Monday, December 31, 2007

Travis Garrison Signs in Spain

Travis Garrison (2002-06) has left his team in Korea to join the Alerta Cantabria Lobos of Spain's LEB Gold Division. The LEB is Spain's second tier pro league, a step below the ACB. The LEB has three divisions, of which Gold is the highest level. One blog that posts team news says this about the new acquisition (translation):
Alerta Cantabria has signed American pivot-wing Travis Garrison. He will have a one month trial, and his stay in Santander, the capital of Cantabria, depends his performance during this period.

The team has found the piece that has been missing since the beginning of the season. The recruitment of Travis Garrison is intended to achieve a balance in the inside game: a pivot-wing with the ability to get open and score.

While he is not a player who will carry the team on offense, the American will help to improve the team's collective game. Also, with his recruitment, there will be a player capable of defending smaller pivots, who usually cause big problems for the team.

Born on April 20, 1984, he is a pure four, with a height of 203 centimeters, and played at the University of Maryland, where he graduated averaging just over ten points and six rebounds per game during the 32 games his final season. After his passage through the Los Angeles Defenders, Maryland Nighthawks, and Great Falls Explorers this year, he tested his fortunes with the Seoul SK Knights of the Korean league.

An admirer of Michael Jordan, this will be his first experience on the European continent, where he will occupy the space left vacant with the departure of Romeo Travis.

Maybe "pivot" was supposed to translate as "center"? I see it come up in translations so often now, I've started thinking of "pivot" as a legitimate position, like saying "wing" instead of "small forward".

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Tony Massenburg in Puerto Rico

Tony Massenburg (1986-90), last seen in the Wizards training camp back in October, has signed to play with another team: the Arecibo Captians of Puerto Rico's BSN League. The only real news I can find about it is a mention of him in this story about Arecibo coming to Miami to play in a FIBA Latin America tournament.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

DJ Strawberry Sent to D-League

The Phoenix Suns sent D.J. Strawberry (2003-07) to play in the D-League for the time being. D.J. was averaging only 2 points in 6 minutes a game in Phoenix. He should get more playing time and experience playing for the Albuquerque Thunderbirds of the NBA Developmental League. He scored 26 points in 42 minutes of action in his first game, so it seems to be paying off.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Nik Caner-Medley Signs in Spain

Nik Caner-Medley (2002-06) has left the NBDL, where he was Sioux Falls' leading scorer, to play in Spain. I first saw it mentioned here at Sioux Falls' Keoland Television News website:
The Skyforce took another big hit late last week, when leading scorer and first-round draft pick Nik Caner-Medley left the team to pursue an opportunity overseas.


Where overseas did he go? I found him playing for C.B. Gran Canaria in Spain's ACB League (Spain's highest pro division). They also play in the Europe-wide ULEB Cup league. The Google Translation (which I cleaned up a little) of the news release says:
The Gran Canaria Dunes Group has reached an agreement with player Niklas Caner-Medley to be part of the 2007/08 roster in the CBA League and the ULEB Cup.

The sports director, Himar Ojeda, stresses "the character" of the new player inside. "He's a very active player with a lot of energy and will add a lot of spark to our team," explains Himar, while stressing that "he is a left-handed player, a four (power forward) capable of putting the ball on the floor, and he has a good medium-range shot. I hope that fits well into the group and to help us meet our objectives."


This news release has a picture of Nik arriving in Spain, and here we see that Nik is settling in and playing well.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Will Bowers Lands in the CBA

Will Bowers (2003-07), whose name I haven't seen in the news since he graduated last spring, was signed by the Albany Patroons of the CBA on November 7:
Will Bowers, a 7'1" Center, recently graduated from the University of Maryland. While Will was at Maryland, the Terrapins were the 2004 ACC Tournament Champions and appeared in the 2005 NIT Semifinals. Prior to signing with the Patroons, Bowers played in the Iranian Super league.

So there you go... he's been off the radar in Iran.

Patroon fans may remember that I previously reported that Byron Mouton played for Albany. He was briefly teammates with Bowers for 5 days, but was then released on November 12.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Nik Caner-Medley Picked by Sioux Falls in NBDL Draft

Nik Caner-Medley (2002-06) was the #6 pick in the recent NBA Developmental League Draft. He will play for the Sioux Falls Skyforce this year. The Sioux Falls Argus Leader covers the full story:
[...] The 6-foot-8 Caner-Medley averaged 15.3 points per game in his final season at Maryland and had foot surgery shortly thereafter. Once healthy, he joined a team in Germany for its postseason and was with the Sacramento Kings during the summer and part of the preseason.

"Being (hurt) your first year out of college, it's easy to fall off the radar a little bit," Caner-Medley said via cell phone. "I felt like I had a good summer league and good training camp. I'm trying to build momentum and be seen."


Nik is currently the only Maryland player on a NBDL roster for this season.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ekene Ibekwe In Israel

Ekene Ibekwe (2003-07) has started his first pro season by playing for two teams in in Israel's Premier League. He started the season with Hapoel Galil Elyon, but was then traded to Hapoel Gilboa/Afula before the first game of the Premier League schedule. Here is his player stats page.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Travis Garrison in South Korea

I haven't been able to find any news reports about his signing, but Travis Garrison (2002-06) is on the roster of South Korea's SK Knights. Here is a Google translation of his player profile. (Warning! Their website will try to resize your browser window, and a lot of what's there is displayed in Flash animations and images of Korean text, so Google translation doesn't work very well.)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Wizards Cut Tony Massenburg

The Tony Massenburg (1986-90) era is over in Washington, as the Wizards cut him from their preseason roster yesterday:
Earlier in the month, when Massenburg was invited to try for a comeback, he was just happy to be around.

"Just to get to this point, just to get the invite ... is a tremendous accomplishment," he said then.

But he averaged just two points, 1.8 rebounds and only 8.3 minutes in four preseason games, well short even of his modest career numbers.


The same story can be found in the "Notes" sections of many fine sports sections. Congratulations to The Louisville Courier-Journal, which gets the link above and a thumbs up for at least punching up the story with some quotes and commentary instead of just re-printing it verbatim like every other paper in the country.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Terrence Morris Featured in the Baltimore Sun

Today's Baltimore Sun has a very good feature article about Terrence Morris (1997-2001). I posted back in July about Morris signing with Maccabi Tel Aviv. The Baltimore Sun piece talks about what this means for Terrence's career:
For Morris, 28, this year is huge in terms of how his basketball career will play out, his agent said. After being cut in January 2006 by the Orlando Magic, the NBA market had dried up.

"Step one was putting him in a good situation with a decent team in Europe where he could get some minutes," Kneisley said. "He parlayed that. Step two is doing well with Maccabi. They are a powerhouse team. People pay attention to big teams in the EuroLeague."

Step three is next year. Morris has just a one-year deal in the "high six figures" according to The Neustadt Group, so his play this year will dictate whether he goes backward or forward, whether he can make the jump back to the NBA or sign with Macabbi or another big-time European club. If he plays below expectations, he could find himself looking for a job again.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Byron Mouton To Play for CBA's Albany Patroons

Byron Mouton (2000-02) has signed with the CBA's Albany Patroons. OSC News has a bio of Mouton in their brief story:
Byron Mouton is a 6'6", Guard/Forward and 2002 graduate of Maryland University. Mouton began his college career at Tulane, where he was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team as he led Tulane in scoring with 15.3 ppg. As a sophmore he was named Honorable Mention All-ACC. He then transferred to Maryland, where he helped the Terrapins reach the NCAA Final Four in his junior and senior year. Mouton was a starter on the 2002 National Championship Team. Since he started for Maryland during its 2002 title run, Mouton has played for 13 professional teams in nine leagues. Mouton has played in the CBA (Idaho Stampede), Germany, France, Dominican Republic, China, the NBA-DL and the ABA. Prior to signing with the Patroons, Byron Mouton played with the Wilmington Sea Dawgs of the PBL.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Rodney Elliott Joins Agricola in Italy

Rodney Elliott (1994-98) signed with Agricola Gloria Montecatini, an Italian 2nd Division team. Here's the news release in Italian, and the Google translation into semi-English:
Agricola Gloria Montecatini Terme announced that he had reached an agreement with the annual American athlete Rodney Elliott, 31 years old, strong wing 202 cm. Elliott is a long-very technical, with great shot from distance and can be dangerous even near basket. He knows the Italian basketball having played three excellent seasons in the top flight with Mabo Livorno and Scavolini Pesaro, closing with excellent percentages.

