Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Steve Francis Traded to Memphis

No doubt you already heard about it while I was on vacation last week, but Steve Francis (1998-1999) has been traded from the Houston Rockets to the team that originally drafted him in 1999, the Memphis Grizzlies. From the Houston Chronicle:
The Rockets traded Francis to the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday in a deal that was little more than a salary dump to create space under the luxury-cap threshold. After having surgery to repair a torn quadriceps tendon in his right knee on Feb. 26, Francis never was able to get back into shape and crack the Rockets' rotation. He has not appeared in a game this season. [..]

The Rockets trimmed $2.634 million off their payroll with the trade.

Francis is returning to the Grizzlies franchise that originally made him the No. 2 overall pick in the 1999 draft when the team was located in Vancouver. When he said he would not play in Canada, the Rockets obtained him in a three-way deal that also involved the Orlando Magic.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Steve Blake is Really Good

By way of a post on the Terrapin Nation blog, be sure to read this column in the Portland Oregonian about how Steve Blake (1999-2003) is a really good professional basketball player, and a lot of people are starting to realize it:

I think among outsiders or casual fans, Blake is probably the least valued, and most overlooked, starter on the Blazers.

I know as a reporter, I often unconsciously overlook Blake in stories because he is ... well, boring. I find myself usually writing about a lob pass from Sergio Rodriguez to Rudy Fernandez, or a big block from Joel Przybilla, or of course, the late-game heroics of [Brandon] Roy. But there Blake is every night, putting up his solid numbers while never doing anything crazy or out of character -- just doing his job like a professional. This season, he is averaging a career-high 11.4 points while also adding 4.2 assists. He is shooting a career-best 43.3 percent on three-pointers.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Bambale Osby Highlights

From a game back in October, Bambale Osby (2006-08) scored 18 points in a big win for his Romanian team, U Mobitelco Cluj. The video quality isn't good enough to see players' names on jerseys, but you will recognize Boom by his hair:

Friday, December 05, 2008

Nik Caner-Medley Goes Back to Spain

Nik Caner-Medley (2002-06) has signed with a new team (translation) in Spain: Cajasol Sevilla of the ACB (Spain's top pro league). The translation is bad, but as The Hoop blog helps to explain, Nik's Italian league team, Capo di Orlando, was relegated to Italy's second division (Lega2) as punishment for falsifying documentation. When the team was sent to the lower division in October, Nik became a free agent.

Caner-Medley joined the team (translation) on Thursday and is ready to try to help Cajasol turn things around. Nik previously played in the ACB last year, for Kalise Gran Canaria.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Lonny Baxter Highlights

Can't get enough of watching Lonny Baxter (1998-2002) hit the 2 foot jumper or shoot free throws? Then this is the video for you! Watch the highlights from Baxter's huge night as his team, Panionios ON Telecoms (Greece), beat Efes Pilsen (Turkey) in a Euroleague game from last month.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Drew Nicholas Highlights

Posting video clips from YouTube is a time-honored tradition on this blog for killing the November/December player transaction news void.

Here is a highlight reel of Drew Nicholas (1999-2003), playing for Panathinaikos (#11 in white) and leading his team over rival Olympaicos in a game a few days ago (the game story has a big picture of teammate Sarunas Jasikevicius).

Unrelated, but still worth reading as you digest turkey and slip into a post-meal food coma today, the Terrapin Nation blog has a great rant about the website, which I'm linking to not just because they linked to me, but mainly because it gets to the heart of why my own blog came into existence and has become a thriving hobby (which I'm thankful for today).

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tahj Holden at Monmouth University

Tahj Holden (1999-2003) was recently named Director of Basketball Operations at Monmouth University (located on the New Jersey shore near his hometown of Red Bank, NJ). Excerpts from the press release:
"We are excited to have Tahj join our staff," said head coach Dave Calloway. "He was a terrific player, who came out of the Shore, and went on to win a national championship. I think he is someone our younger players will be able to look up to for guidance and support."

"I am happy to be back home, with this great opportunity to be part of a solid program," added Holden. "I look forward to helping this program continue its winning tradition, in any way I can."

Prior to joining Monmouth, Holden was the Assistant Varsity Coach, as well as eighth grade basketball coach at La Jolla Country Day School in San Diego, California. While at La Jolla, Holden also served as the junior varsity coach in 2006-07.

This came up in a recent Washington Times blog entry on the Gary Williams coaching tree.

Friday, November 14, 2008

DJ Strawberry Lands in Italy

After being cut by the Houston Rockets on the eve of the NBA regular season, DJ Strawberry (2003-07) has signed (translation) with Fortitudo Bologna of Italy's Serie A league (the top pro league in Italy). While DJ apparently cannot play with the team until November 24 (30 days after his release from the Rockets), he is in Bologna, Italy getting ready to play.

The team's website has the transcript of a media Q&A session (translation) with DJ this week. Here is an excerpt of DJ's words translated from English to Italian and then back to English again (by Google translation):
What do you expect from this new experience? Maybe affirmed beyond the U.S., where the most famous name is that of your father for what he did on the baseball diamond?

DJ: "In some ways yes, it is more an opportunity to walk with my legs. But first of all I considered the possibility of joining a team to give the best and help you win, and at the same time further develop my game, improving working hardest possible on details that still need refining, not individual but aiming to win the Fortitudo." [...]

Many players left from Maryland have become players in Italy...

DJ: "When the college Drew Nicholas told me with enthusiasm his experience, Since then I have always regarded Europe and especially Italy forward a hypothesis, then here playing my former comrades such as Gist and Collins that I can not wait to meet again."

And finally, here's an after-practice interview with DJ where you can't hear what he's saying because of the voice-over Italian translation:

Friday, October 31, 2008

Joe Smith Wearing a Facemask

If you're tuning in to watch the Oklahoma City Thunder this season, you may not immediately recognize one of Maryland's most famous ex-Terps. Joe Smith (1993-95) is wearing a facemask to begin this season after having his nose fractured in a pre-season game last month:

Smith wasn't so comfortable Friday, admitting he was hesitant in traffic. But he took two shots to the face against the Lakers that gave him confidence he could survive blows when mixing it up in the lane.

"I just got to get used to being in the paint and being around a lot of bodies again," Smith said.

Smith's role becomes more important if Nick Collison and Chris Wilcox don't get healthy. Wilcox missed his second consecutive game Friday because of a strained hamstring. [...]

Perhaps Smith's biggest hurdle will be learning to play with a new set of teammates after only 44 minutes of preseason action and very few practice hours while protecting his injury.

Smith's teammate, Chris Wilcox (2000-02), did indeed heal up after the above story was written and led the Thunder with 15 points in their first regular season game.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Steve Blake Interview

There is a good Steve Blake (1999-2003) interview on the Hoops TV Online website today.  Steve talks a lot about his outlook for the upcoming Blazers season, his career so far, and how he keeps in touch with his Maryland teammates and Coach Williams. It hearkens back to the series of stories from back in August about how Steve has become one of the leaders in Portland and is loved on and off the court by the city.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Juan Dixon Survives Wizards Cuts

This week, the Washington Wizards cut two players, assuring Juan Dixon (1998-2002) a spot on the 15-player roster to start the regular season next week:

Dixon, originally drafted by the Wizards out of Maryland in 2002, missed the first four preseason games with a calf injury but returned to action Friday against the New Orleans Hornets. After three strong practices, Dixon feels confident he can help the Wizards, who open the season at home Oct. 29 against New Jersey.

