Unanticipated first impressions

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Strictly from the outside looking in, it didn’t seem all that difficult to project how Maryland’s freshmen would fit in.

Jordan Williams was initially going to score, because he scored a ton against shaky high school competition. Maybe there wouldn’t be an immediate impact, but he could be counted on to help with some bench scoring.

James Padgett was going to start off as a garbage man, a rebounds-and-defense sort who wasn’t a major offensive force in high school and whose skillset would get him steady minutes to begin his career.

(At this point, it’s appropriate to accept the “Tsk, tsk” for judging college players based on their high school reputation).

Of course, in the limited looks so far, Padgett is the more polished offensive player. And Williams led Maryland with three offensive rebounds in last night’s exhibition victory.

But don’t feel bad if you thought the early roles would be reversed.

“I had the same feeling,” guard Adrian Bowie said last night.

It’s certainly not a knock on either player, and sticking to initial impressions (or even second impressions) is never the greatest idea.

Especially when the early evidence suggest the expectations were a little out of whack.

“It’s the complete opposite,” Bowie said. “I’m very surprised. I thought Jordan would come in and as wide-bodied as he is, I’m figuring he’s going to score 10 or 12 points. Now I see James with all these moves, he’s rebounding and blocking shots.”

Obviously, both Padgett and Williams will receive plenty of opportunities to demonstrate where there games are at in the coming months (not to mention years). The current state of things isn’t locked in to be the same next season, next month or even next week.

But for now, they’ve already combined for a somewhat unanticipated development – even before their first real game.

Patrick Stevens

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