Cumberland Times-News

Columns

May 4, 2014

What, they changed the recipe at Ledo’s?

Taking its cue from the neighboring Landover Redskins, the University of Maryland men’s basketball program continues to make more offseason news than inseason news. The difference being the Redskins usually win the offseason, while the offseason losses keep mounting for the Terrapins.



Make it four now that junior guard Seth Allen, Coach Mark Turgeon’s first committed recruit at Maryland, has announced his plans to transfer, with No. 5 possibly on its way as whispers persist junior forward Charles Mitchell might leave as well.



Already gone this offseason are transfers Nick Faust (Oregon State), a senior guard Turgeon practically begged three years ago to keep the commitment he made to Maryland and to Gary Williams, junior center Shaquille Cleare (Texas), at the time Turgeon’s most heralded recruit, and sophomore guard Roddy Peters (undecided). And, oh yes, assistant coach Scott Spinelli also left, making a lateral move closer to home in taking an assistant’s job at Boston College.



The departures of Faust, Cleare and Peters, while brow raising, did not come as a complete surprise. Allen’s departure, however, new to the whisper mill last Wednesday, seemingly came out of nowhere for the Maryland program, supporters and alumni.



“It's time for me to say it ... What is going on with the #Terps program!?!?,” tweeted Drew Nicholas, a guard on the 2002 national championship team. “When was the last time ANY school had 4 kids leave the program!?”



ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas told the Baltimore Sun on Friday that the wave of transfers is not exclusive to Maryland.



“There are more transfers than ever,” he said. “The reasons don’t always seem to make sense to us who think we know the reasons why kids should stay in school, stick it out, work through things.



“Years ago, this wouldn’t have seemed like an issue. If you don’t play in a position, if you have to make a sacrifice, if you have the ball in your hands or don’t have the ball, now it’s more acceptable to transfer. You don’t want to overuse the word culture, (but) even players in AAU jump from one team to another with no rhyme or reason.”



If it concerns college basketball and Jay Bilas says it, I put it in stone, but
even players in AAU jump from one team to another with no rhyme or reason? Isn’t it more like particularly players in AAU jump from one team to another with no rhyme or reason?



For a number of reasons Gary Williams did not play the AAU game when he was at Maryland. Did he take AAU players? Of course. But he understandably wasn’t up to putting himself and Maryland at the mercy of the players, who not only play AAU, but who coach and direct the AAU programs and wave their players under the noses of hungry coaches the way a fisherman does bait. Toward the end of his career in College Park, Williams was criticized for this (and didn’t care a lick), not surprisingly by AAU coaches and supporters who don’t understand just how sleazy the AAU meat market can be.



Turgeon, on the other hand, recruits the AAU both feet in, and there is not a thing wrong

Text Only
Columns
  • Peanuts and Cracker Jack beat any foam finger

    Times have changed, and for the better, as this week marks the third year in a row NFL training camps have opened and have not taken center stage in the cities of Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Washington. That, of course, is due to the play of the three baseball teams that inhabit said cities, the Orioles, the Pirates and the Nationals — two of whom hold first place in their respective divisions, with the other one entering play on Wednesday just 2 1/2 games out of first.

    July 23, 2014

  • Big loophole Big loophole

    How ironic — and how sad — that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority plans a closed executive session to discuss the open meetings law.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Don’t do it. Don’t do it

    Temperatures have been moderate recently but are projected to rise to the upper 80s and low 90s later this week, so we want to remind you: Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • He means well, and this time they spared his life

    Our pal Phil is the only re-enactor certified in writing by both the Lee and Custis families to portray Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee (whose wife was Mary Anna Custis Lee). When he’s in uniform, he generally stops at the bottom of the path that leads to the summit of Little Round Top, salutes Capt. Gary and First Sgt. Goldy and asks permission to join us. (Get it? Generally ... General Lee?) We always return his salute and grant him permission, in part because he’s our friend and also because the real Lee never got to see what it really looks like from up there. (Get it? Grant ... Grant? U.S. Grant? Real Lee ... really? OK. I hear you. That’s enough. Seriouslee.) Phil gets a kick out of being able to sneak up on us while we’re distracted by tourists.

    July 20, 2014

  • It’s hotter here than in D.C. or Baltimore

    At this time of the year, the weather is a frequent subject of conversation, particularly the temperatures. We are now in the “Dog Days,” usually the hottest days of the year. The term comes from our sun appearing to be near the “Dog Star” (Sirius) and the “Little Dog Star” (Procyon). In reality, the sun is now about 94.5 million miles away while Sirius is 8.6 light years away with Procyon at 11 light years distance. Sunlight takes only 507 seconds to reach us, while the two dog stars’ light takes about a decade to travel to our eyes. So our sun is in the same direction (but not distance) as these two bright winter evening stars.

    July 20, 2014

  • Mike Sawyers and his father, Frank Sale of quart-sized Mason jars lagging, merchants claim

    The opening day of Maryland’s squirrel hunting season is Sept. 6 and I am guessing you will be able to drive a lot of miles on the Green Ridge State Forest and see very few vehicles belonging to hunters of the bushytail. It wasn’t always that way. In the early 1960s, when I was a high school student in Cumberland, there was no Interstate 68. What existed was U.S. Route 40 and in the last couple of hours before daylight on the opening day of squirrel season there was an almost unbroken line of tail lights and brake lights between Cumberland and Polish Mountain.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hugo Perez Columnist, son are range finders, but where are .22 shells?

    We feel pretty lucky on this side of the Potomac to have a nice shooting range to utilize for free and within decent driving distance.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Opposition and inclusion understood

    Those of you who have been here before know how I feel about the late great Len Bias, who I will remember foremost as Leonard Bias, the polite, spindly Bambi-eyed kid from Hyattsville’s Northwestern High School, who could throw a dunk through the floor, yet had the most beautiful jump shot I have ever seen.

    July 17, 2014

  • Stopgap

    Kicking the can down the road was one of the things American kids did to pass the time in the old days, particularly if they lived in rural areas where there was little traffic to contend with.

    July 16, 2014

  • Further proof you should never bet on baseball

    Had you known in March that ...

    July 16, 2014