"Just knowing the system, Coach has a lot of confidence in me," Dixon said. "He knows that I'm going to go out and execute the play, be in the right positions on the floor. And my job is to do whatever they ask of me, so whatever my role is, that's what I'm going to go out and do."

Friday, October 24, 2008

D.J. Strawberry Cut by Rockets

After being traded to the Rockets before the season and playing well in training camp and the preseason, D.J. Strawberry (2003-07) was waived by the team today. D.J. was apparently the victim of the NBA luxury tax:

Strawberry, acquired from Phoenix for Sean Singletary, also played well, averaging 8.2 points on 41.7 percent shooting.

With Friday's move, the Rockets trimmed their roster to 14 players, one fewer than the league maximum, but there are no immediate plans to make an addition to the roster that already takes the Rockets' payroll past the luxury tax threshold.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Travis Garrison in Turkey's 2nd Division

Travis Garrison (2002-06), who I just announced had signed in Uruguay less than a month ago, has now signed a new deal with Dalaman A.Ş. Pamukkale University in Turkey's 2nd division. I am still annoyed that Google translation doesn't do Turkish, so again we turn to The first two paragraphs of the press release are mostly about a sponsorship deal for the team, and the third paragraph is about Garrison. My heavily edited translation:
The Dalaman A.Ş. Pamukkale University basketball team announced its first foreign transfer player is Travis Garrison from the United States. Having previously played in South Korea, Spain, and Venezuela, Garrison is 24 years old, 2.05 meters tall. Travis Garrison has signed a one-year contract with Pamukkale.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Ekene Ibekwe in Turkey

Ekene Ibekwe (2003-07) has signed on with Mutlu Aku Selcuk University of Selcuk, Turkey. The team released a press release announcing his signing earlier this week. Want confirmation? Here's a news article which repeats the team's press release almost word for word.

Sadly, Google translation doesn't do Turkish, so I tried out a different translation website. The press release is obviously unreadable without translation (except for "Ekene Ibekwe" and "NBA"), and it didn't really get much more readable when I did manage to translate it:
With its preparations for the new season, and Turkish Cup final stage for şehrimizden Erzurum tomorrow we will move to the team, 4. Ekene Ibekwe agree with foreign as an actor.

The season which We finished Israil a cave Galil with at a Gilboa team at the 10 matches 11.3 A number, 5.3 She centers ribaund and which play with Federal Republic of Nigeria Pivot percent at the 2 numbers 65 77 percent at the free shot percent an owner. 2.06 1985 pivot born at your distance last NBA the league had worn the form Summer.

Cengiz which the head trainer clarifies that the transfer increased her power under the crucible team Montenegro Ekene Ibekwe is immediately to my jewelry piece I think that she will provide harmony. To the extra league cupful full staff and a ready halo We came. Ibekwe cupful last eight and the one at the league Play-Off your contributions will become important for our target I believe. She told.

Happy Battery Selcuk University, Turkish Cup for the matches tomorrow we will Konya?dan Erzurum?a the move.

Apparently, translating Turkish to English is very hard. As far as I can tell, Selcuk's team is sponsored by the Happy Battery company.

While researching this story, I also learned that Selcuk is famous for its Camel Wrestling Festival in January. You won't read about that on your other Maryland sports blogs.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Travis Garrison in Uruguay

Travis Garrison (2002-06) is continuing his tour of South America by signing to play for Club Trouville of Uruguay (following stops in Argentina and Venezuela). Here's a brief announcement (translation) of his signing in a "sports briefs" article, and no, I personally did not feel the need to register with the website to read beyond the first paragraph:
On the afternoon of Thursday, Trouville heralded the arrival of Travis Garrison. He stands 2.03m tall, weighs 109kg, and is 24 years old. In the 2006/07 season, he played for the Great Falls Explorers (CBA), where he averaged 11.9 pts., 6.1 rebounds, and was chosen Rookie of the Year. In 2008 he played for Gaiteros of Zulia, Venezuela.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Juan Dixon Back in DC

Last week, I was on vacation for the biggest ex-Terp news of the off-season: Juan Dixon (1998-2002), signed a one-year deal with the Washington Wizards. Hopefully one of the many local newspapers or other Terp blogs from my sidebar over there on the right filled you in on the news in my absence.

Juan says he's excited and feels "comfortable" here in DC, but he won't be wearing #3 on his jersey:
Dixon won't wear the No. 3 he sported during his earlier, three-year stint with the Wizards -- that number is now the property of two-time all-star forward Caron Butler -- but even in choosing new digits, Dixon will be going back to his roots.

"Nah, I can't get that number back, but I'm going to go back to number 12, where it all started," Dixon said of the number he wore while starring at Baltimore's Calvert Hall High School. [...]

According to his agent, former Wizard Mitchell Butler, Dixon received interest from several teams over the summer, including New Jersey, Denver and New Orleans, plus a few European teams, but a big offer never materialized. As the free agent market dried up and roster spots diminished, the Wizards and Dixon agreed to a deal that made sense for both sides.

Though Dixon has to make the team and would earn the veteran minimum of $1.03 million for the season, a solid year could set him up to earn a bigger contract next summer.

Monday, September 08, 2008 Redesign

This isn't really former Terp news, but one of the key reference sites I use for this blog, has recently been redesigned and retooled. Readers (like you!) can now leave comments on games or players and submit links to stories about players and games. They have detailed basketball stats for all Maryland games and players going back to the 1989-90 season. I particularly rely on the site to aid my memory on things like what years Rodney Elliott played (1994-98) and how to spell Sarunas Jasikevicius. Many of the player pages have a handy link to this blog for current news about what former Terp players are doing now, so really, how can you not like the site?

For football fans, also has football game results going back, amazingly, to the 1892 season (we went 0-3 that year, including a loss to a local high school team).

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Harper and Doron to Play Together in Turkey

Laura Harper (2004-08) and Shay Doron (2003-07)have both signed to play for Besiktas Cola Turka of Turkey for next season. Here are player pages for Harper and Doron.
Beşiktaş Cola Turka Women’s Basketball Team has added Israeli guard Shay Doron, American center Laura Harper and forward Alexis Hornbuckle to its roster.

She played an important role in the Maryland University’s NCAA title in 2006 and Elitzur Ramla’s first place league finish in 2008. Doron, who also plays for the Israeli national team, took part in the Euro Cup semifinals last year.

After winning the prestigious NCAA Championship in 2006, she was part of the team when the USA Under-23 Team grabbed the world title in 2007. She was selected as the most valuable player in NCAA Final-Four Tournament. She is currently with the Sacramento Monarchs of the WNBA and will join Beşiktaş Cola Turka once the WNBA season ends.

In addition to its league scheudle, Besiktas is scheduled to participate in the FIBA Women's Euro Cup tournament this winter. Two years ago, Rodney Elliott played for Besiktas's men's team.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Bambale Osby in Romania

Bambale Osby (2006-08) has signed in Romania (translation) with U Mobitelco Cluj-Napoca. The linked story in the Ziua de Cluj newspaper doesn't say much about Osby; it's more of a summary of the whole team's preparation for the upcoming season. They note that Osby will be joining the team in Cluj next week, and the team is looking to him to help improve their defense while increasing the team's average height from last year, as part of a total team transformation that sees only five players returning from last year's squad.

Google auto-translation doesn't work right with the team's homepage, but they have a press release saying this about Osby:
American Bambale "Boom" Osby is the final new player to join "U" Mobitelco to play the 4-5 positions. Osby (22 years old, 2.03 meters, 120 kg) is expected next week to join the team. "He's a player who will help us not only in our offensive game, but also on defence, and further, will make a spectacular addition to our team," said executive chairman Mircea Cristescu, on the final acquisition of the team.