After the bureaucracy for a visa, the player Baltimore reach Montecatini Terme, where found Phil Melillo, coach with whom he shared the Italian experience in Pesaro.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Nik Caner-Medley Released by Kings

Nik Caner-Medley (2002-06) was released by the Sacremento Kings yesterday. The Sacremento Bee says:
The Kings made their first cuts Sunday, waiving centers Rashid Byrd and Adam Parada and forwards Nik Caner-Medley and Brandon Robinson to bring the roster to 15.

The moves were not surprises. None of the four played in both exhibition games last week and Caner-Medley was the only one to get double-digit minutes, with 10.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Tony Massenburg Attempts a Comeback with the Wizards

Out of action since winning an NBA Championship with the San Antonio Spurs in 2005, Tony Massenburg (1986-90) is attempting to make a comeback. He has been invited to the Washington Wizards training camp this month:
Massenburg signed with the Washington Wizards on Monday, a day before training camp opens, and if he makes the roster at the end of the month, he would have a chance to play for a league-record 13th franchise.

"I'm happy to be here, there's no question about that. I'm definitely enthused about the opportunity," the 6-foot-9 forward said. "It's not easy to roll the dice on a guy who's 40."


The Richmond Times-Dispatch also has a good feature story on Tony's comeback from off-the-court injuries at age 40:
Two years ago, Tony Massenburg highlighted his 13-year NBA career by winning his first title as a member of the San Antonio Spurs. He'd come all the way from Sussex Central High School to basketball's highest level.

Just two weeks later, he'd all but dropped from sight. [...]

On a summer night in 2005, Massenburg fell asleep behind the wheel of his Mercedes sedan. By the time he woke up, he'd driven it into a concrete wall. One of his ankles was pretty well crushed, necessitating three weeks of confinement to a bed, eight more weeks in a cast and eight months of rehab. [...]

"I'd never been a star player, and I'd done some bouncing around," Massenburg said, "but I had not intended to retire before the accident. I had planned on playing two or three more years and I still want at least one more season."


The full story of Tony Massenburg's career is too long for me to post here, so I'll instead just direct you to his Wikipedia bio for all the details.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Nik Caner-Medley Invited to Kings Training Camp

In a development that has been rumored on NBA message boards since the end of the Vegas Summer League, Nik Caner-Medley (2002-06) has been invited to training camp with the Sacramento Kings (full roster here). According to the Sacramento Bee:
For players such as Nik Caner-Medley, the most crucial of times begins now.

The rookie forward out of Maryland will wear a Kings jersey starting today at the team's practice facility, where the annual affair known as media day will reveal little about this team other than its personality. There will be smile and sizzle, the hot lights of cameras and notepad-scribbling reporters chronicling the views and vibe of the upcoming campaign before a ball has been officially bounced.

But for Caner-Medley -- whose solid play in July's Las Vegas summer league earned him an invitation -- there is a chance, albeit small, of making an NBA regular-season roster. He's not the only long shot, either.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Saurnas Signs in Greece

Continuing with our recent All-Saruans-All-the-Time trend, today we (hopefully) wrap up the Sarunas saga for the summer: Sarunas Jasikevicius (1994-98) signed with Panathinaikos in Greece. Panathinaikos is the defending Euroleague champion.

Also, ESPN.com ran a piece this week in their True Hoop blog about why Sarunas is great in Europe, mediocre in the NBA. In summary, rules differences in Europe such as different zone defense rules and a different interpretation of illegal screens makes it possible for a slower player like Sarunas to (a) get open for shots, and (b) rely more on teammates to cover up defensive liabilities.

The ESPN True Hoop blog also tipped me off about a new blog about European basketball, Ball in Europe, which has an article compares Sarunas's signing with the same-day signing of former Milwaukee player Lynn Greer with Panathinaikos's cross-town rival Olympiakos (who also tried to sign Sarunas), both for huge sums of money by Euroleague standards.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Golden State Frees Sarunas

Sarunas Jasikevicius (1994-98) has finally been freed by the Golden State Warriors. Here's the local paper, the San Jose Mercury News, with their take on it (from the story linked above):
Jasikevicius, due to make $4 million this season, settled for less money in exchange for his freedom. The Warriors placed him on waivers, so he'll have to wait a week before becoming a free agent. It is unlikely a team will claim him off waivers in the next week because doing so would put the team on the hook for the entire $4 million.

Jasikevicius never hid his disdain over being a Warrior, which began with his lack of playing time and increased with the Warriors not trading him. [...]

He may draw interest from other teams looking for a backup point guard, specifically teams that play a half-court offense. But Jasikevicius may return to Europe to play. There have been reports from abroad about him signing with FC Barcelona in Spain or Olympiakos in Greece.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Where Will Sarunas Jasekevicius Play this Winter?

Several teams would like to have Sarunas Jasekevicius (1994-98) on their roster, but his contract is actually owned by the Golden State Warriors, who don't seem to want him and don't seem inclined to trade him. The first half of Chris Sheridan's ESPN blog entry is about the FIBA European Championships, but the second half is all about Sarunas (who is there playing for Lithuania) and his up-in-the-air status for the upcoming season:
Depending on which continent you live on and what news agencies you read, you could get the impression that Sarunas Jasikevicius is a lock to play for either the Golden State Warriors, Olympiakos of Greece or FC Barcelona of Spain. [...]

"I'm really waiting for [Golden State] to trade me. It's been going on since February, and nothing's happening. I really don't understand this franchise, to be honest with you. I know what kind of offers they got for me, and they're not taking them. I know they're not planning on using me, so I really don't understand what they're trying to do with me." [...]

Through the first four games of Eurobasket, Jasikevicius is the tournament leader in assists with 6.3, though he also has committed an average of four turnovers per game. He is averaging a team-high 14.0 points for Lithuania, which has been one of the best-looking teams thus far in compiling a 4-0 record.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Jamar Smith To Play in Japan

Jamar Smith (2002-04), after playing the past two seasons in the NBDL, has signed to play professionally for the Toshiba Brave Thunder of the Japanese Superleague. You can see him in this news page under the news for 8-21-2007 (he's #5). The text of the news article says (thanks to Babelfish):
The Jermaine Walker player did the retreating/quitting section.
It was the fatigue. Anew, the Jamar Smith player did Iribe. Furthermore, Oshima asking/depending [un-translatable Japanese Name] interpretation returned. We request the encouragement of everyone.

I would also like to second the request for the encouragement of everyone in supporting Jamar's new team.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

DJ Strawberry Inks Contract with Phoenix Suns

When D.J. Strawberry (2003-07) was drafted late in the second round by the Phoenix Suns earlier this summer, there was no guarantee that he would ever make the team's roster. Second round picks often get invited to summer league and training camp, and then are sent off to the NBDL. But yesterday, the team signed Strawberry to a two year deal (only the first year is guaranteed):
The Suns scooped up the 6-5 combo guard in the second round of the 2007 NBA Draft with the 59th overall selection. Hoping to add some defensive toughness and versatility to both positions in the backcourt, Strawberry already has made an imprint with his play in the Las Vegas Summer League.

The first-year guard ran the team at the point, averaged 15.6 points and led the entire summer league with 6.4 assists a game. [...]

On Tuesday, Strawberry inked a two-year contract that includes a guaranteed first season and a second-year team option, giving Phoenix 12 signed players for the coming season.


The Mohave Daily News reports that Strawberry will earn the NBA rookie minimum salary.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Following WNBA Season, Shay Doron Will Play in Israel

Once the WNBA season is over for Shay Doron (2003-07) and the New York Liberty, Shay has signed to play with Elitzur Ramle in Israel, according to the International Herald Tribune:
Shay Doron, the only Israeli ever to play in the Women's National Basketball Association, on Tuesday signed a contract with Israeli powerhouse Elitzur Ramle, and will begin playing for the defending champion this October following the conclusion of her rookie WNBA season.


The Jerusalem Post points out that because the Israeli league plays in the winter and the WNBA plays in the summer, Shay will be able to come back and play in the WNBA again next summer:
The WNBA season lasts for just three months during the summer, meaning Doron can combine the WNBA with the Israeli league which begins in November.

