“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→
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→
The end of the regular 2015-16 NBA season will also mark the end of an era. Last night, Kobe Bryant announced that he will retire once the Lakers’ season has ended.
Bryant, a 20-season veteran has played all of his games as a Los Angeles Laker, after being drafted out of Lower Merion High School in Philadelphia in 1996 by the Charlotte Hornets and traded to the Lakers on draft night.
Scott Van Pelt has hosted hundreds of shows and events over the course of 22 years at the Golf Channel and ESPN. But none of them will ever mean as much to him as Tuesday night’s edition of SportsCenter broadcasted live from the Xfinity Center in front of some of the Maryland Terrapins’ most dedicated fans.
“That’s why I’ve said privately and to my friends that Tuesday night was the highlight of my professional life. I’ve done really neat things and I’ve met really cool people and I’ve been really blessed beyond measure to get to do the things that I’ve gotten to do but if I never did another show again after that I’d be fine. There’s no words to describe what it meant to me to be home. I can’t stop thinking about how thankful I am that I got to,” said the critically-acclaimed SportsCenter host.
I was blessed with the opportunity to speak with him late Thursday afternoon. Van Pelt took us behind the scenes of how the show’s production came together, his moment with Greivis Vasquez which thousands of fans witnessed inside the arena, his thoughts on the movement to rename Byrd Stadium and the one person who made an extraordinary impact on him while he was in school.
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.
The 2015-2016 season began last night, eight months after the bitter exit from the NCAA tournament at the hands of rival West Virginia. Since then, the Terps lost their heart and soul forward Dez Wells, along with fellow big men Jonathan Graham and Evan Smotrycz and guard Richaud Pack.
Dion Wiley also injured his knee in the exhibition game and will miss four months of the season. How could the Terps replace all that? They bring in Top-10 recruit Diamond Stone, former Duke wing Rasheed Sulaimon and get Robert Carter Jr, who had to sit out last season after transferring to College Park, eligible. Add in year two for Melo Trimble, Jared Nickens and Michal Cekovsky and the Terps begin the year ranked 3 in the polls. The last time the Terps were ranked in the top three at the start of the season,they won a national title. If the Terps want to bring the title back to College Park, there are a few games during the season they have to win.
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→
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.
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.