Friday, December 30, 2011

Ernest Graham and Johnny Rhodes to be Honored at Comcast Center

We already heard back in November that former Terp Ernest Graham (1978-81) would have his name and number honored in the Comcast Center rafters this January. Today, the Baltimore Sun reports that Johnny Rhodes (1992-96) will be honored as well:
The school has not made an announcement about Rhodes or Graham (Dunbar) — apparently because it is still finalizing its plans. Both players said they had received word directly from the athletic department. Other Maryland insiders had heard the news as well.

"It's indescribable, really," said Rhodes, who played for Gary Williams and set Maryland's single-season record for steals in 1996. "I'm just definitely thrilled and honored to be part of the guys who are up there and have had these great careers."

While no official announcement has been made, Graham's ceremony is expected to be the January 15th home game against Georgia Tech, while Rhodes's banner will be unveiled at the February 21st home game against Miami.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Greivis Vasquez Traded to New Orleans

On Christmas Eve, the day before the NBA regular season begins, the Memphis Grizzlies traded Greivis Vasquez (2006-10) to the New Orleans Hornets. The short announcement on
The Memphis Grizzlies have swapped guard Greivis Vasquez to the New Orleans Hornets for guard/forward Quincy Pondexter in a move designed to boost their depth with Darrell Arthur out for the season. [...]

Vasquez played in 70 games and averaged 3.6 points and 2.2 assists as a rookie with Memphis last season.

The Hornets' official blog, the Big Eazy Buzz, says that Vasquez will provide needed depth at the PG position, and should be second on the depth chart behind Jarrett Jack:
With only one point guard on the roster who has extensive NBA regular season experience, the New Orleans Hornets added to their depth at the position, obtaining Greivis Vasquez from Memphis on Christmas Eve. The Hornets dealt 2010 first-round pick Quincy Pondexter to the Grizzlies in the two-player trade.

The New Orleans Times Picayune has comments from Hornets GM Dell Demps:
"We feel this is a trade that benefits both teams," Demps said in a statement. "We will miss Quincy, and we thank him for his efforts, professionalism and work ethic. We are excited to add Greivis Vasquez to our team, organization and community. Greivis is an exciting big guard that plays with a passion that we hope will thrill our fans at the Hive."

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays!

The university puts one of these videos out every year. Visit the Official 2011 Holiday Greeting page for the big version of the 2011 video. While the 2011 one is nice, nothing tops the 2009 holiday video in my mind. For the past two years, I have managed to convince my kids that "Let Your Inner Turtle Glow" is a legitimate, traditional Christmas carol.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Dave Neal Coaching at Bishop O'Connell HS

Dave Neal (2005-09) is coaching high school basketball this season, starting his journey up the coaching ranks at his alma mater, Bishop O'Connell High School in Arlington, Virginia, as an assistant varsity boy's basketball coach under Joe Wootten.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Steve Blake Looks to Bounce Back with Lakers

After a lackluster season with the Lakers last year, Steve Blake (1999-2003) is looking to bounce back this season (
Blake was brought in last season to give the Lakers quality depth in the backcourt and there were even early rumblings that he would supplant Derek Fisher as the starter at some point last season. That obviously did not happen, as Fisher remained the starter and Blake seemingly saw his role decrease as the season went along. With a new coaching staff in place, Blake says that he is ready to play any role necessary to help the team win.

Blake told the LA Times that he's indifferent about being the starter, he just wants to win the NBA championship (follow the link to see the video):
Both Blake and Derek Fisher are coming off sub-par seasons, but who starts at point guard reveals to what degree [coach Mike] Brown still values Fisher's experience and locker-room clout.

"I'm going to try to be the best player I can be," said Blake, who's added some strength and has added some arc to his shot after averaging a career-low four points per game on 35.9% shooting. "I'm not going out there to try to win a starting job or anything like that. Everyone on this team is my teammate. I'm not here to try to show them up or beat them. I just want our team to be better. Whether it's coming off the bench, fine. Starting, great. It's all about us winning a championship this year."

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Nets Sign Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams (2009-11), a second round draft pick by the New Jersey Nets, signed a deal with the team over the weekend. While the Nets haven't released the details, the Waterbury, Connecticut, Republican-American reports that it is a two-year, guaranteed contract:
Late Friday afternoon, Williams and the Nets came to an agreement on a two-year, guaranteed contract, wrapping up a whirlwind two weeks for the 6-10, 260-pound forward. [...]

His two-year deal was hammered out by his agent, Andy Miller. Details were not released, but the website reported it was for just under $500,000. [...]

For Jordan Williams and his family, the signing ended one journey and launched another.

"When one of your kids reaches his or her goal," Leron Williams said Friday night, "it's hard to put it into words. He started this journey when he was 3 years old, but for him this is just the beginning. He wants to have a long and successful career."

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chris Wilcox Signs with the Boston Celtics

Chris Wilcox (2000-02) currently holds an unwanted place in the NBA record books: among active players, he is the longest tenured without ever making the playoffs. That should change this season. Wilcox, a free agent after playing last season in Detroit, has signed a one year deal with the Boston Celtics using Boston's mid-level exception (
Wilcox was present as the Celtics conducted their first practice of training camp this evening. He appeared in 57 games for the Detroit Pistons last season averaging 7.4 points and 4.8 rebounds in 17.5 minutes per game. Wilcox also shot a team-high 58.1 percent from the field. He brings size and rebounding ability to a front court that is probably Boston's biggest weakness. says this was a winning move for Wilcox:
When his agent called with the list of initial suitors, Chris Wilcox didn't even have to think about the decision. After nine seasons of losing, all he wanted was an opportunity to taste the postseason. Pretty much the moment he heard the word Boston, he was a member of the Celtics.

Comcast SportsNet New England says Wilcox is happy to be there, and the Celtics are happy to have him:
Ray Allen, who played one season (2006-2007) with Wilcox in Seattle, is happy to see the 29-year-old in a Celtics uniform.

"A lot of people don't know him," Allen said. "Just the fact that he was on the West coast most of his career and playing in Detroit where he didn't play a whole lot. A lot of people don't really know him, haven't had an idea of seeing him when he gets on the floor and seeing his athletic ability... it makes the team more exciting."

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Jordan Williams Home from Europe Already

Never mind about Jordan Williams (2009-11) playing in Poland. With the NBA Lockout over, Williams has returned from Europe without playing a game and will now prepare for training camp with the New Jersey Nets, who drafted him in the second round of last spring's NBA draft.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Former Terp Women Overseas

A quick wrap-up of all the former Terrapin Women's basketball players playing currently playing overseas this season:

Laura Harper (2004-08) is in Turkey playing for Homend Antakya Belediyes.

Shay Doron (2003-07) is in Israel playing for Elitzur Ramla again this season.

Crystal Langhorne (2004-08) played briefly for Perfumerias Avenida Salamanca in Spain this fall, but has now returned to the US. Langhorne played for the Washington Mystics in the WNBA last summer, averaging 18.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.

Diandra Tchatchouang (2010-11), who played for the Terps as a freshman last season, has moved back home to France and signed with Lattes montpellier Agglomeration Basket of the French LFB league. She is currently injured but should return in December. Before the season began, the Women's Basketball in France website ran a profile story about Tchatchouang's career so far, including junior club teams in France and international competition.

Demauria "Dee" Liles (2008-09) played only one season as a Terp as a JuCo transfer, and is now playing for Club Atletico Faenza in Italy's Women's A1 League.

