It’s that time of the year again college basketball is back! This year looks to be a exciting one with big time freshmen coming such as the likes of Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker. Then you add in Kentucky who already had a solid looking young team and now they add possibly the best recruiting class of all time in college basketball signing 6 of the top 20 recruits in the nation last year. After losing in the NIT last year to Robert Morris they will look to get back not only into the the big dance, but also championship as they come into the season number one in the nation. They are not the only ones looking to get back into the NCAA tournament. The Maryland Terrapins have not been to the tournament since the Gary Williams days which seem like decades ago. The last time Maryland went was in 2010, the year they also won the ACC championship with Gary Williams receiving ACC Coach of the Year.
After a very disappointing season last year the Terps will be looking to rebound (No pun intended). This was a team last year that was good enough to make it to the big dance, but a combination of insufficient guard play and in my opinion horrible coaching by Mark Turgeon left this team on the outside looking in. Other then losing Alex Len to the NBA they are returning a plethora of talent especially on the perimeter. It does not get much better than Dez Wells, Nick Faust, and Seth Allen (although injured he will come in time for the majority of the season). They are all solid defenders, they can and will be relied on as scorers, and they are all electric with space. With freshmen and sophomores playing big minutes last year this team has grown a lot and with the additions of 4 star recruit Roddy Peters, Demonte Dodd, and transfer Evan Smotcyz this team has a lot of depth and a solid 8 man rotation. The breakout player this year will be Jake Layman. He looks a lot more confident in his shot and runs the floor very well. Defensively he needs some work but with his great length it does leave him a little room for error. One thing he did do very well last year was anticipate on the defensive end as he forced a lot of steals by paying attention to the guy with the ball and making a break on lazy passes. Look for more of that this year. Down low maybe a work in progress. Shaq Cleare is solid on the defensive end, but almost a no show offensively last year as well as in the loss to Conneticut in Maryland’s first game this year. The good news is that Charles Mitchell looked very good offensively last year and against the Huskies. The bad news about him is that he does not look to have lost a lot of weight which he will pay for when Maryland plays better competition against faster players. This is not to say he will be terrible, rather if he could have lost maybe just 15 more pounds think of how much better he could be. It would equal more minutes and even better quality of play from him. Turnovers may be a problem and most likely the achillies heal for this team as Peters is only a freshmen who sometimes can look like Steve Nash but I also anticipate having many bad freshmen moments. Turnovers were a big problem last year especially for Dez Wells and Seth Allen. At times last year Seth Allen didn’t seem to want to give the ball up and would hold for up to 15-20 seconds at a time which cannot happen. There are too many scoring threats and Seth Allen and all the points guards cannot afford to keep the ball out of their hands. Distribution and turnovers as well as scoring droughts are the two big problems I see for the Terps this year. Getting off to a good start will lasso be key as Maryland has not done that well in the very early stages of this year.
Bottom Line: There are more growing pains to come as this is still a young team and although I do not like Mark Turgeon he does have a lot of fire in him and Maryland’s defense will be solid with offense improving from last season. With this in mind I see the Terps, overall, improving this year finishing the regular season with about 21 wins and barely squeaking into the NCAA tournament. Let’s go Terps!
A lot has been in the news recently since Kevin Durant said he would take Dwayne Wade out of the NBA’s Top 10 player in favor of his old teammate James Harden. Personally, I believe Kevin Durant is absolutely right as last season Dwayne Wade was not as great relative to years past. In the playoffs last season he was virtually another role player on the Miami Heat. Continue reading
The start of the season is finally here! For Maryland Terrapins football it means another chance and maybe the final one for Edsall to get to a bowl game going on a 3 year drought. Not much success has been established since the year Ralph Freigon left as Maryland went 9-4 and won the Military Bowl with Freigon winning ACC Coach of the Year. Since then Atheltic Director Kevin Anderson fired Freigon with very little logic behind the firing only because Anderson wanted a coach who would sell more tickets. Being the ignorant man that he was he fired the ACC Coach of the Year and hired a coach in Randy Edsall who has lead the Terps to a 2-10 and 4-8 record in his 2 years at the helm. Byrd stadium is also still vacant for most games and did not sell out in any game last year. This year, however, things will be at least a little better. Continue reading
NFL is back! Preseason is under away and it is that time of year where people like me love making predictions thinking we know everything only to be completely wrong by midseason. That being said here is my two cents about the AFC North.
