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 ESPN.com:
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 (LakerNation.com):
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 Netsdaily.com 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 (Boston.com):
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.

ESPNBoston.com 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."