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Latest Shaquille Cleare Items
"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.