"Boom" comes from the University of Maryland and will be the seventh in the batch of foreign "U" Mobitelco players after the arrivals of Leon, Majstrovich, Glintic, Gibson, Kinsella, and the extended contract for Cuic. This will be Osby's first European experience, along with Leon and Gibson.

"Boom" concluded the 2007-2008 season with an average of 11.5 points, 0.8 assists, 6.5 rebounds (2.1 offensive) per game.

The second half of the press release is his career highlights, conveniently cut-and-pasted in English from some other source. Boom joins Mike Jones, who is also playing in Romania next season.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

DJ Strawberry Traded to Houston

DJ Strawberry (2003-07) has been traded to the Houston Rockets, where he could be teammates with Steve Francis. In return, the Phoenix Suns get former UVa player Sean Singletary. In the Houston Chronicle, Houston's GM says DJ has a shot to make the team:
He is expected to be with the Rockets in training camp and in the preseason. His contract is non-guaranteed unless he makes the opening night roster.

"He's got a shot to make it," Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said. "He's different. He's athletic, can really defend multiple guard spots. Phoenix was starting to use him at the one. That's where he'll be unique. He might have a chance to catch on in the league even he was just at the two just from his defensive ability.

"If we feel like he can (handle the point offensively) then we feel like we got something there."

The Rockets' press release sums up Strawberry's career so far:
Strawberry (6-5, 201, Maryland) averaged 2.2 points, 0.9 assists and 8.2 minutes in 33 games as a rookie with the Suns in 2007-08. His 33 appearances were the most games played by a Suns rookie since Zarko Cabarkapa (49) in 2003-04. Strawberry scored a season-high nine points vs. New Orleans (2/6/08), as well as notching season bests of seven rebounds and seven assists vs. Portland (4/16/08). He also made his career playoff debut in Game Four vs. San Antonio (4/27/08).

Selected by the Suns in the second round (59th overall) of the 2007 NBA Draft, Strawberry posted career bests in points (14.9), rebounds (4.4) and steals (2.03) in 34 games of his senior season at Maryland. Strawberry, the son of former Major League Baseball star Darryl Strawberry, earned All-ACC Second Team and ACC Defensive Team honors in 2006-07, while becoming just the 45th Terp in school history to reach 1,000 career points.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Rodney Elliott Signs in France

Rodney Elliott (1994-98) has signed to play (translation) for Paris Levallois of the French Pro B League. Here's what they say on their team website about Rodney (translation):
After an NCAA career at the University of Maryland (senior year: 15 points and 7.4 rebounds per game), Rodney played for some minor league teams in American before landing for good in Europe in 2001, where he played in Italy, Spain and Turkey.

A very good three-point shooter and able to play under the basket, this 2.02m forward is a reliable and versatile player. His complementary play with Michel Jean-Baptiste Adolphe could quickly bear fruit.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Steve Blake is a Leader in Portland

Steve Blake Photo from OregonLive.comI don't write enough about Steve Blake (1999-2003), since he's not in the news a lot. He's not showy, he doesn't change teams a lot, and he doesn't do anything stupid off the court. But he's become a team leader and the starting point guard for the Portland Trailblazers, and the fans in Portland seem to love him. The Testudo Times blog alerted me to this series of stories in the Portland Oregonian about Blake. It's an eight part series, but only parts 1-5 are published so far:

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V

Updated 8/29/08: Parts 6-8 are now posted on the Portland Oregonian web site:

Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII

(Photo from

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Jamar Smith in Italy's 2nd Division

Jamar Smith (2002-04) has signed a one-year deal (translated) with Fastweb Junior Casale of Italy's Lega 2 (the 2nd division pro league in Italy). From the team's press release (translation):
The Juniors Sign Jamar Smith

The American player completes the 2008-2009 roster.

The FASTWEB JUNIOR CASALE team announces that it has signed an agreement with American JAMAR SMITH.

Born December 5, 1980 in Sicklerville (New Jersey), Jamar attended Overbrook High School. After high school and two seasons at a Junior College in Cumberland, MD, he chose to play for the University of Maryland in the NCAA. He played in the 2004-2005 Premier League in Israel with Maccabi Haifa, then in two successive seasons he has played in the NBDL with the Austin Toros. Last year, he played with Toshiba Brave Thunder in the Japanese league.

The first words of Jamar Smith: "This year I played in a league as competitive and demanding as Italy. I am truly anxious to get to know my teammates and start working. From what I have mentioned, the Juniors can help me find the conditions to grow as a man and as a player. My goal? To compete and improve our chances of winning the championship."

Monday, August 18, 2008

Joe Smith Traded to Oklahoma City

Joe Smith (1993-95) will play for his ninth NBA team next season, after being traded from Cleveland to Oklahoma City (where he will join Chris Wilcox, who moved there with the rest of the franchise from Seattle). The team is waiting to officially introduce the new players until they have announced the new team name, colors, and jerseys, so that the players can hold up a jersey with their name on it.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Chris McCray to Play for Italian 2nd Division Team

Chris McCray (2003-07) has signed a one year deal (translation) to play for the Rimini Crabs in Italy's second division pro league (Lega 2). Translating the press release from the team:
The Rimini Crabs basketball club communicates with extreme satisfaction that it has signed a one-year agreement with U.S. athlete Chris McCray.

McCray, born in Capitol Heghts, MD on May 7, 1984, is a guard-wing, 1.96 m, 87 kg, and the product of the prestigious University of Maryland. By his senior year with the Terrapins, he was registering constantly growing statistics and reached the semifinals of the prestigious NIT in 2005. After college, he signed with the Milwaukee Bucks as a free agent, playing in 5 NBA games before moving to the Dakota Wizards, with whom he won the NBDL league title. In last season's debut in Europe, McCray signed with Telindus BC Oostende (Belgium-D1), playing in the league tournament and the ULEB Cup. Quick and very athletic, he is a natural shooter, and over the years has added strength and aggressiveness to his game.

Commented GM Renzo Vecchiato: "Of all the foreign players available, we were extremely easily convinced he was our best choice. He is a player with technical sophistication, both on attack and in defence. He is still young, with ample room for improvement."

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

James Gist Signs in Italy

It seemed unlikely that James Gist (2004-08), who was picked in the 2nd round of the NBA draft by the San Antonio Spurs, would be able to secure a roster spot, so Gist has signed a contract (translation) to play in Italy for Angelico Biella of the top Italian pro league (Lega A). Here's a translation of the press release from the team:
Angelico Biella Basketball announces that it has signed an agreement with James Gist.

According to team official Luke Bechi: "We are very pleased to be able to have Gist in our next team. This is James' first overseas experience, but he comes from a prestigious college at Maryland. The player is an incredible athlete and defensive stopper of the first degree, and the former Terrapin also has a good mid-range shot. Moreover, he has the great ability to play above the rim and a natural propensity to rush to counterattack and rebound. The player, along with other companions in the frontcourt, will give our team a big presence under the boards."

Standing 2.06m, James Gist was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, October 26, 1986. After attending Good Counsel High School in his hometown, he was recruited by the University of Maryland and trained with Gary Williams, one of college basketball gurus. For the Terrapins, he earned playing time as a freshman, increasing his minutes season by season to join the starting five of the Terps as a Junior. His Senior year was the year he reached the peak of his collegiate career with almost 16 points and 8 rebounds, with more than 2 blocked shots per game, and was voted to the All-ACC Defensive First Team (against players from ACC schools like North Carolina and Duke among others).

