There was no way around it in Maryland coach Mark Turgeon‘s first season —- his team simply didn’t have much bulk, especially in the opening third of the year when Alex Len was ineligible.
Turgeon’s early impression of his second team in College Park is that issue no longer exists.
“Our big guys, it’s a bunch of men down there,” Turgeon said Thursday. “I know they’re young, but it’s physical.”
The Terps signed Shaq Cleare and Charles Mitchell, and senior James Padgett is also back after playing by far the largest role of his career last season.
Then there’s the 7-foot-1 Len, who didn’t arrive at Maryland until just before classes started last August, was declared ineligible for 10 games and eventually had an inconsistent season.
Len averaged 6.0 points and 5.4 rebounds in 22 games for the Terrapins, occasionally demonstrating the skillset that made his debut so anticipated last season.
Turgeon’s seen things to make him believe Len has grown —- not just with his weight, though that is one improvement.
“He’s definitely gotten bigger,” Turgeon said. “He’s about 245. I think he was about 225 when he got here. He’s definitely bigger. He goes from anywhere between 242 and 248 depending on the workouts. He’s better. We haven’t gotten full court, but in the halfcourt against some good players, he’s better.”
—- Patrick Stevens