Thursday, May 24, 2012

2013 ESPN100 debut for Mens Basketball

So ESPN has finally joined other sites and posting there initial top 100 rankings for mens basketball for the Class of 2013.  Link here.  There are some notable Maryland targets in the rankings, and many former targets that have since fallen off the recruiting charts for MD or otherwise committed to play for another school.

More after the break...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

RJ Curington - A player on the verge of exploding

Sometimes finding out about recruiting is easy and other times you need to pay attention to the small details.  We all like to think that we know who the coaches are after but there are often big name players that fly under the radar.  Charles Mitchell & Sam Cassell Jr. are two perfect examples of MD leans that flew under our radar for a large part of the year.

Meet RJ Curington.  A 2013 SG from Dyer Indiana that has been playing locally for Oak Hill for that past few years.  Before I get into the "Star" discussion, lets talk about some of the intangibles.  6'5, 180+ lbs, 7'0 wingspan, and how about just playing for Oak Hill.  In the past three seasons, Oak Hill is 101-8, and won a National Championship last year.  Players that come from Oak Hill are already college ready and never have academic issues.  Oak Hill has more NBA players & McDonalds All Americans than any other high school in the past decade or two. 

In my opinion, RJ is on the verge of blowing up this year.  I think he is currently undervalued and there is no reason that he will not fly up the Top 100 boards this year.  Oak Hill will once again play for a national championship and RJ will be building on a Junior season where he was one of the leading scorers on the team and lead the team in 3 pt shooting. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Coach Cal to NBA Rumors/Chatter Will Not Cease

Just when anyone thought that coach Cal to the NBA might be dying a slow death (for the soon to be summer), the newest rumor floating around Lexington Kentucky has fully arisen.

Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio (locally known in the DMV for his brief spat with the Sports Junkies on Twitter and DC 106.7FM The Fan), has commented on a tweet made by Dan Wolken of to have Cal teach LeBron how win a title.  Matt is nervous enough to state, even if half jokingly, that UK fans should be rooting for the Heat to win.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

ESPN's Top 25 Class Ranking

MD checks in at 18th overall.  Not bad for Turge's first real incoming class.

5 current ACC teams in the top 25 and 7 if you include future members Pitt and Cuse.  Duke jumped into the top 15 with the addition of Amile Jefferson. 

Stan Robinson Update

For those that haven't heard, Stan Robinson verballed to Indiana last night.  This is good and bad.  Bad because he was our main SG target not named Aaron Harrison.  The good news is that the staff can now look at other options/ focus on their attention towards the twins or another SG.  Some of these dominos needed to start to fall.  Right now the staff is spread thin in my opinion (so many guard options).  Indiana is for real and anyone who thinks that a recruit isn't going to take an offer from them seriously needs to re-think that.  There were quite a few people who thought Indiana wasn't a favorite to land Stan, this proves how strong the Indiana brand is.

Here's the Indiana Herald Times Blog piece including an interview with Stan's coach, Glen Farello:

Prince of Philly Article - Will he pick MD?

Shown below is the link to a new Rysheed Jordan article suggesting why the 5 star PG will pick MD over Temple.  I have been suggesting for months that Jordan is between MD and Temple (not rocket science there).  Temple is currently in the lead but them not landing Amile Jefferson has hurt their chances with Jordan.  The article below does a good job in describing the talent levels on each team and who has the advantage.

Enjoy - Great find by ShellShocked. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Origins of Alex Len's Coming Out Party + Gerun Connection

There was an interesting piece written by Ivan Ortiz this past January on Alex Len's emergence, and the connection to Volodymyr Gerun, written as only a European could so eloquently write (for some in the States).

It's a worthwhile read about how the formerly thin, lanky Alex, came back more agile and composed for the tourney that us Terps fans in the states knew of as the 16 point, 11 rebound, 4 block tourney game.

