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Terps, Hoyas, and Wizards

Category Archives: Maryland Terrapins

By: The DC Dime Staff

Late last week we were offered the opportunity to take over the abandoned Maryland Terrapins site on the FanSided Sports Blog Network, TerrapinStationMD.com. After some careful consideration we have decided to move forward with this and, in turn, have migrated all of our Maryland Terrapins basketball coverage over to that site. You will be able to find our first article on 5* PG recruit Roddy Peters visiting College Park today on the front page.

While we will no longer be covering the Terps on The DC Dime we believe this will be a move that will allow a greater reach for our Maryland coverage. On top of the same basketball coverage we had here on The Dime we will also be diving into Maryland football, baseball and lacrosse.

Even though our Terps coverage has fundamentally changed there will be no other alterations to The DC Dime as it is currently constructed. We will continue to offer you, the reader, the most comprehensive coverage of the Washington Wizards and Georgetown Hoyas possible.

TerrapinStationMD.com was launched in 2010 by Pete Volk with the following vision “Our goal is to provide you with all the information you need about the Terrapins in as many sports as possible, and provide an entertaining forum for discussion”. It is our hope that we will continue the mission of Mr. Volk as we give you our unique view of all things Maryland Terrapins athletics. Thank you all for your support of our work on the Terrapins up to this point and we hope that you make the move with us over to TerrapinStationMD.com.

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By: Willis

Welp, you knew it had to end eventually. The Olympic basketball semifinals/finals are not for everyone. In this case, they are definitely not for any former or current Washington Wizard/Maryland Terrapin players, as none remain in the tournament. Wednesday was just a day for closing out.

First, Russia edged former Terrapin  Sarunas Jasikevicius and Lithuania in a hard fought battle 83-74. Jasikevicius, in what will likely be the swan song performance for his Olympic career, looked every bit his age by going 1-of-4 from the field over 19 minutes for three points. Not to mention his turnover problem reemerging, as he finished the game with six total against only three assists. He was clearly having problems getting around future Timberwolves guard Alexey Shved, who even on a poor shooting night still outplayed him. Furthermore, it really just seemed like Jasikevicius was getting minutes because it could have potentially been his final game. Younger guard Mantas Kalnietis probably should have received more playing time, and in fact would have put them in a better position to win (as much as it pains me to say that about Sarunas).

(Strike one)

Next, Kevin Seraphin and France were dogged by Spain in the fourth quarter of their 66-59 loss that could have been closer were it not for so many French mental errors. Seraphin had, without a doubt, his worst game of the tournament, playing only 7 minutes while registering more fouls and turnovers (three each; six total) than points and rebounds (three). As is his propensity for picking up quick fouls, yesterday was no different as he quickly rendered himself worthless via sloppy play. They certainly could have used him against Marc and Pau Gasol, as former Wizard Ronny Turiaf looked like absolute garbage, culminating with his embarrassing hard foul which essentially cost France the game (though that torch will be passed to Nicolas Batum).

(Strike two)

Finally, Argentina fought off a furious late-game run by Nene and Brazil to hold on and win the “Battle of South America” 82-77. Nene, presumably playing injured, was the lone bright spot for local fans as he gritted out a poor shooting performance with all around good play. He logged the most minutes during any tournament game up to that point yesterday with 27, and the result was a nice 12 rebound, 7 point performance. His facilitating play late in the game opened up the floor for Brazil and spurred their 23 point fourth quarter in which they cut a 12 point deficit down to three.

Unfortunately, Luis Scola, Andres Nocioni, and Juan Pedro Gutierez gave Nene, Cavs center Anderson Varejao and Spurs forward Tiago Splitter work on the defensive end all game, combining to score 40 of the 82 Argentinian points. Nene also had two careless goaltending calls late in the game, which didn’t necessarily help his team (though you can’t blame him for trying). Overall, Nene didn’t play terribly by any means, but his offensive production wasn’t there when Brazil needed it most during their 2nd and 3rd quarter droughts.

