Friday, October 22, 2010

Matt Hahn is a New Assistant Coach at Robert Morris

As the college basketball season gets ready to start, one former Terp has a new coaching job. Matt Hahn (1996-2000) is now a new assistant coach at Robert Morris University in Pennsylvania. From the team's announcement:
Hahn joins the Robert Morris men's basketball coaching staff after spending the last five seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Vermont under head coach Mike Lonergan.

From 2005 to 2010 with Hahn as an assistant, the Catamounts posted an overall record of 103-59 (.636), including a mark of 56-24 (.700) in the America East. Vermont claimed three America East regular-season championships (2007, 2009, 2010) during that span and appeared in the postseason three times, including berths in the NIT in 2007, the CBI in 2009 and the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

"It's an exciting opportunity to join Coach Toole, who is one of the rising stars in the business, on his staff at Robert Morris," Hahn said. "I'm looking forward to coming in and helping in all areas of the program, from recruiting to coaching. It's exciting to be around a group of players that have great potential and have already experienced a large amount of success. I'm absolutely thrilled and ecstatic about the chance to help in continuing the success of the Robert Morris program."
The school also mentions that Hahn has been named one the top 50 mid-major assistant coaches in the country in two of the last three years.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

DJ Strawberry and James Gist Waived

As the NBA preseason winds down, the two Terps fighting for a job in the league were both waived by their respective teams.

On Tuesday, the San Antonio Spurs waived James Gist (2004-08). Gist appeared in four preseason games, averaging 3.3 points and 3.0 rebounds in 10.8 minutes. I never even got the chance to post a link to this interview with James Gist that came out earlier in the day on Tuesday.

Then on Wednesday, the New Orleans Hornets waived DJ Strawberry (2003-07). Strawberry played in four preseason games, averaging 3.0 points and 1.0 rebounds in 6.8 minutes per game.

Monday, October 18, 2010

James Gist in Spurs Training Camp, But What Next?

Today in the "How did I miss that?" department, James Gist (2004-08) has been in training camp and playing preseason games for the San Antonio Spurs. However, people expect him to be cut at the end of preseason and head back to Europe, where there is interest in him from perennial Serbian powerhouse club Partizan Belgrade:
Partizan Belgrade is still looking to strengthen its [interior] and is interested in James Gist (2.03 m, 24), which was confirmed by Dragan Todorovic, the athletic director club.

American power forward [is] currently [in] the NBA preseason with the San Antonio Spurs but should be released later in the week.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Landon Milbourne and Father Both Playing in Europe

Last month, we saw the announcement that Landon Milbourne (2006-10) would play for Boulogne in France this season.

But also announced this summer: Landon's father, Andre Foreman, signed this summer (translation) to play for Forssan Koripojat (usually called by their nickname, FoKoPo) in Finland. Foreman played basketball in college at D-III Salisbury University in Maryland, and has played around the world since then, including ten years in Finland, winning two Finnish championships and once being named Player of the Year in the Finnish league.

This could be the first time that a father and son are both playing in the European leagues at the same time. Or if not the first time, it's certainly a rare occurrence. From the story:
Milbourne recently arrived in France, where he will be playing professional basketball with S.O.M. Boulogne. His father, Andre Foreman, became the National Player of the Year, a Two Time All American and the All Time Leading Scorer in Division III History, all while Playing for Salisbury University, has signed to return to play for Finland.

This could very well be the first time in European Professional Basketball history that a father and son are playing at the same time. [...]

Milbourne's father, Foreman, will be headed to Finland to continue his career soon. He has played in Hong Kong, Australia, Sweden and Finland in the past. He has won two Finnish Championships and been named Player of the Year in Finland. The last two years he has spent back in the United States, following his son at the University of Maryland, training basketball players in the Washington area and directing the Andre Foreman Summer Slam Basketball Camps in Ocean Pines, Maryland.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Former Terps in Major League Baseball

A post over at Shell Games on the list of former Terps in this year's MLB playoffs got me wondering about how many Terps were in the Major Leagues this year. There were two in 2010: Justin Maxwell, a Center Fielder for the Nationals (.201 BA, 16 H, 15 R, 12 RBI in 67 games) and Brett Cecil, a starting pitcher for the Blue Jays (15-7, 4.22 ERA in 28 starts). Additionally, Kevin Hart is signed with the Pirates, but was out all season after shoulder surgery in May (the team says he should be ready to play again by spring training).

Maryland's baseball team site has a list of all the Terps who made it to the majors with stats updated through 2009. Notably, Ron Swodoba won a World Series with the Mets in 1969, Vic Keen won with the Cardinals in 1926, and Charlie Keller won in 1939 and 1941 with the Yankees (and played in two other World Series in 1940 and 1942), and was selected as an All-Star five times.

Here's a more comprehensive list of Terps in the Majors from Baseball-Almanac.com that goes back further and has more names. The additional names seem to be players who only played in a small handful of games at the major league level. (Also, this list incorrectly shows several players as Hall of Famers; I double checked, and none of them are in Cooperstown.)