The penultimate promise of Eastern Europe, Olexiy "Alex" Len
To get an idea of Olexiy Len comes to us and is formed in Europe, we could count the words of Alejandro Gonzalez , International Scout and Consultant NetScouts Basketball , which provided a very good description of the player, so prior to their entry U.S.. The track puts us in 2009, his first appearance on stage at the European level: "I know Len from 2009 when I first saw him in the U16 European Championships in Kaunas. In that tournament, in which Ukraine lost the category, Olexiy not played a lot (it would be around for under 20 minutes a game or something). They sent Klym Artamonov , a scorer of Siauliai basis. Len had a secondary role, he was seen even by mature but from the first game against Latvia became clear that this boy was very interesting . "With just a few appearances and not be the first plank of the Ukrainian team, Len had entered the books of many specialists. "That length, mobility, details that left you very clear that I had physically and improve technical tools (even a long shot) to work." Moreover, in this tournament, while also noting the input of another big name,Volodymyr Gerun , classmate and that, as Alexander and will tell us that we shall see, have their share of intervention in the arrival of Len.

Alex Len, in the environment that saw him appear, your selection | Bleacher Report

Volodymyr Gerun - MD's new PF???

Does anyone else think that the timing of the Ashton Pankey transfer request is odd?  Why announce now and not a few months back?  There are my questions that come to mind.  Has he failed drug tests like fellow teammates?  I sure hope not.  I myself have another spin on the situation.  I think that another PF player has been on the MD campus and Turge thinks he will join the team soon. 

Here is why.... For 2012 MD would have 5 post players (Cleare, Len, Padge, Pankey, & Mitchell).  Of those 5, Pankey would be the first forward off the bench to begin with (Len & Padge starting - no questions about that).  In 2013 Padge will be gone and depending on how Len plays in 2012, he could be gone as well.  That leaves Pankey, Cleare, & Mitchell.  Smotrycz will join the team but he is a stretch 4 and ultimately will spend time on the wing to create a larger line up.  So why leave? 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ashton Pankey Transferring - Next Stop - St. John's or Local MAAC College?

Well, the blind and rampant speculation from months ago has occurred, even though it's possibly unrelated.  Ashton Pankey is transferring to be closer to his mom and home in Bronx, NY (for all you NYC historical neophytes, I teach on this blog too - it's just Bronx, or Bronx, N.Y. - not "The Bronx" - To paraphrase the #UA commercial, "I Am From There").

Capital Classic - A View from the Bench (Part II)

Time to revisit some thoughts I had regarding the Capital Classic.  I'll now discuss Charles Mitchell, and finish Part III with Seth Allen and Sam Cassell, Jr.

Charles "Chuck" Mitchell

Overview: Chuck's already won over a large group of us as a top "character", in the sense of Chuck's positive, talkative, good-natured manner.  I see Chuck being a terrific glue guy for the Terps.  And after watching Charles' interactions with Shaq Cleare, Damonte Dodd, Seth Allen, and Sam Cassell, Jr., at the Capital Classic, I have no doubt a good rapport has already been established between the players.  I think that helped seal Sam Jr's choice of the Terps, and my take is they're going to be a cohesive "Crab 5 (or 6 :)"  

I add the caveat once again as I did in A View from the Bench, Part I:  All-Star games do not nearly tell the whole story of a player's game or skills.  I am relating a few positives and some other areas that may need work.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

It's Sunday night...small football recruiting update

Dave Hooker on ESPN wrote an article this weekend on two local football stars, Derwin Gray and Yannick Ngakoue (god imagine saying that every saturday).  Link here.

For those without insider access, it pretty much sums up their relationship since the both transferred to Friendship Academy this year.  They've become very close since becoming teammates, to the point where people believe they are a 50/50 shot to commit to play together, while Ngakoue gives it a 8 out of 10 chance that they do.  Of course, he finishes with "At the end of the day he'll commit where he wants to play and I will commit where I want to play" to leave it wide open.

More after the break..

