From DBR: Taran and Me

Diamondback Russ just posted this under another thread, but I thought I would add give it its own thread.

“I just got back from the Bishop Maginn HS game. Taran Buie somehow scored 23 points. I say “somehow” because I don’t know where they came from. I was stunned when the I saw the scorers sheet (I read it upside down so maybe he scored 32 lol). Seriously though, Taran shot well at times and at times seemed lethargic. It was as if his motor wasn’t fully on. In fact this was the first game where I observed him lose his man on defense on a couple of possesions, but he was able to use his quickness to get back in front of him except on once that I recall.

He entered the game with about 4 minutes left in the first quarter but played almost every minute after that. I’ll check the paper in the morning but it looked like the scorer had him down for 7-11 from the FT line tonight.

Best part of tonight’s game was that assistant coach Rob Ehsan was also at the game. I spoke to coach Ehsan after the game and he was pleased with what he saw overall but also commented that Buie’s motor didn’t seem fully on.

Both coach Ehsan and I were very happy to see Buie wearing black Under Armor game shoes and matching UA socks. The rest of Buie’s team wore blue addidas that match the school’s colors. This is the first game I’ve seen Buie not wearing the team’s addidas. Perhaps…LORD I HOPE…Buie knew coach Ehsan would be at the game and was sending him a message with the shoe choice?
I also asked coach Ehsan about Burney and he told me “his foot is weak, but he is cleared to play. Problem is that he lost time and he’s behind Braxton who is playing better in practice and played well in limited minutes against UNC”.

Coach Ehsan and I talked about the Ga Tech game and how tough the ACC is this season. I told him after watching the UNC game I felt the Terps had an upset or two in them, and he said ‘I hope you’re right'”

That’s it for now!

DBR Recruiting Report 12/19/2008

Gary Williams and Rob Ehsan were in New York last Saturday, watching Taran Buie’s Bishop Maginn squad beat Tobias Harris’s Long Island Lutheran team 63-60. Buie scored 24 points while Tobias Harris was held to 13 points. Harris had foul trouble (3 fouls before halftime) and Bishop Maginn double teamed him whenever he had the ball. I posted this info in another thread but felt it was worth repeating.

It’s starting to look like it’s between Notre Dame and UMD for Buie.

In addition to Buie, DeMatha’s Victor Oladipo, Lake Clifton’s Will Barton, and Montrose Christian’s Terrence Ross all are considering UMD.

Isaiah Epps begins his season tonight (weather permitting). I sense no significant changes in his recruitment during his season. He’s been firm that spring is when he’ll decide. It appears to be down to Pitt and UMD but don’t be surprised to see some other schools attempt to get into the mix with him.

April 2009 will be a CRITICAL month for Terp recruiting. UMD’s season will be over and the AAU circuit will fire up. Evaluations will be completed and 2010 recruits will begin giving verbal commitments. Then, of course we’ll turn to the class of 2011 where as many as five spots will be open.

As for this year, the million dollar question is who/when will someone step up consistently in the paint? How the Terps are going to match up against Hansbrough/Thompson at UNC; Booker/Sykes at Clemson; Singler at Duke; Allen at VT; Costner/McCauley at NCSU? If the guards aren’t playing lights out against those teams it’s gonna be a struggle.

On that note, Braxton Dupree had a meeting with Gary Williams prior to the Delaware State game. Word is that GW told him he needs to work harder, specifically he needs to be better at rebounding and being a finisher when he gets the ball inside and not really worry about anything else.

IMHO the next couple of weeks are crucial for BD. Classes/finals are over so he’ll have a few weeks of being able to focus on nothing but basketball. He needs to get out of this funk he’s in stay positive and stay focused and work on his weaknesses. We need him to play better for this team to have success this season.


DBR Update 12/12/2008

As reported yesterday, the Terps thin front line got thinner as Jerome Burney is out anywhere from 3-6 weeks with a stress fracture on the bottom of his foot.  Let’s all wish Rome a full and speedy recovery.  If you’re looking for a silver lining in this injury take solace in the fact that after tonight the Terps have 10 days off (that’s almost 2 of the 6 weeks).  Meanwhile, this provides an opportunity for other bigs to rise to the occasion starting with tonight’s game against Delaware State.

