Posted on: October 28, 2011 9:36 am
Edited on: October 28, 2011 10:40 am

Turgeon will limit small ball in College Park now

By Jeff Goodman

Mark Turgeon's version of Small Ball will be put on hold a while.

Following the news of Pe'Shon Howard's broken foot - which could sideline him anywhere from six weeks to three months (yes, that's a wide range) - Maryland's new head coach has had to re-assess.

"I really felt good about the eight guys we've got," Turgeon told CBSSports.com on Thursday afternoon.

Season tips Nov. 7
Now they are done to seven - at least for the early part of the season.

That's four perimeter players and three up front.

Turgeon was set to play an undersized lineup for much of the time that had Howard, Terrell Stoglin, Sean Mosley and either freshman Nick Faust or sophomore Mychal Parker. In that scenario, the 6-foot-4 Mosley would likely be at the four spot.

"We can't do that now - at least not as much," Turgeon admitted. "Not with just four perimeter guys. That makes it tough."

Turgeon raved about Stoglin's ability to score the basketball (and his abiliity overall) and also said that Parker has been extremely coachable - an area that's been questioned in the past.

He also said he's optimistic that Howard could return sooner than the 2-3 months that doctors project.

"I'm going to pray," he said.

Turgeon will also be praying that the NCAA doesn't hit Ukrainian 7-footer Alex Len with a stiff penalty. He's only got three big guys - and all three are unproven.

James Padgett averaged just 8.7 minutes per game last season, skilled senior Berend Weijs averaged 5.2 minutes and Ashton Pankey, who will bring a defensive/rebounding presence, redshirted last year.
Posted on: October 27, 2011 11:28 am
Edited on: October 27, 2011 12:36 pm

Maryland loses Pe'Shon Howard for 2-3 months

By Jeff Borzello and Jeff Goodman

It was already going to be a long season for new Maryland coach Mark Turgeon.

He inherited a mediocre team at best following Gary Williams' offseason retirement. The Terps are painfully thin up front after Jordan Williams' decision to leave early for the NBA. The strength was in the backcourt - but now that's taken a hit as well with the news that sophomore point guard Pe'Shon Howard will miss about 2-3 months with a broken foot.

"I did it one day in practice," Howard told Borzello by phone. "I thought it was a cut, it didn't really hurt that bad."

He said the doctors think it's a broken bone in his left foot, right under his big toe. Because he will miss up to three months, redshirting is a potential option for Howard.

"We're not sure," he said. "We'll see an MRI and decide. I'm taking it a day at time. I'll talk to the coaches and see what they think."

Howard averaged 5.4 points and 3.2 assists last season, and was expected to be one of the top guards on the team. During the summer, he worked to become more of a coach on the floor -- getting players in the right position, cutting down on his turnovers.

Turgeon still has senior Sean Mosley and sophomore Terrell Stoglin - as well as talented freshman Nick Faust - on the perimeter. But Howard was set to be a key component if the Terps were to make any sort of postseason appearances.

"If healthy, we have a great team," Howard said. "But that's with everyone perfect."

Turgeon is also awaiting word from the NCAA on 7-foot Ukrainian Alex Len. Howard said he has not heard any new information about Len.

While Howard is disappointed, he will spend his time on the mend focusing on the system and X's and O's so he will be ready to roll when he finally gets healthy.

"I was really excited, but it's not like it's life or death. It's still basketball," Howard said. "I'll just keep learning and getting better."
Posted on: September 27, 2011 1:59 pm
Edited on: September 27, 2011 2:05 pm

Gary Williams: 'Basketball needs a commissioner'

By Jeff Goodman

Gary Williams wants someone put in charge.

"We need a commissioner of basketball," said the ex-Maryland coach, who hung it up this past season.

Williams said that's one of the problems with the manner the NCAA is set up, that there's no one who hails from the college hoops landscape intimately involved with the organization.

His idea isn't novel. In fact, there are plenty of coaches who agree that someone should be solely in charge of running college hoops. My idea a few months ago was to have two people in charge: current NCAA tournament guru Greg Shaheen and former Duke player and current ESPN analyst Jay Bilas.

Both are extremely bright - and they differ on many issues.

That's a positive.

Williams' idea was to bring back former NCAA executive Tom Jernstedt, who was jettisoned into retirement shortly before Mark Emmert took over as NCAA president.

Jernstedt held numerous positions in his near-40 years with the NCAA - including NCAA executive vice president.

"He's not doing anything," Williams said. "He's only 65 and they need to tap into someone like that's knowledgeable."

However, Williams also maintains there needs to be a "basketball guy in there", someone who knows how it works - whether it be a former coach or player.

"We need someone with a basketball background," he said. "Not just someone who graduated from Harvard."

As for Bilas?

"He'd be great," Williams said.

