Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Byron Mouton: Stuck in Shining Moment

Today's Washington Post has a great feature article about Byron Mouton (2000-02), the only starter from the 2002 championship team who never got to play in the NBA. As I posted back in January, Byron is now playing for the Wilmington Sea Dogs, but the Post article says:

Mouton ended up in Wilmington by mistake. When he signed a contract with the Sea Dawgs in late January, he thought the team played out of Wilmington, Del., a 90-minute drive from Mouton's apartment in Bowie. Two hours later, his agent, Mike Hart, called to say that he'd bought Mouton a plane ticket to North Carolina.

"What am I going there for?" Mouton asked.

The story talks about how Byron is plodding through the season in the ABA where his professionalism and veteren leadership is out of place and he's making $500 a week, eating team meals at Chik-fil-A, and playing home games in high school gyms in front of tiny crowds of 250 fans. But he still has fans who remember him from Maryland and want him to sign Terps memorabilia after the game, even though he'd like to move on from it.

Five years have passed since Mouton helped Maryland win the national title the last time it was held in Atlanta, but the significance of that weekend still casts a shadow over his daily life in the American Basketball Association. Since he started for Maryland during its 2002 title run, Mouton has played for 13 professional teams in nine leagues. Still, even in Wilmington, fans regularly ask Mouton to talk about his old college teammates and sign Terrapins memorabilia.

In the consciousness of basketball fans, Mouton is forever stuck in the NCAA tournament. [...]

"You get a little sick of it," said Mouton, 28. "It's like, 'Okay, that's great fans want to talk to me. But are they really supporting me or this player they remember from five years ago?' "

Friday, March 23, 2007

Ask Tahj Holden

Last month, there was an Ask Tahj Holden (1999-2003) thread on TerpSportsReport's forums, and I missed it. On page 2 of the thread, Tahj says he's rehabilitating an achilles injury and coaching a JV girls' high school team in San Diego. He'd consider playing again if his injuries healed, but right now he's focusing on getting into coaching. Tahj also has a lot of great stories and nuggets of information about his playing days at Maryland in that thread.

Tahj Holden's pro career was short, playing in 2003-04 for ITU Istanbul in Turkey.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Matt Hahn on Vermont's Coaching Staff

Matt Hahn (1996-2000) just wrapped up his second season as an assistant coach for the Vermont Catamounts. Vermont's head coach is former Maryland assistant Mike Lonegran. Since graduating from Maryland in 2000, Matt spent three seasons (2001-04) as an assistant coach at LaSalle, where his father, former Maryland assistant Billy Hahn, is the head coach.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!

Anyone who went to games in the mid-90's will remember the "Rudy!" chants for the end-of-the-bench student-section favorite, Matt Raydo (1993-97). Matt was recently mentioned in Maryland's Smith Business School Alumni Notes section:

Matt Raydo ’97 married Shea Wade in November, 2006. Raydo played basketball for Maryland under Coach Gary Williams from 1993-1997. He currently lives in Cary, N.C., and is a principal for IT staffing firm Valiant Staffing, LLC.

It's like those NCAA advertisements on TV say: most student athletes turn pro in something other than sports...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Steve Blake Interview

HoopsWorld.com had an interview with Steve Blake (1999-2003) recently, talking to him about his NBA journey from Maryland to Washington, Portland, Milwaukee, and now his new role in Denver, starting alongside Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony.

Since joining the Denver Nuggets, Steve Blake is averaging career-highs of 9.2 points, 7.5 assists, and 43% shooting in just over 36 minutes per game. The Nuggets took a gamble when they traded their sixth man Earl Boykins for Blake, but so far it's paying off for Denver.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Laron Profit Released by Turkish Team

Last month, Laron Profit (1995-99) was released by Turkish League team Efes Pilsen, which did not pick up the option on his expiring contract. Laron had been signed by Efes Pilsen back in December to fill the roster spot of injured starter Antonio Granger, and now that Granger is healthy again, Profit's contract was allowed to expire. Laron has not been signed by another team yet.