Not currently playing overseas, Marissa Coleman (2005-09) played for the Washington Mystics this summer, averaging 8.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, and Kristi Toliver (2005-09) played for the Los Angeles Sparks, averaging 11.2 points and 2.9 assists per game.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Jordan Williams Will Play in Poland with Zastal

Jordan Williams (2009-11), locked out from playing his rookie season with the New Jersey Nets, is headed to Europe to play for Zastal Zielona Gora of the Polish PLK league (the top league in that country). Zastal is currently in second place in the league at 7-2. The news was broken on Twitter by Williams's agent, then confirmed over the weekend by Jordan Williams (@Jwilliams20) himself.

While it seems that the deal may not be finalized (translation) until Williams arrives in Poland, the team's coach is already talking about Williams (translation) like he's on the team. The team expects him to be there in time to watch their next game on Saturday, and play in his first game next Wednesday. Excerpts from the two stories:
"We are close to the formal settlement of all issues on Jordan Williams. You could say that we are on the final straight. We will also organize as soon as possible Jordan's arrival in Poland. This will happen probably at the end of this week. Therefore, I have to deny information about Williams' involvement in Saturday's match in Kolobrzeg. Jordan's debut in our uniform will probably come in the home game against Sopot, which will be held November 30," said team president Raphael Czarkowski.


As previously reported, Zastal strengthens its composition. Jordan Williams reaches Poland on Saturday and is to join the team, who await a duel with Kolobrzeg.

Coach Tomasz Jankowski says it is no secret that he hopes for a good game and the young American creates a significant strengthening of our team. According to the coach, Williams has good height and weight, and also has quite a repertoire of moves, can shoot with power, and is strong mentally. At the beginning of his adventure with Zielona, Jordan will fight for a place in the starting five. Tomasz Jankowski also wants to help the player's acclimatization, so if possible, Jordan Williams, shortly after landing in Berlin, will set off to Kolobrzeg, where he will watch his new team's next game.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Travis Garrison Playing for Kavala BC in Greece

Travis Garrison is playing this season for Kavala BC in Greece's top league.  While I can't find a news story or press release from the team about it, he's on the roster on FIBA's website and the Greek basketball site ΕΣΑΚΕ. And, for one last piece of evidence, Garrison himself tweeted (@Garrisonhoops) last week, "In Kavala, was in Athens but changed teams." (He started the season and played very briefly with Marousi BC of Athens.)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Greivis Vasquez and the Under Armour Team Videos

Two weeks ago, I posted about Grievis Vasquez (2006-10) joining with fellow Under Armour sponsored, locked-out NBA players, including Kemba Walker and Brandon Jennings, to play exhibition games against teams in Baltimore and New York. In game 1 on November 7, Under Armour defeated Baltimore's St. Frances Academy 88-85.

The Basketball Diary (@TheBballDiary on Twitter) has posted video from two of the Under Armour games from New York City:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Keith Booth Joins Loyola Women's Basketball Coaching Staff

Former Maryland player and assistant coach Keith Booth (1993-97) has a new job this season. Booth has joined the coaching staff for the Loyola Greyhounds Women's Basketball team. From the team's press release:
Former University of Maryland All-American and NBA World Champion Keith Booth has been named an assistant women's basketball coach, Greyhounds Head Coach Joe Logan announced today.

"We are ecstatic to have Keith Booth join our Loyola women's basketball program and excited that he is able to return home to Baltimore to continue his coaching career," said Logan.

Booth, a Baltimore native, spent the last seven seasons as an assistant coach with the men's basketball team at the University of Maryland under Head Coach Gary Williams.

Last Friday, Booth made his first return trip to the Comcast Center, as Loyola lost to the Terps in their season opener.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ernie Graham's Number to be Honored in Comcast Rafters

Former Terrapin Ernie Graham (1977-81), who played for Lefty Driesell, was among the greatest Terps on the basketball court (he still holds the Maryland single-game scoring record of 44 points against NC State in 1978), but his name and number never hung from the rafters in Cole Field House or the Comcast Center because of his off-the-court problems.  But new athletic director Kevin Anderson has been set on changing that, and Graham's banner will be raised on January 11th at the Maryland-Wake Forest game.  From PressBox:
Graham's No. 25 jersey will be raised Jan. 11, when Maryland plays Wake Forest. The honor is way past due. Graham not only still holds the single-game scoring record at Maryland with 44 points in 1978 against N.C. State, but he was also one of the Terps' most complete players ever. He's the 12th leading all-time scorer and was a strong rebounder, outstanding passer and solid defender.

Yet, as the years rolled by, Graham was shut out, boxed out by an athletic administration that was well aware of some of the mistakes he had made off the court, and apparently unaware of everything he had done since then to turn his life around.
Click the link and read the whole story. It's a great story of how Graham ruined his NBA career with drugs, turned his life around, and now helps keep kids off drugs and out of trouble through the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Marissa Coleman and Crystal Langhorne Share Their Workout Routine

In an ESPN High School Sports blog story, former Terps from the 2006 women's national championship team (and current Washington Mystics players) Marissa Coleman (2005-09) and Crystal Langhorne (2004-08) share their workout routines in video form and  and talk about how they got where they are today through practice, practice, and more work after practice.  The videos (and accompanying text and pictures) show their nine part workout to strengthen muscles and improve game reflexes. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Parrish Brown Signs with Mazeikiai in Lithuania

Parrish Brown (2005-07) has signed with Mažeikių (Mazeikiai) of Lithuania's NKL (their second division basketball league) for the season. The team's press release has a long story about Brown: his childhood playing days, his pro career, his tattoos, his favorite foods, the challenges of communicating to loved ones back home, thoughts on the NBA lockout, etc. Unfortunately, something about their website blocks Google auto-translation, but you can still cut-and-paste the text into the translator if you want to know what the whole thing says. Some edited excerpts:
This year, joining Mazeikiai is 25-year-old, 185 cm tall American Parrish Brown.

His basketball career is no different from many Americans; he played the game in college representing the University of Maryland. American students' interest in basketball great - he played in arenas with seating for twelve thousand spectators. Some games were against famous universities such as Duke or North Carolina, in front of full arenas. Many of his teammates went on to play in the National Basketball League (NBA).

After university basketball, he did not achieve the NBA basketball dream, so he decided to try teams based in Europe. "My first season, I joined Bochum (in Germany); the club finished the season in fourth place. I went back home again after the German season to try to make the NBA Developmental League but didn't succeed, so I played two years in Mexico. I fared quite well, and hoped for a contract for a third year, but was denied. I was invited to play in Uruguay instead. At the end of the season in this country, my agent offered to send me to Lithuania, so I found myself in Mazeikiai "- said the basketball player.

According to Brown, in the beginning it is difficult to play in any foreign country, and it always requires a little adjusting. It is difficult in different countries because, although the rules of basketball are the same, they are officiated differently, so the calls are sometimes confusing. "I liked the German fans the most; they came to the hall with drums, making a huge amount of noise when you start the game. Meanwhile, in Mexico, where soccer is king, basketball fans were not like that. Although my teammates said that Mazeikiai fans give noisy support, during my first game I haven't seen that yet," laughed the athlete.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Greivis Vasquez and the Under Armour All-Stars

Still waiting for the NBA lockout to end, Greivis Vasquez (2006-10) is playing on an all-star team sponsored by Under Armour, touring and playing exhibitions against top high schools. On Monday, Vasquez's team, which also includes UA-affiliated NBA players Kemba Walker and Brandon Jennings, defeated Baltimore's St. Frances Academy, and next they will head to New York to play schools there. From the Baltimore Sun's story:

But as much fun as Vasquez seemed to have, tossing no look passes and hamming it up with fans after he knocked down a long jumper, it's clear he'd rather be out on an NBA court.