(Strike three, you’re out)

Final Grades:

Kevin Seraphin: B-

Seraphin should have been much more effective throughout this tournament, but his positive play was marred by the fact that he constantly got into foul trouble. He finished the tournament averaging 6 points and 3.3 rebounds over 6 games, with his best performance being a 10 point, 7 rebound, and 3 block line against Argentina. At times, Seraphin seemed like one of the best players on the court, while in other instances he just looked lost against more dominating forwards. He averaged just over a block a game during the tournament, but also racked up 19 fouls in a six game stretch (something he definitely needs to work on for the NBA). Three fouls a contest in international play is a death sentence, given the five foul rule.

In the end, Seraphin could have done better, but he is still only 22 years of age which indicates room for improvement. I’m sure in 2016 Seraphin is going to play a much larger factor on France as the old guard (i.e. Ronny Turiaf) gets less and less minutes. In the meantime, he needs to work on playing more under control and can hopefully carry over this international experience into productive NBA play.

Nene: B+

Nene proved to be a bit of a disappointment as well if we’re being honest with ourselves. I expected him to be a much more dominating scoring option for Brazil, which is something they could have used. Instead, Anderson Varejao had more points than Nene throughout the tournament (albeit in one more game, but it’s still Varejao). He just never demanded the ball on offense, and was way too passive of a forward given how talented we all know he is. Part of that, I’m sure, had to do with his lingering plantar fasciitis which caused him to sit out the game against Spain. That he’s out of the tournament is of great relief for the Wizards, as it means he is going to be able to rest up for the NBA season a bit longer.

What did he do that impressed me? Rebound. Nene was the fifth-best rebounder in the entire tournament, averaging 8 per game. I loved that he got after it on the defensive end, fighting down low for boards with opponents. He played the ball off the rim nicely, and it’s a credit to his defensive positioning ability. Speaking of defensive, Nene wasn’t too shabby on the defensive end, holding his own against a lot of talented forwards (with the exception of his game against Argentina). His defense is always going to be a plus, and he showed it this tournament.

Sarunas Jasikevicius: A+

I’m giving Sarunas an A+ because I respect the hell out of that guy. Sarunas didn’t have a bad tournament by any means, averaging 6 points and 5 assists throughout; rather than dwell on what he did this tournament, we should acknowledge all he has done throughout his international career. A bronze during the 2000 Sydney Olympics for Lithuania (their third medal in three straight Olympic games), a 2003 FIBA Eurobasket Gold medal, and another bronze medal in 2007 FIBA Eurobasket. He’s played in the NBA, he’s played in Israel, he’s played for FC Barcelona, he’s dominated the Greek Leagues and he’s represented his country incredibly well–all for the love of the game.

Sarunas could have quit on his dreams a long time ago, but he never has and as a sports fan one has to acknowledge a guy who is so internationally renowned. Yes, he’s a Terrapin, and yes I’m biased to them, but Sarunas goes beyond that. At 36, this is likely his last Olympic games, and while I’ll be sad to see him go, he has kept Lithuania in contention since his arrival and will no doubt play a part in their future. And for that, Sarunas get’s an A+.

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By: Willis

As we continue to follow former Maryland Terrapins and Washington Wizards players being featured in the Olympics, I do not think it will get much worse than yesterday. Lithuania with Sarunas Jasikevicius faced off against Kevin Seraphin and France, Ekene Ibekwe and Nigeria went head-to-head with Team USA for a game no one will forget anytime soon, and Nene and Brazil had a rough go of things against Russia in a nail biter.

We’ll start with Ekene Ibekwe, who finally got to register his first minutes of play during these Olympic games after recovering from a sickness. He only played about 4 minutes, but those 4 minutes means that he played a part in the most lopsided loss in Olympic history, a 156-73 drubbing to Team USA. Ibekwe managed only 1 rebound and 2 fouls, which is nothing to write home about; but it’s what he didn’t do that is going to make these Olympics most memorable for him.

For example, he didn’t stop Carmelo Anthony, who made 10-of-12 three pointers and scored 37 points in 14 minutes. To put that into perspective, he scored 10 more points than Nigeria did during the entire second half. Ibekwe also couldn’t stop the 49 point first quarter that Team USA had, though not necessarily his fault. All in all, it’s a game he will never forget and I’m not sure the world will forget for a long, long time.

Meanwhile, Kevin Seraphin and Sarunas Jasikevicius faced off against one another yesterday, though not directly. Seraphin came out the victor in an 82-74 victory, but neither player was particularly overwhelming during the game. Seraphin played yet another game where foul trouble dictated how many minutes he could play (14 total), and he never looked comfortable out there against Lithuania’s big men. He finished the game with only 2 points on 1-of-4 shooting, with as many rebounds as fouls (three). Until Seraphin can learn to play more under control, former Wizard Ronny Turiaf will continue to get minutes over him.

