounds per game.

 

• After holding Virginia to 36.8 percent shooting on Sunday, Maryland finished the regular season ranked first in the ACC and ninth nationally in field goal percentage defense. Opponents have shot just 37.9 percent this season, and the Terps held 11 of 18 league opponents under the 40 percent mark.

 

Maryland-Wake Forest Series History

 

• Maryland leads the all-time series with Wake Forest, 68-56, which dates back to 1952-53. The Terps have won 11 of 13 since 2006, and six straight.

 

• In the ACC Tournament, the Terps have won six in a row over Wake, with the Demon Deacons’ last win coming on Feb. 28, 1963. All-time at the ACC Tournament, Maryland leads 6-3.

 

• Maryland has won all four meetings with Wake Forest since Mark Turgeon took over as head coach, by an average margin of 16.0 points per game. In addition to the 86-60 win at home and the 67-57 win on the road this season, the Terps defeated the Demon Deacons 70-64 at home on 1/11/2012 and 82-60 on 3/8/2012 in the ACC Tournament first round.

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