After the experience in college, Gist attended a workout with the Portland Trail Blazers and Sacramento Kings, but was chosen by the San Antonio Spurs with the 27th pick in the second round. After the Summer League in Las Vegas, where he played well with the Spurs, getting 11 points and 8 rebounds per game in 22 minutes spent on the court, James Gist now takes the path to Europe, choosing Biella as the starting point of his professional career.

Spurs fans are upset about losing Gist to Europe, but it was unlikely that the Spurs could make room on their already stacked roster for their draft pick. Gist most likely would have ended up playing for the Spurs NBA D-League affiliate, the Austin Toros. Despite signing for one year in Italy, the Spurs will still retain Gist's NBA rights for two years.

Gist will join former Terps Nik Caner-Medley (Upea Capo d'Orlando) and Andre Collins (Carife Ferrara) playing in the Italian Lega A next season.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Mike Jones in Romania

Mike Jones (2003-07) is working out with a new team (translation): CSU Asesoft Ploiesti of Romania. You have to scroll down through the archives to find the news item, but it's worth it to see the accompanying photo of Ekene Ibekwe. The article makes it sound like he's there for a tryout, but hasn't signed yet. CSU Ploiesti is the reigning champion of the Romanian league. I'll save you time by posting the translation (translated by Google, cleaned-up by me):
American Mike Jones (1.96m, 90 kg, 24 years) played for the University of Maryland and is recognized as one of the great American outside shooters... I mean well outside the three point line, because this basketballer with the same name as a rapper is a specialist of shots from over seven and a half meters.

Some called him the best defender among high school players, after NBA super star Lebron James. Many were surprised that he was not drafted in 2007; he left to play for Mersin in Turkey and APOEL in Cyprus.

-- Jones was a high school All Star before entering the University of Maryland, where he once managed a record of 9 three-point baskets in a single game!

-- In November of 2005 he became a father with Morgan Howard, bringing a little one into the world: Camryn Howard-Jones.

-- At the first workout, Mike has impressed with his physical qualities, accuracy and precision from great distance. In scrimages played, Jones and Ionel Dodoc were the best shooters and have competed with Alex Iacobescu shooting three-point baskets.

The American player is at CSU for several days, and then the club managers will make a decision on him.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Sarunas Jasikevicius Carries Lithuania's Flag at Olympic Opening Ceremony

Sarunas Jasikevicius (1994-98) is not only the only former Terp playing basketball in the Olympics this summer, but he was selected to be Lithuania's flag bearer for the opening ceremonies tonight. Watch for him on TV tonight!

Several former Terps are also competing in Beijing in field hockey and soccer. Former Terp field hockey players Lauren Powley and Sara Silvetti are blogging their Olympic experience.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Nik Caner-Medley Signs in Italy

Nik Caner-Medley (2002-06) has signed on to play for Upea Capo d'Orlando of the top Italian pro league next season. Full translation here, and here's an excerpt:
In 2007, after summer league and training camp with the Sacramento Kings and a brief appearance in D-League, Caner-Medley signed with the Spanish Kalise of Gran Canaria. He scored 7.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game while averaging 19 minutes in league play. In ULEB Cup games, his stats rose to 13.6 points and 4.9 rebounds (with 68% from the field).

According to the team: "Nik Caner Medley was the first choice of our coach for both wing spots (small and large wing) since last season. We have made a sacrifice to get him, since he is a high-level player in Europe, pursued by several clubs and returning from an excellent summer league with the Los Angeles Lakers. We think it can be very suitable for the way we play; he gives us a great dimension one-on-one and in the open court that our coach wants from his players."

As the Italian press release mentioned, Nik had a good run with the LA Lakers summer league team in Las Vegas last month. (Player Profile with stats.)

Here's a video of Nik Caner-Medley hitting a jump shot for his Spanish team last season:

Monday, July 14, 2008

Terp NBA Earnings and Stats

The Maryland Terrapin Basketball Commentary blog appears to have had a short lifespan (2/19/08 - 4/2/08), but before the postings stopped at the end of last season, they ran a listing of all 18 Maryland players who have played in the NBA since 1990 along with their statistical averages and career earnings. It will probably come as no surprise that Steve Francis ranks first with around $65M in career earnings, Joe Smith is second with $52M, and Walt Williams is third with $35M.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Shay Doron Wins Israeli Championship and MVP

Back in May, former Terp Shay Doron (2003-07), who was a leader on the Terrapin women's basketball championship team in 2007, won another championship: this time, her pro team, Elizur Ramla, won the Israeli championship. I found this thanks to DC BasketCases, which also notes that Doron was cut by the WNBA's New York Liberty, so she will not be playing back in the U.S. this summer.

After her team won the Isreali Championship, Israeli Cup, and advancing to the semi-finals of the Women's Eurocup, Shay was named Player of the Year by the league's coaches.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Terps in the NBA Summer League

There's not much Terp action in the NBA Summer League this year. James Gist (2004-08) will try to make the team in San Antonio. Meanwhile, DJ Strawberry (2003-07) and Ekene Ibekwe (2003-07) are playing together again for the Phoenix Suns.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Derrick Lewis Coaching at Archbishop Spalding

My personal knowledge of Maryland basketball doesn't extend back to the 80's, but remembers Derrick Lewis (1985-88) and found a news story about him. (Never mind the inconsistency that Lewis never played for Williams.)

Lewis is currently the president of ArchivaSports (a video service for high school athletes), and will now become the JV coach and assistant Varsity coach at Archbishop Spalding High School in Severn, MD. has a detailed bio story about Lewis from his AAU days P.G. County to his long professional career in Europe:
The newest addition to the Baltimore Catholic League coaching fraternity is one of the most underrated but finest players in Maryland basketball history. He's also the president of a company, a father of two, fluent in French and a former roommate of Len Bias. He has played professionally for 16 years and visited 38 different countries.

"Sometimes I wonder where the time has gone," Derrick Lewis said. "I have been very lucky."

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Jason McAlpin Working at Under Armour

In an on-line interview posted over at, recent graduate Jason McAlpin (2006-08) talks about his new job at Under Armour as an intern in their footwear division. Under Armour was, of course, founded by former Maryland football player Kevin Plank. An excerpt: Do you still try to get out and play a little bit?

JM: I still have the bug, no question. I still go out a few days a week and get in some pickup games. For a while I was considering going overseas to play because I still have that bug. I still felt like I have a lot of games left in me and can continue to get better as a basketball player and make some money doing it. But Under Armour is probably a better situation for me in the long run. I learned a lot from basketball, but you can't play forever.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Travis Garrison Signs in Argentina

Travis Garrison (2002-06) has signed a new deal (translation) for next year with Quilmes de Mar del Plata of Argentina's Liga A (the top pro league). The ESPNdeportes article about him apparently refers to his teammates as "The Beer" or possibly "The Brewer". Or maybe that's a bad translation:
BUENOS AIRES -- The pivot-wing American, Travis Garrison (24 years old and 2.3 metres) is the first foreign reinforcement of Quilmes in Mar del Plata to face the upcoming national basketball league.

Garrison has a good track record in the league of Korea, Spain (LEB gold) and Venezuela.

The 'beer' has as tokens national Hernando Salles, Paul Gil, Maximilino Maciel, Ezequiel Dentis, Esteban Lopez and Nicholas Romano (Sub 23).

