- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Charles Hinkle adapts as American’s shooting star
Question of the Day
Charles Hinkle’s emergence as American’s most potent offensive force germinated in offseason workouts and especially during the Eagles’ summer trip to Europe.
There was only one problem — and an unusual one — for coach Jeff Jones.
“I’d yell at him ‘Shoot the damn ball. Quit trying to make plays and just shoot it,’ ” Jones said. “Some guys would go an entire career and not have a coach tell them that.”
Hinkle, though, isn’t familiar with serving as a primary scorer. Far from it.
Not in high school. Not in his one year at a prep school. Not at Vanderbilt, where he played two seasons before transferring.
And not a year ago, when he played behind Vlad Moldoveanu and averaged 4.5 points and 13.1 minutes.
It would seem, though, the senior is making up for it this season.
Hinkle is one of two Division I players in the D.C. area averaging 20 points, along with Maryland’s Terrell Stoglin, and leads the Patriot League in scoring (20.6 points per game).
“I never really averaged this many points in my life,” Hinkle said. “It’s something that’s kind of amazing, but I try not to think about that.”
Instead, he’s trying to nudge the Eagles (9-6) into Patriot League contention over the next two months, starting with Saturday’s visit by Colgate (5-8).
Hinkle considered American when initially choosing a school but opted for the appeal of playing in a major conference at a well-regarded school. Eventually, though, the absence of playing time became a concern.
There was just one variable Hinkle had to massage: selling a transfer to his mother, who did not finish college and wanted her son to graduate.
“That was the hardest thing to explain to her: I wanted to play basketball and I’ll still get my degree, but I just want to have an opportunity to play somewhere else,” Hinkle said.
Hinkle sagely sold it as a chance to attend a well-regarded business school and received his mother’s blessing. The Eagles are equally grateful for her OK with Hinkle’s scorching two months, but it didn’t take long for them to realize how good the transfer could be.
“I’m not surprised in the least,” junior guard Daniel Munoz said. “As soon as he came here from Vandy my freshman year, you could tell he had a shot. He could score off the dribble, he could shoot and he was a pretty smart player.”
Munoz saw signs in the spring the 6-foot-5, 205-pounder was willing to command the ball. Over the summer, Hinkle sensed a change in his own play as he played a large role on offense for his summer league team in Los Angeles.
Now comes the balance of remaining aggressive without forcing shots against teams that know exactly who he is.
“He’s got to understand now, and I thought he did a better job [Monday at Brown], is that it’s his fault,” Jones said. “He’s earned respect. He’s the first guy our opponents are going to talk about in their scouting reports now. He can’t expect it to come as easy as it did in the first three or four games.”
Injuries to senior guard Troy Brewer haven’t helped American, which won eight straight before dropping its last four games in December. Brewer missed two games with a toe injury, and Jones said he will sit out Saturday with a sprained ankle.
That will place more attention on Hinkle, who has capably handled challenges throughout his breakout season.
“Seeing him here and the way he’s handled the spotlight, he’s really humble,” Munoz said. “It’s like he’s been doing it his whole life.”
Not bad for someone who hasn’t at all.
“I’m just trying to take it as it comes, but it’s a wild journey,” Hinkle said.
One, the Eagles hope, with a more than a few high-scoring days to come.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Patrick Stevens has covered Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic college sports for more than a decade. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- George Mason's defense dissipates in 84-74 loss to Northeastern
- Maryland's Pe'Shon Howard willing to let others put ball in the basket
- At 7-5, George Mason looks on the bright side entering CAA play
- Terps beat IUPUI, set for ACC after final tuneup
- Maryland's Jake Layman shows signs of progress in freshman season
Latest Blog Entries
President wants everyone but himself to pay more
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Ted Nugent loses second casino gig for 'racist remarks'
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- White House readies for House GOP impeachment push: 'Foolish' to ignore
- Afghan who killed three U.S. Marines in 2012 to serve over 7-year prison sentence
- EDITORIAL: Obama's 'economic patriotism' means higher taxes
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq