Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Chris McCray Signs in the D-League

Chris McCray (2002-06) has signed to play for the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the NBA Developmental League. From the team's press release:
The Sioux Falls Skyforce announced today the acquisition of former NBA player Chris McCray. He is expected to join the team before tonight’s matchup with the Springfield Armor and will wear number 14. [...]

McCray appeared in five games with the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2006-07 season after making the team as an undrafted rookie. After being waived by the Bucks he was acquired by the Dakota Wizards and averaged 11.8 points and 2.9 assists in 23 games while shooting 52.4 percent from the floor. He averaged 11.5 points and 4.0 assists in two postseason contests to help lead the Wizards to the 2007 NBA Development League Championship.

The 6-5, 192-pound guard averaged 10.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists in four seasons at the University of Maryland. He averaged a college career-best 15.2 points during his senior season while shooting 51.6 percent from the field.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Let Your Inner Turtle Glow

Happy Holidays to all the Terp fans who read this blog!

You can share this video with a YouTube link or the University of Maryland's Holiday Greeting page (including turtle snow-globe!).

Two of the video's stars are Gary Williams (1964-68) and Tom McMillen (1970-74)... just so this blog entry isn't completely off-topic. Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tom McMillen: Multiple Career Disorder

For everyone who isn't familiar with the Maryland basketball in the early 1970's, here is a story about the career of Tom McMillen (1970-74) from the archives of The ACC:
Tom McMillen says he has “multiple career disorder.” That’s one way to look at it. Others might note that his basketball All-America-Rhodes Scholar-United States Congressman skill-set comprises a pretty rare and impressive resume. And that doesn’t even begin to tell the whole story. [...]

Lefty Driesell was only a year out of Davidson and convinced McMillen that he could help him build something special at Maryland; in fact, Jay gave Driesell his famous “UCLA of the East” line. McMillen decided that, “creating a program from nothing was more interesting than sustaining a program. I could be another Larry Miller or a pioneer. I picked pioneer. Still, telling Dean Smith I wasn’t coming was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

Monday, December 14, 2009

Steve Francis Resting Knee, Handing out Turkeys

Steve Francis (1998-99) is back home in Silver Spring, Maryland, handing out Thanksgiving food packages. In this story in the Montgomery County Gazette papers, Steve mentions that he is sitting out this season with a knee injury:
While used to shooting layups for pro-basketball franchises, former NBA player and University of Maryland star point guard Steve Francis looked right at home handing out Thanksgiving food packages to the needy last week in Silver Spring.

Of course for Francis, who is sitting out this season as a free agent due to a bothersome knee injury, the Silver Spring/Takoma Park area is home. And from the smiles and laughs he shared with families and Adventist Community Services of Greater Washington coordinators Nov. 24, it was good to be back.

"It definitely humbles you a lot to know these are the people who raised you, who gave me my start," Francis said after meeting with former neighbors and handing out food. "I'm just like everyone else here; I grew up on Maple Avenue [in Takoma Park]."

Friday, December 11, 2009

James Gist Signs in Russia

James Gist (2004-08) has signed to play for Lokomotiv Kuban (translation) of the Russian Superleague this season. From the team's press release (translation):
BC Lokomotiv Moscow-Kuban has signed a contract until the end of the season with American forward James Gist (height 206 cm, weight 107 kg). He was born Oct. 26, 1986 in Silver Spring, playing position number four (strong forward), and is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park.

In 2008, James Gist was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA with the 57th pick. He then signed a one-year contract with the Italian Serie A club Angelico Biella. During his season in Italy, he played in 39 games. He averaged 27 minutes, 12.5 points, 6 rebounds, 1.7 steals, and 0.8 block shots.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Dave Neal Has a Blog

Dave Neal (2005-09), now in Northern Ireland, has a blog about school, basketball, travel, and life in Ireland. It's been up all fall, but Testudo Times just brought it to my attention today.

Dave is working on his Masters degree in Sports Marketing in Belfast and playing for the school's team, the Ulster Elks, while also teaching basketball to freshmen. Sample homework assignment for Neal's students: go on YouTube and watch the movie of Dave setting a screen on Nolan Smith, which is a good assignment for all of you this weekend too. This "week in the life" post gives a picture of what school and basketball life is like for Neal this fall.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

People Still Love Byron Mouton

The Washington Post's Dan Steinberg's D.C. Sports Bog has a feel-good story about how people still love Byron Mouton (2000-02):
"I thought it was over, but people still coming up to me like thank you, just thanking me," Mouton told me. "It happens all the time. It's amazing. I tell my mom, my brothers and everybody I'm familiar with, people will still talk about that championship until there's another one. That's what I believe." [...]

"I only played for Maryland for two years, but it was the best experience I've ever had," he said. "We were all friends, we had no beefs. After the game we'd all go our separate ways, but when we came back, it was a family. Just a family. We never had a fight or anything. The best team I ever played on, man. It's still like that. We see each other, we acknowledge each other, we support each other, and it's great. It's real great."

Mouton spent some time with Steve Blake this summer. He talks to Juan Dixon. Lonny Baxter called last month. He dreams of being an assistant coach for the Terps one day.

Byron is playing for the Maryland Greenhawks of the Premier Basketball League this winter. The team's schedule runs from January through April, and the Greenhawk's first home game will be January 16, 2010, at Wootten High School in Rockville, Maryland, if you would like to go share your love of Byron Mouton in person.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Terrapin Women Wintering Overseas

As most basketball fans know, the WNBA plays its league schedule during the summer, traditionally the off-season for basketball. What this means for the players, though, is that they are free to also pursue "off-season" careers during the normal basketball season overseas. Five former Terrapin women are playing in some of the top European leagues this winter:

Marissa Coleman (2005-09) -- Famila Wuber Schio of Italy's Lega A1. Profile page (translation). During the summer, Coleman played for the Washington Mystics and made the 2009 WNBA All Rookie Team.

Shay Doron (2003-07) -- Municipal MCM Targoviste of Romania's Division 1. Profile page (translation). Doron once played for the New York Liberty, but now lives year-round overseas.

Laura Harper (2004-08) -- Umana Reyer Venezia of Italy's Lega A1. Roster page. During the summer, Harper played for the Sacramento Monarchs.

Crystal Langhorne (2004-08) -- Rivas Ecopolis of Spain's LFB. Profile page (translation). During the summer, Langhorne played for the Washington Mystics and was named the 2009 WNBA Most Improved Player.

Kristi Toliver (2005-09) -- Raanana Hertzeliya of Israel's Division 1. Profile Page. Here is a long feature article about Toliver and making big shots, playing professionally, and practicing shooting with a tennis ball with the lights out. During the summer, Toliver played for the Chicago Sky.