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

European League Wrap-Up

Today, here is recap of how all the Terps playing in Europe (and elsewhere in the world) fared this season. Finding stats for all these players is very time consuming, so I didn't do it this year. (Particularly since many European teams play in multiple leagues: their national league, Euroleague, the ULEB Cup, various other tournaments, etc.) Really, I meant to write this weeks ago right after the NBA Wrap-up.

Sarunas Jasikevicius's team, Panathinaikos of Athens Greece, won the Greek League Championship for the 6th consecutive year. Panathinaikos also advanced to the round of 16 of the Euroleague Club Championships.

Lonny Baxter's team, Panionios, also from Athens, Greece, finished in 3rd place in the Greek League, losing to the aforementioned Panathinaikos in the Greek League semifinals.

Terence Morris's team, Maccabi Tel Aviv, of Isreal, made it to the Euroleague finals before losing to CSKA Moscow, who then signed Terence after the season ended. Maccabi Tel Aviv also made it to the Israeli league finals, losing by one point, despite 20 points from Morris. Maccabi also lost in the finals of the Israeli Cup back in February.

Also in Israel, John Gilchrist's Nahariya Ironi finished in 4th place after losing in the other semifinal of the Israeli league.

Laron Profit's Libertad Sunchales, of Argentina, won the Argentinian league championship.

Chris McCray's Telindus Oostende, of Belgium, lost in the quarterfinals of the Belgian League Tournament, but did manage to win the Belgium Cup tournament back in April.

Mike Jones's APOEL, of Nicosia, Cyprus, finished in 2nd place, losing in the finals of the Cypriot League. On its way to the finals, Jones and APOEL beat Ryan Randle's AEL Limmassol in the semifinals.

In Italian Lega2 play (Italy's 2nd division), Andre Collins was the league MVP and Carife Ferrara won the regular season championship (but lost in the finals of the league tournament), meaning Carife will move up to play in the Italian A division next year. Meanwhile, Rodney Elliott's Agricola Gloria team finished 15th in Lega2, and will drop down to the B1 division next season.

Nik Caner-Medley's Kalise Gran Canaria, of the Canary Islands, Spain, finished 9th and just missed the playoffs in the Spanish ACB league.

Ekene Ibekwe's Beascanon finished 8th in the French ProB League.

Travis Garrison is currently playing for Gaiteros de Zulia of Venezuela, whose league has just started the postseason. Gaiteros finished 4th in the regular season. He also played in Spain and South Korea earlier this season.

Jamar Smith's Toshiba Brave Thunder team finished 7th in the Japanese Pro Superleague.

Drew Nicholas helped Turkey's Efes Pilsen get to the Euroleague round of 16, but was released from the team in March for refusing to travel to Serbia.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Andre Collins Savors his First Pro Title

Andre CollinsDelmarva Now had an excellent feature article about former Terp Andre Collins (2001-04), who was named Italian Lega2 MVP this spring, while his club, Carife Ferrara, won the Italian Lega2 Championship and earned a berth in the Italian Series A league next winter.
Now, following a second season in which Carife won the regular-season championship and a spot in the first division next year, Collins is on vacation, visiting family and friends in Crisfield, while savoring his first pro title and thinking about where basketball will lead him next. [...]

While the 25-year-old Collins was the named league MVP this season, that kind of success was far from his mind at the beginning of his rookie campaign, when he was struggling to adjust. But that uncertain period didn't last long.

"I had a pretty good rookie season," he said. "It was very difficult to adjust, because European basketball is totally different. It was like my first year at Maryland, when it took me a while, but by the time ACC play rolled around after playing against Steve Blake and Juan Dixon all the time in practice, I was able to compete."

Collins is signed to play for Carife Ferrara again next season.

Friday, June 27, 2008

James Gist Drafted by San Antonio Spurs

James Gist (2004-08) was drafted 27th in the second round of the NBA Draft (57th overall) by the San Antonio Spurs.

All the papers have pretty much the same things to say about Gist's selection. The Baltimore Sun notes:
Gist is the seventh Maryland player taken in the draft in the past eight years and the 16th Terp picked under coach Gary Williams.

The Washington Times adds:
All things considered, there are far, far worse fates than to get to go to training camp with the Spurs. Plus, there's that whole reputation for not making too many scouting mistakes.

The Washington Post says Gist didn't even see his name get called:
Gist watched the draft from his parents' home in York, Pa. He was outside getting some fresh air when he heard the celebration. He'll try to join an experienced Spurs roster that is perennially a threat to win the NBA championship.

The Diamondback notes that second round picks have an uphill road to making it big:
Second round picks are not guaranteed contracts in the NBA. Many second rounders initially play in Europe or the NBDL, a developmental league designed to prepare players better for the NBA.

The Dallas Morning News got a quote from Spurs coach Greg Popovich:
"We're thrilled with James Gist from Maryland. He's a heck of a rebounder, he's a good scorer ... does a fine job," Popovich said.

The San Antonio Express says that he is a "stubborn defender who will buy into Spurs’ defense-first philosophy."

Local Terp blogs Turtle Soup and It Never Rains in College Park have some good commentary, as they join me in being happy for Gist and Maryland Basketball this morning.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Drew Nicholas Signs with Panathinaikos

Drew NicholasThe European free agent signing frenzy contines, as Drew Nicholas (1999-2003) signed a new, two year deal with Panathinaikos, of Athens, Greece. Nicholas had been on the sidelines all spring after his Turkish team, Efes Pilsen, released him for refusing to travel to Serbia for a Euroleague game. Panathinaikos is also the current team of Sarunas Jasikevicius.

James Gist Prepares for the NBA Draft

The NBA Draft is tonight, and James Gist (2004-08) has been traveling the country working out for a variety of teams. Most media outlets project him as a late second round pick tonight. The Washington Times has a long feature article about Gist's draft preparation:
There is no such certainty for Gist. Instead, he attended the league's predraft camp in Orlando, Fla., last month. He has spent the last two weeks on the road, bouncing from workout to workout.

Among the stops: Houston; San Antonio; Sacramento, Calif.; Chicago; Portland, Ore.; Cleveland; Toronto; and Milwaukee. Less than a week ago, Boston called to arrange a workout less than 36 hours before the draft.

All could be destinations for Gist, who is listed among the final 10 picks on several mock drafts. projects him as the 51st pick to Dallas, while Draft Express (54th to Houston) and (58th to the Los Angeles Lakers) also have him being selected.

The Diamondback says Gist is forecast as an energetic defensive stopper off the bench in the NBA:
Gist welcomes any role he can claim and realizes that he won't be a double-double threat like he was over the past couple of years.

"Coming into the NBA, I don't plan on playing a lot," Gist said. "They have their guys who can do a lot of scoring, and I don't look at my role as that. I'm a defender; I look to defend the [small forward position]. Come in and guard the Tracy McGradys of the league, the Kobe Bryants."

Update! James Gist was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs with the #57 pick.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Terence Morris Signs with CSKA Moscow

Terence MorrisTerence Morris (1997-2001), fresh off leading Maccabi Tel Aviv to the Euroleague Finals and being named as an All-Euroleague First Team selection, has signed a new deal with the team that beat Maccabi in the Euroleague Finals, CSKA Moscow. The Euroleague press release said this about Terence:
Morris had a stellar debut season in the Euroleague with Maccabi, quickly going from a role player to dominant force on the team. He averaged 12.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 25 Euroleague games, leading the competition in blocks and finishing second in rebounding. He was a truly efficient player, making 60.8% of his two-point shots and 49.2% from downtown. Morris dominated during a 10-game span at the end of the regular season and into the Top 16, when he recorded 14.2 points, 11 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. He was named Euroleague Basketball MVP for the moth of January for his efforts and in addition to being an All-Euroleague First Team selection, finished as runner-up in the voting for the Best Defender Trophy. [...]