Although the Liberty made it into the postseason on Sunday with a win over the Chicago Sky, Doron has warmed the bench for most of her first season in the US, playing a total of just 35 minutes and scoring a combined 10 points in the team's 34 games this season.


For now, the New York Liberty are still alive in the WNBA playoffs, though some in Israel were hoping they would lose so that Shay can quickly join the Israeli national team. Shay had a tough rookie year in the WNBA, not getting much playing time while stuck at the bottom of the depth chart and the end of the bench in New York, according to the Baltimore Sun. Also worth noting, Shay Doron has her own official website.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

John Gilchrist signs in Latvia

John Gilchrist (2002-05), has signed with BK Ventspils of Latvia. There's not a lot of news sources for Latvian basketball. Other than transaction lists, the only news I found about it was this press release on the team's web site.

Besides the general lack of news coverage about Latvian basketball, the other downside to trying to follow the news about Latvian basketball is that there don't seem to be any free Latvian to English translation sites, so what little news I find, I can't read. Helpfully, the press release at least printed John Gilchrist's name in English:
Šodien 20.08.07 tika panākta vienošanās ar saspēles vadītāju Džonu Gilkristu (John Gilchrist). Līgums tika noslēgts uz vienu sezonu.

Gilkrists ir 23 gadus vecs un 187 cm garš saspēles vadītājs.Savulaik beidzis Merilendas koledžu, kura spēlē NCAA čempionāta spēcīgajā ACC konferencē. Ticis atzīts par visas konferences vērtīgāko spēlētāju. Pēdējos divus gadus spēlējis Izraēlā, Francijā un NBA attīstības līgā.

„Domāju, ka mūsu klubam viņš nenoliedzami būs labs pastiprinājums, jo Džons vienlīdz labi spēlē kā uzbrukumā, tā aizsardzībā. Komandas komplektācija turpinās, tiek meklēti atbilstoši spēlētāji centra postenim un arī uzbrucēja postenim.", kluba darba gaitu komentē Ralfs Pleinics.


I think that it says something about playing at Maryland in the NCAA, winning an ACC conference championship, and then playing in Israel and the NBA developmental league. Then it goes on to quote the coach, or possibly another team official, as saying how much Gilchrist's experience will help the club this season. How do I know this without being able to read a word of Latvian? Because that's what all of these press releases say.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mike Jones Signs with Mersin in Turkey

I can't get a good Turkish-to-English translation of this news article, but it basically says that Mike Jones (2003-07) has signed in Turkey with Mersin Buyuksehir Belediyesi. Google and Babelfish don't do Turkish, so today we turn to 1-800-Translate.com to see how they handle the challenge:
Ahmet which bring the pocket knife to the duty and (yapilanan) repeatedly a myrtle a (Buyuksehir) municipality Mike playful American Jones'u transfer meat.Maryland Mike Jones at the 1.92 distance which finishes new 2 is playing with at a number position.

The season which We finished Mike which takes her playful prize which finishes fastbreak most good Jones 1000 at this league zamanda a number barrage my soot became exceeding.The season team whom We finished 14 time skorer ismi (uclukculeri) most good which Jones becomes your league at the same time 4 betwixt.At the bench.

I did figure out that the Ahmet in the article is Ahmet Caki, the team's coach. From what I can understand, the first sentence says something like, "Coach Ahmet Caki has brought in American player Mike Jones from the University of Maryland, who is 1.92 meters tall and plays the 2 guard position."

Mersin is going into only its third season of Turkish Division I pro league play, after having won the Turkish Division II title in 2005.

Searching for news on Mike Jones in Turkey will be a challenge, since there is a different Mike Jones (who played at TCU several years ago) who played in Turkey last year for Darussafaka Istanbul. The article I linked to above has a picture of our Mike Jones wearing a Maryland jersey, so I'm confident I've got the right one. (Plus, a European league transaction list confirmed it).

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Lonny Baxter Signs with Joventut in Spain

Lonny Baxter (1998-2002) signed a new contract (translation) with DKV Joventut of the Spanish ACB league (Spain's highest level pro league).

My favorite part about Terps signing in Europe is reading the un-edited Google translations of the press releases:
With 22 years, Baxter obtained the bronze medal with the university equipment of the United States in the Universiada of Beijing in 2001, and comprising of the university equipment of Maryland champion of NCAA proclaimed itself, where he divided equally 15.2 points and 9 bounces by party.

When finalizing the year, Lonny Baxter was chosen in “draft” of 2002 by Chicago Bulls, its first equipment of NBA. After defending the t-shirt of the equipment of Chicago, juice in Toronto Raptors, Charlotte Bobcats, Houston Rockets, Washington Wizzards, New Orleans Hornets and Atlanta Hawks, before saturating in the Greek Olympiacos, where it gained Liga and the Glass.


Whether he actually plays or not depends on the outcome of Baxter's August 31st sentencing hearing for the gun charges he plead guilty to last month. Last season, he missed the first month or two of the season in Italy while serving jail time for a related gun charge here in the U.S.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Chris McCray Signs with Oostende in Belgium

Chris McCray (2002-2006) has signed his first European contract with Telindus Oostende in Belgium. I can't find a Flemmish to English translation for the primary news sources, but thankfully, the ULEB Cup site publishes in English:
Telindus Oostende of Belgium closed its roster for the upcoming season with the addition of American shooting guard Chris McCray (196, 23). He played college ball in Maryland where he was one of the top scorers averaging 15.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists during the 2005-06 season. Last season he played with the Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA, but he had a testimonial role in the team. He also played in the NBDL with the Dakota Wizards where he averaged 11.8 points, 3.0 boards and 2.9 assists, and now he is ready for his first European experience.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Steve Francis Returns to Houston

Steve Francis (1998-99) signed with the Houston Rockets yesterday, getting $6 million for 2 years. Over the past week, Francis has been rumored to be shopping around between Houston, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Miami Heat, and the Dallas Mavericks. From ESPN:
The 30-year-old Francis was recently bought out of the remaining two years, $34 million of his previous contract by the Portland Trail Blazers. He received nearly $31 million in the deal.

With money being no factor, Francis chose the Rockets over Miami, Dallas and the Clippers. The Heat are believed to have offered him more money.

According to a person close to Francis, he chose Houston largely because of his familiarity with the organization and the city. He has kept a home there since joining the club in 1999, and it was the site of his best years in the NBA.

As a high-flying point guard for the Rockets, Francis made three All-Star games and was regarded as one of the top players in the league.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Joe Smith Signs with the Chicago Bulls

Joe Smith (1993-95), who started last season with the Denver Nuggets, then was traded mid-season to the Philadelphia 76ers, and then became a free agent this summer, signed a new contract with the Chicago Bulls. In the linked Chicago Sun-Times story, he says:
"Doing my interviews in front of the trophies, that was the closest I've seen one up close. It would definitely be nice to touch one," said Smith, who in 12 NBA seasons has yet to advance past the first round of the playoffs. "That would be really nice to be part of a team that not only made the playoff push, but continued to advance.

"Seeing all the pictures, just seeing [Michael] Jordan soaring ... Scottie [Pippen] ... Toni Kukoc, who I played with in Milwaukee for a couple years. The history here is great. It would be nice to add something to it. That's the goal of our team now."

The new contract is 2 years, $10 million.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Steve Blake Goes Back to Portland

Steve Blake (1999-2003), who was a free agent this summer, has signed a new 3 year deal with the Portland Trailblazers. Blake played for Portland in 2005-06 before being traded to Milwaukee last summer, and then traded again to Denver mid-season.
Personal ties helped lure Blake back to Portland. He lives in West Linn during the offseason and has a strong connection with Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard. Blake was the first player Pritchard signed when he became the Blazers' director of player personnel, luring him to Portland from the Washington Wizards with a free agent contract.

Pritchard has long rued the day when Blake was traded last summer to Milwaukee with Brian Skinner and Ha Seung Jin for center Jamaal Magloire.

When the free agent market opened July 1, Pritchard identified Blake as a target for the Blazers, who were looking for more experience at the point guard position, which was occupied last season primarily by youngsters Jarrett Jack (in his second year last season) and Sergio Rodriguez (a rookie last season).