Jasikevicius, in the meantime, got eaten up on the defensive end by Tony Parker and Nando de Colon. Parker had one of his best games of these Olympics with 27 points and 5 rebounds, as he proved too quick for Lithuania’s guards. Jasikevicius only scored 2 points on 1-of-5 shooting over 20 minutes of play, and while he did have 5 assists, he coupled that with 4 turnovers in the process. His age showed during this game, and even though the score was close, it was mostly due to France playing lazily most of the game.

Finally, Nene and Brazil lost on a last second three pointer to Russia, 75-74 in perhaps the most exciting game of these Olympics. Nene himself didn’t play that poorly, as he logged 8 points and 10 rebounds in 21 minutes of play, but he did get beaten on the defensive end numerous times. Timofey Mozgov, a not-so-skilled NBA center, numerous times got past Nene in the paint despite not being nearly as good. Nene looked a step slow throughout the game, and he could have been a lot more effective than he was. Brazil should have won that game, but all credit goes to Russia and Alexey Shved (the Minnesota Timberwolves new guard) for playing some very exciting basketball.

 

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By: Willis

The Wizards and the Terrapins continued their trend of strong representation in the Olympics on Tuesday, as Lithuania, France, Brazil, and Nigeria played their second games of the tournament. Nene Hilario, Kevin Seraphin, Sarunas Jasikevicius, and (sort of) Ikene Ibekwe all represented their respective countries yet again. This time, the results were a bit more promising.

Nene played an integral part in Brazil’s 67-62 win over host country Great Britain yesterday, showing no signs of soreness in the foot that plagued him all of last season. He finished with only 4 points and 6 rebounds during his 28 minutes of play, but as is the case most of the time in International play, the stats don’t tell the whole story. Nene was a force defensively, blocking 3 shots over the course of the game which, in essence, stopped Britain from scoring crucial points. He hounded former George Washington player Pops Mensah-Bonsu all game, and was a major reason why their team won.

On the offensive end, his two big time jams got the crowd on their feet and highlighted his athleticism that he has been prone to show in spurts. His only other shot was a badly missed jumper from the left wing, but he didn’t need to shoot. Instead, Nene made great kick out passes all game long that led to wide open three pointers which, sadly, Barbosa and friends missed quite a bit. If Wizards fans wanted to see just how good of a passer Nene could be, this game was a showcase of it.

Meanwhile Kevin Seraphin had his international coming out party against powerhouse Argentina in a 71-64 nail biter. Seraphin continued to be plagued by the foul trouble that hurt him last game, but managing to remain assertive on the offensive and defensive end en route to 10 points and 7 rebounds over just14 minutes. Seraphin showed off his hook shot that the Wizards saw in flashes last season, and appeared much more aggressive in attempting to get his shot off.

Defensively, it appeared Seraphin got a little overexcited, as he picked up quick fouls on unforced contact. He seemed to be played the role of endforcer, however, and in the process swatted away three defenders shots. Seraphin is going to need to play a bit more under control if he wants to remain effective against quality big men. This actually includes the NBA, as his opponent Luis Scola also plays the same position for the Phoenix Suns and seemed to cause him trouble. Overall, though, nice showing by Seraphin and France.

Then we have the Terrapin players Ekene Ibekwe and Sarunas Jasikevicius facing off against one another for Nigeria and Lithuania, respectively. Except that with Ekene Ibekwe still sitting out with, as PMNewsNigeria.com reports, a sickness, he failed to register a single minute during the game. The Nigerian team ended up losing the game 72-53, as Lithuania pulled away in the fourth quarter.

Sarunas, playing in his 4th straight Olympics for Lithuania (the most ever by any person from his country), had a much better second game. Sarunas accounted for 9 of his team’s 19 assists, and displayed why he cannot be counted out as being considered one of the best point guards to ever play internationally. He got the ball to open players whenever he was on the court during his 20 minutes of play, and was the main reason why 9 of 12 Lithuanian players shot 50% or better from the floor. Their offense played with serious fluidity, and Lithuania looks poised to go deep in the tournament these Olympic games.