While the Terps are about to play their 9th game of the season, the coaching staff staff has been hard at work on the recruiting trail.  I’ve posted several times how critical the class of 2010 is to the program and now some new names have surfaced in that class.  At first it appeared the Terps class of 2010 would be a PG, a SG and some type of forward.  But given the current state of our ‘bigs’ I now feel that getting a big man in 2010 is critical.  To that end, the Terps have been out to see Darnell Turner play.  He’s 6-8, 240 lbs, from the Blue Ridge School in Dyke.

I’ve been told that Maryland will be in attendance at tomorrow’s game between Bishop Maginn (Taran Buie) and Long Island Lutheran (Tobias Harris).

The Terps are recruiting two players at Miller School (close to Charlottesville, VA), Hippolyte Tsafack, a 6-8 PF and Mychal Parker, a 6-6 G-F.

Tsafack has a high level of interest in UMD and took an unofficial visit to College Park over the Thanksgiving weekend.
He’s considered a warrior type of player similar to James Padgett.  And much like Padgett, Tsafack doesn’t get a lot of touches on offense due to the teams talented perimeter players.

Parker has a long list of schools interested in him and he already has scholarship offers from  Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Clemson, and has drawn interest from Florida, North Carolina, and others.  Some feel Parker could be the most skilled swingman in the class of 2010.

Speaking of Padgett, I watched his game on ESPN last night and was encouraged by what I saw. He appears to have good hands, works hard, knows what to do with the ball although he gets few touches.  He needs to work on his FT shooting.  Summary…a taller, stronger version of Dino Gregory.

Someone asked about SG Anthony Wroten.  Word is he was ruled academically ineligible to attend the HS he wanted to attend (guess he was trying to transfer?) so he clearly has academic issues and may not be able to play any ball this season.  This could lead to a reclassification of his recruitment class (currently he’s a 2011 recruit).  UMD has not offered him a ‘ship at this point in time but Tennessee has (evidently UT will admit anyone).

Let’s all hope for a breakout game from Cliff Tucker tonight…of course he’ll need minutes to do that.


DBR Recruiting Update – 12/05/2008

The Terps are quite active on the trail for top talent in the class of 2010, and they’re also quietly working on the class of 2011 and 2012 but for today here’s an update on the class of 2010:
Pe’Shon Howard was at UMD for a two day unofficial visit last week. Howard is a 6-2 junior combo guard, who plays for Oak Hill Academy. He is said to be a “Big Ten” type guard, strong, physical, and tough, with pretty good skills, has played both PG and 2G. He is definitely a person of interest to UMD, particularly if the Terps miss out on Isaiah Epps.
Also in for an unofficial visit recently was 6-8, 230 lb insider Hippolyte Tsafack, a junior from Cameroon, who currently plays for the Miller School near Charlottesville, VA.
Terps have offered a ‘ship to SF Mychal Parker, a native of North Carolina. Parker has offers from Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Clemson to name a few, and is also being looked at by Florida and Miami. Word is that he’s a smooth, athletic, scoring machine from the “3” spot.
Great to see the Terps are working these kids…staying in touch…inviting them for unofficials in the 2010 class, and covering all their bases. Though only three ships currently are available, it appears the Terps are preparing for the possibly of needing to bring in 4 players in this class. With the guys mentioned above, plus Epps, Taran Buie, Barton, Regan (who scored 23 points in 17 minutes in his season opener) Victor Oladipo, and (IMHO) long shots Roscoe Smith and Tobias Harris; the Terps have a very good list to work from.
I mentioned in the Michigan game thread that Oladipo was at the game. He was in the locker room following the game being chatted up by Gary and staff and word is he enjoyed himself on his visit.
I had hoped to make it to Taran Buie’s season opener tonight but that is now looking like a long shot for me, perhaps I’ll be able to attend the Tuesday night game and give my first hand evaluation following that.

Big Terps Weekend and DBR report

Tonight is the start of huge weekend for Terps fans. Aside from a “are we able to beat mid-major teams by 20 points consistently” game against Vermont tonight; the Football Terps square off against Florida State for a must-win game.

Vermont is likely a Tournament team come March. However, if tonight’s game winds up ending like last year’s Northeastern game; I may have to stab myself with a compass. A solid win tonight and I feel like we can say that real progress has occured from last year.

