Maryland Basketball Media Day Roundup: Turgeon Cautiously Optimistic on Len's Eligibility

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 18: Head coach Mark Turgeon of the Texas A&M Aggies reacts in the first half of the game against the Florida State Seminoles during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the United Center on March 18, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Today was Maryland basketball's media day, introducing the new player(s) and giving media members a chance to grill the team before Maryland Madness kicks off on Friday. I'm fully expecting an outpouring of very similar and mostly superflous articles to flood my Google Reader for the MM tomorrow, but with the magic of Twitter we need not even wait until then.

Thanks to liberal tweet updates from WNST and D1scourse, we have a pretty good idea of what was going on earlier today in Comcast. Feel free to peruse them at your leisure, but I took the liberty of curating a few money quotes on the day.

Like my favorite one, here:

Turgeon on Bino: "Bino thinks he could recruit God." #Terps
Oct 12 via TwitBirdFavoriteRetweetReply

 

And I wouldn't bet against him. More past the jump.

Back on the court, we have Ashton Pankey breaking the Swag-O-Meter:

Pankey says he can help #Terps immediately with rebounding and can see himself leading #ACC in rebounding in a few months.
Oct 12 via TwitBirdFavoriteRetweetReply

 

Pretty big proclamation for a guy who hasn't played competitive basketball in near two years. Like the confidence, though. And hey, Mark Turgeon claims that the big men actually are a little better than we all assumed, even if he tempers that by saying the guards aren't as strong, either:

Turgeon on early impressions: "My bigs aren't as bad as everybody thought and my guards aren't as good as everyone thought."
Oct 12 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply

 

Two of the guards he seems less than enamored with are Terrell Stoglin and Mychal Parker, of whom he made some tepid remarks.

Turgeon on Parker: "Mike's got to get his confidence back. ... Mike's got to learn how to consistently work harder every day."
Oct 12 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply

Turgeon says he needs Stoglin to be more than just a scorer. "Kids get so caught up in numbers." #Terps
Oct 12 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

 

The most interesting and meaningful info, however, was on Alex Len, the big Ukranian who may or may not be suiting up for the Terrapins this year, depending on how the NCAA Clearinghouse sees him. There, Turgeon is cautiously optimistic, with WNST saying Turgeon feels he has a "good case" to not miss any games, even if he admits it's a pretty difficult process to predict.

Over at D1scourse HQ, Patrick Stevens expands on the situation a little bit. As it stands now ... well, we'll him explain it:

Maryland basketball coach Mark Turgeon said the Terrapins are still waiting to hear about center Alex Len's status with the NCAA clearinghouse. Turgeon said he was told the NCAA will make a decision Friday, a choice that will likely render Len ineligible.

From that point, a committee will re-examine the case. Turgeon said that should happen within a week.

"With everything Alex has been through, it could be zero games, it could be four games, it could be a year," Turgeon said. "But we feel very strong about our case and hopefully we're going to get a positive outcome and it won't be much more than zero if it is more than zero games he has to sit."

Turgeon also mentions that the NCAA has "reached out to the bad guys" to get more information on Len's situation. Translation: they're talking to his former team back in Ukraine, a situation with some trappings of the Enes Kanter snafu last season. Hopefully things are smoothed over a little easier than they were in that one - Kanter, after all, missed out on the entire season.

That should be enough to tide everyone over until Friday night. I know, I can't wait either.

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