Mitchell leads Maryland past Delaware State 79-50

Mitchell leads Maryland past Delaware State 79-50

By Chris Knoche

CSNWashington.com Contributor

It would be impossible to blame Maryland coach Mark Turgeon for being excited about what he’s seeing right now.

His team just finished off their eleventh consecutive win by drilling Delaware State 79-50 before 12,389 at Comcast Center. He had just witnessed season best performances from two key reserves as well as a solid showing from start to finish by the rest of his club.

That the Terps had just spanked Delaware State was not surprising. The Hornets entered the game at 5-7 and a rout was predictable. The way it unfolded was both methodical and precise and represented the best outing–from start to finish–of the Terps this season.

Midway through the first half Delaware had slowed the game to a crawl with a laudable offensive patience and owned a 16-15 lead after a pair of made free throws. Turgeon and his troops were clearly frustrated with the pace and flow of the game.

Enter Charles Mitchell.

The 6’8” freshman has been a man-child for much of the season, to be certain, but he played this game like the newest present under the Terp Nation Christmas tree.

With his team trailing by one at that point, Mitchell scored the first six points of a 17-0 Maryland run that didn’t just put the Terps in command, it effectively ended the contest. The Terps had started the game 3-8 from the field and missed some easy shots in the paint. When you don’t score it completely takes any pressure defense- the easiest way to speed up the tempo of the game- out of the equation. From the time Mitchell caught fire to the end of the first half, the Terps shot 16-18 from the field and led 40-22 at intermission.

While Mitchell had a big hand in changing the course of the game in that first half he had plenty of help. Fellow freshmen Seth Allen and Jake Layman each had six points and shot a combined 5-6 from the field. Allen has proven himself to be up to the task of basketball at this level. Layman has offered tantalizing size and talent but not the production. In terms of style and substance, this was his best half of the season.

The second half would end up being a mirror image of the first with Delaware State starting quickly before succumbing to Maryland’s size and depth. Turgeon continued to coach like it was hockey and kept sending wave after wave of fresh Terps over the boards for regular line changes.

Mitchell ended the game with gargantuan numbers–season high 19 points and 14 rebounds. Allen and sophomore Dez Wells each chipped in ten points but the team numbers dwarfed the individual ones.

Maryland continued a new-found offensive efficiency and shot 33-58 (57%). Their selflessness was on display once again as they totaled 19 assists versus just 10 turnovers. They harassed the Hornets into horrid shooting (18-56, 32%) and forced 19 turnovers.

Perhaps the only thing that Turgeon could find to complain about after the game came in the most unlikely statistical category. The Terps have been in the top five nationally in rebounding all year long and Delaware State didn’t have a starter over 6’7” yet the battle on the backboards was pretty much even all day long. Were it not for Mitchell’s efforts the Terps may have actually found themselves out-rebounded for the first time this season. The final Maryland advantage of 36-30 felt deceptive given the fact that the Hornets tallied 16 rebounds on their offensive end.

Maryland has one more opportunity for a “tune-up” prior to the beginning of ACC play one week from today. They will host IUPUI at home on New Year’s Day as they ramp up to their league home opener against Virginia Tech.

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2016-17 Season preview: New York Rangers

2016-17 Season preview: New York Rangers

It still feels like the season just ended, but with the draft and free agency already behind us, it's time to look forward to the 2016-17 season. We will preview every team in the NHL throughout August and take a look at what the new season may hold.

Team: New York Rangers

How they did last season: 46-27-9 (101 points), 3rd in the Metropolitan, 4th in the Eastern Conference. Lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Pittsburgh Penguins in an incredibly one-sided affair.

Notable acquisitions: LW Nathan Gerbe; RW Michael Grabner; C Mika Zibanejad; D Nick Holden; C Brandon Pirri; LW Jimmy Vesey; RW Josh Jooris

Notable departures: C Eric Staal; LW Viktor Stalberg; D Keith Yandle; C Derick Brassard

When they will play the Caps: Oct. 22 in Washington; Feb. 19 in New York; Feb. 28 in New York; April 5 in Washington

RELATED: HOLTBY SAYS PRICE SHOULD START FOR CANADA IN WORLD CUP

Analysis: Several years of mortgaging the future finally seemed to catch up with the Rangers last season. It took the Pittsburgh Penguins just five games to dispatch New York in what was one of the least competitive series of the entire playoffs. A team that had begun the year with Stanley Cup aspirations was eliminated in the first round by a team that started its third-string goalie in the first two games of the series.

That series showed the Rangers were clearly no longer among the top teams in the conference. There was also no real hope of the future generation taking over in New York as the Rangers had not selected in the first round of the draft since 2012.

Think about that. Four straight years with no first-round draft picks and New York had virtually nothing to show for it.

Usually that kind of strategy leads to a long and painful rebuild, but thanks to some very shrewd moves by general manager Jeff Gorton, the future suddenly looks bright again in the Big Apple.

The Rangers’ shift in philosophy was clear when the team traded center Derick Brassard for the 23-year-old Mika Zibanejad. Brassard may arguably be the better player right now, but he is five years older and already in his prime. Zibanejad recorded 51 points last season and is only getting better.

In addition, New York also added college free agent Jimmy Vesey. While we should temper our expectations — the buzz surrounding his free agency greatly inflated what people seem to believe he can do in his rookie season — his signing adds another young weapon to a suddenly stacked offensive lineup.