Sarunas and Co. helped hold Nigerian guard Tony Skinn to only two made shots the entire game, and frustrated him with help defense anytime he attempted to drive. The game was a nice one to watch, and Sarunas represented the Terrapins well. Here’s hoping that Ibekwe gets his chance to play, health be damned.

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By: Willis

The London 2012 Olympics have been a treat to watch for DMV fans, thanks in large part to a group of stars who are either from or have played in the area being featured in prominent roles. There is of course Michael Phelps, the Baltimore native who has racked up more medals than a junk yard magnet. But there are also a lot of basketball players who are performing admirably in the Olympics, particularly from the Maryland end of things. No, they aren’t playing for Team USA, but there is no shame in representing one’s original, not adopted, home country.

While Ikene Ibekwe received the unfortunate DNP for Nigeria’s opening 60-56 win over Tunisia, at least we can claim him as a Terp! Ibekwe was out for an undisclosed reason, but the sole fact that he got to participate in Nigeria’s first ever win at the Olympics as a country is something he will never forget. It is likely to be a monumental moment in his lifetime, and moments like that is something that can be universally related to.

As an aside, his Nigerian team is actually pretty loaded up with NBA/fringe NBA level talent. Al Farouq Aminu, the one and done from Georgia Tech who was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers, Ike Diogu, Tony Skinn of George Mason, and Olumide Oyedeji all play significant roles on this team. It’s no wonder Ibekwe wasn’t playing, despite dominating in 2006 at the FIBA Championships. This team might end up surprising some people with their athleticism and fundamental play. No, they can’t really hit shots, but they play stingy defense and that can certainly help.

Another former Terrapin, Sarunas Jasikevicius, is playing fairly well for his home country Lithuania. Around international circles, Jasikevicius is known as one of the most accomplished players in the game. While he’s getting a little long in the tooth at 36 years of age, Jasikevicius can still handle the rock a bit. In his county’s opening round loss to powerhouse Argentina 102-79, Jasikevicius put up 6 points and 4 assists in 20 minutes of play. He turned the ball over four times, but Carlos Delfino (the man he was “checking” on defense) had one helluva game, so that isn’t the norm. Hopefully we can see some better play from him than a 2-6 shooting performance.

The Wizards are actually getting a lot of Olympic love with both Nene and Seraphin playing one games apiece for Brazil and France, respectively. Nene came off the bench in favor of Tiago Splitter/Anderson Varejao against Australia, logging 21 minutes in a gritty 75-71 victory. From the bit that I got to watch, Nene displayed some deft defensive skills, grabbing 7 rebounds and turning away 2 shots. On the offensive end, he was 3-of-5 from the field, finishing with 8 points total.

Meanwhile, Kevin Seraphin struggled against incumbent gold medal winners Team USA mightily. He got in early foul trouble, and didn’t provide much benefit thereafter in about 9 minutes of play.  Seraphin finished the game with 3 points on 1-of-5 shooting, and has to be disappointed. The athleticism and small ball style of Team USA may have flustered him and forced him to play more cautious, but I expected much more.

The Dime will be keeping you updated on all of their progress as the Olympics continue. Nigeria, Brazil and France both play (not against one another) tomorrow, so be sure to check out a loaded basketball schedule.

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By: Willis

If last night is any indicator, the Harrison twins are going to ball out wherever they decide to make their college homes. Hopefully that’s at Maryland, the home of Under Armor (I hope they’re reading that last part).

In a game that was televised on ESPNU Andrew and Aaron Harrison, the twin 5-star recruits for the class of 2013, along with the Houston defenders blew out local Boo Williams AAU team 73-54. For the vast majority of the game, the Defenders led by about 20 points, due in large part to the phenomenal play of the twins they have on their team attacking at will.

Whenever you can make another top 25 recruit look pedestrian, you know it’s a very good sign of things to come. That’s exactly what Andrew Harrison did last night against Hampton, Va. native Anthony Barber. While Barber played commendably, Andrew just seemed too strong and too quick for him to stay in front of. Often times, Andrew’s quick crossover caused Barber fits, and he drove to the rack and finished strong. Other times, same outcome except the play ended in a drained three pointer by his brother Aaron or an alley oop dunk.