Friday, May 11, 2012

Rysheed Jordan update

Maryland and Temple are the clear front-runners in this race.  Recently, the Sun did an interview with Sheed's AAU coach Kamal Yard, who claims that Maryland and Temple are the clear favorites currently, but Villanova and Kansas are 3rd and 4th.

He believes that Jordan will ultimately stay closer to home and is only willing to go a few hours away from home (good for us, bad for Kansas).  Full quote below:

"It's still Maryland and Temple at the top, and then you've got Villanova. Kansas is in there, too. It's the same as before, pretty much," Yard said. "He's a Philly guy and he's got a really close relationship with his mother. He's willing to go a few hours, but probably not too far. But you never know if that could change. Kids are so fickle."

To sum things up, they believe he will wait until closer to the start of his senior season to make the decision, which seems to be getting pushed further and further back from the original July date.  So that either means that MD and Nova are pushing hard if you believe the quote above, or he is seriously considering Kansas.

Good for us that he really likes MD, but this pushing off thing sucks in terms of figuring out our PG situation in this recruit class.  I hate waiting for a recruit so we can move to the next, I always feel like the recruit that is waiting becomes dis-interested and goes somewhere else.

Here is the link:,0,4548509.story?track=rss

The weekly free IMS story worked out great for us.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Jeff Barker talks with some of the Crab 5 !!!

Well, Seth gave Charlotte's Crab 5 moniker a shout out in Jeff Barker's recent interview with Coach Turgeon and some of the recruits.  He also discussed his roster with Turge - and yes, the best will play, young or old.

The Crab 5
You just got Locksley'd.... get use to it

This is good news for the Terps future.  I'm not so concerned for 2012-13, except wanting to see our young players getting substantial minutes this year.  Next year, the frosh will be more developed along with Nick and Alex for a possible deep run in 2014-2015. I know we all want the big move to happen right away, but it will take at least two more years to regularly penetrate/be in the top 20, maybe top 10, for most of a season. I look forward to watching Turge and the staff work with our young guys, our "Crab 5."

Jeff had some fun with the interview, and asked some good questions:,0,6782296.story

It's Wednesday lets talk recruiting

Man trying to blog without a computer is awful. I have started this twice and lost all my info on this damn iPad. Anyways I wanted to give a shout out to both DJ and Bball for keeping the blog going in my absence. I quit my old job and my boss sits right next to me in my new job so I don't have the opportunity to blog at will anymore.

Enough about me, let's talk basketball. Here is a great article by the Baltimore sun on the 2012 class:,0,6782296.story

In other news MD is in the lead for Dwayne Morgan, a 2014 wing recruit from MD. He is a borderline 5 star and will most likely finish a 5 star, assuming his productivity remains on par. I am thinking that MD will add a Wing and a PF in 2014, with them adding a PG, volume scorer, and a all around Wing in 2013.

Daxter Miles was offered by NC state. He is a 2013 combo guard. He is pretty far down the priority list to be honest. With that said I don't want him to land at nc state, increasing their MD exposure and possibly biting us in the ass twice a year if we undervalued him.

2012 signee, Charles Mitchell, won the MVP for his high school team. Pretty impressive high school trophy. And lastly the Capitals just forced a game 7. The series should really be over damnit! That's all I have for now. It has been a pretty slow week in recruiting. Hope all is well with you guys.

New ACC TV Deal with ESPN through 2026-2027

Full breakdown of coverage and specifics of how many games per season per sport can be found here:

Click  here for the press release from the ACC.

Details after the break..

Nerlens Noel being Investigated - and what it might mean for the Harrisons' recruitment

We all knew ... it was just a matter of time.  And, that day has arrived. As Tark the Shark used to sarcastically call them, the "2A" has come sniffing around because of a strong possibility of impropriety surrounding a University of Kentucky recruit.

Pete Thamel of the NY Times reports that the NCAA is investigating the people in Nerlens Noel's inner circle, and some of the events that have occurred the past couple of years, including where air fares came from, the relationships between his "advisors," etc.