Over the years, the AFC North has been dominated by the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers with Cincinnati and Cleveland being the bottom dwellers. Although Cincinnati has made a run to the playoffs the last couple of years, they have been bounced out in the first round by Houston both l times, and because of this many people (including me) still look at them as a nobody. However, this year I believe Cincinnati will have something more to cheer about, and that it will be a slugfest with them as well as Baltimore and Pittsburgh down to the last week to see who wins the AFC North. For now let’s break down each of the four team’s strengths and weaknesses starting with Cleveland. Anything not mentioned means the position is just okay. Continue reading
Something happened last year in the NFC East that had not since 1999. The Washington Redskins became relevant. After being 3-6 and all but done for the season, the fans and even Coach Mike Shanahan gave up. Luckily, RGIII did not give up. He exploded onto the scene last year propelling the Redskins to a 7 game winning streak to end the season which ultimately allowed them to win the NFC East and make the playoffs. This year in the NFC East things will most likely not change too much. Continue reading
Imagine being a fan or student of a college that could not afford to pay the expenses caused by athletics because of a new rule that colleges had to pay some of their athletes an extra bonus and therefore have to drop sports such as maybe football and basketball. This will be a reality for many students and fans if it is decided that college athletes, specifically football and basketball athletes, be paid. In my speech class in high school I did a paper explaining pros and cons of college athletes being paid and while doing so I learned a lot about the damages it would do to many colleges.
This possible rule change would cripple the players, the colleges, and all of college sports and that not putting this rule into effect would be the best solution.
2012/2013… What a time to be a Baltimore sports fan. It was the year Michael Phelps a Baltimore native became the greatest Olympian of all time. It was the year Carmelo Anthony, who also grew up in Baltimore, rose to among the elite NBA players and received a very prestigious award This past NBA season. It was the year the Orioles not only broke their streak of 14 straight losing seasons, but also shocked the MLB world and made the playoffs. Lastly, it was the year Ray Lewis and the Ravens, in the face of adversity, went on one of the more improbable runs and won Super Bowl XVII. All of this success has charm city in pandemonium. Continue reading
Many players have been seen going down so far in the NFL during training camp. For the Eagles it was Jeremy Maclin, whom many figured the talented speedy reciever to play a huge part in Chip Kelly’s new offense. For Seattle it was Percy Harvin who just joined the team adding to the arsenal of receivers Seattle would have making for one of the best recieving cores in the league. Finally, for the Ravens, Dennis Pitta has now gone down with a dislocated hip and he is out for the season.
For an offense that has already lost key pieces in center Matt Birk and more importantly WR Anquan Boldin this is a huge loss for the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens. The Ravens before this injury were already short-handed at the receiving position and Dennis Pitta was expected to shoulder much of the load with Anquan Boldin gone. Even with Pitta Baltimore was expected to get help at the recieving position and now it seems apparent that they will. Continue reading
Who is the better player? Would Len Bias live up to the hype of being called the next Michael Jordan? Unfortunately, these questions will never be able to be answered as Len Bias tragically died due to a cocaine overdose the day after he was drafted number 2 overall by the Boston Celtics. As a Maryland fan who has done a few research papers on Len Bias’ career it is interesting to speculate how great he would have been and if he would have been as great as Michael Jordan. Both played in the same era during the 1980s. Michael Jordan for North Carolina and Len Bias for the University of Maryland. They only played each other head-to-head once in which Jordan lead the then, top ranked North Carolina over Bias and Maryland. It was, however, Bias who outplayed Jordan scoring 24 points to Jordan’s 21 points. Continue reading
This past year was certainly the “Year of the Quarterback.” We saw long bombs from Joe Flacco. We saw rookie quarterbacks look seemingly like 5 year veterans. We saw what looks to be the start of a revolution with the read option being displayed so effectively by many teams and their QB’s. As we are waiting and preparing for the NFL to begin its season I always love debating the top QB’s to pass the time. My top 10 QB’s in the league heading into 2013 are: Continue reading