HoopsWorld.com has a good analysis article about the off-season moves and the point guard situation in Portland. They think it looks like Blake should be the new starter this season.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Mike Jones playing for NJ Nets in Orlando Summer League

Most of the off-season NBA attention has been centered on the Vegas Summer League, but six teams are also playing in the smaller Orlando Summer League, including the New Jersey Nets, who added Mike Jones (2003-07) as a late addition to their roster:
Matt Walsh, the Nets' final cut last season, was on the original roster but withdrew and the Nets replaced him with forward Mike Jones out of Maryland.

Ekene Ibekwe (2003-07) was invited to try-out for the Miami Heat's summer league team, but he was released just before league play began. Here is a link to all of the Orlando Summer League rosters.

On a completely unrelated note, this is blog post #100. Hooray for arbitrary, big round number milestones!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Terps on 2007 NBA Summer League Rosters

The NBA's Vegas Summer League starts play tonight, and several former Terps are on rosters:

Lots of people have been coming to this site this week looking for info on Mike Jones and Ekene Ibekwe, but they did not get picked for any team's summmer league roster.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Suns Introduce Strawberry

The Phoenix Suns introduced D.J. Strawberry (2003-07) to their fans over the weekend, and ran this story on their website about how D.J. overcame adversity to improve his game:
Now comes the challenge of gearing up for Suns Head Coach Mike D’Antoni’s system, one Strawberry knows will translate into some changes in his game, including working on a consistent jumper.

“It’s going to be different,” the guard told Suns.com before Thursday's press conference. “In Maryland, we got to run only when we had a lay-up. Here, we’ll be running all the time. I like a fast-paced, up-tempo game. That suits me best, and I’m happy to be here and be a part of this organization.

“I’m working on extending my range on the jump shot, but my defense is my strength – that and bringing energy to the floor and playing at a high level in transition.”

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Lonny Baxter's Italian Championship and Videos

Over in Italy, Lonny Baxter had a great season with Montepaschi Siena, which won the 2007 Italian League Championship.

It's been a while since I've searched for YouTube videos of former Terps playing overseas. Today, I found some Lonny Baxter videos. In this video, former North Carolina foe Joseph Forte feeds Lonny for the Ali Oop dunk:


Baxter and Forte demonstrate the pick-and-roll:


And finally, Lonny shows that he can still block shots:

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Terrence Morris Signs with Maccabi Tel Aviv

Earlier this month, Terrence Morris (1997-2001) signed with Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel. Local paper Haaretz says Tel Aviv offered him double what his old team, Hapoel Jerusalem, was paying him:
Maccabi landed Morris after offering him double the sum that his team of the last six months, Hapoel Jerusalem, had been willing to pay.

Morris joined Hapoel in mid-season and emerged as a major part of the team's rotation, averaging 13 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks as the team came out of a slump to win the State Cup and make it to the playoff finals.


There are a few shots of Terrence dunking and blocking shots towards the end of this video introducing the new 2007-08 Maccabi Tel Aviv line-up (he shows up around the 1:25 mark if you want to skip straight there):

Friday, June 29, 2007

D.J. Strawberry Drafted by Phoenix Suns

You had to stay up past midnight on the East Coast to see a Terp get drafted tonight, but finally, D.J. Strawberry (2003-07) was drafted by the Phoenix Suns with the 29th pick of the second round (#59 overall, next to last pick in the draft). D.J. becomes the first Maryland player to be drafted since Steve Blake in 2003. He worked out for Phoenix back on June 8th, and while the team liked his defensive skills, they didn't believe he would still be on the board when their pick at #59 came around.

No news links yet as of 12:05am... this was just reported on ESPN a few minutes ago. Check back later today for more commentary and news, probably from the Arizona Republic.

Morning Update: Two news stories about D.J. getting drafted this morning. First, the Baltimore Sun has an excellent story on Strawberry:
Strawberry's road is likely to begin in the NBA's summer league, where teams send their draft choices, younger players and free agents trying to land a spot on a roster to play in a tournament-like setting.

Being selected last night likely means that Strawberry will be guaranteed a spot on Phoenix's training camp roster, as opposed to having to make a favorable impression during summer league games.

Strawberry, the son of former major league outfielder Darryl Strawberry, will still be seriously challenged to make the Suns' 15-man roster, which includes two-time league Most Valuable Player Steve Nash, forwards Amare Stoudemire and Shawn Marion, and guard Raja Bell, a defensive specialist, whom Strawberry said he hoped to emulate.


In D.J.'s future hometown, he only gets a a few lines at the bottom of an Arizona Republic story about the Suns' draft night:
Kerr said he spent the second round trying to trade up to get the 6-foot-5, 201-pound Strawberry, known for his defense.

Strawberry could make a roster that must carry 13 players but has 11 under contract.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Steve Francis Traded to Portland

The first Terp to make the news on NBA Draft night was... Steve Francis (1998-99). ESPN reports that Francis was traded from the New York Knicks to the Portland Trailblazers:
The Knicks and Trail Blazers reached agreement on a deal that swaps [Zach] Randolph and teammates Dan Dickau and Fred Jones for guard Steve Francis and Channing Frye.

Francis has only two seasons left on his contract, worth just over $34 million, but possesses the option to become a free agent after next season. The Blazers, however, are planning to buy out Francis' contract and make him a free agent this summer, sources said.

NBA Draft Tonight: Strawberry Likely to be Picked

The Draft Express site feels pretty confident that D.J. Strawberry (2003-07) has a good chance to be a second round pick. They have predicted him as the #23 pick in round two, going to the Portland Trailblazers, in their mock draft.
While his individual training was important, Strawberry caught a huge break when he was a last minute addition to the Orlando pre-draft camp roster a couple of weeks ago.

“After I didn’t get an invitation, I just expected not to go,” he said. “I wasn’t really waiting for a call or anything, I made other plans. I continued to work out to get ready for the team workouts. Once I did get a call, though, I was ready to go. I was very excited about getting to attend a camp like that. It just happened to work out my way that I was able to go.”

Strawberry made a good impression after playing well in his teams’ games, playing tough perimeter defense, a trademark of his game. Where he really raised eyebrows though was in the physical skills assessment, where he tested out as the top overall athlete at the camp. When asked about how he thought being the top athlete at Orlando would help his stock though, Strawberry wasn’t exactly sure.


In a Washington Post Live Discussion today, the site's owner/draft expert, Jonathan Givony, said:
I spoke with one of DJ's guys this morning, and he sounded VERY optomistic. Apparently he has a draft party organized and everything. They feel like he's got a great chance to get drafted. Teams that like him include Phoenix, Portland and the Lakers amongst others. He's done well in workouts and a few people I talked to see him being a great guy to have in an NBA lockerroom and practices his first year or two. Being ranked the #1 athlete in the draft has ALWAYS helped historically-- ask David Noel, Troy Bell, Kirk Snyder, Joey Graham, etc...


Here is Draft Express's Maryland NBA prospects page, with links to recent articles mentioning Maryland players.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Travis Garrison Named CBA Rookie of the Year

I'm not sure how I missed this back in March, but Travis Garrison (2002-06) was named CBA Rookie of the Year! The Official Maryland Terps website alerted me to the news this week, summarizing his rookie year achievements:
Former Terrapin Travis Garrison (Suitland, Md./De Matha HS) turned in a strong season with the Continental Basketball Association's Great Falls Explorers and was named the 2007 CBA Rookie of the Year. Garrison averaged 11.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and shot 52 percent from the field. He connected on over 80 percent of his free throws and helped the Explorers post a second-place finish in the CBA's National Conference.

A third-round draft pick (25th overall) by the Atlanta Wolverines in the 2006 CBA Draft, Garrison was ruled a free agent after the Wolverines opted not to compete in 2006-07. He started in 10 of 41 contests this season for the Explorers and ranked fifth in the CBA with 38 blocked shots.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ekene Ibekwe Pre-Draft Workouts

Ekene Ibekwe (2003-07) has done pre-draft workouts for the Portland Trailblazers and the Chicago Bulls recently. He also played well in the NBA Pre-Draft Camp earlier this month. In Travis Heath's Hoopsworld blog, he says:
Maryland's Ekene Ibekwe showed off his defensive prowess working hard for position, blocking a couple of shots and getting in the passing lanes. On one particular play, the 6-foot-8 forward rotated brilliantly from the weakside to steal the ball and jam one home on the other end. Although often unnoticed by the average fan, this kind of defensive play is something that GM's are quite often looking for from players in a setting such as this one in Orlando.