Posted on: September 15, 2011 10:13 am

McGary's parents favor Duke; AAU coach Michigan

By Jeff Goodman

WOLFEBORO, N.H. - Exactly one year ago, the question from coaches was whether or not Mitch McGary could play in the Big Ten - or another big-time league.

Now he's the No. 2 player in the nation.

The 6-foot-10 McGary, an Indiana native spending his second year at Brewster Academy (N.H.), has taken three visits and could take three more.

McGary went to Michigan for a rainy football game a few weeks ago, where he hung out with fellow Chesterton High (Ind.) product Zack Novak. Then he went to North Carolina and most recently, took an trip to Duke.

McGary didn't deny the fact that his parents favor Duke while his summer coach with the SYF team, Wayne Brumm, likes Michigan.

He also said he's still taking it all in right now.

"I'm keeping quiet," he said. "I'm putting it down on paper and seeing what school fits me. I'm not sure when I'll commit."

Could today be the day?

It's when Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski will travel to Brewster and meet with McGary.

Roy Williams and John Beilein were both at the school on Wednesday. Billy Donovan and Mark Turgeon came earlier in the week while John Calipari is set to make an appearance on Saturday.

"It's brutal trying to figure it all out, but I know I have great options," he said.

Ones that weren't there a year ago.

McGary said he would like to take visits to Florida, Kentucky and Maryland - but he's not sure if and when that will happen.
Posted on: September 13, 2011 2:35 pm
Edited on: September 13, 2011 2:41 pm

Maryland to name court for Williams, not Driesell

By Gary Parrish

Maryland officials ended a debate Tuesday by announcing that the court at the Comcast Center will be named in honor of Gary Williams as opposed to Lefty Driesell.

"Gary has been a faithful alumnus, a highly successful and iconic figure in men's college basketball across the nation, a fierce competitor, and a tireless fundraiser on behalf of student scholarships," said Maryland president Wallace D. Loh. "He has been the face of Maryland men's basketball for more than 22 years. Gary led the Terps out of historic Cole Field House into the Comcast Center. I can think of no better way to recognize his success and his contributions to the University of Maryland than by naming the floor of the basketball court in Comcast Center in his honor."

Most everyone agreed the court should be named for Williams -- the school's all-time winningest coach with 461 victories and a national title. But some boosters reportedly wanted the honor to go to Lefty Driesell, who won 348 games in 18 seasons before being forced out following the death of Len Bias.

So Maryland had a delicate issue to resolve.

Williams or Driesell?

That was the question being batted around in College Park.

But Maryland officials have now answered it.

The dedication will take place in a formal ceremony on Dec. 9.

"I'm honored and humbled to receive this recognition," said Williams, who retired from coaching in May. "It's important to remember that the success we achieved at Maryland was a team effort and all the coaches, student-athletes and staff who were here are a big part of this. I'm very appreciative of the effort by [athletic director] Kevin Anderson, President Loh, Chancellor Kirwan and everyone else who has been a part of making this happen."
Posted on: September 9, 2011 2:20 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2011 2:28 pm

Kansas frosh lead list of those still up-in-air

By Jeff Goodman

Kevin Ware wasn't the only one who was awaiting his fate.

Louisville's freshman failed to meet NCAA initial eligibility requirements. The school received the news on Friday and Ware, a 6-foot-4 wing from Georgia, will attempt to become eligible for the spring semester.

CBSSports.com has learned that there are several other high-profile players who are still making their way through the NCAA clearinghouse due to academic concerns:

- Kansas freshmen Ben McLemore, Jamari Taylor and Braeden Anderson

- Arizona State's prized point guard Jahii Carson

- Ohio State's LaQuinton Ross

- St. John's frosh Amir Garrett and Norvel Pelle

- Maryland late signee, Ukraine native Olexiy Len

- DePaul's Macari Brooks

Bill Self told reporters on Thursday that Ben McLemore, Jamari Taylor and Braeden Anderson - three of his freshmen - have not been cleared to play. McLemore and Taylor are allowed to attend class while Anderson isn't on campus.

McLemore and Taylor both attended three schools while Anderson, according to sources, is being scrutinized for non-traditional classwork in which he was home-schooled.

Seven of Steve Lavin's nine freshmen have been cleared, but according to sources, he's still waiting for the NCAA to clear Garrett and Pelle. Both players are Top 100 players and finished summer school last week.

Carson, a consensus Top 50 recruit nationally, was a huge coup for Herb Sendek and the Sun Devils and is expected to run the team from day one in Tempe. Carson attended Mountain Pointe and Mesa High in Arizona and has yet to be cleared by the NCAA.

Another player whose status is unclear is that of Ross, another Top 50 player. The Ohio State freshman spent his first two seasons of high school in his home-state of Mississippi before transferring to Life Center in New Jersey for his junior and senior campaign.