"It's hard, man," Vasquez said when asked about the lockout before the game. "This is something to just get our mind off of what's going on. We're just trying to play. We want a fair deal, and we want to be out there playing." [...]

"I don't know what's going to happen," Vasquez said. "I could play back home [in Venezuela], but I want to play in the NBA. You want to play in the best league."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cliff Tucker's First Reception

You might recall that after graduating from Maryland last spring, Cliff Tucker (2007-11) took his talents back to his hometown of El Paso, TX to join the UTEP football team as a wide receiver.  After seeing no action through the first six games of the season, Tucker caught a 10 yard pass (and picked up a first down) for his first career reception in the 3rd quarter last Saturday in UTEP's 31-17 win over Colorado State. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Jamar Smith in Japan

Jamar Smith (2002-04) will play the upcoming season for the Hitachi Sunrockers of Japan's JBL league. The team briefly announced his signing (translation), and his roster profile (translation) simply has this to say:
Utilizing the speed and weapons to play with big man to contribute to the team in rebounding and defense.

"We look forward to and start a new season with Hitachi. To win the championship, I would like to play hard. Thank you."

This is Smith's second time playing in Japan.  Back in 2007-08, he played for the Toshiba Brave Thunder.  He played in France last season and in Italy the two seasons prior to that.

Friday, October 14, 2011

John Gilchrist Playing Again in Slovakia

John Gilchrist (2002-05) hasn't played since tearing his ACL back in January 2010.  But he's been working hard on his rehab ever since then, and he's finally back playing professionally this season.  Gilchrist is now in Slovakia playing for SKP Banska Bystrica.  The team doesn't have much of a press release about Gilchrist joining the team (just a mention in a news item about signing three overseas players which I can't link directly to, other than sending you to the team's homepage above), so I'll let John tell you about it himself, from his Facebook page:
To inform all that want to know. I'm currently at Banska Bystrica in Slovakia at the moment. I arrived yesterday & I'll be here training until the end of the season or if I'm doing well enough & get an offered from a bigger club. It's all about stepping stones in this business. I thank God for this opportunity.

During his rehab, Gilchrist developed one of the best on-line presences of any player I follow. He's active on Twitter (@jgovereasy), he has a Facebook page (John Gilchrist Hoops), he has a website, he posts lots of YouTube videos of his training, and he debuted a new blog last month.  So go follow, like, bookmark, etc.!

Monday, October 10, 2011

We're Gettin' the Band Back Together

It was ten seasons ago that the Maryland Terrapins men's basketball team won the National Championship. To celebrate the anniversary, this Friday at Maryland Madness, members of the 2002 team are getting back together for the annual alumni game. Four starters, Chris Wilcox, Steve Blake, Juan Dixon, and Byron Mouton, will be back for the game, along with older and newer alumni. At last! Something positive has come out of the NBA lockout!

Key players missing the game from the 2002 team will be starter Lonny Baxter, who is playing in the Ukraine, and key reserve Drew Nicholas, who is playing in Italy.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Vasquez Turns Down Contract in Israel, Stays Home to Help Community in Venezuela

If you follow the news on American players heading to Europe to play basketball during the NBA lockout, you may have seen conflicting reports in the past few days about former Terp and current Memphis Grizzlies player Greivis Vasquez (2006-10). Two teams from Israel were vying for his services, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Hapoel Jerusalem. In fact, Hapoel Jerusalem, where DJ Strawberry will be playing this season, believed it had reached a financial agreement through Vasquez's agent. Slight problem: the guy "representing" Grevis was a friend of his, not his actual agent. Vasquez was contacted by to get the whole story set straight:
'I recently finished playing intense basketball for a few good months with the Venezuelan national team and was looking to do something other than basketball. I gave Israel a huge thought and talked to people who spoke highly of the place, however, the situation in my country isn't easy and once the opportunity of giving back to the community and working with kids during the NBA lockout came up, I couldnt say no.'

The 24-year-old Terrapins' second all-time leading scorer is undoubtedly recognized as Venezuela's biggest, most hyped athlete, knowing that along with glory and fame come great resposibilitis. 'I've decided not to play basketball abroad during the lockout so that I could run a social community basketball project. It has nothing to do with politics despite being sponsored by the private companies and the government. It's not a done deal yet, but the details of this new journey include going on tour to every city in Venezuela holding a basketball clinic for kids,' said Vasquez.
One of Vasquez's projects during the lockout is blogging for ESPNdeportes. In his first blog entry, he describes the work he's undertaking (translation) in his home country, putting on youth basketball clinics around Venezuela and raising support for better sports facilities for the nation. A public/private partnership is paying for the campaign.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sarunas Jasikevicius Returns to Panathinaikos

From 2007 to 2010, Sarunas Jasikevicius (1994-98) played for Panathinaikos Athens, winning the Euroleague title with them in 2009. Following the 2009-10 season, the team declined to re-sign Sarunas, so he headed to his home country of Lithuania to play for Lietuvos Rytas, then moved mid-season to Turkey's Fenerbahce Ulker.

Now, Jasikevicius returns to Panathinaikos (translation) with a one year deal rumored to be worth 250,000 euros. Quotes from Sarunas (translation):
"[...] Sometimes life plays strange games - here I am, after a year break, coming back to Panathinaikos. I am happy being here," said Jasikevicius.

"Let me start from scratch. My teammates have already started to prepare for the season together. I need time to remember the Panathinaikos game patterns and learn new ones. I want to be in good athletic shape and ready to help. [...]" said the point guard.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Greivis Vasquez Hopes Venezuela National Team Experience Translates to NBA Success

There's a story about Greivis Vasquez (2006-10) in USA Today about how he hopes his experience with the Venezuelan national team at this month's FIBA Americas tournament (currently being held in Argentina) will translate into success with the Memphis Grizzlies once the NBA is back in business. Excerpt:
Vasquez is a starter for Venezuela entering the 10-team, pre-Olympic FIBA Americas tournament in Mar del Plata, Argentina, running today through Sept. 11 (gold medal game on ESPN2). The top two teams get automatic bids for London 2012.

"It's high-level basketball. It's going to be good competition," Vasquez, the lone NBA player on Venezuela's roster, said from Argentina. "I'm going to play major minutes. … It'll carry this momentum going into my second year in the NBA. I will have more experience, and that will help me a lot."
So far, Venezuela has lost two close games to Brazil and the Dominican Republic in pool play, but they're not out of the competition yet. Games against Cuba and Canada are still on the schedule this week, and in order to move on to the next round, they simply need to avoid finishing in last place in their five team group.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gist's Drug Test Penalty from FIBA Announced: 3 Month Suspension

Earlier this summer, shortly after the news of James Gist (2004-08) signing to play for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahçe Ulker, FIBA announced that Gist had failed a drug test, testing positive for marijuana. After re-testing his samples and hearing Gist's apologetic appeal, FIBA has announced Gist's penalty: a 3 month suspension (translation), which is essentially a slap on the wrist because the suspension is retroactive to the date of the drug test, so it basically amounts to "time served". Gist will be eligible to play for Fenerbahçe on September 9, 2011, well before their season begins in mid-October.