NBADraft.net says this about Ibekwe's chances after the Pre-Draft Camp in Orlando:
Ibekwe was a beast on the boards at 7 per game, leading the camp. He is obviously an elite level athlete with great length and fluidity. His problem is fitting a position and his lack of strength. Ibekwe had a solid showing. he wasn't selfish and didn't force shots. He has a shot to get drafted based on his great athletic ability, but may run into problems sticking in the league due to his lack of strength/position.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Mike Jones Injures Knee in Pre-Draft Workout

According to the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald, Mike Jones (2003-07) slightly injured his knee during a pre-draft workout in Sacramento last week and had to cancel his workout with the Boston Celtics. From the Boston Herald:
Dorchester native Mike Jones, who played four years at Maryland, had to pull out of yesterday’s workout.

The 6-foot-5 forward suffered what was described as a “slight” knee injury while working out for Sacramento. [Celtics director of basketball operations Danny] Ainge hoped to bring in Jones next week.


Jones hasn't been in the news much this spring since playing in the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament back in April.

Monday, June 18, 2007

D.J. Strawberry Prepares for the NBA Draft

D.J. Strawberry (2003-07) is getting noticed for his tough perimeter defense at the NBA's Pre-Draft Camp:
You won’t see it in a box score, but Maryland’s D.J. Strawberry has quietly turned some heads with his defense. Strawberry had a reputation as being the top perimeter defender in the ACC, and it’s easy to see why. He almost always stays between his man and the basket and has great recovery speed. If he can develop his offensive game, Strawberry could have a chance.


The New York Post thinks Strawberry will be a late second round pick in the NBA draft:
Gangly D.J. Strawberry strutted his stuff the past three days at the Milk House Gym at Walt Disney World in the NBA's pre-draft camp, and the Maryland defensive small forward improved his stock.

The son of Darryl Strawberry, an erratic shooter, finished yesterday's camp with a flourish, scoring 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting, after going 5 of 14 in the first two games. Strawberry, who has been working out at The Aviator in Brooklyn with Marist's Jared Jordan, likely will be a late second-round pick.

"I think I showed I can play defense on the perimeter without putting my hands on guys," Strawberry said.


The Denver Nuggets, who do not have any picks in this year's draft, have invited D.J. to work out for them. If he goes undrafted, the Nuggets could invite him to play on their summer league team or to come to training camp as a free agent this fall.

The Arizona Republic says Strawberry worked out for the Suns last week, but they speculate that he may be gone from the draft board by the time the Suns' second round pick comes around.

Strawberry has also worked out with the Golden State Warriors, Chicago Bulls, and Miami Heat.

Update 6/20: Strawberry will work out for the Washington Wizards on Friday. The Washington Post also projects D.J. as a late second round pick.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Laron Profit in Puerto Rico

Laron Profit (1995-99) is now playing for Grises de Humacao of Puerto Rico. His player page doesn't have a lot of details, but he does appear in several of the team's news articles ("Noticias"), usually as one of the leading scorers. It appears that the Puerto Rican league only plays in the spring from April to June, and Laron was signed after the start of the season as a reinforcement.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Ryan Randle and AEL win Cyprus Championship

Ryan Randle's (2001-03) team, DTL EKA AEL, won the Cyprus League Championship last Thursday night, beating Dentalcon APOEL 3 games to 2 in a best of five series. Ryan scored 10 points in the deciding game 5, which AEL won 69-60.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Nik Caner-Medley and Arland Dragons Runners-Up for German Title

Nik Caner-Medley (2002-06) and his team, the Artland Dragons, made it to the German Cup finals but lost a close game to RheinEnergie Koln on April 30. Nik led his team in scoring with 13 points in the championship game.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Chris McCray and the Dakota Wizards Win NBDL Title

Last Sunday, Chris McCray (2002-06) and his team, the Dakota Wizards of the NBA Developmental League won the NBDL Title, beating the Colorado 14ers. Chris had 6 points and 7 assists off the bench in the championship game. Here's a photo of Chris (#13) celebrating the win.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Sarunas Jasikevicius Brings Postseason Experience to Golden State

This past weekend, HoopsWorld.com ran a feature article about Sarunas Jasikevicius (1994-98) and how his European playoff experience is helping the Golden State Warriors in their first NBA playoff appearance in over a decade:

Coming off the visiting team bus, Sarunas Jasikevicius was the Warrior most comfortable with playoff basketball. The Lithuanian guard had experienced playoff basketball, albeit of a different continent, many times before, playing and winning on big basketball stages in Europe and around the world. His confidence is easily explained: three Euroleague titles, an Olympic bronze medal, and an European Championship gold.

Oh, and one long forgotten dunk that still elicits laughter from international players around the Warriors locker room.

"That dunk is a collectors item", explains Jasikevicius as we start to talk, "because it will never happen again."

Friday, April 27, 2007

Drew Nicholas's Team Wins Turkish Cup

Congratulations to Drew Nicholas (1999-2003) and his team, Efes Pilsen of Istanbul, Turkey, who won the Turkish Cup on April 23!

(Hopefully, next week I will have time to do a season wrap-up for all the Terps playing in Europe this season.)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Minor League Wrap-Up

Yesterday was the NBA season stats wrap-up; today I give you the 2006-07 season wrap-up for the American minor leagues. First up is the NBA Developmental League. Click the names for expanded stats from the NBDL website.
TeamGGSMinPPGRPGAPG
John Gilchrist-- 13015.14.01.51.5
LA 10015.23.61.51.2
IDA 3014.75.31.32.3
Chris McCrayDAK 23226.011.83.02.9
Jamar SmithAUS 503833.814.17.41.9


Chris McCray has been thriving off the bench for the Dakota Wizards, who are getting set to play Colorado for the NBDL Championship on Sunday, April 29. Chris scored 17 points, including a crucial 3-pointer with a minute left, in their win against Sioux Falls in the semi-finals. Colorado advanced to the finals by upsetting John Gilchrist and the Idaho Stampede, who had been the top seed in the Western Division. Jamar Smith had a strong season with good numbers, but the Austin Toros did not make the playoffs.

Only one Terp in the CBA this year: Travis Garrison, playing for the Great Falls Explorers in Montana.

TeamGGSMinPPGRPGAPG
Travis GarrisonGFALL 411024.411.96.10.6


And finally, there was only one Terp with significant ABA playing time this year: Byron Mouton with the Wilmington (NC) Sea Dawgs. The ABA doesn't have any season stats that I can find, but Byron and the Sea Dawgs made it deep into the ABA playoffs, getting past Orlando, Rochester, and Mississippi before losing to Vermont in the semi-finals.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

NBA Regular Season Wrap

Here's how Maryland's Alumni fared in the 2006-07 NBA regular season. Click on the names for expanded stats from NBA.com.

TeamGGSMinPPGRPGAPG
Steve Blake-- 824227.16.42.15.0
MIL 33217.73.61.42.5
DEN 494033.58.32.56.6
Juan Dixon-- 81623.89.62.01.5
POR 55122.68.91.51.5
TOR 26526.311.12.81.6
Steve FrancisNY 443028.111.33.63.9
Sarunas Jasikevicius-- 63315.46.11.12.7
IND 37117.97.41.33.0
GSW 26211.94.30.82.3
Chris McCrayMIL 502.40.00.00.0
Joe Smith-- 651123.18.56.20.8
DEN 11013.55.13.60.3
PHI 541125.19.26.70.9
Chris WilcoxSEA 828131.513.57.71.0


Steve Blake, Juan Dixon, and Joe Smith all got traded mid-season, and all had better numbers with their new teams (particularly Blake, who became a regular starter after being traded to Denver). Sarunas Jasikevicius's numbers went down after his trade, but he moved to a playoff team. Chris Wilcox had a great year in Seattle, starting all but 1 game. Steve Francis survived an injury-shortened season, but started 2/3 of the games he was able to play in.

The regular season is now over, but Steve Blake (Denver), Juan Dixon (Toronto), and Sarunas Jasikevicius (Golden State) are still playing in the NBA Playoffs.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

LaRon Cephas and the Bates Boys and Girls Club of Annapolis

(If you found this article page through a web search, be sure to check out Part I of this two part story.)

Today's Baltimore Sun has a follow-up article about LaRon Cephas and his work with the Bates Boys and Girls Club of Annapolis, where he was a mentor and role model to many middle school students:


LaRon Cephas was the Pied Piper of the Bates Boys and Girls Club, using his charm, charisma and a dose of determination to recruit children from Bates Middle School in Annapolis to sign up for its new sports leagues and activities.