Whereas Andrew showed everyone the reason why he is the point guard, Aaron displayed just how effective a tandem those two can be with his scoring. Aaron put the ball in the basket just about every way possible. On a contested three, he showed off his smooth stroke from the top of the three point line. And don’t leave him open in the corner, where he is prone to hang around, because Aaron is absolutely deadly from there, too. It is what makes these two so coveted; you have to keep them both in check at all times, and that’s not easy.

It’s not easy because the twins stand particularly stout in comparison to their counterparts on the opposing team. At 6’5 1/2, 210 pounds each they both look like shooting guards, except that their handles allow them to alternate between the one and two. Using their big bodies to overpower defenders is a staple of their game, and presuming they get any stronger before college it is going to be incredibly tough to stop at the next level.

Even though Andrew is considered the primary ball handler, Aaron is more than capable of picking up the slack. The two play basically the same game, and can alternate at any time. Their coaching is the only reason the two have set roles, and any college coach could utilize them at either position. Andrew has the same range, but he does not look for his shot as often. Aaron can bring the ball up court just fine too, but he does not have to often.

Either way, on the big time stage both players impressed and gave Terrapins fans a reason to salivate at the thought of them leading the charge in 2013. With both Mark Turgeon and Kentucky coach front and center, I would assume the two got some serious recruiting pitches last night simply by the two’s presence. It’s a package deal, too, so you can’t have one without the other. Essentially, when the two announce (via Instagram) in September, it’s going to be all or nothing for Maryland or Kentucky. That decision may be par for the course for Kentucky, but it would truly change the tides of Maryland basketball, priming them to become a powerhouse for at least two seasons.

Here’s hoping that Turgeon gave them some free shoes!

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By: Willis and Bohlin

The Maryland Terrapins and the Georgetown Hoyas have quite a few players competing for roster spots this year in the NBA Summer League installments in both Orlando and Las Vegas. The DC Dime has been following these former Hoyas and Terrapins stand outs as they continue to chase their NBA dreams, in this post we will break down what these players have done up to this point.

Georgetown:

Hollis Thompson: As we previously posted, Hollis Thompson signed a three-year contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder after going undrafted. Thompson had been nursing a groin injury for which he had to have minor surgery. This procedure has kept Thompson from competing in any summer league games for the Thunder. All indications are that Thompson will be with the Thunder after training camp and into the regular season so this should only be a minor bump in the road for Thompson as he begins what will hopefully be a long NBA career.

Henry Sims: Sims is pulling double duty this summer and played for the Utah Jazz entry in the Orlando Summer League and is also on the Chicago Bulls roster for the Vegas Summer League, basketball obviously never stops for Sims. Sims had trouble getting steady minutes with the Jazz summer league team averaging only 11 minutes per contest. In those 11 minutes per game of playing time Sims was able to average 4 PPG and 2 RPG.

While these numbers will not blow anyone away they were more than enough to garner Sims an invitation to play with the Chicago Bulls entry in the Vegas Summer League this week. Sims made his Bulls summer league debut last night and chipped in four points to go along with six rebounds. With the Bulls recent loss of Omar Asik to the Rockets in free agency there is a more than decent chance that Sims, if he performs to the level he did his senior year at Georgetown, could realistically receive an invitation to training camp and have a legitimate chance at making the Bulls roster. If you want to catch Sims in action in Las Vegas his next game will be today, July 18th, at 6 pm EST against the Houston Rockets.

Jason Clark: Jason Clark has fared rather well through two games with the Miami Heat entry in the Vegas Summer League. Even though the stats don’t show it in his VSL debut against Toronto where he did not register one point, rebound or assist, Clark was very much involved in the action. For some reason however, his teammates were not looking to get him involved on offense. Despite this Clark did quite the job when given the opportunity to guard Raptors lottery pick Terrence Ross as Clark helped hold Ross to only 14 points on 14 shots.

Clark was more aggressive on the offense end in his second game, a 50 point blowout win against the hapless Los Angeles Lakers summer league team. In this matchup Clark was able to contribute six points, five rebounds, one block and one assist. Clark will need to continue to pour in these types of contributions to the Heat in order to receive an invite to training camp but knowing his work ethic I have little doubt in my mind he will continue to perform. If you want to catch Jason Clark’s next game in Las Vegas his Miami Heat will be going up against the run and gun Golden State Warriors tonight at 10:30 pm EST on NBA TV.