Monday, August 29, 2011

DJ Strawberry Signs with Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem

DJ Strawberry (2003-07) has signed to play this season (translation) with Israel's Hapoel Migdal Jerusalem. In addition to the Israeli Premier League, Hapoel is also slated to play in the international Eurocup tournament this season. The team's press release says:
After negotiations, Hapoel Jerusalem announces the signing of American point guard DJ Strawberry (26 years old, 1.96m) for
two years.

Coach Oded Katash said, "DJ is a hungry, young player who wants to play here in Jerusalem. He is a quick and athletic player that will add to an excellent team. He is a physical player and one of the significant features of his game is strong defense."

Strawberry, a graduate of the University of Maryland, started with the NBA Development League last season and then moved to Veritas Vilnius, where he played in the Euroleague, averaging 6.6 points and 2.8 assists in less than 17 minutes per game. In 2007, he was drafted by Phoenix with the 59th pick, and his resume also has a short stay in Italy. Strawberry finished with 2.2 points and one assist in eight minutes per game for the Suns. In total he played 33 games in NBA.

According to this interview with Strawberry from Eurobasket, the two year deal is a one month try-out, probably followed by a one year contract with an option for a second year. Go read the interview; here's an excerpt:
"Last year I had to play the unfamiliar point guard position for the first time in my career. It was an interesting experience but this season I'm looking forward to getting back into the mix of playing the combo-guard spot I'm used to."

Now, after signing a potential 1+1 year deal with Israeli Hapoel Jerusalem, Strawberry has the month of September to raise some eyebrows in the Holy Land and prove his doubters wrong, starting with the team's coaching staff. "The one month try-out doesn't really matter to me," Strawberry exclusively told Eurobasket, "I know what I'm capable of doing on the court, so, as long as I play my game, perform the way I know I can and prove my doubters wrong, I'll be fine and the contract terms don't concern me."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lonny Baxter Re-signs with Russia's Enisey

Lonny Baxter (1998-2002) has been officially re-signed for another season by his team in Russia, Enisey Krasnoyarsk:
Enisey keep Lonny Baxter for the upcoming season. The American Center remains with the team for another year.

In 2010 Enisey bolstered their frontcourt. They added Lonny Baxter to the roster. The 32-year-old center played for Besiktas two years ago. Lonny Baxter tallied 11.4 points and 3.8 rebounds per EuroCup game. In PBL his stats read 17.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists. Lonny Baxter used to play in Montepaschi Siena, Joventut, Panionios, the Washington Wizards and the Chicago Bulls.
Baxter's stats in the Russian Premier League (PBL) last season were good enough for #4 in the league in scoring and #3 in rebounds.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Haukur Palsson Signs with Spain's Manresa

A few weeks ago, Haukur Palsson (2010-11) surprised a lot of people by deciding to leave the Terps for a pro career in Europe. It didn't take long for him to find a team. Basquet Manresa of Spain's ACB league announced that they have signed Palsson (translation) for the upcoming season. The team's press release said this:
Manresa's 2011/12 season will launch with 11 players. The latest to arrive is Haukur Palsson, a forward of 198 cm and 19 years, born in Reykjavik, Iceland, from the American University of Maryland.

His first academic year ended with averages of 2.8 points and 2.1 rebounds per game, but should be noted that he also played for his country in the last Under-20 Division B tournament held in Bosnia. The new Manresa player ended the tournament with 22.7 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1.6 steals per game.

"He's a young player, with concern for the future, a physical fitness and athletic ideal because the team can work and have more resources, and facing difficult times of contingencies such as injury or other game players, thanks to physical ability, can help us in more than one position," coach James Ponsarnau said.

Haukur Palsson played in Under-16, Under-18, and Under-20 international competitions, all for Iceland, and now joins Manresa.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Bambale Osby Signs to Play in France

Bambale Osby (2006-08) has signed to play for Aix-Maurienne Savoie in the French Pro B league this fall. The team's press release (translation) has this to say about Osby:
The club is pleased to announce the signing of the U.S. forward, Bambale Osby. Some call him "Boom" Osby.

Born in 1986 in Richmond, this 2.03M interior player (approximately 115kg, according to some sources) attended the University of Maryland between 2006 and 2008. Little by little, "Boom" won playing time (going from 7 to 27 min) and developed statistics of 11.5 points and 6.5 rebounds during his senior year.

Not drafted, he decided to try his luck in Europe. With his first non-US team in Romania, Cluj, he averaged 10.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in just 20 minutes, and played two games in the Eurochallenge tournament, where he averaged 14 points and 8 rebounds. His 2009/2010 season is divided between three countries, freelancing in Israel (4 games), Romania (7 games) and Austria (7 games).

Last season, the native of the state of Virginia was the star of Tallinn's TTU/Kalev club (one of Estonia's two biggest clubs which play in the Baltic League Championships), averaging 18.6 points and 12 rebounds.
Osby is joining two other Terps who signed with French Pro B teams this summer, Landon Milbourne (with Limoges) and Chris McCray (with Boulogne).

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mike Jones Returns to Romania

After playing in South America and recovering from injury the last two seasons, Mike Jones (2003-07, Who?) will return to CSU Asesoft Ploesti in Romania this year. In 2009, Jones won the Romanian League championship with Ploesti. The team only has a brief news item (translation) on their website about Jones's return, but Romanian news site Prahova elaborates on Jones's return (translation):
Mike Jones, one of the most spectacular basketball players to wear the blue and white jersey, is back in Ploiesti. The 27 year old overseas player came to an agreement in Romania for one season, and says he is ready to help to rekindle Ploiesti's string of successes. [...]

Jones decided 2011 is the year of rebirth and relaunch for his career with Asesoft. That is why the American is in Ploiesti for a second term, giving the managers of CSU Ploiesti and their fans even more hope. The former University of Maryland star had a path with many ups and downs after leaving Asesoft in the summer of 2009. By then the winner of Romanian Championship Cup, Jones continued his career in Argentina first with Mar del Plata Penarol, a team that would eventually win the Argentinian championship. The second part of the 2009-2010 season found Jones in the jersey of Gimnasia Rivadavia, but then problems started.

Following a serious knee injury, the American took almost a year away from basketball, with his return to the court occurring in April 2011 following a late-season offer from Guaiqueries of Margarita of Venezuela. Mike Jones's return to CSU Asesoft occurs now that has received the favorable go-ahead from doctors to continue his career playing basketball overseas. [...]

Even under the circumstances, Jones is a versatile player, able to score with ease behind the arc, find the best open shots, and finish teammates' passes with a slam-dunk whenever he has the chance.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Adrian Bowie Will Play in Poland

Adrian Bowie (2007-11) has signed to play next season with Polpharma Starograd Gdanski in Poland's top pro league. From a story in the Baltic Journal (translation):
Adrian Bowie is the new playmaker for Polpharma. Starogard is therefore already on the verge of completing the team's composition for the 2011/2012 season. To complete the roster of the Polish Cup winners, they are only missing a center.

The 22-year-old Bowie is a recent graduate of Maryland, where he played for the Maryland Terrapins collegiate team. Adrian Bowie played a total of 135 games in the colors of this team. In the 2010/2011 season, he was an important part of the team, averaging 8.8 points, 3.5 assists, and 3 rebounds.

"We were looking for options on the point guard position. I must admit that we had several candidates, but went with Bowie. This is a young player from a good university, and we hope that will be useful on our team" Roman Olszewski, president of SKS Sport SA said, explaining the team's choice.
The team's press release (translation) also notes that Bowie hails from the same school that produced other great point guards, such as Steve Francis, Steve Blake, and Sarunas Jasikevicius. Last season, Polpharma finished in 5th place in the league and was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the league playoffs, but they did win the mid-season Polish Cup tournament.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Landon Milbourne and Chris McCray sign in the French Pro B League

Landon Milbourne (2006-10) has signed to play for Limoges CSP Elite of the French Pro B league. The brief news item is buried on Limoges's poorly designed news page:
An American forward, author of a fine first season in France, should join the club for next year.