The 6-foot-7 former Maryland basketball player would show the kids his Final Four ring and would engage them in any subject to show them he cared. [...]

Cephas, who was hired in August as the club's athletic director, was to be promoted today to program director. Reginald Broddie, chief professional officer of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, said Cephas had wanted the announcement of his new job to include children. [...]

Cephas worked six days a week, hiding from Broddie that he occasionally opened the gym on Sundays to give the kids a place to go. [...]

"I just think that LaRon was a role model, and our job is to keep his memory alive because he can be a role model for a very long time for the kids," said Carole Alexander, the club's director of development. "It's not often we have a role model for our kids even after his life has ended."

Joshua Roach, an athletic supervisor for Recreation and Parks who worked with Cephas a lot in the past several months, was impressed that he didn't dwell on basketball and his career at Maryland, where he was a backup forward from 1997 to 2001. He said Cephas was happy to help the kids with homework and mentor them.

"He wouldn't talk at them; he'd talk to them and with them. He always had their attention," Roach said.



Added 4/19:
The Annapolis Capital has a similar story about how the Boys and Girls Club is remembering LaRon.



The University of Maryland Athletics Department posted some comments from Gary Williams on its site:

"LaRon Cephas was an integral part of our 2001 Final Four Team," said head coach Gary Williams. "His attitude and dedication was something coaches wish every player had. You don't have good teams without people such us LaRon Cephas in your program. After graduating from the University of Maryland he did a tremendous job making a difference with young kids. He was one of my favorite players in 18 years as head coach at the University of Maryland."

A native of Wilmington, Delaware, Cephas played in 64 games for the Terrapins. He helped Maryland reach the 2001 Final Four and was a part of two Sweet 16 teams for the Terps. During his time at Maryland, the Terrapins posted a record of 99-38 (.723) and made four trips to the NCAA Tournament.

Cephas was awarded the 2001 Unsung Hero Award at the annual team banquet. During his junior year he was elected to the Maryland Student Government Association as a representative for the school of arts & humanities.


More tributes and commentary for today:
East Coast Bias Blog
MetaDC Blog
Terps Sports Report Forum

Monday, April 16, 2007

LaRon Cephas Dies

Sad news to report today: LaRon Cephas (1997-2001) died of a seizure this morning. He was 29 years old, and had been working as the program director and athletic director at the Bates Boys and Girls Club in Annapolis. LaRon played 3 1/2 years of pro basketball in Europe after leaving Maryland, including teams in Germany, Switzerland, and Luxembourg.

From the Baltimore Sun (click for the full article):

Former Maryland basketball forward LaRon Cephas died today, according to a school spokesman and a news release from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, where Cephas worked.

Cephas, 29, collapsed while getting ready to go to work, according to his high school coach, Stan Waterman.

Ed Kelley, who worked with Cephas at the clubs, said employees who went to Anne Arundel Medical Center today morning were told Cephas died of a seizure. [...]

Cephas was a backup forward at Maryland from 1997- to 2001, and was on the Terps' first Final Four team as a senior. As a senior that year, Cephas played in just 14 games and averaged 4.4 minutes and 1.7 points, but he was a player coach Gary Williams always mentioned the team needed.

Mark Fratto, formerly the assistant director of athletic media relations who is now the associate athletic director for communications at St. John's University, said: , "LaRon was one of those guys who didn't play a lion's share of minutes, but everyone respected him because of his work ethic, his character and the things he brought to practice every day -- the intangible things you need to be a good teammate and to be a good leader on the team. He was definitely a good person."

After graduating with a degree in communications, Cephas played for 3 1/2 years in Switzerland, Germany and Luxembourg. [...]

Cephas was the program director and athletic director of the Bates Boys & Girls Club since the end of last summer. He lived in Cape St. Claire.


More stories added on 4/17:
Washington Post
The Diamondback
Wilmington News Journal

(If you found this article page through a web search, be sure to check out Part II of this two part story.)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Video of Two Terps in Italy

This is from 2005/06, but #19 dunking in this video is none other than Obinna Ekezie (1995-99). His team from last year, Lottomatica Roma, is in the white jerseys.



And as a special bonus, I'm pretty sure that #12 in the green jersey (for Benetton Treviso), who double-teams the passer, is none other than our very own Drew Nicholas (1999-2003).

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

John Gilchrist Signs with Idaho (NBA-DL)

John Gilchrist (2002-05) has been acquired by the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Developmental League. The press release doesn't say much more than that:

The Idaho Stampede have acquired former University of Maryland point guard John Gilchrist. The 6-3, 201 pound guard went undrafted in the 2005 NBA Draft, as an early entrant after his junior season. His first action in a Stampede uniform will be Friday, April 6 as Idaho takes on Colorado in Broomfield.

Gilchrist has had summer league stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2005) and Denver Nuggets (2006), but has played the past two seasons in Israel and France.


Gilchrist was brought in just in time for the playoffs, where the Stampede will be the top seed in the west.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Shay Doron #16 in WNBA Draft

So far on this blog, I've only covered former men's basketball players from Maryland. But that was mostly because I could never find any former Maryland women's basketball players on any pro rosters. The drought ended yesterday, with the New York Liberty drafting Shay Doron (2003-07) with the 3rd pick in the 2nd round (#16 overall) of the WNBA draft.

From the Baltimore Sun:
Doron, the second all-time leading scorer in Maryland women's basketball history, was drafted by the New York Liberty in the second round of the WNBA draft today, and stands a decent chance to land a spot on the roster of her hometown team. [...]

While many second-round picks have difficulty making rosters, Doron's path was made easier when the Liberty traded starting point guard Becky Hammon and a second-round pick in next year's draft to the San Antonio Silver Stars...


The Diamondback says:
As a kid, Shay Doron attended New York Liberty games and cheered for her favorite player, guard Becky Hammon. Less than an hour after Hammon was traded in a draft-day deal, the Liberty selected Shay Doron in the second round with the 16th overall pick in the WNBA draft to fill her place.

It is the perfect fit for Doron, who used to live in New York and can fill a vacancy at guard on her favorite team's depth chart.

"I've been growing up with the New York Liberty since the league came out," Doron said last week. "I wanted to be Becky Hammon ever since I was younger."

Doron became the first Terrapin women's basketball player to be drafted since Deedee Warley and March Strickland were picked back-to-back in the fourth round in 2002.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Byron Mouton: Stuck in Shining Moment

Today's Washington Post has a great feature article about Byron Mouton (2000-02), the only starter from the 2002 championship team who never got to play in the NBA. As I posted back in January, Byron is now playing for the Wilmington Sea Dogs, but the Post article says:

Mouton ended up in Wilmington by mistake. When he signed a contract with the Sea Dawgs in late January, he thought the team played out of Wilmington, Del., a 90-minute drive from Mouton's apartment in Bowie. Two hours later, his agent, Mike Hart, called to say that he'd bought Mouton a plane ticket to North Carolina.

"What am I going there for?" Mouton asked.


The story talks about how Byron is plodding through the season in the ABA where his professionalism and veteren leadership is out of place and he's making $500 a week, eating team meals at Chik-fil-A, and playing home games in high school gyms in front of tiny crowds of 250 fans. But he still has fans who remember him from Maryland and want him to sign Terps memorabilia after the game, even though he'd like to move on from it.

Five years have passed since Mouton helped Maryland win the national title the last time it was held in Atlanta, but the significance of that weekend still casts a shadow over his daily life in the American Basketball Association. Since he started for Maryland during its 2002 title run, Mouton has played for 13 professional teams in nine leagues. Still, even in Wilmington, fans regularly ask Mouton to talk about his old college teammates and sign Terrapins memorabilia.

In the consciousness of basketball fans, Mouton is forever stuck in the NCAA tournament. [...]

"You get a little sick of it," said Mouton, 28. "It's like, 'Okay, that's great fans want to talk to me. But are they really supporting me or this player they remember from five years ago?' "

Friday, March 23, 2007

Ask Tahj Holden

Last month, there was an Ask Tahj Holden (1999-2003) thread on TerpSportsReport's forums, and I missed it. On page 2 of the thread, Tahj says he's rehabilitating an achilles injury and coaching a JV girls' high school team in San Diego. He'd consider playing again if his injuries healed, but right now he's focusing on getting into coaching. Tahj also has a lot of great stories and nuggets of information about his playing days at Maryland in that thread.