Maryland

Terrell Stoglin: There’s not a whole lot to report on for the 6’1 Stoglin, who decided to forgo his junior year at Maryland, yet remained undrafted. Stoglin is not playing many minutes for the Toronto Raptors this summer, and even though he has appeared in 3 games thus far, the results have not been good. Stoglin’s most prominent performance came against the Miami Heat, where he played 5 total minutes. In those minutes, he got to the line twice and scored 5 points right off the bat. His aggressive mentality that he showed off in college also came out that game immediately. While you’d think he would get more minutes, that simply isn’t going to be happening this summer. I’m sure the Raptors aren’t disappointed with his play, but in order for them to truly gauge his abilities, they need to showcase him a little more.

Ekene Ibekwe: Yes, there has been an Ibekwe sighting in Las Vegas! Ekene is playing for the Portland Trailblazers this summer, and he has appeared in two games thus far (playing 10 minutes in both). I got the chance to see both games, and Ibekwe has shown off his rebounding ability that he had way back in ’07 for the Terps. He has collected 7 rebounds so far (4 against Miami, 3 against Houston), playing hard and trying to show his value as an offensive board cleaner. Ibekwe’s shot hasn’t gone down a lot, as evidenced by his 2-of-7 shooting in two games thus far, but the fact that he’s looking to score and getting quality chances is something, right?

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By: Willis

0 Bradley Beal, the Wizards #3 overall draft pick, finally signed his contract! Not that I was starting to worry or anything. Apparently, though, Beal may not be the starter right off the bat, with Washington choosing Crawford over the field. (WaPo)

0 Truthaboutit.net has a good piece on the changing of the Washington Wizards in hopes of the team eventually coming into their own (in an entirely different way than the Arenas Era).

0 Mike Prada of BulletsForever applies the Chad Ford (ESPN) NBA Draft Tier list, which is what I’m going to be calling it from now on, to the Wizards. He attempts to rank the young Wizards based on necessity to the team. My list? 1.) John Wall. Bradley Beal. Kevin Seraphin. Then everyone else.

0 This is older news but always nice to get a refresher about. InsideMDSports compiled a little segment after Andrew Harrison, the highly touted 2013 basketball recruit, went on an official visit to UMD-CP. He sounds lukewarm about the university, so I’ll say this to Mark Turgeon: The twins might end up being the most important signing in Maryland history. Yep, I said it.

0 In related news, the Baltimore Sun does their weekly recruiting roundup of Maryland Basketball, and in it this time they make Terps fans salivate. Why? The Harrison Twins have moved forward their decision day to a less narcissistic September, rather than in October on their birthdays.

0 The Annual Nike Pro-City Basketball Summer League tips off, and in it are lots and lots of Georgetown players. It used to be called the Kenner League, but they went and messed that all up. Nonetheless, if you’re in the area it’s worth attending to watch some seriously talented players ball for cheap. (Afro.com)

0 The 2014 recruiting class seems far away now, but it will be upon us in no time, and ClonesConfidential brings some news about 5-Star forward Chris McCullough’s intentions so far. Not a lot has changed, but on his list is definitely Georgetown

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By: Willis

For Terrell Stoglin, it must have been absolute hell. Having to wait in anticipation as one less skilled basketball player after another (60, in total), had their name called before his. Four hours later, Stoglin came to the reality that he was not going to be drafted, thus crushing his dream of starring in the NBA. Fortunately for him, Stoglin has more than enough talent and track record to merit an invite to the NBA Summer League (where stars like Jeremy Lin are born). Even better, it’s for a perennially talent-starved team like the Toronto Raptors.

That’s right, Stoglin has earned the right to play for the Raptors during the nine day Las Vegas Summer League starting July 13th. It’s a chance to not only showcase his talents in hopes of gaining a coveted roster spot in Toronto, but to also be granted so much more opportunity. Take, for example, the fact that this years Summer League is going to have a record number of teams at 24, giving Stoglin a chance to impress over half the teams in the NBA. Stoglin is a gamer, as we all know, and he’s going to have five chances (the number of games the Raptors play) to show that in front of a myriad of scouts, player personnel, GMs, and front office execs. The 6’1 guard is going to need to change the public perception of him from very undersized shooting guard to shoot first point guard/sixth man extraordinaire.