Len is a 7-foot-1 Ukrainian who is being researched by the NCAA, according to sources, due to his background overseas.

Two more players in Scout.com's Top 100 didn't qualify: Chris Jones, who signed with Bruce Pearl's staff at Tennessee, is playing for former Vols assistant Steve Forbes in the junior college ranks at Northwest Florida State while Central Florida signee Michael Chandler is headed to prep school.

Brooks, a Chicago native who is a piece of Oliver Purnell's class that he is hopeful will help him rebuild the program, also attended multiple schools - including an alternative high school.

Notre Dame freshman Eric Katenda, who suffered a serious eye injury, still has not been cleared. However, Katenda is in no rush since the plan - according to a source - is for him to enroll for the second semester.
Posted on: September 6, 2011 10:09 am

Multiple suitors in need of (Wannah) Bail

By Jeff Borzello

Wannah Bail certainly has the name of a basketball player. Extremely long and athletic, Bail also has the build and body of a highly-touted prospect.

This summer, however, Bail felt he didn’t get a chance to show his full host of talents due to a toe injury.

“Not my best, especially coming off injury,” he said. “I had always felt as if I could have done something better, even after giving it my all.”

When healthy, Bail has the physical tools to be a dominant performer. Ranked No. 68 in the CBSSports.com Top 100, the 6-foot-7 power forward runs the floor extremely well and uses his strength to make plays at both ends of the court. He can get solid position for offensive post-ups, and he is a very good shot-blocker and rebounder. If he refines his offensive game, Bail could be a stud.

Bail, a native of the Bahamas, is now enrolled at Lamar Consolidated (Texas) after bouncing around a few high schools in the Lonestar State last year. His recruitment will also begin to sort itself out with coaches finally able to track him during the school season.

“It’s going good,” Bail said of his recruitment. “I’m really enjoying it.”

For now, Bail is hearing from Auburn, St. John’s, Houston, Texas Tech, Florida State, Maryland, Kansas, South Florida, Indiana, Texas A&M, Baylor, Washington State and others. All besides Kansas have offered.

Bail plans to take his recruitment slowly, but did take a visit to Houston on Saturday, when the Cougars beat UCLA in the football season opener. Michael Carey and Chicken Knowles also joined him on campus.

Don’t look for a decision soon.

“I have no favorites,” he said.

Photo: Adidas Nations

Posted on: September 6, 2011 9:41 am
Edited on: September 6, 2011 11:49 am

Maryland gets commitment from Jake Layman

By Jeff Borzello

The biggest knock on Gary Williams during his years at Maryland was that he couldn’t land big-time recruits. Well, Mark Turgeon has had no problem doing that.

Only two weeks after getting a commitment from top-25 big man Shaq Cleare, the Terrapins nabbed a pledge on Monday night from Jake Layman.

A source confirmed the news to CBSSports.com.

Layman, a 6-foot-8 forward from King Philip Regional (Mass.), was one of the biggest rising stars on the spring and summer AAU circuit. He is a versatile frontcourt player who runs the floor well and shoots it well from 3-point range. Defensively, his length and lateral movement make him perfect to put at the top of a zone or press. Layman checked in at No. 57 in CBSSports.com’s Top 100.

In addition to Cleare and Layman, Maryland also holds a commitment from Virginia native Seth Allen.

Commitment Catch-Up: Layman and Ricky Ledo weren’t the only commitments from the extended weekend, as plenty of high-major schools nabbed pledges . . . L.J. Rose, a Houston native, decided to stay in-state and play for Baylor. He is a tremendous passer . . . As I reported on Twitter, top-50 junior Deonte Burton committed to Marquette . . .  Athletic wing Montay Brandon is headed to Florida State, where his attacking style will mesh well . . . Brandon Taylor rose up the charts during the late spring and summer, and turned that performance into a commitment to Penn State . . . One of the more interesting situations involves Devin Thomas and Wake Forest. Multiple outlets reported that Thomas committed to the Demon Deacons, but Dave Telep of ESPN.com dispelled the rumors. Keep an eye on this as it evolves . . . UCF picked up two commitments, from DeVon Walker and Dylan Karell . . . 2014 prospect B.J. Stith popped for Virginia, following in his father’s footsteps. Bryant Stith is UVA’s all-time leading scorer . . . Skylar Spencer has great defensive potential, and he will get to live that out at San Diego State, as the big man chose the Aztecs over Washington . . . Georgia small forward Jarmal Reid is headed to Oregon State after visiting over the weekend . . . Nebraska picked up a commitment from Shavon Shields . . . D.J. Balentine, who impressed over the summer with the Eric Gordon Central Stars, pledged to Evansville . . . DeVontae Watson stayed in-state and picked Temple.

Photo: Sun-Chronicle

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com