Category Archives: Justin Fitzgerald

Diamond Stone Is Still Adjusting To The College Game, And That’s OK

by JUSTIN FITZGERALD

“At center, a 6-foot-11 freshman from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, number 33, DIAMOND STONE.”

This was an introduction Maryland basketball fans thought they would hear every game this year, as Stone was thought to be the dominant big man who rounded out the starting lineup of a national championship contender. His offensive game garnered high praise from coaches and scouts alike, and he was named to the preseason watch list for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar award for the nation’s top center. Continue reading Diamond Stone Is Still Adjusting To The College Game, And That’s OK

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Maryland Football Hires D.J. Durkin to be Next Head Coach

by JUSTIN FITZGERALD

After nearly two months of speculation, the wait is over. D.J. Durkin has been hired to be the next head football coach, Director of Athletics Kevin Anderson announced Wednesday.

“We began this search looking for a candidate with qualities that aligned with our vision for the football program, and throughout the process it became clear D.J. was the perfect fit. He has had success at some of the nation’s most preeminent football programs, is recognized as one of the top recruiters in the country and is widely respected as one the top young coaches across the college football landscape,” Anderson said in a statement Wednesday. Continue reading Maryland Football Hires D.J. Durkin to be Next Head Coach

Return of the Rock: SEC Preview

by JUSTIN FITZGERALD

The story line in the SEC remains the same: Kentucky, and then everyone else. The Wildcats reloaded after last year’s 38-1 season and are once again national title contenders. Everyone is chasing John Calipari, but the gap may close in the next few years. Many teams in the conference have made a splash with their coaching hires, showing that they’re serious about taking college basketball to the next level. This is still a football conference, but SEC basketball is slowly on the rise. Here is my preview for this year, with last year’s record in parentheses.

Continue reading Return of the Rock: SEC Preview

Return of the Rock: Big 12 Preview

by JUSTIN FITZGERALD

Just like the ACC, the Big 12 has gone through some upheaval recently. In 2011 Colorado and Nebraska left to join the Pac-12 and Big 10 respectively, and just a year later Texas A&M and Missouri both left to join the SEC. Colorado and Nebraska didn’t add a lot to the conference in terms of basketball, but Texas A&M and Missouri added depth to the conference. West Virginia and TCU joined in 2012, and the Mountaineers added a solid basketball tradition. Last year the conference sent seven teams to the NCAA Tournament, with three contenders bowing out early (I’m looking at you Baylor, Iowa State, and Kansas) and two making the Sweet Sixteen. This year looks to be another strong year for the conference, and the top three teams have Final Four potential. As always, here are my expectations, with last year’s record in parentheses. Also make sure you check out my previews of the ACC and Big East. Continue reading Return of the Rock: Big 12 Preview

Return of the Rock: Pac-12 Preview

by JUSTIN FITZGERALD

Since Sean Miller took the Arizona head coaching job in 2009, the narrative of the Pac-12 season has been the same. Miller and the Wildcats have dominated the conference the past two seasons, and have had top 4 conference finishes four of the past five years. His teams have been a high point in what has been a disappointing stretch for the conference. Last season the Pac-12 sent just four teams to the NCAA Tournament, and its reputation as a premiere basketball conference continued to fall. The conference lacks depth, with its cellar dwellers being some of the worst in a Power Five Conference. This year teams are still looking to chase Arizona, but the Wildcats aren’t the obvious choice to three-peat. Here are my predictions for how the conference shakes out, with last year’s records in parentheses.

When you’re done, be sure to check out my ACC, Big East, and Big 12 previews. Continue reading Return of the Rock: Pac-12 Preview

Povich Center Hosts Symposium to Discuss Changes in Sports Writing

by JUSTIN FITZGERALD

The Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism hosted its 10th annual symposium Nov. 10. The symposium has a different theme every year, usually centered around hot-button interests in sports both locally and nationally.

This year’s theme was Sportswriting Then & Now: With a Look at the Past & Future. The discussion featured six panelists – USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan, Washington Post sports writer Chelsea Janes, Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins, former Washington Post columnists and “Pardon the Interruption” hosts Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon and ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap.

TV star Maury Povich and former Washington Post sports editor George Solomon moderated the discussion, which mainly discussed the changing climate of sports media. An open question-and-answer session concluded the event. Continue reading Povich Center Hosts Symposium to Discuss Changes in Sports Writing

Return of the Rock – ACC Preview

by JUSTIN FITZGERALD

With the additions of Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse in 2013 along with Louisville in 2014, the Atlantic Coast Conference was expected to be the toughest conference in America. Last season the ACC lived up to expectations, sending six teams to the NCAA Tournament with five making the Sweet Sixteen. The ACC is loaded again this season, with ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi putting nine of the 15 schools in his preseason bracket, but I believe as many as 13 have a chance to get there. Here is how each team looks heading into this season. Continue reading Return of the Rock – ACC Preview

Return of the Rock: Big East Preview

By JUSTIN FITZGERALD

After the breakup of the original Big East in 2013, fans wondered what would be left of the conference that changed college basketball. The conference retained classic basketball powers, but also added unproven mid-majors. It was not known whether the latter would add depth or wilt against stiffer competition. The identity of the new Big East remains to be decided, but it looks like it will remain nationally relevant. Last year the conference sent six teams to the NCAA Tournament, but only Xavier made it to the Sweet 16. Here’s the outlook for this season.  Continue reading Return of the Rock: Big East Preview

Maryland Football Coach Randy Edsall to be Fired

By: DREW SORRELLS and JUSTIN FITZGERALD

credit: http://www.sportsinthemitten.com

Maryland coach Randy Edsall will have a new title soon: former coach. It first was reported by Inside Maryland Sports’ Jeff Ermann, and later confirmed by Yahoo Sports‘ Pat Forde, that the University of Maryland is set to fire their head football coach.

There is no specific timetable as to when this will take place, but it has been reported that it could happen as early as after this week’s Ohio State game. The end appears to be sooner, rather than later, for Edsall. Continue reading Maryland Football Coach Randy Edsall to be Fired

American League Playoff Preview

By JUSTIN FITZGERALD

Just like in the National League, five American League teams now are just 11 wins away from a World Series title. This is an interesting group of teams, with one looking for revenge, one looking for their record 28th World Series title and three- Blue Jays, Astros and Rangers-that many didn’t think would be here, The format is the same as my column about the National League, as I will break down why teams can win the World Series and what will prevent them from bringing home a title.

Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer. Courtesy of North Platte Post.
Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer. Courtesy of North Platte Post.
  1. Kansas City Royals (95-67, AL Central Champion)

Why They Will Win the World Series: Continue reading American League Playoff Preview