As for football; the boys close-out Byrd Stadium tomorrow with a chance to get to 8 wins. If they win; the Terps will have earned the right to compete against Boston College for the right to play for the ACC Championship. The Terps still have a lot of business to take care of; but it all starts with beating Florida State. The Fridge will the team ready. If I’m not mistaken; the Terps can close-out a perfect season at home for the first time since 2001. Let’s get it done

Before I get to DBR’s latest update; I’d like to send along a link from our friends at the ACC Report. They have a nice little piece about the Football Terps. Enjoy.

Now for DBR:

After watching two games on ACC Select none of our questions have been answered by our big men. I’d love for Braxton to give us 10 points a game, but at this point I’d settle for some REBOUNDS. Braxton, and his back ups must rebound or it’s going to be a long and frustrating season for the Terps and their fans. Steve Goins will likely get more playing time down the line, but the coaches must feel that he is not quite there yet. But clearly, if Jordan Williams and James Padgett arrive in tip-top shape next season they will get minutes and get them from game one.
Sean Mosley has some lingering effects of missing practice time with the sprained ankle. But he’s able to do things while on the court that help this team. As he gets more practice and playing time he’ll adjust quickly enough.
JSK has given the team offensive energy off the bench. How wonderful is it to have a guy come off the bench looking to shoot and can hit it from almost anywhere? As I mentioned back in the early part of fall, he does lose his man on defense from time to time so work is still needed there.
As far as recruiting goes…lots of chatter about people close to Will Barton wanting him to go to college close to home. Will Regan had a terrific time on his UMD visit. Wants to major in business and knows there are lots of business opportunities in the DC area. Talked about an Under Armor internship if he was a UMD student. While at UMD Regan met Lefty, Tom McMillen, Joe Tydings, and Congressman Steny Hoyer.

He’s going to take his time visiting schools and likely make a decision after his HS season ends. He mentioned that playing at the next level with his AAU teammate Taran Buie would be “fun”. Epps wants to play on the same team as Buie too…Buie must be a freakin’ magnet.

The Terps front court <i>could</i> get crowded starting with the 2010 season. Dupree and Burney would be seniors, Goins a junior. But Baxter, Wilcox, Holden, and Randle managed to all get quality playing time while helping us to back-to-back final fours.
Regan can play inside or out. Can take his game as far as 20 feet from the basket according to his HS Coach. He’s not an above the rim/flashy player but is very skilled.

The Terps are also in the mix with wing players Victor Oladipo, Leek Leek, and Daryus Quarles. As for Roscoe Smith, I’d be very surprised if he pops to UMD. He wants to go to UNC and Georgetown appears to be his 2nd choice. As far as his recruitment goes, think Terrell Vinson. In other words, Terps are involved but other schools are simply ahead of us. Even though the Terps have offered and other schools haven’t done so.

As discussed here, scholarship numbers and the play of our current bigs during this season, will be factors in how 2010 recruiting plays out. I’m told the Terps would like to bring in 4 recruits for 2010 but a ship would have to open up for that to happen.
Tonight’s game won’t be an easy win for the Terps, Vermont has solid bigs. I think that for a win tonight, getting off to a quicker start offensively than we did in the first two games is important.

DBR update 11/7/2008

The Terps definitely laid an egg last night. Cosh has to go. He’s going against a QB with a bum ankle and he doesn’t blitz? What is wrong with him? Force the QB to beat for chissake!

The Terps still control their own destiny. If they can take care of business at home, they should go to a nice bowl. As for the basketball team, w’ll get our first chance to see them this weekend against Rollie Massimino’s team. Let’s hope for less than 10 turnovers.

From DBR:

