Hello there. While we’ve been away, Maryland basketball shockingly ascended to No. 9 in the Coaches Poll. We’re surprised and delighted by this, so here to explain it are Mr. Irrelevant Maryland sports correspondents JP Finlay, Brad Parker and Andy Peden.
Ah yes, freshman sensation Melo Trimble. We’ll let Grantland take this one:
“He’s the best player on the best team in the Big Ten.”
2. Interior D!
Defensive bigs Damonte Dodd (sophomore) and Jonathan Graham (senior) protect the rim and rebound.
3. Nickens & Wiley & Pack!
In addition to Trimble, two freshman (Jared Nickens and Dion Wiley) and a senior (Richaud Pack) in the backcourt are averaging a combined 31 PPG.
4. Layman without Dez!
Junior forward Jake Layman has stepped up, averaging over 17 PPG during the seven games Dez Wells missed. Overall, he’s shooting 40% from three and 55% the field.
5. Scoring depth!
It’s been awhile since Maryland could rely on more than one or two guys every night. Now there are about seven who could get hot from deep in any game and can close out games at the line. Speaking of …
6. Free throws!
Free throws are a reliable way to score. If you’re getting to the line 26 times a night that’s huge.
7. Quality wins!
Wins over Iowa St. and Michigan St. and Oklahoma St. and Arizona St. (and any other state) are wins that matter in March.
This team is playing hard and playing together. There’s a toughness that’s been missing.
9. The Future!
There are two non-seniors (Melo and Layman) who might end up in the NBA eventually but aren’t going anywhere next season. Plus they don’t have to rebuild when the four seniors graduate, because they have seven players coming back.
There may actually be some meaningful games for Maryland to play this time around.
To quote the great Dan Shulman, “Maryland’s 61-year history in the ACC ends in excruciating fashion.” At least Dez Wells gave us one last laugh, though, at the expense of Jake Layman. (Turn the sound on and listen close.)
They’re not going to make the Tournament, but storming the court in the final ACC home game sure is nice.
Two of our old friends, ex-Wizard/human meme Nick Young and ex-Terp/Ukrainian machine Alex Len, mixed it up last night. Len leveled NY on a dunk attempt, you see, and then NY lost his damn mind.
Click through for more video and GIFs, but know that Nick is actually averaging 20.9 points/game, which is what happens when you’re a volume shooter on the Kobe-less Lakers. Alex is averaging 1.6, which is what happens when you should still be back in College Park, really.
The Skins have reportedly requested an interview with Vanderbilt HC/rising star James Franklin, who also interviewed with the Texans. [Keim, Insider]
Update: Franklin is expected to interview for the job this week.
Rich Bisaccia, who the Skins interviewed, isn’t really HC material. [Keim]
Redskins interviewed Jim Caldwell yesterday, Perry Fewell today. [Keim]
Mike Zimmer, Jay Gruden, Hue Jackson now available to talk. [Insider]
Advocating for the Skins to interview Panthers OC Mike Shula. [PFT]
Three things learned from Maryland’s win over GA Tech. [Testudo]
After a rough start, Seth Allen makes Terps a different team. [Wise]
A quick look at the Capitals’ reconfigured top two lines. [Caps Insider]
Caps put Grabovski in a “Grabovsky” jersey yet again. [Puck Daddy]
Wiz drop third straight, lose by 16 at home to Warriors. [Bullets Forever]
The Terps lost on their home court to Oregon State. [Testudo Times]
The first family was there to watch Michelle’s brother-in-law. [Bog]
Hey, at least Maryland football’s going to a bowl this year. [Testudo]
Len Bias would’ve turned 50 years old today. RIP. [@si_vault]
Ten things from that super Redskins-Eagles game. [John Keim]
Bowen, Hankerson and Biggers all may have knee injuries. [Insider]
Trent Williams says a ref talked shit to him. Weird all around. [Insider]
Josh Morgan told to ride the bench and shut the hell up. [Insider]
The 12 types of people who comment on RGIII’s Facebook page. [FTW]
Holty made 46 saves to beat St. Louis, take the division lead. [RMNB]
Ovi scored two more goals, tied for the NHL lead at 17. [Caps Insider]
Brad Beal and Jarrett Jack beefed after the game Saturday. [Wiz Insider]
Maryland’s new pride unis are awesome. (Helmet flag ripples!) [Terps Insider]
Nats beat Miami on Bryce’s 20th HR. Clinch winning season. 5 back. [NI]
Roark and Jordan give Nats starting pitching depth in 2014. [Nats Journal]
O’s, no-hit through six, lose to Boston. Two back. [USA TODAY Sports]
Skins very nearly gave up the most yards ever through two weeks. [Insider]
Good video: Ryan Kerrigan as an undercover Modell’s employee. [Bog]
In-depth look at how the Skins are using Jordan Reed. [Staying Medium]
Redskins ranked as the third-worst NFL team to root for. [For The Win]
Andy Reid won in Philly to set the Eagles back to 1-2. [USA TODAY Sports]
Photos: Olaf Kolzig playing D in a goalie mask at Caps practice. [RMNB]
Standout MD wideout Stefon Diggs’ first pitch was nasty. [Terps Insider]
O’s pick up two of three from Rockies, are 3 back in the Wild Card. [CC]
Brian Roberts is contributing in a playoff race. Awesome. [O's Insider]
Ladies and gent, it’s the O’s! GIFs! Of! The! Week! [Camden Chat]
Nats lose two out of three in Atlanta to fall even further back. [Nats Insider]
Bryce Harper had a pretty eventful three games in Atlanta. [Nats Journal]
Taylor Jordan had a good year, before getting shutdown. [Nats Journal]
Redskins guard Josh LeRibeus got all fat this offseason. [The Insider]
Programming note: We are doing an Open Thread for Redskins-Steelers tonight, if you’re interested.
Just some midsummer basketball porn for you courtesy of Dez Wells and the Terps, who are down in the Bahamas playing an exhibition game. Don’t tell Spencer Barks it’s just a glorified practice, though. That’s midseason bench cheerleading form right there.
Last week we linked up Grantland’s interview with Alex Len. Now an exchange contained therein is making the rounds. Here it is:
Bill Simmons: “So, like the last month of the season you were playing hurt?”
Alex Len: “Yeah.”
Simmons: “And you knew it? Did you tell anybody?”
Len: “Yeah, I told my trainers, but we treated it like a regular, like, ankle sprain. We did a lot of treatment. Icing, stuff like that, steam. But we decided to do MRI after the season. After the season, we found out I had a problem in there.”
Jalen Rose: “Bill, when you’re in college they don’t want you to get it [the MRI] during the season. It benefits them for you to finish the season.”
Simmons: “I don’t love that idea. The MRI should have happened before.”