Landon Milbourne, an American playing for Boulogne-sur-Mer this season and with whom he reached the semi-finals LNB Pro B, has agreed to play for the Limoges club next season.

Last season, Milbourne played for SO Maritime Boulogne (aka SOMB), which will be the new home next season for Chris McCray (2002-06), who has signed to play next season (translation) for Bologne, also in the French Pro B league. (The team's website is broken, but that's the correct link for it. Maybe it will come back again someday?)
SOMB also announced the signing of Chris McCray, a great player who "can evolve our outside game." Like Milbourne, McCray is a former star of Maryland where he was captain (15.2 points in 31 minutes per game his senior season). He left the university in 2006, just before the arrival of Milbourne.

After his university studies, he played in Italy's Lega Due with Rimini and in the Belgian League for Oostende. This season, he played for the Sioux Falls Sky Force D-League (9.7 points to 44.3%, 4.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists in 29 minutes). "It is likely that his basketball knowledge and his immense dexterity will heavily benefit SOMB's game this season. A true free spirit, very creative, and he is a great three-point shooter," said a team press release.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Braxton Dupree signs with Maccabi Ashdod... Sort Of

Braxton Dupree (2007-09, then transferred to Towson) has given up his final year of eligibility (he would have been a 5th year senior) and signed to play in Israel for Maccabi Ashdod:
Despite sitting out the entire 2009-2010 season because of NCAA rules regarding transfer players, Dupree averaged solid numbers last year with the Tigers, posting 12 points and nearly eight rebounds per game in an average of 31 minutes per contest.

Dupree went undrafted in June's NBA draft, but still has aspirations of perhaps playing in the NBA's summer or developmental league after his time overseas, in hopes of getting a shot at the NBA one day, according to ESPN.

For the first year of his contract, Dupree will be assigned by the team to play for Ness Ziona in the Israeli National League. (The National League is the country's second tier pro division; Maccabi Ashdod plays in the top pro league, the Loto League or Premier League). From the team's press release (translation):
Dupree, a Towson University graduate, signed a contract with Maccabi Ashdod, in which he was lent for the upcoming season to Ness Ziona of the Israeli National League, after which Maccabi Ashdod will have options to extend his contract for two more years until the end of the 2013/14 season. [...]

Team administrator of Maccabi Ashdod, Shai Housman, said, "While we wish to complete a foreign signing next season, Maccabi Ashdod is setting goals for itself several years ahead. As an integral part of this policy, we regularly follow other players that might fit us in the future. With our budget, we cannot compete with the Loto League's top teams, so it requires taking action in a comprehensive and deliberate way, in order to improve our chances of getting quality players for an amount of money which we can afford."

"Dupree is a young interior player and has potential. After he strengthens his abilities in the coming season, we certainly will be happy to bring him into the group in the future."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dino Gregory Will Play in Sweden

Dino Gregory has signed a deal to start his professional career with the reigning Swedish League Champion Sundsvall Dragons. Here's the team's press release (translation):
The Sundsvall Dragons has announced the signing of their first U.S. import this year, 200cm tall Dino Gregory of Baltimore. The contract is for one year and Dino is expected to Sundsvall in the near future to be with the team for preseason practice in early August.[...]

Frederick Åhnstrand, Dragons club manager:
"He is a super athletic inside player who will be a real Intimidator. He's a good defensive player who, with his athleticism, will fit into the way we play and will contribute from the post position. Dino fits perfectly into the way we play and we are very pleased to retain such a good player for our team."
The Terrapin Station blog has notes on the signing today too.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Steve Francis's New Life

The Montgomery County Gazette recently featured a story about Steve Francis (1998-99) and his new, post-playing life. The story reflects on Francis's playing history, from bouncing around between high schools in Silver Spring, to the University of Maryland, to the NBA, and finally to last winter's short stint in China's pro league. Today, Francis is focusing on his charitable foundation, his new music label, and just being a dad:

The present is in Montgomery County; he returned from his home in Houston to participate in the 122nd annual Independence Day Celebration in Takoma Park. Continuing an annual tradition, he also played host to a Fourth of July community barbecue. Then he was off to College Park to host a charity basketball camp.

Through the Steve Francis Foundation, he has made charity a part of his daily life. He said he has a lot of pride in the Brenda Wilson Scholarship Program, which was named after his mother and created in 2004. [...] Francis’ agent, Carrie Potter, said the foundation has doled out $350,000 to 35 students since the program’s inception. [...]

Among its many other endeavors are the Holiday Extravaganza, a Christmas party for youth in Houston; Christmas in February, the donation of more than 5,000 non-perishable items to 700 needy families at a Houston Food Bank Food Fair; Turkey & Trimmings, a distribution of Thanksgiving meals each year since 2005; and funding the D.C. Warriors, an Amateur Athletic Union club basketball team located in Takoma Park.

Francis launched a new music label, Maserati Music, last summer that features local musicians. He made his debut with a Washington, D.C. listening party.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Andre Collins to JuveCaserta

Andre Collins (2001-04, then transferred to Loyola) has signed a new deal for next season (translation) with Pepsi JuveCaserta in Italy's Serie A league.
After his last year in college with the Loyola Greyhounds, he arrived in Italy where he won the Lega Due title in his first season, and with extensive training, the award for best player of the year for 2007-2008. In December 2007 against Aget Imola, he set a remarkable scoring record - in the history of Ferrara Basket Club - 10 shots from three scored. In his first year of play in Serie A, Collins was confirmed as one of the best players: the third leading scorer among players with more than 33.5 minutes per game. During last season in Pesaro, following a season with Virtus Bologna, "Deuce" scored an average of 27 points per game. All these numbers portend, in conjunction with other additions to the team, a great season for JuveCaserta.
(Italy has two primary basketball leagues: Serie A, which is the top pro league, and Lega Due which is the second tier league. The two leagues have a relegation and promotion system where the top Lega Due teams rise up to Serie A and the bottom Serie A drop to Lega Due after every season. After his first year in Italy with Ferrara, the team won Lega Due and was promoted, so Collins's second season was also with Ferrara, but now in Serie A.)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bambale Osby Signs on for the Playoffs in Puerto Rico

While the basketball season is over in most parts of the world, they're still in the playoffs in Puerto Rico, where Bambale Osby (2006-08) has signed on for the remainder of the season (translation) with Vaqueros de Bayamon. Bayamon was down 0-2 in its best of seven semifinal series, but has won three straight games since Boom came on board. Osby scored 7 points and 4 rebounds in his first game with the team, following it up with 12 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 blocks in the his second game and 20 points and 8 rebounds in the most recent game.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Drew Nicholas Signs with Milano

Drew Nicholas (1999-2003) had a year left on his contract with reigning Euroleague champion Panathinaikos, but was released anyway after he and many other teammates refused to take a pay cut from the Greek team. From
Drew Nicholas has left Panathinaikos after three years of titles with the team, the European champion announced on July 16.

The US shooting-guard apparently refused to take a pay cut, which has been proposed to most players of the team, and on the same day he sealed a deal with Armani Milano, according to a statement by the Italian club.