"A player of Morris's caliber, just could not avoid the area of CSKA interest," CSKA CEO Andrei Vatutin said of the signings. "Last season demonstrated how valuable he is as a player, and we could see it during Final Four in Madrid… It is not so easy to earn All-Euroleague Team selection. I am very happy that CSKA managed to win the battle for this player against the biggest European clubs. It is very important that Terence gladly responded to CSKA’s proposal and is ready to meet our requirements."

CSKA trumpeted their signing in a press release, while local Israeli papers like the Jerusalem Post and Ha'aretz lamented losing one of their stars.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

NBA Regular Season Wrap-Up

Here's how Maryland's Alumni fared in the 2007-08 NBA regular season. Click on the names for expanded stats from
Steve BlakePOR827829.
Juan Dixon-- 52012.
TOR 36011.
DET 17014.
Steve FrancisHOU10319.
Joe Smith-- 773622.410.15.20.9
CHI 503522.911.25.30.9
CLE 27121.
DJ StrawberryPHX 3308.
Chris WilcoxSEA 625528.

Only Steve Blake and Chris Wilcox had years with numbers better than their career averages. Wilcox and Steve Francis struggled with injury-plagued seasons. Juan Dixon and Joe Smith were traded mid-season. DJ Strawberry spent the middle part of the season playing for Phoenix's NBDL Affiliate, the Albuquerque Thunderbirds.

The regular season is long over, but Juan Dixon and the Detroit Pistons are still alive in the NBA Playoffs (2 games, 3.5 mpg, 0.0 ppg, 0.0 rpg, 0.0 apg). Joe Smith (Cleveland, 13 games, 20.2 mpg, 6.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 0.5 apg) and DJ Strawberry (Phoenix, 1 game, 5 mpg, 0.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 0.0 apg) also played in the NBA Playoffs this year.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Morris and Maccabi Tel Aviv Finish Second in Euroleague

Thanks to the long layoff between the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of the Euroleague 2008 tournament, it completely slipped my mind to check back in on the Euroleague Championships after their Final Four two weeks ago.

Terence Morris (1997-2001) and his team, Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv, got past Montepaschi Siena, 92-85, in the Euroleague semifinal. Morris had 13 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 steals in the win. This dunk earned Terence the Play of the Day and Top Play of the Final Four honors from the Euroleague:

But in the finals, Morris and company came up short against CSKA Moscow, losing 91-77. Morris had almost the same box score line as in the semifinals: 13 points, 7 rebounds, 1 block. Some ex-four-letter-school player named Trajan Langdon led CSKA with 21 points. Maccabi Elite was lead by Georgia Tech's Will Bynum with 23 points. So I think it's fair to say that the ACC owns Euroleague.

A fan of the team puts this Terence Morris highlight reel together with clips from the whole season:

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Byron Mouton Interview

There is a series of interviews with Byron Mouton (2000-02) up on Byron talks about the NBA playoffs, Maryland basketball, and his own career. There are four audio segments there to listen to; each is around 10 minutes. If you're finding this page late and the interviews there aren't Byron, search the archives for the 5-8-2008 show.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Jamar Smith Briefly Back in the NBDL

After spending the winter playing in Japan, Jamar Smith (2002-04) briefly returned to play a few play-off games for the NBA D-League's Austin Toros in April, after DerMarr Johnson was called up to play for the NBA's Spurs. Jamar played for the Toros the previous two seasons (2005-07).

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Crystal Langhorne Off And Running With Mystics

After she was drafted in the first round by the Washington Mystics a few weeks ago, the Washington Post today has an article about how Crystal Langhorne (2004-08) is off and running with her new team. Excerpts:
"The past few weeks have been the craziest of my life," Langhorne said. "Playing with the U.S. team and veterans like Lisa Leslie and Katie Smith was amazing, but I'm really so happy to be back, ready to get settled and become part of this team."

There's no time to waste as Langhorne rapidly becomes a regular part of the Mystics' makeup, adapting to new teammates and coaches -- and the plays Coach Tree Rollins handed the rookie when she arrived. Luckily, Langhorne said, Washington's style is similar to the Terrapins' and includes many familiar plays, with different names.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

DJ Strawberry Has a Famous Dad

Did you know that DJ Strawberry (2003-07) is the son of former major league baseball star Darryl Stawberry? It's true! The Arizona Republic wrote a story about DJ and his famous father this month.

OK, so seriously, they actually do cover a lot of new ground other than the standard "DJ Strawberry is Darryl's son" retread cookie-cutter feature story elements, and it's a good read, so click on the link and read the whole thing. Here's some of the highlights from the story:

But D.J. — who uses the name his family has always called him — stopped trying to run from the embarrassment long ago. He embraces the relationship and the tag that it always will bring him.

"Everybody says I look like my dad," said the Phoenix Suns rookie guard, who played college basketball for Maryland.

He just wouldn't mind being known as Lisa Watkins' son and Virginia Andrews' grandson, too. He might be the spitting image of his dad and benefited from those genes, but the women raised him, talked to him daily and visited him frequently. [...]

The Suns might have benefited from Darryl's sordid background. D.J. nearly went undrafted until Phoenix selected him at No. 59. During the pre-draft screening, teams constantly asked about drugs and off-court behavior, even though D.J. had never been in trouble.

"That's not fair," Darryl said. "He shouldn't have been labeled for that, because he has nothing to do with my life.

The same Arizona Republic writer also has a story about how DJ is hoping to improve his game, learning from his rookie year experience and getting better over the summer.

"I've learned a lot about the game, how to be a professional and how long the season is," Strawberry said.

"You hear about the rookie wall, but you don't know it until you feel it. It came to a point where I was tired every day. I didn't feel like going to the gym and working out, but it's my job. I pushed through it, and it made me better in the end."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Atman Smith Running Non-Profit in Baltimore

Former Terp walk-on Atman Smith (1996-98) is one of three co-founders of the Baltimore-based Holistic Life Foundation, Inc. HLF hosts mentoring and after-school programs which stress the interconnectedness of people and the environment in which they live. They also teach yoga and holistic health, and facilitate environmental advocacy work at dozens of after school programs, camps, and recreation centers. Atman is the foundation's Director of Youth Programming. You can read more about HLF Inc. and its history and mission on their website.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Duane Simpkins Coaching St. Alban's HS in DC

Duane Simpkins (1992-96) is the Head Coach of the varsity basketball team at St. Alban's School in Washington, DC. They have a bio of Coach Simpkins (PDF) on their athletic department website.

Simpkins had previously been the coach at Sidwell Friends School, also in DC.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Juan Dixon Fitting In With Pistons

Michigan News site ran a good story recently about how Juan Dixon (1998-2002) is fitting in well with his new team, the Detroit Pistons. (You may recall, he was traded from Toronto to Detroit at the draft deadline in February.)

Most of the story is the same story we all know about how Juan's tough challenges growing up has turned him into a mentally tough player and people's doubts about him because of his size (except for Gary Williams, who believed in him) made him into a player who never quits. Papers run the same story every time he goes somewhere new, but it's a new story to the people of Detroit. Here's a short excerpt:

"The makeup of this team, is guys that other teams didn't want," Dixon said. "You go around this locker room. It's like that with everybody."

And it is that familiarity that has made the former Toronto Raptor's transition to an already crowded backcourt surprisingly smooth.

"That's why this is the perfect team for me," Dixon said. "Everybody in here knows what it feels like to not be wanted."