There’s been some postings here about possible transfers and certainly, attrition is always possible in the spring, but it would appear that if that happens, the Terps would likely save any ‘ships for the Class of 2010. The majority of players in the 2009 class will sign between 11/12 and 11/19. Any other 4-star or 5-star guys unsigned after that most likely have off court issues, academic issues, or are thinking about playing overseas.
If everyone returns for next season we should expect David Pearman to return to “walk-on” status. So for now the focus of recruitment will be on the all important 2010 class, and set up for the classes of 2011 (with Burney, Dupree, Gregory, Bowie , and Tucker ALL scheduled to leave in three years that will be a huge class for UMD) and 2012.
As far as recruit visits, Will Regan visits next weekend, for the Bucknell game, and then the UNC football game. UMD was one of the first schools to offer Regan but Arizona State, Michigan, and Stanford have been pushing hard. The Terps will need to show lots of love on the visit in order to stay in the mix. Regan is a versatile 6-8+ big man, with inside/outside skills and is equally terrific in the classroom.
Terps and Fighting Irish seem to lead for Taran Buie. Pitt and Terps appear to lead for Epps. Roscoe Smith is still waiting for an offer from UNC and should pop to them when he gets it.
Former Terps recruit, and son of John Lucas, Jai Lucas transferred from Florida. Since we have three players that can play the point on the team right now, I don’t expect the Terps to show interest (and we don’t have any ‘ships available at this time). Frankly, I expect Lucas to either wind up at Rice, Houston, or Oklahoma State.
For tomorrow’s exhibition game we could see the following starting five: PG- Hayes, SG- Vasquez, SF- Mosley, PF- Milbourne, C- Dupree. Bowie, Gregory and Burney off the bench. Mosley rolled his ankle in practice and if it’s a problem either Tucker or Bowie would start.

DBR Update – 10/31/08

Happy Halloween folks.

Not much going on this week with the football team on bye and basketball season yet to get underway.  I’ve been trying to write a basketball preview for weeks and I just can’t seem to a get a sense of this team.  I’m sure I’m not the only one. It will be a wild ride in College Park this year.  More to come on this later.  For now, here is the latest from DBR:

Lots of speculation about the Jin Soo Kim situation, but until we hear a final decision has been made , that’s all it is…speculation. It’s really an effin’ mess as JSK is already behind in terms of learning the system, practice time and conditioning (although he may have been slowed there by recovery from shoulder surgery). You’d have to think that the coaches have an 8-9 man rotation in mind by now.
JSK’s status affects recruiting, as the numbers are tight, and the Terps are still, pursuing Arsalan Kazemi, 6-7. However I’m told that Rice may be the leader for Kazemi as that school is in Houston and Houston is where Kazemi’s adviser lives. Also, Kazemi stands a better chance of stepping right in and getting major minutes as a freshman at Rice. Kazemi visits UMD in about a week.
Clearly a ‘ship would have to be available in order for UMD to sign Kazemi this fall. If JSK gets rejected by the NCAA, then we have a ‘ship. However you’d have to think that UMD would honor Kim’s commitment and he could sign with the Terps next fall, if all his academics are in order. Right now it’s ‘hurry up and wait’. A final decision should be coming in the next week or so, if not today, depending on yet another possible appeal.  It’s Halloween so lets hope the NCAA Clearinghouse gives UMD a treat today.
A new recruit has popped up on UMD’s radar for 2010 and it’s 6-6 SF Daryus Quarles. Word is that he’s terrific shooter.\

A Note from DBR – 10/24/08

Before we get into DBR’s latest from the recruiting trail; the Terps need to care of business on Saturday. No excuses. If we aren’t 6-2 24 hours from now, I am giving up on the season (not really, but I am damn tired of the inconsistency).

As for the updae, I can’t tell you how excited I am for the Leek Leek era. I don’t care about the kid’s skills. This needs to happen.

The week started off great with the commitment of Jordan Williams (JW plans to sign a LOI with UMD on 11/12), and then we hit a speed bump with the news about Jin Soo Kim.
Lots was discussed yesterday about JSK’s status so I won’t rehash that only to say that “time keeps on tickin, tickin” into the future and I’m not feeling to confident this will work out in JSK/UMD’s favor. This underscores the Terps efforts with Arsalan Kazemi. He has taken the SAT’s and has an offer from UMD. Kazemi wants to sign early and from what I’m told Rice & UMD are his leaders. However Kazemi wants to play a lot as a freshman and that, along with his advisor living in Houston, could tip the scale in Rice’s favor. Kazemi is a 6-7 combo forward and is scheduled to visit College Park on 11/8.
No feedback from Roscoe Smith or anyone that tripped with him to Maryland Madness. I kinda got the feeling that the main reason he came was to show support for his friend Sean Mosley. Word is that Smith is VERY high on UNC and the Tar Heels are showing interest but have not yet offered. Everyone I talk to indicate that as soon as UNC offer’s Smith a schollie he’ll pop to them.
Meanwhile, the coaches continue to do a good job of identifying recruits EARLY and getting them on campus for visits. Today two recruits will be making unofficial visits along with their coach…someone named Keith Gatlin LOL.
The players are 7-0 freshman (class of 2012) Deng Leek, and his brother , 6-6 Leek Leek, a sophomore (class of 2011).
In other recruiting news, Junior forward Marcus Thornton, 6-8, is scheduled to make an unofficial visit on Monday. And, a kid DBR would love to see UMD get, junior forward/center Will Regan will be on campus on November 14 for the game against Bucknell, and will stay over for the football game against UNC.

