ACC Team Preview: Maryland Terrapins

Posted by Chris Kehoe on November 2nd, 2013

Last year, Maryland had an impressive 13-game winning streak after an opening-night three point loss to the defending champions, Kentucky. Most of that run can be attributed to soft scheduling by head coach Mark Turgeon, but nonetheless it showed promise. Maryland finished out the regular season with a solid record of 20-11 and was rewarded with an NIT bid for its troubles. In addition to a run to the NIT semifinals (losing to Iowa), the Terps had a couple of signature wins on their résumé over #2 Duke late in the season. After the season was finished, they lost Ukrainian center Alex Len to the NBA Draft, but he struggled with inconsistency under Turgeon and never quite lived up to his potential.

Maryland Preview 2013

This season the Terps will be bolstered on the interior by Michigan transfer Evan Smotrycz, a versatile 6’8” junior who can play as a stretch-four for this athletic Maryland team. They also have a powerful 260-pound tandem of interior sophomores in Shaquille Cleare and Charles Mitchell, who are expected to shoulder the majority of the rebounding and post defense responsibilities this season. How they are able to perform as two of the biggest players on the Maryland roster will go a long way in determining this team’s ultimate success. This may also speak to Maryland’s lack of frontcourt height, seeing as Cleare is 6’9” and Mitchell is only 6’8”. Going against larger ACC frontcourts, some with legitimate seven-footers, may prove to be a problem for this relatively inexperienced duo. Another particularly relevant story surrounding this year’s Terps will be their pending move to the Big Ten, which will show up in press conference quotes and in the form of cheers (and jeers) from opposing fan bases. Maryland will want to leave the ACC on a positive note, and this team certainly has the requisite talent to make an NCAA run in its ACC finale. If last season proves as any indicator, Maryland’s fate is inextricably tied with Dez Wells‘ output and performance.

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Seth Allen’s Injury Unsettles Maryland’s Point Guard Situation

Posted by Lathan Wells on October 30th, 2013

In head coach Mark Turgeon’s time with the Maryland Terrapins (he’s now in his third season there), he’s never been blessed with a true point guard. He inherited the shoot-first Terrell Stoglin, and then made do with Pe’Shon Howard at the point last year, another player more interested in trying to create his own offense than running the ball club. Once Howard departed via transfer for USC this offseason, Turgeon was all set to turn over the reins to promising sophomore Seth Allen.


Allen’s injury casts doubt on Maryland’s PG position early (credit: CBSSports)

Allen earned valuable playing time backing up Howard at the point while also playing on the wing at times last season, and ended up as the team’s fourth-highest scorer and assist man. However, just like his predecessors, Allen also seemed more comfortable playing off the ball. This offseason was geared towards helping him improve on his ability to initiate the offense, with word from Terrapins camp saying he’d improved drastically in that area. With the season now looming, it appeared that Turgeon would turn to the reliable Allen at season’s outset while preparing to bring freshman Roddy Peters along slowly, eventually installing him as the orchestrator of his offense.

That approach was dealt a severe blow on Wednesday, when it was announced that Allen had broken the fifth metatarsal in his left foot and will be sidelined for eight to 10 weeks. Turgeon emphasized that Allen had enjoyed a great preseason, saying, “He was playing at a very high level throughout the summer and fall and was poised to have an excellent start to the season.” Now, with the sophomore sidelined until at least the first of the new year, Peters will have to step into an important role very early.

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Who’s Got Next? Kentucky Adds Two More Studs; Selden Decides For Kansas…

Posted by CLykins on October 17th, 2012

Who’s Got Next? is a weekly column by Chad Lykins, the RTC recruiting guru. Once a week he will bring you an overview of what’s going on in the complex world of recruiting, from who is signing where among the seniors to who the hot prospects are at the lower levels of the sport. We also encourage you to check out his contributions dedicated solely to Duke Basketball at Duke Hoop Blog. You can also follow Chad at his Twitter account @CLykinsBlog for up-to-date breaking news from the high school and college hoops scene. If you have any suggestions as to areas we are missing or different things you would like to see, please let us know at

Young and Lee Join Historic Kentucky Class

Young’s Addition Bolsters UK’s Already Star-Studded Class (US Presswire)