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Parrish Brown Joins the Elgin Racers

Parrish Brown (2005-07), who had been playing in Germany this winter, returns to the United States to play for the International Basketball League's (IBL) Elgin Racers (of Elgin, Illinois). The Racers put out a press release (PDF), and the story was covered in the Suburban Chicago Courier News:
Former University of Maryland guard Parrish Brown has signed with the Elgin Racers.

Brown, a 6-1 guard, played two years at Maryland after two seasons at Kennedy King Junior College. Brown averaged 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. At Maryland, Brown played both guard positions, and was one of the team leaders in free-throw percentage. During Brown's senior season, Maryland finished 25-9 advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Racers president/coach Michael Murphy said: "The organization is very excited that Parrish will be wearing a Racer jersey for us this spring. He has an outstanding background and has played against the best competition the college game has to offer. We expect him to be a force on both ends of the floor."

The IBL consists of 18 teams, mostly in the U.S., but as the league's name implies, there are international teams in Canada, Holland, and China this season. Their regular season runs from early April to late June.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Terence Morris in the Euroleague Final Four

Maccabi Elite of Tel Aviv Israel, with ex-Terp starting forward Terence Morris (1997-2001), rolled on to the Final Four of the Euroleague Championships last night, winning game 3 of their series with AXA FC Barcelona, and thus winning the quarterfinal series 2 games to 1. Maccabi won game 1 in Tel Aviv, with Morris getting 14 points and 10 rebounds. They then lost game 2 on the road in Barcelona, despite 16 points, 11 boards, and 3 blocks from Morris. Heading back home again this week, Terence scored 8 points and 8 rebounds in the series-clinching game 3.

For the whole tournament, Terence leads all players with 1.87 blocks per game. He is in second place for the tournament in rebounds, (8.43 RPG), but was the rebounding leader for both the round of 16 (10.17 RPG) and the semi-final round (9.67 RPG).

Up next: Maccabi takes on Montepaschi Siena in the semi-finals on May 2 (trivia: Lonny Baxter played for Siena last year when they won the Italian League Championship). The Final Four is one-and-done. No "best-of" series. The finals are on May 4.

And now, let's learn some basketball fundamentals with Terence Morris.

In this first instructional video, Terence teaches younger players the finer points of offensive rebounding during game 1 of his series against FC Barcelona:

Now watch as Terence demonstrates how to play low-post defense during a round of 16 match-up against Lithuanian Champs Zalgiris Kaunas:

I hope we've all learned something to make ourselves better players today.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Two Terps Picked in First Round of WNBA Draft

In yesterday's annual WNBA draft, two Terps were selected in the first round. Crystal Langhorne (2004-08) was drafted with the 6th pick by the Washington Mystics, and then shortly thereafter, Laura Harper (2004-08) was drafted with the 10th pick by the Sacramento Monarchs.

Excerpts from the Washington Post story (linked above):
Langhorne, who was joined at the draft by her parents, two brothers and Maryland Coach Brenda Frese, is the Terrapins' all-time leading scorer and rebounder. The two-time all-American and ACC player of the year averaged 17.3 points and 9.4 rebounds and made 64.7 percent of her shots last season. She had hopes of being selected in the first round but wasn't sure what to expect on draft day.

"A lot of people were saying some things, but you never know what coaches are thinking or who they need, guards or posts," Langhorne said. "When Washington came up, I was like, 'Hopefully they pick me,' and they did." [...]

Langhorne's teammate, Laura Harper, was chosen by the Sacramento Monarchs at No. 10, giving Maryland two first-round picks for the first time in school history.

"We're just elated," Frese said. "What a proud moment, special day for Maryland basketball."

Harper was stunned to hear her name called when it was.

"When I heard my name I was euphoric," Harper said. "I didn't know if it was a dream or what. Playing amongst a class of so many talented players, it's just like the bar is set so high. To be among them, I just felt speechless."

The Baltimore Sun has a good story about Langhorne and Harper too:
For four years, Crystal Langhorne and Laura Harper were inseparable on the Maryland women's basketball team's front line, not to mention their time together on a Philadelphia-area Amateur Athletic Union team before that. The pair, integral pieces of the Terps' 2006 national championship effort, were sent to opposite coasts yesterday in the WNBA draft.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Byron Mouton Plays in Wilmington for a Month

Apparently Byron Mouton (2000-02) had re-signed in February for a brief stint with the Wilmington Sea Dogs, who now play in something called the "Premier Basketball League" instead of the ABA. Don't bother looking for him on the roster or stats page of the Sea Dogs' website... they haven't updated the team stats since January 11. I only noticed he was there because his team got eliminated from the playoffs by the Maryland Nighthawks recently.

Byron played for the Sea Dogs last year, when they were an ABA team, then briefly played for the Albany Patroons (of the CBA) last October-November.

So anyway, Mouton played for Wilmington for about a month (and played quite well from the news stories I found on Google), and now their season is over. Remember to come back to my blog for all your fresh, breaking news stories about things that happened a month ago that I just now noticed.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Ekene Ibekwe Signs in France

Ekene Ibekwe (2003-07) has signed with Besancon Basket Comte Doubs of the French Pro-B league. Here is Besancon's press release about the signing (translation). Excerpted from their story:
Sylvain Lautié wanted to quickly find a player to replace Adam Waleskowski, who will be out with an injury for at least 8 weeks; he has done that with the arrival of Nigerian Ekene Ibekwe (2.06m, 100 kg, 22 years). This young Nigerian international player out of the American University of Maryland previously played in Israel for Gilboa (11 games, 18 min, 61% shooting, 5.3 rbds, against 1.1 and 11.3 pts). He is an athletic player, and he presents an interior and defensive profile similar to Waleskowski. Ibekwe left hurriedly from Israel following an incident with residents of Gliboa who allegedly threatened him.

So that's an interesting nugget at the end about Ekene leaving Israel due to threats from area residents. I can't find much more about the details of this. The Besancon press release's reference link takes you to Eurobasket, which only notes:
(Market News, Feb. 12, 2008) - Nigerian forward Ekene Ibekwe (206-F-85, college: Maryland) decided to leave Gilboa/Afula without notice after an off-court incident with locals which scared him, and made him leave the country immediately.

The Besancon team site also links to this video of Ibekwe playing for the Nigerian national team and dunking on Dirk Nowitzki during the 2006 FIBA world championships:

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Terrence Morris Advances in Euroleague Tournament

Good news for all of you who had Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv in your Euroleague brackets: Terence Morris's (1997-2001) team has moved on to the quarterfinal round.

Maccabi Elite qualified to move on last week, beating Real Madrid. Morris was the star of the game with this fantastic box score line: 23 points (including 4-for-5 on 3-pointers), 13 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks.

Terence appears in this video of the Top 10 Plays from week 5. He's the #4 play, at 1:40 in. And even though they're not Maryland players, be sure to watch the #3 and #1 plays in the video too... unbelievable shots:

Maccabi Elite secured first place in Group F with a big win against Zalgiris in week 6. Terence had 11 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 blocks. He's at #9 in this video of week 6 Top 10 plays (starting at 0:15):

(Updated 3/31: Maccabi Elite will play AXA FC Barcelona in a best-of-three quarterfinal series beginning April 1.)

In Group D, Sarunas Jasikevicius's (1994-98) run in the tournament is over, as his team, Panathinaikos, lost their final game to Partizen Igokea, despite 20 points from Sarunas. They had won in week 5, edging group winner Montepaschi Siena (Sarunas: 12 points, 5 assists). Panathinaikos, who was the defending champion of this tournament, finished in 3rd place (2-4) in their group.