Thursday, October 07, 2010

DJ Strawberry Blazes His Own Trail

In a story from the New Orleans Times-Picayune, DJ Strawberry (2002-06) talks about blazing his own trail in the world and trying to get back into the NBA this season after playing in Europe, fighting an injury, and making a comeback in first the NBA D-League last spring, then the NBA Summer League with the Lakers, and now training camp with the New Orleans Hornets. Excerpt:
Following stops with the Suns and in 2008-09 with the Houston Rockets, Strawberry played 19 regular-season games in Italy and six games in the postseason Eurocup before a meniscus injury in his left knee ended his season. After microfracture surgery and rehabilitation, Strawberry played in 26 games for the Reno Bighorns in the NBA Development League, then this past summer for the Lakers' summer league team, before joining the Hornets as a free agent just before the start of training camp.

"It's definitely hard work," he said. "It's competitive every day. You have to show it every day that you want it more than anybody else. And you just have to come in with the attitude that you belong here. I think I belong here. And I've just got to come out and show it every day and compete and do what the coaches ask me to do.

"I'm in a position where I could get back in the NBA. I've just got to make it happen and show everybody I can play. I'm blessed to come back from (the surgery). I view every day as a blessing, coming back and being able to play the game I love."
Of course, most of the story is the same story that we've all read before where a new city's sports section discovers, "Hey, he's Darryl Strawberry's son! Let's write a story about that!"

There's also an accompanying video interview with DJ, where he talks about how he can play point guard and shooting guard, his outlook on the Hornets roster, and how he came to love basketball instead of baseball.

(Via Testudo Times.)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Bambale Osby Playing in Estonia

Bambale Osby (2006-08) has signed to play this season with TTU/Kalev in Tallinn, Estonia. TTU/Kalev plays in both the Estonian League and the Baltic Basketball League, and they have already won several early season games with Osby leading the team in scoring. From the team's press release (translation):
Yesterday, Tallinna Kalev offered a contract to 203cm tall American forward Bambale "Boom" Osby.

24 years of age and weighing 115 pounds with roots in the Congo, Bambale Osby played basketball at the University of Maryland in the U.S. They year after college, he played in Romania, but before the start of last season, he signed a contract with the German Bundesliga club, Phoenix Hagen. He left Germany due to his grandmother's death and a knee injury before the start of the season.

Boom then started the season with a short-season contract in Israel with the Ironi Ramat Gan team, replacing injured players. Osby then went on to Austria's Allianz Swans Gmunden (who finished as league finalists), and ended the season with BC Arges Pitesti of Romania.

In Romania, Osby played seven games, collecting an average of 12.6 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 1 blocked shot per game.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Chris Wilcox Playing a Bigger Role

Chris Wilcox (2000-02) may not be a starter in Detroit this season, but he should play a bigger role on the team this season, according to this story in the Detroit News (excerpt):
The Pistons lack of quality big men was a chief concern heading into training camp, but instead of waiting on the other shoe to fall, the forgotten men are making the best of their opportunities.

Yes, the Pistons are pacing 36-year old Ben Wallace, but Chris Wilcox is staking a claim to be in the regular rotation. Team officials have been raving about his performance and "chippy" was the word coach John Kuester used to describe Sunday's practice.

In Saturday's open practice, Wilcox was with the first team, alongside Jonas Jerebko, Rodney Stuckey, Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince. Most expect Wallace to start, but it was no coincidence Wilcox was with the first group. He hit a couple turnaround jumpers in the post, and even took a rebound end-to-end for a layup.

Monday, October 04, 2010

The Blog Discovers Web 2.0

Up until now, you have been enjoying up-to-the-minute news about former Maryland basketball players here on this blog. Or, in some case, 3 month old stories from poorly translated European newspapers that I just now found through Google. OK, maybe more of the latter... I don't really do "up-to-the-minute". But today, I have discovered Web 2.0. Social Media. What the kids today are doing on the Interweb tubes. Or something like that. At any rate, I'm bringing you more ways to follow the blog, in case you're having trouble remembering to stop by this website to keep up with my frenetic pace of nearly 4 or 5 posts a month.

You can now follow this blog on Twitter: @MDBballWATN. It will mostly be automatically-generated links to the blog posts plus the occasional tweet of interesting nuggets too small to warrant their own blog story. At least until I get bored of that.

The Twitter feed is also rebroadcast through Google Buzz. Any Google Buzz users out there? (*crickets chirping*) That's what I thought. Anyway, it was simple to set-up, so it's there for you if you want it.

And finally, I've set up a Facebook page to also mirror the content, if that's your Internet drug of choice. Again, it's just a rebroadcast of the blog, but hopefully it will be a convenience to some of you, or if nothing else, a place to publicly declare your allegiance to the blog (and then you can hide us from your feed if you want after telling all your friends that you "like" us).