If your familiar with the phrase “the rich get richer”, that describes Kentucky basketball recruiting. After landing a pair of top-five prospects from the class of 2013, twin brothers Aaron and Andrew Harrison, the Kentucky Wildcats received verbal commitments from two more highly ranked 2013 prospects, in the form of James Young last Thursday and Marcus Lee on Wednesday afternoon. Young is a 6’6″ shooting guard out of Rochester High School (Michigan) and is the No. 5 ranked prospect in the ESPN 100. Lee, a 6’9″ power forward out of Deer Valley High School (California), is the No. 28 ranked recruit. Along with Kentucky, Young listed Kansas, Michigan State and Syracuse in his final four while Lee had just listed California as his only other possible destination. Young and Lee will now join the Harrison twins and unranked prospect Derek Willis as a part of Kentucky’s 2013 recruiting class.

“Kentucky has always been my dream school,” said Young, who revealed his choice by holding up a “Kentucky Bound” blue T-shirt. “I’m not just looking for the NBA. I’m looking for an education and a national championship and that’s about it.” Young emerged as a prime recruiting target for the Wildcats in the spring and had listed Kentucky as the team to beat for his services since the summer. Young has made two consecutive visits to Lexington, once for Kentucky’s alumni weekend and the other this past weekend for “Big Blue Madness.”

Kentucky will now possess the most lethal perimeter trio in all of college basketball for the 2013-14 season with the addition of Young to complement the Harrison twins. In the left-handed Young, the Wildcats are getting one of the best pure scoring guards in the country. An aggressive scorer who can stroke it from deep or utilize his mid-range game, Young is exceptional at scoring off the catch and has a plethora of moves to get to the rim. On the defensive end, he uses his athleticism and length well to disrupt the opposition. The one aspect of his game that needs the most work is his ball-handling. In transition, he can fill lanes but with improved ball security, he could be even more deadlier running the fast break and making plays for either himself or his teammates.

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Big East M5: 10.17.12 Edition

Posted by Will Tucker on October 17th, 2012

  1. The biggest news of the morning is the release of the preseason Big East coaches’ pollLouisville was almost unanimously pegged as the conference top dog as the Cardinals received 14 of 15 first-place votes. The other first-place vote went to Notre Dame even though the Fighting Irish ended up behind Syracuse in the overall voting. Peyton Siva was tabbed as the preseason conference player of the year, and joined by teammates Gorgui Dieng and Chane Behanan on the First Team and Honorable Mentions lists, respectively. Syracuse (CJ Fair and Brandon Triche) and Notre Dame (Jack Cooley and Jerian Grant) each placed two players on the team.
  2. To piggyback on the Media Day honors and rankings, it’s pretty wild for a player on the last-place team make the First Team All Big East list. If anything, it demonstrates the respect shared around the league for Providence senior Vincent Council, who has become somewhat of a conference institution despite his team’s performance over his tenure. But this evaluative disparity also underscores the opinion that Ed Cooley’s star freshmen won’t be around enough to make any real traction. As FriarBlog speculates, Providence hasn’t placed a player on the preseason First Team since Ryan Gomes in 2004.
  3. Georgetown will apparently square off on October 28 against North Carolina, in what is being uncomfortably described as a “secret scrimmage.” The Hoyas made the same trip a year ago, under an NCAA provision that allows a team to replace one of its preseason cupcakes with another Division I team so long as the game is privately held and no official score is kept. The lost (and newly found) Dream Team practice tapes have nothing on these games.
  4. UConn issued a press release on Tuesday announcing that the school has secured the initial funding necessary to break ground on a new basketball facility. In light of a $2 million gift from Mark and Rosalind Shenkman, the UConn Foundation revealed that it has raised 75% of the $32 million it needs to complete construction, and that the remaining $8 million will be sought through financing. The creatively named UConn Basketball Development Center will abut Gampel Pavilion on the former site of the now-razed Memorial Stadium. The new facility should foster a greater sense of geographical continuity for UConn basketball.
  5. Highly touted class of 2013 point guard Roddy Peters made his college decision yesterday morning, electing to take his talents to Maryland to play for Mark Turgeon’s Terrapins. Georgetown and Rutgers were among the impressive list of recruiting also-rans, which additionally included Kansas and UCLA. On Thursday, Georgetown gets another opportunity to bag a top-50 recruit when Memphis big man Johnathan Williams III makes his college choice.
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ACC M5: 10.17.12 Edition