On a bright note for Sarunas, he was named as one of Europe's Top 50 Contributers in the past 50 years, as part of the 50th anniversary of European Club basketball. Here is the write-up about him.

Ryan Randle Wins FIBA Europe Dunk Contest

Ryan Randle (2001-03) won the slam dunk contest at the FIBA Europe All-Star Game:
Ryan Randle made a cameo appearance at the 2007 All Star Game to win the slam dunk contest. [...]

Although not an experienced dunk contest competitor, Randle was happy for the chance to be involved in the All Star experience.

"This is the second dunk contest I have participated in. They asked me if I wanted to participate in the All Star game and I said sure, I get a free jersey so I’m cool."

The picture is from the FIBA Europe main page.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Chris Wilcox Can Dunk

This post has no news. Unless you consider it news that Chris Wilcox (2000-02) performed the following dunk last week:

Thank you for your attention.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Euroleauge Tournament Continues

The Euroleague Championships are rolling on without Drew Nicholas (1999-2003). Nicholas's former team, Efes Pilsen, lost its rematch with Sarunas Jasikevicius's (1994-98) Panathinaikos, though Sarunas only had 3 points and 3 assists. Sarunas scored 16 points in last week's loss, so he and Panathinaikos are now 2-2 with 2 games to go in this round.

Terence Morris (1997-2001) and Maccabi Elite won a big game against previously undefeated Real Madrid last week. Morris had 16 points, 15 rebounds, and 2 blocks. But his team followed up the big win with a shocking loss at home (Morris: 15 points, 10 rebounds), so they are still stuck in the middle of the pack at 2-2 in their group.

Terence Morris was the co-MVP of Week 3 (when his team upset Real Madrid). His highlights start around 30 seconds into this video:

Lastly, the Frederick News-Post has a short article about Terence's success in Israel this week.

Drew Nicholas Released by Turkish Club

As mentioned in a post here last week, Drew Nicholas (1999-2003) had, along with three other American players, refused to travel to Serbia for a Euroleague Top 16 game in Belgrade, due to security warnings from the American Embassy. This week, Efes Pilsen responded by releasing Nicholas. Here is most of the Euroleague press release (linked above), explaining the situation:
Efes Pilsen of Istanbul, Turkey has de-registered two players from its Euroleague roster and released both following their refusal to travel with the team to Top 16, Game 3 in Belgrade, Serbia a week ago. Efes on Wednesday officially de-registered the team's top scorer, shooting guard Drew Nicholas, and backup playmaker Rashad Wright. A third player, center Loren Woods, is expected to follow suit shortly. A fourth who also skipped the game in Belgrade, power forward Andre Hutson, was reinstated by the team over the weekend. All four players cited personal security concerns last week for not traveling to Serbia after communication they received from the United States embassy there contradicted guarantees of security from the Turkish embassy in Belgrade as well as city authorities and the host club, Partizan Belgrade. Three other United States citizens with Efes, guard Scoonie Penn, forward Kenny Gregory and head coach David Blatt, made the trip and participated in the game, which was held without incident. Nicholas has averaged 16.5 points and 2.9 assists in 14 Euroleague Basketball games this season.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Travis Garrison Goes to Venezuela

Travis Garrison (2002-06), who started the season in South Korea, then moved to Spain, has now returned to the western hemisphere to play for Gaiteros de Zulia of Venezuela (translation). If you scroll down to the news on the Gaiteros web page (there's no direct link), it looks like their season just started last week and Garrison is already leading the team, getting 23 points and 11 rebounds in their most recent game.

(Updated 3/5: OK, so technically, it turns out that most of Spain is actually in the western hemisphere. A good joke ruined by geography.)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Euroleague Top 16 Round-Up

Three former Terps playing in Europe have made it to the Euroleauge Championship round of 16. And in the first round-robin game in this round, Drew Nicholas (1999-2003) and Efes Pilsen (of Istanbul, Turkey) defeated Sarunas Jasikevicius (1994-98) and Panathinaikos (of Athens, Greece). Here's the game report from the Euroleague website:

Efes Pilsen got the Top 16 off to exciting fashion in Group D by beating defending Euroleague Basketball champion Panathinaikos 74-64 on Wednesday night at the Abdi Ipecki Sports Hall in Istanbul, Turkey. Drew Nicholas scored 23 of his 29 points – equaling his career-best – in the first half as Efes took a 46-35 halftime lead and the hosts only added to that in the second half. [...]

Mike Batiste and Sarunas Jasikevicius led Panathinaikos with 12 points apiece and Vassilis Spanoulis added 10. The Greens led 8-16 early, but Nicholas fired in three consecutive three-pointers to get Efes back.

(Updated 3/2) In this video, you'll see Drew Nicholas (#4 in blue) scoring at will, and Sarunas Jasikevicius (#19 in white) scoring a few as well:

Drew Nicholas gave this interview after the big win (which the Terrapin Nation blog alerted me to).

Efes lost their next game in OT, despite 12 points and 7 rebounds from Nicholas. Panathinaikos won their next game, though Sarunas scored only 4 points on back-to-back jumpers at the beginning of the 2nd quarter. The two teams are now tied for 2nd place in Group D. Drew Nicholas is making news this week, as he and other American players are refusing to travel to Serbia for their next scheduled game because of security concerns over anti-American sentiment resulting from Kosovo's recently declared independence.

Meanwhile over in Group F, Terence Morris (1997-2001) and Maccabi Elite (of Tel Aviv, Israel) are also in a 2nd place tie, with a 1-1 record. They won their first game, as Morris scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. But Maccabi lost their second game, with Morris getting 7 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Joe Smith and Juan Dixon Traded (not for each other)

Today was the NBA trade deadline, and Joe Smith (1993-95) and Juan Dixon (1998-2002) were among the players that switched teams. Earlier in the day, I saw a rumor that they could be traded for each other, which would have been cool, but it didn't happen.

In a complex 11-player, 3-team deal that I can't explain any clearer than does, Joe Smith was traded from Chicago to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland's press release says this about Smith:
Smith, a 12-year veteran, has played in 50 games (35 starts) for Chicago this season and has averaged 11.2 points on .466 shooting and 5.3 rebounds in 22.9 minutes per game. In 866 games (611 starts), he has career averages of 12.0 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists.

Meanwhile, a little bit to the north, Juan Dixon was dealt from Toronto to the Detroit Pistons. From the aforelinked press release:
Dixon teamed with Steve Blake and Chris Wilcox to lead Maryland to the 2002 NCAA title and was a first-round draft choice of the Washington Wizards that season. He played three years with the Wizards before signing with Portland as a free agent prior to the 2005-06 season. In his first year with the Trail Blazers, Dixon had his best NBA season, averaging 12.3 points a game.

This makes the second straight year Dixon was dealt at the trade deadline, being sent to Toronto last Feb. 22 in a deal for Fred Jones and cash.

Steve Francis Having Season-Ending Surgery

Steve Francis's (1998-99) season with the Houston Rockets is officially over (well, it was announced two weeks ago, but I just noticed today). He's having season-ending surgery:
Houston Rockets guard Steve Francis, who has been sidelined since late December with what was originally diagnosed as bi- lateral quadriceps tendonitis, will reportedly undergo season-ending surgery.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the team is expected to make an official announcement concerning Francis' status Thursday. Francis visited a specialist in Colorado last week, and a tear in the quadriceps that would require surgical repair was discovered.

The Houston Chronicle says Francis hopes to be back next season.