Quick Links

Len garners ACC, NBA attention

len.jpg

Len garners ACC, NBA attention

In case there was any doubt, Alex Len's performance Friday in Maryland's 72-69 loss to No. 3 Kentucky generated some attention.

In the here and now, the ACC named Len its Player of the Week after the 7-foot-1 center established career highs with 23 points and 12 rebounds against the Wildcats. Seven of the sophomore's boards came on the offensive end and overall Len hit on 10-of-18 from the floor in 32 minutes. For good measure he tacked on four blocks, which matched a career high.

Len's performance against a Kentucky frontcourt loaded with NBA prospects, including heralded freshman center Nerlens Noel, also raised his professsional upside in the minds of talent evaluators.

"Len made himself a lot of money Friday," ESPN Draft analyst Chad Ford said in an Insider column posted Monday. "He had career highs in points (23) and rebounds (12) against the No. 1 player on our Big Board (Noel) and established himself as a potential elite big man prospect in this year's draft."

Ford noted Len's "mixed bag" of a freshman season, which included moments of brilliance followed by games with "almost nothing on either end." That was then

"This season he has added strength and appears to be more confident," Ford wrote. "Equally important is the fact that, with gunner Terrell Stoglin gone, it appears as if Mark Turgeon is finally going to run the offense through Len. If he can keep this up all season, scouts predict he'll go very high in the 2013 NBA draft."

One NBA GM told Ford, "If Enes Kanter can go No. 3 and Jonas Valanciunas No. 5 in a much stronger draft, Len should be able to easily crack the top five if he's going to play like that all year. He's 7-foot-1, is athletic, rebounds, block shots and has offensive skills, and he's producing against legit NBA talent. Those guys don't come along very often."

No they don't, which is why Maryland fans are thrilled to have Len on campus - and hope he sticks around for a while.

Quick Links

Maryland lands a graduate transfer commitment from Duke

Maryland lands a graduate transfer commitment from Duke

The Maryland Terrapins snagged former Duke player Sean Obi as a graduate transfer, the school announced on Thursday. He didn't play last season due to knee surgury that he underwent last summer. 

Obi began his college career at Rice during the 2013-14 season, and posted 11.4 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. After his freshman season at Rice, he transferred to Duke where he had to sit out 2014-15 season, per NCAA rules. In his lone season as a Blue Devil, Obi played in just 10 games and averaged 0.5 points per game. As a graduate transfer, Obi will be eligible to play for Maryland immediately. 

We are excited to welcome Sean to Maryland," said Maryland coach Mark Turgeon. "As a graduate transfer, he brings high character, experience and maturity to our team. Sean is a good rebounder and gives us another physical presence inside. Sean is healthy and ready to contribute."

Obi, who is 6-9, could provide Maryland help on the offensive and defensive boards in 2017 after they ranked 300th in the country in defensive rebound percentage. 

More College Hoops: Former VCU Basketball star signs with Indianapolis Colts

Quick Links

Mystics select Maryland's Shatori Walker-Kimbrough in WNBA Draft, Brionna Jones also taken in the 1st Round

Mystics select Maryland's Shatori Walker-Kimbrough in WNBA Draft, Brionna Jones also taken in the 1st Round

BY TYLER BYRUM (@theTylerByrum)

For the sixth straight year, a Maryland Terrapin has been taken in the WNBA Draft. This draft though marks the third time ever that two Terps, Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and Brionna Jones, were selected in the First Round.

With the sixth overall pick (traded from the Seattle Storm), the Washington Mystics decided to select a local talent, Walker-Kimbrough. The three time All-Big Ten First Team selection will go down as one of the best  guards to ever dawn a Maryland jersey even with the team's illustrious history. At 5'11", she holds the Terps all-time three point shooting percentage mark and is the program's second all-time leading scorer. This past season, which ended in a Sweet 16 run for the team, the AP Third Team All-American was named one of the 15 finalists for the Wooden Award as the national player of the year.

To get the Maryland standout, the Mystics acquired Seattle’s first round pick back in January that was part of a three-team trade. By Washington sending Bria Hartley and Kia Vaughn to the Liberty, the Storm acquired Carolyn Swords and thus sending their pick to the Mystics. 

Walker-Kimbrough is just another weapon added to the Mystics roster this off-season. Alongside the versatile Elena Delle-Donne, the Maryland grad will be yet another player opponents will have to matchup against, especially when second units are put on the court. Her offense will be huge for a team that had the third worst offensive numbers in the league, but her defense will add to the physicality the Mystics display on the court. 

Another former Terp (who guided Maryland to an NCAA title) and WNBA champion, Kristi Toliver also was picked up this past off-season by the Mystics after she won a title with the Sparks in 2016. Tianna Hawkins, a 2013 Maryland grad, is also listed on the team's roster.

Other selections for the Mystics in the 2017 draft include Jennie Simms from Old Dominion (18th overall) and Mehryn Kraker from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (27th overall).

Not too long after Walker-Kimbrough was taken, Jones was selected by the Connecticut Sun as the eighth overall pick of the draft. As a 6'3" center she lead the NCAA in field goal percentage the past two seasons. In the Big Ten, she currently holds the conference best career field goal percentage. She was also a finalist for the Wooden Award this past year, while being named an AP First Team All-American.

For the Sun, Jones will be a huge addition to their interior defense who allowed opponents to score 84.3 ppg, the third highest in the WNBA. She will also look to boost their offensive rebounding numbers as it is anticipated she will have to come off the bench. 

This draft is the first since 2009 that Maryland had two First Round picks, the team also saw two first rounders the year prior in 2008.

The overall number one pick of the draft was Washington's Kelsey Plum, who set the NCAA scoring record for points all-time and in a single season. She is heading to the worst offense in the WNBA, the San Antonio Stars. 

MORE MYSTICS: Delle-Donne joins John Wall and Bradley Beal for photoshoot