Posted by KCarpenter on October 17th, 2012

  1. ESPN: Not to be outdone by the other ACC schools making recruiting splashes, the Maryland Terrapins have locked down a four-star point guard in Roddy Peters. Peters is a Maryland kid and a very skilled playmaker and scorer who will be able to contribute almost immediately for the Terps. Peters plays for D.C. Assault, the famed AAU team and an outfit that highly paid Maryland assistant Dalonte Hill used to coach, and according to Peters, Hill’s presence played a key role in helping the guard choose Maryland.
  2. Baltimore Sun: In more disappointing Terrapin news, this is the week that James Padgett will go to court to deal with charges stemming from a DUI arrest over the summer. Padgett, a senior and the likely starting power forward for the Terrapins, is a favorite in the tempo-free statistics community. Despite relatively mediocre per game rebound totals, Padgett is something of a savant on the offensive glass, posting  possession numbers that surpass every other player in the conference but fellow offensive rebounding wunderkind Miles Plumlee. In any event, Padgett’s court date is this Friday, though he is still expected to participate in today’s Operation Basketball media extravaganza.
  3. Greensboro News & Record: Speaking of Operation Basketball, the News & Record has taken the time to go ahead and figure out the preseason rankings for the teams in the conference. Of course, the paper is doing it by counting the Twitter followers for the two player representatives from each school. Duke takes the top spot, largely thanks to the Twitter sensation that is Seth Curry. Curry’s roughly 51,000 followers easily overpowers any other player on the list with North Carolina’s Reggie Bullock coming in a distant second at around 32,500 followers. We’ll have more on Operation Basketball as the day rolls on, but for now, I leave you to pore over these social media numbers. If you want to follow every single basketball player, reporter, and tangential figure in the ACC on Twitter, I would direct you to this rather helpful guide.
  4. Chicago Tribune: If you want to talk about meaningful numbers, the number of the day is clearly $9,995. This is the price that a gallon of unopened McJordan Barbecue sauce from 1992 recently sold for on Ebay.  Just when you thought North Carolina couldn’t be more proud of it’s living legend and his accomplishments, a jug of his sauce sells for nearly ten grand and makes you change your whole way of looking at things. The greatness of Michael Jordan is truly unending.
  5. Blogger So Dear: On a less silly note, our Wake Forest loving friends at Blogger So Dear have posted some early observations of this year’s Demon Deacons based on what they saw at Black and Gold Madness. There are some good notes on players both incoming and returning here as well as some keen observations on a team with a lot of potential and even more unknowns.
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Who’s Got Next? Harrison Twins Pick Kentucky; Parker & Randle Trim Their Lists…

Posted by rtmsf on October 10th, 2012

Who’s Got Next? is a weekly column by Chad Lykins, the RTC recruiting guru. Once a week he will bring you an overview of what’s going on in the complex world of recruiting, from who is signing where among the seniors to who the hot prospects are at the lower levels of the sport. We also encourage you to check out his contributions dedicated solely to Duke Basketball at Duke Hoop Blog. You can also follow Chad at his Twitter account @CLykinsBlog for up-to-date breaking news from the high school and college hoops scene. If you have any suggestions as to areas we are missing or different things you would like to see, please let us know at

Double Dip for Coach Cal

In what is being referred to as the best package deal in high school recruiting by a number of national recruiting analysts, twin brothers Andrew and Aaron Harrison of Fort Bend Travis High School (Texas) verbally committed to the defending national champion Kentucky Wildcats on Thursday, October 4. Andrew, the top rated point guard and No. 2 overall prospect in the ESPN 100 and Aaron, the top rated shooting guard and No. 4 overall prospect, chose the Wildcats over the Maryland Terrapins and SMU Mustangs. The addition of the Harrisons will automatically vault the Wildcats as the No. 1 overall class in 2013 over SEC rival Florida.

The Harrison Twins are the latest dynamic duo to commit to Kentucky (maxpreps)

“Coach Calipari presented a challenge for us. He would push us every day,” Andrew said. “We just want to be better players.” Aaron added: “Also, coach Calipari did not guarantee anything and we liked that.” The announcement comes after an intense summer of recruiting for the twin brothers. Throughout the AAU evaluation period, coaching staffs from the final three schools were spotted at almost every event that the Harrisons participated in with their AAU club, Houston Defenders.

