Maryland makes it 12 straight with win over IUPUI

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Maryland makes it 12 straight with win over IUPUI

After a solid month of playing mid-major teams from around the country the Maryland Terrapins could probably be excused for sleep walking through their New Year’s Day matinee against the IUPUI Jaguars at Comcast Center today.

The end result was a to-be-expected 81-63 rout of the visitors. While the Terps took a circuitous route to getting the win, Maryland coach Mark Turgeon pronounced his team ready for ACC play.

That’s a good thing because league play begins this Saturday against Virginia Tech.

While much of the media has focused on the rotation of players that Turgeon may or may not employ with the conference season upon us, the coach himself has focused on the benefits of Maryland’s unparalleled depth and the answers he seems to have for every situation as a result.

With IUPUI red-hot out of the gates and off to a 14-3 lead barely six minutes into the game Turgeon had already tired of his team’s effort defensively and went to the bench for answers. He ended up getting exactly what he wanted – and then some.

Freshman guard Seth Allen may have been inserted initially for defensive purposes but he nailed back to back three pointers and the Terps- and the crowd in attendance- seemed to come to life.

The Jaguars continued to shoot the lights out of Comcast for a few more minutes and eventually held a 19-9 lead with 12 minutes left in the first half. After what happened over the next 6 minutes, IUPUI was probably left wishing that they had literally shot the lights out of Comcast.

Maryland reserves went on a quick 11-0 run to hand the lead back to the Terp’s starting five and they immediately went on a 9-3 run of their own. That 20-3 run over a seven minute span effectively decided the game and allow Maryland the chance to try and do some fine tuning heading into conference play.

There was plenty to be concerned with, to be sure. IUPUI had struggled to score in many of their previous outings but shot the ball extremely well for the first thirty minutes before fatigue took over and they wilted against Maryland’s depth. For the game they ended up a solid 24-54 (45%), the best an opponent has shot against the Terps this season.

The Terps also committed 14 turnovers against a team that rarely pressured them. Many of them could be categorized as “unforced errors” that Turgeon quickly alluded to after the game. He also countered that quickly by saying how much he loved how his team shared the ball and pointed to the 16 assists his club had.

When he was asked about Virginia Tech just after the game, Turgeon was quick to say that he had completely focused on IUPUI in advance of this contest and that preparation for the Hokies would be coming over the course of the next few days.

That may be true – to a degree. Turgeon is an extraordinarily superstitious coach and he knows enough not to offend the basketball Gods by preparing for one opponent five days away when you have a game against another opponent tomorrow. That said, there can be little doubt that his assistants have probably watched enough tape of Virginia Tech to run a Hokie practice themselves. You can be certain that Turgeon left College Park with a scouting report and plenty of game tape to watch tonight when he gets home.

Virginia Tech had started the season as one of the real surprises in the league and they reeled of seven consecutive wins. Since that point they have lost four of six games, including blowout losses against Colorado State and Brigham Young. They are led by perhaps the ACC’s most NBA-ready player in point guard Erick Green, who is averaging a league best 24.4 points per game. For the Terps the job defensively will begin with containing Green.

As the nearly 9,000 in attendance strolled into the College Park night there had to be some consensus among them that – for all intents and purposes- the JV games are over.

Now it’s time to bring on the Varsity.

Virginia guard Marial Shayok transferring from program

Virginia guard Marial Shayok transferring from program

By Ben Brown

Following a disappointing end to a once-promising season, Virginia guard Marial Shayok and forward Jarred Reuter will transfer to another school, head coach Tony Bennett announced Wednesday. 

"Marial and Jarred informed me today that they are leaving the Virginia basketball program and are looking to transfer to other schools," Bennett said. "I thank Marial and Jarred for their hard work and contributions to our program, and wish them success in the future."

Shayok was the Cavaliers' second-leading scorer at 8.9 points per game, despite playing only the fifth-most minutes and regularly coming off the bench. The Ontario product scored a career-high 23 points in Virginia's win over UNC-Wilmington in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. 

Reuter averaged 10 minutes a game and averaged 3.8 points per game. 

Shayok and Reuter transferring comes at the end of a very disappointing season for Virginia. The Cavaliers began the season in the top 10 of the AP poll, and halfway through conference play they were near the top of the standings in the ACC. But that was before the team went into a major funk as they lost four of their last seven games, which dropped them to sixth in the conference standings. 

Virginia lost in the second round of the ACC Tournament to Notre Dame, and then got blasted by Florida by 26 points in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. 

In addition to the losses of Shayok and Reuter, London Perrantes, the team's best player and leader, is graduating. 

After a rough regular season, Virginia's offseason is off to a rocky start as well. 

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VCU reportedly wastes little time finding Mike Rhoades, Will Wade's replacement

VCU reportedly wastes little time finding Mike Rhoades, Will Wade's replacement

BY TYLER BYRUM, @theTylerByrum

Less than 24 hours after VCU saw yet another head coach in Will Wade, take off to a Power 5 school, the athletic department has already found a replacement, according to a report. 

Wasting no time, or allowing any speculation to build, the Rams have hired Mike Rhoades, the head coach of Rice, as Will Wade's replacement.

Rhoades will be the 12th coach of the men's basketball program in VCU history. 

The announcement was first reported by CBS's Gary Parrish:

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Rhoades is a former VCU assistant and associate head coach for five seasons. During his time with the Rams he helped the Shaka Smart led team to four NCAA Tournament appearances, including the Final Four run in 2011.

After Smart's departure to Texas, many considered Rhoades to be on the short list of coaches that VCU would contact. His familiarity with the program and the culture was exactly what VCU was looking for in order to have continued success at the school. The athletic department went on to hire a former assistant, but instead hired Wade. 

In 2014, he took on the head coaching position at Rice where he has been for the past three years. His overall record with the Owls is 47-52 with this past year being the only one to finish above .500. Receiving a bid to the CBI Tournament, it was the Owls first postseason appearance since 2012. 

If Rhoades does not work out for the Rams, there is only one more assistant remaining from the Final Four team that has yet to take over the program. Mike Jones is currently the head coach of Radford and has been there ever since that season. 

Wade's departure was yet another in a long line of talented, up-and-coming coaches using VCU as a springboard to a high-major position.

Jeff Capel began the trend in 2006, when he left for Oklahoma after returning the Rams to the NCAA Tournament in 2004 for the first time since 1996. His replacement, Anthony Grant, led the Rams to two NCAA Tournaments before leaving to take the head coaching job at Alabama. Grant's replacem,ent, Shaka Smart, led the Rams to five straight NCAA Tournaments, including a trip to the Final Four in 2011. 

Wade led the Rams to two NCAA Tournaments in his two seasons and is now headed to LSU to attempt to revitalize the program.