Tahj Holden's pro career was short, playing in 2003-04 for ITU Istanbul in Turkey.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Matt Hahn on Vermont's Coaching Staff

Matt Hahn (1996-2000) just wrapped up his second season as an assistant coach for the Vermont Catamounts. Vermont's head coach is former Maryland assistant Mike Lonegran. Since graduating from Maryland in 2000, Matt spent three seasons (2001-04) as an assistant coach at LaSalle, where his father, former Maryland assistant Billy Hahn, is the head coach.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!

Anyone who went to games in the mid-90's will remember the "Rudy!" chants for the end-of-the-bench student-section favorite, Matt Raydo (1993-97). Matt was recently mentioned in Maryland's Smith Business School Alumni Notes section:

Matt Raydo ’97 married Shea Wade in November, 2006. Raydo played basketball for Maryland under Coach Gary Williams from 1993-1997. He currently lives in Cary, N.C., and is a principal for IT staffing firm Valiant Staffing, LLC.


It's like those NCAA advertisements on TV say: most student athletes turn pro in something other than sports...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Steve Blake Interview

HoopsWorld.com had an interview with Steve Blake (1999-2003) recently, talking to him about his NBA journey from Maryland to Washington, Portland, Milwaukee, and now his new role in Denver, starting alongside Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony.

Since joining the Denver Nuggets, Steve Blake is averaging career-highs of 9.2 points, 7.5 assists, and 43% shooting in just over 36 minutes per game. The Nuggets took a gamble when they traded their sixth man Earl Boykins for Blake, but so far it's paying off for Denver.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Laron Profit Released by Turkish Team

Last month, Laron Profit (1995-99) was released by Turkish League team Efes Pilsen, which did not pick up the option on his expiring contract. Laron had been signed by Efes Pilsen back in December to fill the roster spot of injured starter Antonio Granger, and now that Granger is healthy again, Profit's contract was allowed to expire. Laron has not been signed by another team yet.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Nik Caner-Medley Signs with German Team

Nik Caner-Medley (2002-06), who had been sitting out since last summer while stress fractures in his left foot healed, is finally healthy and signed to a pro team. Caner-Medley was signed for the rest of the season last week by the Artland Dragons of Quackenbrueck, Germany. Initially, it was reported that this was a one-week try-out, but the team said in its press release that he was actually signed through the end of the season.

Here's basically what the press release says, thanks my own editing of the Google Translation:
Nik Caner Medley becomes new Dragon.

Contrary to yesterday's press release from the Dragons, the 23 year-old US forward is under contract through the end of the season. Dragons managing director Marko Beens explains: "Regrettably, yesterday we sent an incorrect press release due to internal misunderstandings. The fact is that our agreement with Nik does not contain a try-out phase, and he is under contract with us effective immediately."

"We think that Nik can help us at the forward position," believes Chris Fleming. "He provides us with size in proximity of the basket, is a strong left-handed shooter, and has good ball control."

Niklas Anthony Caner Medley, the full name of the Dragons' new acquisition, was born October 20, 1983 in Beverly, Massachusetts and played for Maine's Deering High School. After the conclusion of high school, the 2.03 meter, 106 kilogram forward went to the University of Maryland (NCAA D-1), where he played four seasons for the Terrapins, and saw increased production from season to season.

After 12.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game in his Sophomore year (2003/2004), the 23 year-old scored 16 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game in the following year. In his final year (2005/2006), the left-hander made a strong impression with 15.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game, and by the end in his senior year played his way into the notebooks of various NBA scouts. In summer 2006, Caner-Medley played for the Detroit Pistons' Vegas Summer League team and had a good chance to be drafted, but a foot injury hurt the NBA plans of the American. Meanwhile, the injury healed and Nik Caner-Medley looks forward to playing with the Dragons for his first overseas playing experience.


And now, one of my favorite recurring features of this blog, snippets of the un-edited Google Translation!
Niklas Anthony Caner Medley, as the Dragons new acquisition with full name is called, saw the light of the world on 20 October 1983 in Beverly, Massachusetts and visited in haven country, Maine the Deering Highschool. After conclusion went the 2.03 meters large and 106 kilograms heavy forward on the University OF Maryland (NCAA 1), where it over-touched four play times the leotard of the Terrapins ("water turtles") and from season to season increased.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Juan Dixon Traded to Toronto

Yesterday, just before the NBA trade deadline, Juan Dixon (1998-2002) was traded to the Toronto Raptors from the Portland Trailblazers:
Dixon, 28, is averaging 8.9 points, 1.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 22.6 minutes in 51 games this season, his fifth in the NBA.

A reliable three-point shooter, he has connected on 36.4 per cent of his field-goal attempts from beyond the arc.

"Juan has proven he belongs in this league," Raptors president and general manager Bryan Colangelo said. "And we will see how he affects our team.

"We will see if he is a factor in our plans. But we certainly look forward to giving him every opportunity to break into the rotation and see where it takes us."


No one in Portland was surprised that Dixon was traded, as his name had been floating around in trade rumors leading up to the trade deadline. The only suspense over the past week was where his destination would be:
In his third year in Portland Dixon has seen his minutes drop (22 from 25 last year) and his starts minimized (started 42 games last season and only 1 thus far) all while averaging 9 points per game as a backup to Brandon Roy who is the new proprietor in the Blazers backcourt. The writing was on the wall from the start of the season. And knowing what a true professional Dixon is, he embraced his role of Nate McMillan's bench for the betterment of the team.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Gilchrist and McCray join the NBA-DL

John Gilchrist (2002-2005) and Chris McCray (2002-2006) both joined the NBA Developmental League on the same day last week. Gilchrist signed with the LA D-Fenders, while McCray signed with the Dakota Wizards.
The Dakota Wizards and the Los Angeles D-Fenders made roster moves today, both acquiring former University of Maryland guards. The Wizards acquired Chris McCray, a 6-5, 192-pound rookie, who was released by the Milwaukee Bucks on Jan. 4 after appearing in five games this season. Los Angeles acquired former Terrapin John Gilchrist, who had summer league stints with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2005) and the Denver Nuggets (2006). An early entrant that went undrafted following his junior season at Maryland, Gilchrist, 6-3, 201, has been playing in Israel and France the last two seasons.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Byron Mouton To ABA's Wilmington

Byron Mouton (2000-02) signed with a new team over the weekend, the Wilmington Sea Dogs of the ABA (that's the Wilmington in North Carolina, not Delaware).

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Drew Nicholas Video

Here's a video from YouTube of Drew Nicholas (1999-2003) hitting a crazy game-winning shot from the scorer's table for his former Italian club, Benetton, last spring:

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Rodney Elliott Signs in Spain

Rodney Elliott (1994-98) has been signed to a deal for the rest of the season with Tenerife Rural in Spain's LEB 1, which is Spain's 2nd tier league (ACB is the 1st tier league). The team is based in the Canary Islands.

Here's a translation of what the above article in Spanish says (I cleaned up the Google Translation):
Rural Tenerife has reached an agreement with player Rodney Elliott for the rest of the season. Elliott is a North American wing/pivot, 30 years old (4-3-76), and 2.02m tall, who has played professionally in Spain twice before: Ricoh Manresa in ACB and Fuenlabrada in LEB 1 during the 2004-05 season. The player, who had been playing for the Sidney Kings in Australia, is expected to arrive on the island soon to report to coach Rafa Sanz.

Elliott's Career History:

  • 94/98: University of Maryland (NCAA). In his last season he averaged 15 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.

  • 98/99: Ieper (Belgium)

  • 99/00: Baltimore Bay Runners (IBL). 14.6 points and 6.2 rebounds.

  • 00/01: Kansas City Knights (ABA). 15.8 points and 6.4 rebounds.

  • 01/02: Mabo Livorno (ITA-Series A). 36 games, 16.3 points and 6.8 rebounds.

  • 02/03: Mabo Livorno (ITA-Series A). 34 games, 16 points and 6.1 rebounds.

  • 03/04: Scavolini de Pesaro (ITA-Series A). 40 games, 10.9 points and 5.8 rebounds.

  • 04/05: Ricoh Manresa (ACB). 4 games, 9.5 points and 4 rebounds; Soaps Brown Fuenlabrada (LEB 1): 12 parties, 6.6 points and 4.7 rebounds.

