The Washington Times - November 20, 2008, 03:23PM

If there is a mystery man on Maryland’s roster, it’s probably Steve Goins.

The freshman has the combination of not being all that highly touted, agreeing to come to Maryland over the summer, and not getting cleared until just a few weeks before practice started.


At the least, it’s not the formula for a guy who’s a lock to make an impact. But the 6-foot-10, 260-pounder has played in Maryland’s first two games, and is making progress in practice.

“Goins is getting better,” coach Gary Williams said. “I think the light’s gone off. A player has to want to play. I’ve seen guys come into programs where they accept right away what their position is. If you’re the 12th man, and you accept that, you’ll  never get past that. Well, Goins figures out when he bumps into someone, it hurts.

“There’s a good study out there on big guys. You remember when you were in seventh grade and the biggest guy in the class, how everybody made fun of him. I think there’s a tendency where you either become a bully or you try to become this nice guy that everybody likes. I think Steve’s the latter. Steve’s a nice guy, but I don’t want him [to be] that nice guy.”

The in-game numbers might be there at any point this season. In eight minutes, he has one pointand one rebound in eight minutes —- all after the Terrapins‘ first two games were long-since decided.

But if he gets better in a new environment —- and helps Braxton Dupree and Jerome Burney improve, too —- he could emerge as a useful cog as the year progresses.

“He is in development, as we say,” Williams said. “He’s not where you want to be yet. I just look at where he’s come from since the first day of practice and I’m impressed with what he’s done. The stuff he does in conditioning, he’s never done anything like that in his life. He never lifted a weight in his life. That’s all new.”

—- Patrick Stevens