Nicholas quickly signed to play (translation) for Armani Jeans Olimpia Milano of the Italian SerieA league. Milano finished third in the highly competitive top Italian league last season, and will be good again next season after reloading with three players cast off from Panathinaikos this week. From the team's press release:
"With Drew Nicholas," said coach Sergio Scariolo, "we insert into the group not only an excellent shooter who has demonstrated his technical quality on all teams for which he played, but also a serious and positive person, who has made an essential contribution to the success of his teams in recent years."

Monday, July 18, 2011

Ibekwe Re-signs with BBC Bayreuth

Ekene Ibekwe (2003-07) joined BBC Bayreth mid-season last year and quickly established himself as one of the team's best players. Last week, Bayreuth rewarded Ibekwe by signing him to a one-year extension (translation) to his contract:
The fifth position of BBC Bayreuth's team for next season is filled. Ekene Ibekwe, who joined the team in early February, will also contribute in the new season, wearing the Bayreuth jersey. The 25-year-old power forward has extended his contract by one year.

In his debut in a BBC uniform, the 2.06 meter tall American with Nigerian roots celebrated a win on 6 February in an away game in Göttingen. The Los Angeles-based powerhouse played in a total of 15 games last season for BBC. He averaged 11.5 points and 5.7 rebounds, with a player rating of 12.3. The 26 year old was important, necessary for victory in the league. Six times the power forward was the highest scorer and best rebounder for the team.

"Ekene is to some extent responsible for the reversal of last season; he played with heart and passion, and he was a large part of our success in securing a playoff spot. I am pleased that we succeeded, after intensive and really tough negotiations, in convincing Ekene to pick up for another season with Bayreuth. Of course his popularity with the fans and sponsors did not escape us, so we hope his new obligation will be a good a sign for the fans and sponsors," said BBC general manager Uli Eichbaum.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Nik Caner-Medley Signs with Valencia

Nik Caner-Medley (2002-06) had a great individual season playing for Asefa Estudiantes in Madrid, Spain, but the team was mired in the bottom half of the ACB league and missed the playoffs. Next season should be different, as Caner-Medley signed this week (translation) to play with Power Electronics Valencia, which finished in 3rd place last season and should be competitive again next year. Caner-Medley, who was named ACB Player of the Month three times last season, was one of the most highly sought-after free agents in Spain this summer, with three other teams seriously competing for his services:
Cajasol, Estudiantes, and Unicaja were also interested in acquiring the services of the most valued player of the last regular season. In the games he played in against those teams, he scored 14.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, and a 17.6 player rating, which allowed him to sneak into the first team all-star team ahead of former Valencia star Dusko Savanovic. Caner-Medley will now take Savanovic's place in Valencia, if Efes Pilsen eventually ends up paying a million and a half for the Serb's escape clause.

Unicaja had spoken more than once with the player asking for patience. But their number one goal was to sign Malaga's Judson Wallace and only if he opted for Barcelona would they go to Caner-Medley. The American did not dislike the option of going to the Costa del Sol, but he was tired of waiting and the appearance of the offer of Power Electronics has ended his patience.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Former Terps 2010-11 Season Round-Up: NBA, NBDL, & Minor Leagues Edition

Now that I've covered all the overseas Terps, let's take a look at how former Maryland players here in the US fared in 2010-2011, complete with some self-referential links:

Steve Blake (1999-2003) played for the Los Angeles Lakers, where he averaged 4.0 points, 2.2 assists, and 2.0 rebounds in 20 minutes a game in the regular season (79 games), then 2.2 points, 2.2 assists, and 1.6 rebounds in 16 minutes a game in 9 playoff games. The Lakers made it to the Western Conference Semi-Finals. Now that we're in the off-season, Blake is probably working on his Mixed Martial Arts skills.

Blake's Lakers teammate, Joe Smith (1993-95), in his 16th NBA season, averaged 0.5 points, 1.3 rebounds in 4.3 minutes per game in 16 regular season games (4 with the New Jersey Nets prior to an early season trade to the Lakers). He appeared in 5 of the Lakers' playoff games, going scoreless. This may have been Smith's last shot at an NBA title.

Greivis Vasquez (2006-10) had a successful rookie year with the Memphis Grizzlies. Vasquez averaged 3.6 points, 2.2 assists, and 1.0 rebounds in 12.3 minutes per game in the regular season (70 games). Vasquez stepped it up in the playoffs though, and scored 4.3 points, 1.5 assists, and 1.9 rebounds in only 10.9 minutes per game (13 games). The Grizzlies also made it to the Western Conference Semi-Finals. Vasquez has been spending his off season doing some important sports diplomacy in Venezuela in conjunction with the US State Department and other NBA and WNBA athletes.

Statistically, Chris Wilcox (2000-02) may have had the best season, averaging 7.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game in 17.5 minutes per game in the regular season (including 29 starts in 57 games) for the Detroit Pistons. Wilcox came on strong in the second half of the season, but finished the year as the longest tenured NBA player without a playoff appearance.

As I mentioned a few days ago, DJ Strawberry (2003-07) started out the season with the NBA D-League's Reno Bighorns before heading overseas to play in Lithuania in January. In 20 games (7 as a starter) with the Bighorns, Strawberry averaged 13.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.0 steals in 29.6 minutes per game.

Chris McCray (2002-06) was back for his second season with the D-League's Sioux Falls Skyforce, averaging 9.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.4 steals per game in 29.3 minutes. McCray started 23 of 29 games for the Skyforce, which had a poor year (10-40) and missed the playoffs,

Beyond the D-League, there are several smaller minor leagues in various stages of organization and stability in the US.

Byron Mouton (2000-02) played for the Washington Greenhawks of the Atlantic Coast Professional Basketball League. Unfortunately, the Greenhawks cancelled their season after only four games. Mouton averaged 27.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in the four games the team played. The team does still exist, however, and the Greenhawks recently helped local children set a world record for kids dribbling mini-basketballs, led by Mouton, Gheorge Muresan, and AND1's The Professor.

Parrish Brown (2005-07) played for the American Basketball Association's Chicago Steam at one point this winter, but he's not on their website's roster anymore.

Ryan Randle (2001-03) briefly played for the Metroplex Lightning of the United Basketball League, but the team no longer exists and their website has disappeared since the season ended a month ago.

(Don't miss the 2010-11 International Terps Round-Up, if you haven't seen it already!)

Monday, July 04, 2011

Former Terps 2010-11 Season Round-Up: International Edition

As we've been chronicling for the past two weeks, it was a season of many championships for former Terps playing overseas:
James Gist (2004-08) won the Serbian Championship.
Sarunas Jasikevicius (1994-98) won the Turkish Championship.
Terence Morris (1997-2001) won the Spanish Championship.
Drew Nicholas (1999-2003) won the Greek Championship and his second Euroleage Championship.
Nik Caner-Medley (2002-06) also had an All-Star season in Spain.

Now, here's a round-up of the rest of our Terps who played overseas this season:

DJ Strawberry (2003-07) joined Lietuvos Rytas in Vilnius, Lithuania midway through the season. The team went 20-4, finished second in the regular season, and lost in the Lithuanian championship finals 4 games to 1 against rivals Zalgiris. Lietuvos also took the bronze in the regional Baltic Basketball League and advanced to the Top 16 round of the Euroleague tournament. In 31 games in Lithuania, DJ averaged 5.5 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 2.3 assists. Strawberry started the season with the Reno Bighorns of the NBA D-League, where he averaged 13.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.6 assists in 20 games.