In the end, it was a neck-and-neck race between Kentucky and Maryland with SMU a distant third in the running. Kentucky head coach John Calipari and Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon battled for the services for the Harrisons up until the very last minute. Turgeon even made a visit on Wednesday in an attempt to make one final impression on the Harrison family. A Maryland commitment would have clearly brought the Terrapins back to national relevance.

Speculation ran rampant throughout the week leading up to the announcement that the decision may have been swinging in Maryland’s favor, mainly because the mainstream gear brand Under Armour was playing a huge role in the recruitment. Under Armour outfits both the Terrapins and the Harrison’s AAU club coached by their father, Aaron Harrison Sr.

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Big East M5: 10.10.12 Edition

Posted by mlemaire on October 10th, 2012

  1. It is funny to think about given its proximity to and history with Maryland, but Georgetown was probably rooting for the Terps to land the Andrew and Aaron Harrison twins last week. For starters, the Hoyas and Terps haven’t played each other in more than 20 years thanks to feuding legends John Thompson and Lefty Driesell so it wouldn’t be as if Georgetown would regularly square off with the highly-touted duo. But also, if the Harrison twins were headed to College Park, the Hoyas would have had a much better chance of landing local product Roddy Peters who has shot up recruiting boards after turning heads on the summer circuit. Peters got the spotlight treatment from recently in an entertaining article that also touched on the dormant Beltway rivalry and the not-so dormant recruiting battle over Peters that is really just heating up. The article doesn’t reveal any new information about whether the storied programs will ever renew their local rivalry, but its a solid read, especially if you didn’t know the illustrious history between the two programs.
  2. Two teams play one game on an aircraft carrier and now everyone wants to do it. The only problem is that while playing a game on an aircraft carrier to honor Veterans Day sounds like a great idea, the reality is that the logistics aren’t quite as rosy, as Syracuse and San Diego State found out this week. Luckily, some local sponsors stepped up and the two teams are once again set to square off on the USS Midway in San Diego Bay on November 9. gives a good rundown of the behind-the-scenes work on how the game was saved, painting San Diego-based Syndicus Entertainment as rather incompetent in the process. This is great news as both the Orange and Aztecs are likely to be mainstays in the Top 25 all season, and this game will go a long way toward improving the winner’s non-conference resume.
  3. At this point, every coach in the conference has been asked for their thoughts on the changing of the guard that is taking place next season, but by far the most interesting answers came from Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin who viewed the shifting landscape as a chance for the Bearcats to “plant our flag deeper” and then went on to say that his program was never going to get the respect it deserved amongst the conference elite. Now, Matt Norlander correctly points out that we have no context for these remarks, but I am not buying the Bearcats’ basketball program as an afterthought, especially considering its history in the past two decades. You can’t be an afterthought when you had players like former NPOY Kenyon Martin coming through campus. Heck, Bob Huggins is one of the most recognizable coaches in the entire sport, and he will always be associated with his excellent teams at Cincinnati.
  4. If you haven’t noticed by now, we here at the Big East microsite simply cannot get enough of stories about facility upgrades and luckily the programs in the conference have thrown us a few bones by going and upgrading their facilities. Two days ago it was Georgetown, yesterday it was Connecticut, and this week comes news that DePaul has grandiose plans to move out of its outdated arena and into brand-spanking new digs, or the United Center, or the practice facility the Bulls are planning to break ground on. Who knows? Nobody! But we do now that getting a new arena is never a bad thing, especially for a program like DePaul that can basically use all the help it can get. So hey, maybe set up some hardwood at Soldier Field and have them play there. Maybe you can even get the promoters for the Syracuse and San Diego State game to find the sponsors.
  5. It is always good to know that Louisville isn’t feeling the pressure of their immense preseason expectations. I don’t know how Lazer Blaze stacks up against some of the other laser tag spots around the country, but I do know that no matter what age you are, if you can’t enjoy a spirited round or two of laser tag, you just aren’t any fun.

Is It Even A Question Whether Russ Smith is the Cardinals’ best laser tag player?

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