I personally think he can without a doubt thrive in the NBA. His range is amazing, and he seems to have a clutch factor about him that could be very well suited in an NBA setting. In a way, his skill set reminds me of another tiny player named Bobby Jackson, who was an absolutely fantastic sixth man in spite of being way undersized. He can knock it down from deep, and while he wasn’t asked to pass at the college level on Maryland, he has shown the ability to be able to get other players involved. I think his attack the basket mentality and variety of ways to score should land him a spot somewhere in the league. His talent, though, isn’t really the only thing in question.

Once a team sees that Stoglin is a competent three point shooter, very quick, and has a solid ability to finish at the rim, he might garner some more attention to be sure. But he also has a chance to dispel any notions of him not being a consummate professional. It was widely reported that Stoglin was given the axe at Maryland (rather than actually leaving on his own accord) because of failed drug tests. Those character issues can haunt a player throughout their entire career, and may leave teams wary of spending any amount of money on such a person (and rightly so; just as Zach Randolph if people consider him a nice guy yet). I’m not saying Stoglin was a bad person at all, but he faces an uphill battle from here on out. Showing up on time for games, playing his hardest, not complaining, and showing that he is coachable can give Terrell a foot up.

Another advantage Terrell Stoglin has? He happens to be playing in front of the Bryan Colangelo, who happens to be the son of Jerry Colangelo, who happens to be the director of USA Basketball. This is a nascent storyline, and one that probably won’t get too much traction but is still worth being noted. Who knows how much sway Bryan has with his father Jerry, but if anything it gives Stoglin a chance to get some notice by Team USA basketball that he may have otherwise not received. A practice squad invitation isn’t out of the question at this stage in Stoglin’s career, and would likely be a dream come true. He is going to need to be impressive and on his best behavior, but it’s something to take into consideration to be sure. If JaVale McGee can get an invitation then Stoglin, with Team USA’s reported interest in getting younger players to participate long term, should at least get some notice.

Stoglin’s first game is against the Houston Rockets on Friday, July 13th at 3PM Pacific Time in Cox Pavillion, so if you’re in Vegas and a Terps fan, go get tickets. He’ll be facing off against another local player in former Dematha player Jerai Grant, who garnered an invitation from Houston.

We’ll keep you updated on his progress throughout the Summer League, but in the mean time we wish him the best of luck!

Fear The Turtle

 

 

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By: Willis

The debate between drafting Bradley Beal or Harrison Barnes (as it applies to the Wizards) is one that we’re all going to hear over and over again, likely, for a while into their careers. Both players are great shooters and great scorers who address Washington’s two biggest needs: shooting guard and small forward. With an ample supply of big men in Nene, Kevin Seraphin, and Trevor Booker already in the stable, the Wizards might want to or even have a chance to take Thomas Robinson. So then, the conversation flows back to the next two prospects, Beal and Barnes. While Barnes grades out to be the better athlete and (to this point in his career) scorer, Beal is younger and has drawn some serious comparisons to Ray Allen with his quick release and all-around game. The two would immediately come in and provide a perimeter threat sorely needed in Washington. The question is, who do you take?

By my estimation, it’s Harrison Barnes.

On Twitter yesterday, someone brought up a great point by posing this rhetorical question: Which position needs an upgrade more, Jordan Crawford or Chris Singleton? I’ve been such a huge critic of Jordan Crawford and his inability to be effective in basically any aspect of the game that I immediately decided Crawford. I really don’t think he has what it takes to be a starter in the NBA because when his shot isn’t falling he becomes invisible. His impact on the game is marginal at best, and good starters excel in something even when the buckets are bouncing out. Amongst all guard (shooting or point), Jordan Crawford always ends up in the middle of the pack. Except when it comes to shooting, wherein he remains one of the worst (40% from the field).

Crawford is as streaky as they come in terms of being a shooter, with little or no concern at the defensive end. He is a Jamal Crawford clone, which means his only way to be effective is by inevitably becoming a sixth man specialist. But was he so terrible as a starter that we unequivocally need to revoke his privileges right now and draft a very young rookie to start in his place? At one point last season, when Jordan was finding his groove, he rattled off 7 straight games of 20 or more points. During those games the Wizards were just starting to turn the corner to success, and suffered two 2 point losses, a 3 point loss, and a 4 point loss. Against a few playoff teams to boot. And it shows the impact that Crawford has when his shot is going in. Sure, that fact is not necessarily that often, but with age comes better shot selection, and one can see how Crawford might become a smarter player given more time to acclimate himself with the professional game.