Terps have an open practice at 12:15pm on Saturday.

DBR Update and Midnight Madness

Ladies and Gentlemen, the 2008-09 Maryland Terrapins Men’s Basketball Team!

Tonight is the start of what is surely to be one of the most unpredictable basketball seasons in recent memory for our Terps. Nothing would surprise. We could finish 4-12 in conference (unlikely), or we could finish 12-4. Will our backcourt experience key victories or will our inexperience in the frontcourt be our downfall? Who knows?

Perhaps odder scenarios are at play as well. Maybe our frontcourt is better than experts think. Will the sophomores, Dupree and Burney make the leap? Can they? So much is unknown.

Hanging over it all is the very future of the program. What will happen to Gary Williams if Maryland fails to make the Tourney again? I am loath to make any real predictions, but my intuition is that Maryland will be MUCH better than the experts are predicting. (Thanks Sporting News for the bulletin board material. Last in the conference? Really?)

Midnight Madness or not (btw, it will always be Midnight Madness to me. None of this Maryland Madness crap); the recruiting trail is still hot and here is DBR’s latest update. Enjoy:

My primary source for UMD info emailed me late last night to say still no word on Jordan Williams. Two media types have said they will text me as soon as they know something. As soon as I find out something definitive I’ll post something (watch…I’ll be in a friggin’ meeting when the word comes down). C’mon J-Dub say “YES” to UMD.

Meanwhile, Arsalan Kazemi now has an interesting final four of Maryland, Seton Hall, Rice, and Colorado, and according to Patterson Coach Chris Chaney, will likely sign early, as the 6-7 Iranian is already tired of the recruiting process. It now looks like Maryland will get a visit in early November, possibly the 7th and 8th, and one would think Williams’ decision will have certainly been made by then. Hopefully a decision will have been made by the NCAA on the eligibility on Jin Soo Kim by then as well. Chuck D went to watch Kazemi this week as Patterson scrimmaged Oak Hill Academy, Kazemi played well, so the Terp interest appears to still be very much there.

The following recruits are expected at tonight’s Maryland Madness: Isaiah Epps, Taran Buie, Jonathan Graham; and don’t be surprised to see Roscoe Smith there as well. While it will be encouraging if Smith does show, sources tell me it’s premature to get overly excited, or overly optimistic, about UM’s chances of landing the 6-8 wing man. The list of schools tracking Smith is endless, and the competition will be fierce. Some class of 2011 prospects are expected at Maryland Madness too including big man Jordan Goodman.

I’m hoping to get email updates from some people that attend Maryland Madness, so I could be posting often tonight.

As for our football team, I am aware that they have a huge game against Wake Forest tomorrow. However, I refuse to write about them until they prove they are worthy of following. I can’t take the complete and utter lack of effort. If they can hold serve against Wake and NC State and get bowl eligible in the process; I’ll start to believe again. Until then, Greivis and Co. have the floor.

A Note From DBR – 10/10/08

Here’s the latest installment of our new Friday Feature:

Not much to report today that I haven’t covered during the course of the week.  In the Jordan Williams sweepstakes, it’s Maryland or St. John’s, and a decision is expected next week.  It appeared the Terps were in the driver’s seat after Williams’ visit but St. John’s evidently did a good job closed the gap.

Arsalan Kazemi took the SAT on October 4, and is waiting on his results. No real academic concerns with him that I’m aware of.  Word is he is a superb student. But he cannot begin his official campus visits until those SAT results are in. Kazemi had hoped to visit UMD for Maryland Madness, but it’s likely the results will not be back in time.  If JW doesn’t pop to UMD look for Kazemi to visit College Park in November.

Getting ’09 recruiting over with would allow the Terps staff to focus on the crucial 2010 class.

JSK still has not been cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse. Practice starts 10/18 so time is running mighty short.

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