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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Shaquille Cleare
"This year people have been pressuring me about filling in for Alex, but I'm really not that pressured," Cleare said. "I'm just going to come in this year and do what I got to do: rebound, run the floor, jump shots, screens -- do anything to get the win at the end of the game."
Now it's time for the Maryland Terps to grow up and play in March with the big boys. Nothing less than the school's first NCAA tournament appearance since 2010 will suffice for a team eager to create a lasting memory during its final season in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Maryland coach Mark Turgeon knows youthful inconsistency is part of the package when deploying a roster dominated by underclassmen. But during the Terrapins' 72-59 win over Clemson on Saturday, he saw his team showcase an unexpected trait: stability.
As James Padgett has soldiered through his senior season, the forward's dwindling minutes have stood in contrast to his elder statesman status. Out with veteran savvy, in with youthful potential.
Maryland spread the wealth, with six players — Logan Aronhalt, Alex Len, Jake Layman, James Padgett, Seth Allen and Dez Wells — scoring in double figures. Aronhalt led the way with 13 points, while Padgett poured in 12 on 6-for-6 shooting in his second start of ACC play.
The stream of early season cupcakes didn't leave Maryland soft and weak Saturday when the Terrapins faced Virginia Tech in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener. Although opponents hadn't offered much resistance as Mark Turgeon's squad reeled off 12 consecutive wins, regular practice sessions made his team hard, strong and hungry to devour a real foe.
Maryland closed out nonconference play Tuesday with a 81-63 defeat of IUPUI, its 12th straight victory coming against the latest random and overmatched opponent to enter Comcast Center.
Shaquille Cleare might not have arrived at Maryland as a perfectly polished player.
Bothered by the zone defense and slow motion offense put forth by South Carolina State on Saturday, Maryland struggled on offense but performed well enough to take a hard-earned 61-46 win over the Bulldogs.
Mark Turgeon's thoughts drifted to Shaquille Cleare specifically and his team's depth in general as he navigated his way home from Verizon Center after Sunday's defeat of George Mason.
Last Wednesday's film session was a rough one for freshman forward Charles Mitchell. Even in an 83-74 win over Lafayette, head coach Mark Turgeon focused on everything that the Terrapins – and Mitchell in particular – did wrong.
Maryland center Shaquille Cleare checked into an exhibition game this month. Within three minutes, the burly freshman's first shot, and a dunk attempt at that, bounced astray.
Shaquille Cleare tucked his 6-foot-9, 270 pound frame into a folding chair on the Comcast Center court Tuesday afternoon during Maryland's basketball media day.
There's quite a drama playing out in Maryland's athletic department, where it's the best of times and worst of times in the Terrapins' "Tale of Two Programs."
And then there were two. Mark Turgeon replaced Gary Williams as Maryland's men's basketball coach last May. Exactly one year later, only two players from the old regime remain at College Park. So let's hear it for the sole survivors, rising senior James Padgett and rising junior Pe'Shon Howard.
When asked how he lost five pounds in four days, Cleare said it was, "Eating right, extra cardios after all the workouts, hit the stairs, hit the bikes -- nutrition is important. I know my team is going to need me this year so I'm going to have to be in tip-top shape."
"I think last year going into Barclays we weren't that prepared," Cleare said.