Bambale Osby (2006-08) played in Tallinn, Estonia, for TTU/Kalev this season. TTU/Kalev finished 3rd in the Estonian regular season, going 25-7, and lost in the semi-finals of the league tournament. Osby averaged 16.4 points (6th in the league), 10.0 rebounds (4th in the league), and 1.2 blocks (4th in the league) in 38 games. Boom was a finalist in the league's slam dunk contest and the MVP of the league's All-Star game. In the regional Baltic League, TTU/Kalev went 6-16 and finished 11th. Osby led his team with 18.6 points and 12.0 rebounds in that league's 22 games. Here's an interview with Osby from the All Star game.

Lonny Baxter (1998-2002) played for BC Enisey Krasnoyarsk of the Russian PBL league. Enisey went 12-15 in the regular season and lost in the quarterfinals of the playoffs. Baxter averaged 16.2 points (4th in the league) and 7.2 rebounds (3rd in the league) in 37 games, including two EuroChallenge qualifier games.

Juan Dixon (1998-2002), who had sat out a one year FIBA ban for steriod use, came back in March to play for Turkey's Banvit Kulubu. Banvit went 23-7 and finished 2nd in the regular season, but lost in the Turkish Basketball League semi-finals. Dixon averaged 8.4 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 14 games.

Ekene Ibekwe (2003-07) played for three different teams this season. Ibekwe started off last fall with Germany's Artland Dragons, where he averaged 8.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks in 14 games. Then in January, he was cut from the team and went to Israel, where he averaged 6.0 points and 4.7 rebounds in 6 games for Ironi Ashkelon. Soon, he was back in Germany, finishing the season with BBC Bayreuth, where he averaged 11.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks in 15 games. Bayreuth finished 9-25, far out of the German Bundesliga playoffs.

Travis Garrison (2002-06) played for BC Khimik in the Ukraine. Garrison averaged 8.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in 32 games for Khimik, which went 16-32 and missed the playoffs. Khimik also played in the opening round robin of the EuroChallenge tournament, where Garrison averaged 8.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in 6 games.

Eric Hayes (2006-10) spent most of his first professional season with Leche Rio Breogan in Spain's LEB Gold league (one step below the top ACB league), then finished the season playing a single game for Lithuania's Neptunas Klaipeda. Hayes averaged 8.8 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 24 total games, while shooting 47% from 3 point range. Breogan went 18-16 in the regular season and lost in the semi-finals of the playoffs.

Landon Milbourne (2006-10) played for SO Maritime Boulogne of the French ProB league in his first year as a professional. Boulogne finished 19-15 in the regular season and lost in the semi-finals of the playoffs. Milbourne averaged 16.5 points (6th in the league), 5.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.7 steals in 39 games.

Jamar Smith (2002-04) played for France's ProA league team, Entente Orleans, where he averaged 5.5 points and 4.4 rebounds in 28 games. Orleans went 12-18 and missed the playoffs. Orleans also participated in the opening round robin of the EuroChallenge tournament, where Smith scored 7.7 points and 4.7 rebounds in 6 games.

Rodney Elliott (1994-98) played for Argentina's Boca Juniors. Elliott averaged 11.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 2.0 steals per game for the Juniors, who went 13-17 and missed the playoffs.

Andre Collins (2001-04) played for Scavolini Pesaro in Italy's Serie A league. Scavolini finished 14-16 and missed the league playoffs. Collins averaged 12.8 points, 2.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists (4th in the league), and 2.4 steals (9th in the league) per game.

There was some evidence that Mike Jones (2003-07) had signed to play in Venezuela for Guaiqueries de Margarita, but I've had no luck finding statistics or up-to-date rosters for Venezuela's LNB, and the team's website is no longer on-line.

(Don't miss the 2010-11 Domestic Terps Round-Up, if you haven't seen it already.)

Friday, July 01, 2011

James Gist Facing Possible FIBA Doping Ban

James Gist (2004-08) may be facing a FIBA ban after testing positive (translation) for Carboxy-THC (that's the chemical marijuana leaves behind in the body) last month during a routine post-game drug test on June 1st in Serbia.

Two samples are always taken, and Gist's sample A came back positive with low levels of the drug. So, if my understanding of poorly translated Turkish news and my memory of FIBA procedures is correct, sample B will now be tested by a different lab. If sample B comes back positive as well, then the ban could be anywhere from three months to two years.

Gist had just signed a new deal with reigning Turkish champion Fenerbahce Ulker last week. The team has said they will wait for the investigation to finish before management decides whether to keep Gist or not.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Nik Caner-Medley's All-Star Season in Spain

Nik Caner-Medley (2002-06) had a big season this year in Spain's ACB league, playing for Asefa Estudiantes in Madrid. While the team struggled to a 16-18 record and missed the playoffs, Nik was named ACB Player of the Month three times and was a break-out star in the league this season.

In the ACB regular season, Caner-Medley averaged 14.4 points (7th in the league) and 7.6 rebounds (1st in the league) in 31 games. Nik was named to the First Team All-ACB team (translation) following the season as one of the two best frontcourt players in the league. He was at the top of the league (translation) with his 17.6 average player rating as well as his 7.6 rebounds per game and 5.5 defensive rebounds per game.

Estudiantes also advanced to the quarterfinals of the continent-wide Eurocup tournament, where Nik averaged 12.4 points and 7.0 rebounds in 14 games.

And now for your viewing enjoyment, Nik Caner-Medley highlights from this season:

...And a Q&A session with Nik answering questions from fans on the street (the questions are in Spanish, but he answers in English with Spanish subtitles). Notably from this, he's a free agent this summer, but is focusing on playing again in Europe instead of the NBA.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Drew Nicholas is Once Again a Champion in Greece

Drew Nicholas (1999-2003) is once again a champion in Greece, as his team, Panathinaikos BC of Athens won the Greek League Championship for the ninth consecutive season. Panathinaikos was second in the regular season, with a 24-2 record, behind only undefeated Olympaikos, whom they defeated in the play-off finals 3 games to 1.

Earlier this season, Panathinaikos also won the Euroleague Championship for the second time in three years. Nicholas was an elite shooter and an ace defender in the tournament:
With clutch shot after clutch shot in the 2011 Turkish Airlines Euroleague title game, Drew Nicholas played a valuable role in giving Panathinaikos its sixth continental title. Nicholas, a former Alphonso Ford Top Scorer Trophy winner, has developed into an ace defender for the Greens, but he showed in Barcelona that he still has an elite scoring touch. Nicholas came through with 14 points against Maccabi Electra to help guide the Greens to the promised land. From the time he entered the game early in the second quarter, Nicholas put the ball in the net, whether by driving through the Maccabi defense or by trusting his shooter's touch. When the final buzzer sounded, Nicholas could say that by excelling at whatever end of the court his team needed him most, he was now a two-time Euroleague champion.

In 20 Euroleague games, Nicholas averaged 9.8 points, 1.2 rebounds, and 1.7 assists while shooting 41.5% from 3 point range. In 27 Greek League games, Nicholas averaged 9.7 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 2.3 assists while making an even better 44.4% of his 3 pointer attempts. This was Nicholas's third season playing for Panathinaikos.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cliff Tucker will Play Football at UTEP

Cliff Tucker (2007-2011) will enroll at the University of Texas El Paso next fall and join their football team. Tucker participated in Maryland's spring football practices, but was not offered a scholarship, so he is returning to his hometown (El Paso Times):
Having exhausted his eligibility in basketball, he competed in spring football for Maryland, but when that school didn't have an available scholarship, he inquired about coming to UTEP.