In fact, with the signings of Nathan Gerbe, Michael Grabner and Brandon Pirri in addition to Zibanejad and Vesey, the Rangers may now have too many weapons on offense and may have to ship one or two players out before the season starts.

And oh yeah, they still have the king between the pipes.

At 34, age is starting to become a concern for Henrik Lundqvist. Last season was not his best as he registered his a goals against average of 2.48, the worst of his career. But that had more to do with the team as Lundqvist still managed a good save percentage of .920. The Rangers must improve improve defensively and in terms of possession in order to help their netminder this season.

Season prediction: It’s hard to tell exactly what kind of team the Rangers will be because I don’t think they’re done dealing just yet. There are too many bodies on offense and too many concerns on defense for the Rangers not to make a move.
Lundqvist is still very good, but he’s not the brick wall he used to be and Dan Girardi looks like a shell of his former self. Many did not expect Girardi to be back for this season, but as of now he’s still there.

The Rangers had a tremendous offseason, but many of the moves they made were with an eye on the future and not the present. That’s not a bad thing by any means, but this is a preview for the 2016-17 season and in that sense it doesn’t look like the moves they made will catapult them back into serious contention. New York will have to worry more about fighting off the Islanders and Hurricanes for third place in the division than they will the Caps and Penguins for first place.

MORE HOCKEY: CAPS ASSISTANT MISSES OUT ON HEAD COACHING JOB IN COLORADO

2016-2017 NHL TEAM PREVIEWS

Pacific Division
— Anaheim Ducks
— Arizona Coyotes
— Calgary Flames
— Edmonton Oilers
— Los Angeles Kings
— San Jose Sharks
— Vancouver Canucks

Central Division
— Chicago Blackhawks
— Colorado Avalanche
— Dallas Stars
— Minnesota Wild
— Nashville Predators
— St. Louis Blues
— Winnipeg Jets

Atlantic Division
— Boston Bruins
— Buffalo Sabres
— Detroit Red Wings
— Florida Panthers
— Montreal Canadiens
— Ottawa Senators
— Tampa Bay Lightning
— Toronto Maple Leafs

Metropolitan Division
— Carolina Hurricanes
— Columbus Blue Jackets
New Jersey Devils
New York Islanders
— Philadelphia Flyers (coming Aug. 28)
— Pittsburgh Penguins (coming Aug. 29)
— Washington Capitals (coming Aug. 30)

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Showalter on changing roster: 'What else are you going to do?'

Showalter on changing roster: 'What else are you going to do?'

NEW YORK—Over the last eight days, the Orioles have made moves involving x relievers. Tyler Wilson, Odrisamer Despaigne, Parker Bridwell, Mike Wright and Logan Ondrusek have all been with the Orioles, and are now gone. 

T.J. McFarland is here, and with the Orioles temporarily going with 11 pitchers because of Adam Jones’ hamstring injury, there may be another move coming in a day or two.

RELATED: HOW LONG WILL JONES BE OUT?

The Orioles can have plenty of reinforcements when the rosters expand on Thursday, but there are still five games to play until then. 
For now, there will be plenty of roster shuffling.

“I hear that word, shuffling. What else are you going to do?” Showalter said.

“We’re trying to win here, right? We’re trying to keep people healthy, and our starting pitching gets knocked around, and we have to bring people in, what are you going to do?...Somebody’s got to pitch. Somebody’s got to play. What else are you going to do?”

Showalter thinks players understand the roster churning.

“It hasn’t been tough. It hasn’t been tough for them, either. They’d rather rotate than not be called up. If that’s a bother for them as a player, they’re probably not going to bite when they’re a big dog, either,” Showalter said.   

NOTE: Bowie C Chance Sicso and utility player Garabez Rosa were named to the Eastern League All-Star team.

MORE ORIOLES: ORIOLES NEED STRONG START FROM BUNDY

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Concerned about Jones, Orioles add Borbon to play center

Concerned about Jones, Orioles add Borbon to play center

NEW YORK—Needing a center fielder with Adam Jones out of the lineup due to a strained left hamstring, the Orioles selected the contract of outfielder Julio Borbon from Double-A Bowie. 

Borbon is in the lineup for Saturday’s game playing center field. 

“Adam was trying to talk us into playing him today,” manager Buck Showalter said.

Jones was taken out of Friday night’s game in the second inning, one night after he was removed for a pinch hitter in the ninth inning of Thursday’s game in Washington. 

“Who knows? He might pinch hit today,” Showalter said.

RELATED: JONES HURT IN GALLARDO'S SHORTEST START

Borbon hit .222 in five games for the Orioles last month when Hyun Soo Kim was on the disabled list. He’s hitting .275 with six home runs and 25 RBIs for Bowie. 

“Until we get our arms around Adam, Borbon will need to stay here,” Showalter said. “Borbon was our best option at this point.”    

The Orioles had several other options for center field, Showalter said. Chris Dickerson, who signed a week ago, and has been with the Baysox, hasn’t played enough. Dariel Alvarez and Xavier Avery, both at Norfolk were also considered. 

To make room for Borbon on the 25-man roster, the Orioles optioned right-handed pitcher Mike Wright to Triple-A Norfolk. 

Wright pitched in back-to-back games for the first time on Thursday and Friday, allowing two runs on five hits in four innings. 

Overall, Wright is 3-4 with a 5.89 ERA with the Orioles. 

Logan Ondrusek was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Borbon.

MORE ORIOLES: HOW SERIOUS IS JONES' INJURY?