Bradley Beal may actually provide a downgrade to Jordan Crawford at this point, believe it or not. Young guards tend to not be that effective in their first season at the professional level. Just ask Evan Turner, Ben Gordon, Brandon Knight, Wes Johnson, Xavier Henry, Brandon Jennings or anyone not named Marcus Thorton, Stephen Curry, or Eric Gordon. Eric Gordon, the guy whom Beal draws the most comparisons with, was a much, much better college player than Bradley Beal was. He averaged nearly 21 points per game, and while he did struggle with consistency at times, didn’t have the concerns Beal has. I’m not saying that in the future Beal doesn’t become a six-time All-Star and one of the best scorers to ever play the game, I’m just saying when it comes to next year, Beal is more than likely going to struggle.

So I ask again: is Jordan Crawford really the guy we want to replace instead of Chris Singleton? Well, if you thought Jordan was bad, then make sure you don’t have any hot beverages around you because Singleton was historically terrible. Chris Singleton was the worst small forward in the NBA last year by just about any standard you’d like to put him up against. On a team where anyone who could score would be allowed the ball plus plentiful times to shoot said ball, Singleton couldn’t manage. Nine double digit scoring games in 66 games (51 starts). Zero double digit rebounding games; zero games with five assists or more; dead last amongst all small forwards in scoring, rebounding, you name it. It wasn’t a good year for him, as he was forced into a starting role which he was not qualified to handle at all. He definitely tried to play the role effectively, he just wasn’t that good. Singleton’s defensive skills weren’t that great aside from steals because he loved to reach so much. Oftentimes he got himself into foul trouble for that exact reason, and was forced to come out of games early and deplete further an already barren small forward rotation.

I have a hard time believing that a guy who is already old for a rookie at 22 years young, is going to improve by leaps and bounds given another year. Singleton may prove to be an effective defender and a backup in the future, but as a starter Singleton hurts the Wizards more than any other play at any other position. Small forward play by Washington was atrocious, and there’s no real way around that fact. If the Wizards want to go another year with Singleton manning the helm and a rookie alongside of him at the shooting guard position, fine. Just don’t expect it to get any better. In fact, expect it to get worse.

Which brings us to why Harrison Barnes fill the Wizards biggest need and also makes them better in the short and likely long term. Barnes has two years of college under his belt, and while he didn’t quite live up to those lofty expectations going into college, he certainly hasn’t done anything to dispel the notion that he’s a very good talent. His 6’8 height and sturdy build, combined with freakish athleticism as evidenced by the combine, will likely serve him well in the future. He’s a versatile scoring threat who can get up and down the court exceptionally well with John Wall and Jordan Crawford, as well as catch open spot up looks from the perimeter. His game fits so perfectly with what the Wizards are capable of that, though third overall may be a little high for him to be drafted, the amount of sense he makes is almost too undeniable. Sure, he is streaky at times, but with a great point guard like Kendall Marshall (and John Wall), his potential is much more likely to be reached.

The Wizards need to address that perimeter threat, and while Beal has unlimited range, Barnes does as well and provides an upgrade over the incumbent player. Kick outs will look cleaner; plays can actually be ran without worrying about Singleton bumbling them up with a lack of ball handling ability and a competent jump shot. The Wizards will excel and pick and pop shooting and the floor is going to be opened up. Yes, this is best case scenario talk, but that’s what you’re supposed to do during the draft dreaming days leading up to the Wizards picking.

Barnes played in a system that is oriented toward guards and centers, yet he still managed to thrive. Having watched this guy throughout his college career, I’m going to predict that his game is without a doubt more suited for the NBA than it was in college. No, that doesn’t answer why he struggled in the tournament or failed to knock down shots at times, but I simply don’t think he is going to bust out in the NBA. He’s a confident, even keel player who has fought through adversity and shown maturity for his age. Beal is a great player, no doubt, but Barnes is simply a better fit for the Wizards right now if they’re looking to get better right away. For those reasons, I’m going to say we need to go with a 3 at the 3.

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