  • 05/06: Besiktas (TUR-D1): 27 games, 7.6 points and 4.7 rebounds; Glass ULEB. 10 games, 9.5 points and 4.6 rebounds.

  • 06/07: Sidney Kings (AUS-NBL): 23 games, 14.5 points and 6.6 rebounds.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Sarunas Jasikevicius Traded to Golden State

Yesterday, Sarunas Jasikevicius (1994-98) was traded in an eight-player deal from Indiana to the Golden State Warriors. The Contra Costa Times says:
Head basketball honcho Chris Mullin, who was under pressure to provide a boost to the Warriors offense, upgraded the roster for Nelson, shipping forwards Mike Dunleavy, Troy Murphy and Ike Diogu -- all players who failed to flourish under Nelson -- and guard Keith McLeod to the Indiana Pacers for forward Al Harrington, swingman Stephen Jackson, point guard Sarunas Jasikevicius and forward Josh Powell. [...]

Jasikevicius: He's not a headliner in this deal, but he may turn out to be a vital addition. Jasikevicius fills two of the Warriors' needs -- a steady backup for point guard Baron Davis and a consistent outside shooter.


The Warriors' press release says:

Jasikevicius, 30, has appeared in 37 games this season with the Pacers, averaging 7.4 points and 3.0 assists in 17.9 minutes. He scored a season-high 20 points on opening night (November 1) at Charlotte and has handed out a season-best seven assists on two occasions, including his last appearance with the Pacers on Monday at New Jersey. During his rookie NBA campaign with the Pacers last season, the 6'4" guard averaged 7.3 points and 3.0 assists in 35 games. He established a Pacers' rookie record in three-point field goals made (86) last season and was a member of the rookie squad during the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge during All-Star Weekend in Houston. Additionally, his free throw percentage (.910, 121-of-133) would have ranked third overall in the NBA, but he fell four free throws made shy of qualifying for league leaders. Jasikevicius, who signed with the Pacers as a free agent prior to last season after spending the previous seven years playing professionally overseas, also appeared as a starter in 15 games with Indiana last season, averaging 8.7 points and 4.3 assists. A native of Lithuania, he was a member of the bronze medal winning Lithuanian team at the 2000 Olympics.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Kurtis Shultz Career Profile

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a good profile of Kurtis Shultz (1991-95), including his career history:
  • 1995-98…Loyola College, Strength and Conditioning Coach
  • 1999-2002…Johns Hopkins, Strength and Conditioning Coach
  • 2000-03…Maryland, Strength Coach – Men’s Basketball
  • 2003…Cincinnati Bengals, Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach
  • 2004-05…Minnesota Vikings, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach
  • 2006…Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach

Friday, January 12, 2007

Steve Blake Traded to Denver Nuggets

Yesterday, Steve Blake (1999-2003) was traded from Milwaukee to the Denver Nuggets, in exchange for Earl Boykins and Julius Hodge.

From the Nuggets' Press Release:
“Steve is a true point guard who we think will really help our club,” said [Nuggets Vice President of Basketball Operations Mark] Warkentien. “He’s an outstanding shooter and a solid floor leader. The toughest part of trades is giving up players for whom you have great fondness. Earl and Julius have been great pros for us and we wish them the best of luck.”

Blake, 6-3, 172, has averaged 3.6 ppg and 2.5 apg in 33 games for the Bucks this season. The fourth-year pro has averaged 6.0 ppg and 3.0 apg in 220 career games with Milwaukee, Portland and Washington, while shooting .377 (206-547) from three-point range. Blake had his best all-around game of the season against the Nuggets on Jan. 8, scoring 11 points while tying season highs with seven assists and five rebounds. He enjoyed his best season a year ago with Portland, playing in 68 games (57 starts) and averaging career highs of 8.2 ppg and 4.5 apg. Blake was originally selected in the second round (38th overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft by the Wizards.


ESPN.com says:
"We're getting a classic point guard," Nuggets vice president of basketball operations Mark Warkentien told The Associated Press. "He's an outstanding shooter and solid floor leader." [...]

Blake, meanwhile, will get an opportunity to win some back-up minutes in Denver's backcourt, with the Nuggets admittedly looking for pass-first facilitators who can play with Iverson, Anthony and swingman J.R. Smith.


The Washington Post's Wizard Insider blog says that Steve Blake is worth more than Steve Nash:
Blake got traded today -- for the second time in less than a year - from the Milwaukee Bucks to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Earl Boykins and Julius Hodge. [...] Boykins is making $2.95 million and Hodge, $1.2 million, this season. In August, Blake was shipped from Portland to Milwaukee in exchange for Jamaal Magloire, who earns $8.3 million. Add up these deals and the players Blake essentially has been traded for in the past five months will earn $12.45 million. That's almost $2 million more than Nash will earn for the Phoenix Suns this season.

I guess that's one way to look at it...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Travis Garrison Playing for CBA Team in Montana

Travis Garrison (2002-06) has been very difficult to keep track of. Apparently, his stay with the ABA's Maryland Nighthawks was very short, and back on December 11, he signed with the Great Falls Explorers (in Great Falls, Montana) of the CBA. He's on the roster on the Explorers' web site, but no other information. Apparently, Garrison led his team in scoring in his first CBA game (there's a picture of Travis with the article).

I learned about Garrison's move to Montana from this article in the Washington Post about the conclusion of his legal troubles from last year.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Terence Morris Signs in Israel

Two days after Christmas, Terence Morris (1997-2001) signed with Hapoel Jerusalem in Israel for the rest of the season. Here's his new team player profile.
Morris, who was drafted by Atlanta in the 34th pick in 2001, played 2 seasons for Houston Rockets before spending one season in the NBDL and another in Apollon Patras of Greece, where he averaged 11.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.

Last year he returned to the NBA, and played 22 games for Orlando Magic in which he had 1.6 points and 1.7 boards per game.

Friday, January 05, 2007

2007 Site Update

Happy New Year!

I've made some format changes to the site in the past week, including upgrading to the latest version of Blogger code. The best new feature is the labels at the bottom of every post and in the Quick Topic Lookup in the sidebar. Click on a name in the list to see all the articles about that player. Also, the Archive section is now set up as a heirarchy menu. Click on the arrow next to a month or year to expand it.

The only shortcoming is that the site feed is a little screwy for now. It's a known issue, and Blogger says it should sort itself out eventually. Please bear with it! The site feed link is now at the top of the sidebar, easier to find if you haven't subscribed already.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Sarunas Jasikevicius Career & Highlight Videos

Today's video offering from YouTube.com is a mini-bio from around 2003 of Sarunas Jasikevicius (1994-98), describing his successes on the court in European leagues and international play from 1998-2003, before coming back to the NBA.



I've never posted anything before about Sarunas's pro career, other than that he's currently in his second season playing for the Indiana Pacers (player page). Allow me to paraphrase his Wikipedia entry. As it mentions in the video above, after leaving Maryland, Sarunas returned to Lithuania, where he played for Lietuvos Rytas in 1998-99. Next, he went to Slovenia to play for Olimpija Ljubljana in 1999-2000. Sarunas won a bronze medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics playing for Lithuania's national team.

He continued moving up to higher profile teams, playing with Spain's FC Barcelona for 3 seasons from 2000-2003. In 2003, Sarunas helped lead Barcelona to the Euroleague Championship. Then, that same year, Sarunas led his Lithuanian national team to the European Basketball Championship and was named tournament MVP. The following season, he moved to Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel, where he picked up where he left off, winning two more consecutive Euroleague titles in 2003-05.

Sarunas caught the eye of NBA scouts and American TV viewers in the 2004 Summer Olympics, where he led Lithuania to an opening round win over the USA, but narrowly lost to USA when they met again in the Bronze Medal game. The following year, he was signed by the Pacers to a 3 year contract.

Sarunas has almost as many videos on YouTube as Steve Francis did. Plus, he has two competing fan sites at Jasikevicius.com and Jasikevicius.net.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Steve Francis Highlight Videos

Continuing on the recent theme of mining YouTube.com for my blog content, today I present Steve Francis's (1998-99) Top Ten Plays from his days with the Houston Rockets:



There are tons of Steve Francis videos on YouTube if you search for them. Lots of highlight reels set to music... too many to post here!