His next game should be Sept. 3 in the Sun Bowl against Stoney Brook, in the orange and blue of the Miners.

"I've always had a love for football," Tucker said, making official his transfer to UTEP. "I've come back to El Paso every summer and I'm excited to go to UTEP."

As a football player, Tucker was recruited by most of the Big 12.
The UTEP Miners play in Conference USA, and went 6-7 last season.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Terence Morris Wins Spanish Championship

This season, Terence Morris (1997-2001) and his team, Regal FC Barcelona, won the Spanish ACB regular season with a 27-7 record and ACB Championship tournament, beating Bizkaia Bilbao 3 games to 0 in the finals. Along the way, Regal Barca also won their 22nd Spanish Cup mid-season tournament and advanced to the Euroleague quarterfinals.

In 20 Euroleague games, Morris averaged 6.6 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. In 41 Spanish ACB games, Morris averaged 5.9 points and 3.3 rebounds. Following the season, Regal Barcelona announced that they will not extend his contract (translation) for next season.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sarunas Jasikevicius is a Champion in Turkey

Sarunas Jasikevicius (1994-98) is coming off a championship season in Turkey, as his team, Fenerbahce Ulker, won the Turkish BBL regular season with a 27-3 record, won the mid-season Turkish Cup tournament title, and wrapped up their season by winning the Turkish League Championship for the second year in a row. In the middle of all that, they also advanced to the Euroleague Top 16.

Jasikevicius started the season with Lietuvos Rytas in Lithuania before being released and subsequently signing in Turkey in December. In 6 Euroleague, 4 Lithuanian league games, and 2 VTB regional league games with Lietuvos, Sarunas averaged 8.5 points and 3.9 assists per game. In 24 Turkish league games and 6 Euroleague games for FB Ukler, Sarunas averaged 7.7 points and 2.4 assists.

Sarunas will be a free agent this summer, and doesn't know if he will be re-signed by Fenerbahce, but he believes he can play 2-3 more seasons (translation) and would like to play in Turkey again.

And now, five minutes of Sarunas highlights from the final game of their Championship series:

Monday, June 20, 2011

James Gist wins Three Trophies in Serbia, then Signs in Turkey for Next Year

James Gist (2004-08), coming off a big season with Partizan Belgrade in Serbia, has signed to play next year for Turkey's reigning champion, Fenerbahe Ulker. (If you remember hearing about FB Ulker on this blog before, it's because it's also home to Sarunas Jasikevicius.)

Partizan played in three different leagues this season, and Gist averaged 11.6 points and 6.3 rebounds in 56 total games. Partizan went 13-1 in the regular season and easily won the Serbian league's championship tournament (not a surprise; this was their tenth straight title as the big fish in an otherwise weak league). Partizan also won the mid-season Serbian Cup tournament. Partizan went 18-8 and won the Adriatic international "NLB" league regular season and championship tournament against tougher competition (it was only their fifth consecutive Adriatic championship). Partizan also advanced to the Top 16 round of the Euroleague tournament before bowing out.

Now enjoy this Top Ten compilation of Gist's dunks from this season:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Greivis Vasquez Engages in Sports Diplomacy

Greivis Vasquez (2006-10) is working with the US State Department and the NBA as part of the SportsUnited program to reach out to kids in Venezuela. The Baltimore Sun had this story about Vasquez's sports diplomacy today. Excerpt:
Vasquez said he approached the U.S. Embassy in Caracas recently about doing some work for the community. Ann Stock, the State Department's assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs, said that Vasquez's name came up when the State Department contacted the NBA about its program.

"Close to 65 percent of the people in the world are under age 30," Stock said. "We need to figure out ways to engage with those young people, and sports have always been a way to do that. Greivis is a perfect person for this program, because he's so personable and he's a role model to a lot of kids. He's going to learn a lot too."

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Vicki Bullett To Be Inducted into Hall of Fame

Former Terp Vicki Bullett (1986-89) will be inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday. Don't remember her? Maryland's press release will fill you in:
A Terp from 1986-89, Bullett was named to the 1989 Kodak All-America team. Over the course of her career she averaged 16.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game to become one of the most decorated players in Maryland history. Bullett was a member of three ACC Championship teams en route to being named the 1989 ACC Player of the Year, and ACC Tournament MVP. She is fourth all-time in the Maryland record books in scoring with 1,928 points in her Terrapin career and is third in rebounding with 968 boards.

A two-time Olympian, Bullett was a part of the USA Women's Basketball team that won gold in 1988 and captured bronze in 1992. She played six seasons in the WNBA for the Charlotte Sting and the Washington Mystics from 1997-2001, scoring 2,018 points.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

WNBA Season Begins as European Women's Season Wraps Up

Three former Terps are playing in the WNBA this summer: Marissa Coleman (2005-09) and Crystal Langhorne (2004-08) with the Washington Mystics, and Kristi Toliver (2005-09) for the Los Angeles Sparks.

Many women spend the summers playing in the WNBA, but then spend the WNBA off-season, known to the rest of the world as "basketball season", playing overseas.

This winter, Crystal Langhorne played for Russia's UMMC Ekaterinburg. UMMC lost in the Women's Euroleague Final Four (but won the third place game), then bounced back to win the Russian league championship. UMMC did not lose in the Russian league all season: they were undefeated 18-0 in the regular season, then won their three playoff series 2-0, 2-0, and 3-0.

Marissa Coleman played for Hungary's MKB Euroleasing Sopron, which won the Hungarian Women's Championship after finishing second in the regular season. MKB played in the women's Euroleague competition, but lost in the round of 16.

Kristi Toliver played for Turkey's Samsun Basketbol, which finished 7th in the regular season and then lost in the quarterfinals of its league tournament.

Shay Doron (2003-07) no longer plays in the WNBA, but she played for Israel's Elitzur Ramla this year, leading her team to the Eurocup Championship, the Israeli State Cup, and the Israeli League Championship. The team finished first in the Israeli regular season as well, going 17-1. In this interview (from her own official site), Shay talked about her team's record-setting season and her career.

Lori Bjork (2009-10) played for Romania's Satu Mare this winter, where she was selected for the league's All-Star game (translation). Satu Mare finished the regular season in first place, but lost in the finals of the Romanian League Championship.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ryan Randle in the UBL in Texas

Ryan Randle (2001-03) is now playing for the Metroplex Lightning of DeSoto, TX, in the minor league United Basketball League. (There's no specific story to link to, just search for his name on the team's web page and you'll find some game notes and a roster.) The UBL consists of 7 teams in Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, and Mississippi, and they appear to play a short schedule of 4-6 games per team. The post-season starts this week, though Randle's new team, with a record of 1-3, did not make the playoffs.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Catching Up with Matt Hahn

Matt Hahn (1996-2000) has been an assistant coach for years, first working for his father, former Maryland Assistant Billy Hahn at LaSalle, then Vermont, and now Robert Morris.

This week, local news site Columbia Patch interviewed Hahn, who is from Columbia, MD, about the recent coaching changes at local schools, as well as his own career and aspirations. Here's a short excerpt from the story:
Hahn said, however, his goal is be a head coach at the Division I level.

"That is my long-term goal. I think that is why all of us who do this want to do," Hahn said. "Being an assistant is wonderful but we all one day want to see if we can do the job as a head coach."

"I feel I have prepared for it for a long time as a coaches’s kid. You never know when that opportunity may be. That is the goal," added Hahn, who said he talks nearly every day with his father, and sometimes they don’t even talk about basketball.