The bigger question for Terps fans is how does this impact the recruitment of the Harrison twins?  Aaron Harrison, Sr., has said that he strongly desires a family atmosphere for his sons.  However, another question arises - does Mr. Harrison wish for his sons to be around players that may be a bad influence on them and their future prospects in the NBA?  The "hangers-on" are everywhere for sure, but it just seems like UK attracts more than their fair share as the epicenter of a delusional fan base with a very delusional and skewed sense of entitlement.  I for one believe Coach Calipari's and UK's house of recruiting cards will eventually come tumbling down, as history tends to repeat itself.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Thursday Flashback - Hiring Mark Turgeon

While reading a CBS Sports piece regarding what universities should be realistically looking for when hiring a new coach, I was reminded me of a few oft discussed topics last May, when Maryland hired Mark Turgeon to be their next head coach of the men's basketball program.  

An online debate ensued about whether some analysts were correct or not by describing the Maryland head coaching position as a top 15 job.  Well, apparently, by my estimation, after reading the CBS Sports post comments, I'd say it's a resounding yes.

Gary Parrish:

"I'm here to once and for all convince ADs and fans that the key to your school not looking silly during a coaching search is to set reasonable sights on one of these three things:

1. Coaches who are out of coaching
2. BCS assistants
3. Non-BCS head coaches not named Mark Few, Brad Stevens or Shaka Smart.

If you're not shopping for a coach on one of those aisles you're almost certainly shopping on the wrong aisle and wasting time. For proof consider that just five of the 32 BCS-level jobs that have opened over the past three years were filled with BCS-level head coaches, and that none of them was filled by Few, Stevens or Smart. The only BCS-level head coaches who have voluntarily changed jobs over the past three off seasons are Martin (KSU to South Carolina), Mike Anderson (Missouri to Arkansas), Oliver Purnell (Clemson to DePaul), Frank Haith (Miami to Missouri) and Mark Turgeon (Texas A&M to Maryland), and Turgeon is the lone person of the group who left purely for basketball reasons."

Turgeon was the only one to leave for basketball reasons.  This speaks to the drawing power of the Terps program. 

After digesting the hire of Turgeon for a few weeks, I had the feeling the Terps were fortunate to land a coach who had accomplished quite a bit thus far as a Head Coach.  Yet we could see we had a coach who was ready to take the next step upward in his journey with us back towards the upper echelons of college basketball.

A year later, Terps fans seem to have not been disappointed with Coach Turgeon.  By my estimation, he is and will be even more than we anticipated.  Let's enjoy the ride that has begun.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tuesday Throwback: Top Terps Series - NBA Draft

I've decided to do a Tuesday and Thursday Throwback for all Top Terps Draft picks in the 1st and 2nd Round of the NBA draft (since the NBA has only had 2 rounds for some time now - 1989 to be exact, and doing two per Throwback day comes out just right leading up to the draft).

So without further ado, here's our first Top Terp draft pick, and our most recent one (need a hook in there for some of you "new school-ers") the first of whom also happens to have been a 5-time NBA All Star and 2-time NBA Coach of the Year, both COY honors coming with the Baltimore/Washington Bullets franchise.  Our initial Terps 1st round pick was Gene Shue, #3 overall.

For his career, Gene averaged 14.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, and 3.7 apg.

Gene was a local product from Baltimore, MD, and starred at Towson Catholic HS. Here's a good, quick history of Gene's career from a 2009 Baltimore Sun Article by Mike Klingaman:

Next, our most recent Terps 1st/2nd round draft pick is Jordan Williams.  Jordan was an 85th rated (Rivals) 4-star recruit coming out of Torrington HS in Connecticut. Williams exceeded expectations by becoming a top 3 ACC center by the end of his Sophomore season.  The rest, as they say, is history - recent history, so no need to belabor Jordan's choice to enter his name into the 2011 NBA draft to later become a 2nd round pick of the NJ Nets, #36 overall.

I would like to revisit a video from a happier time: