With Midnight Madness (like my colleague, I refuse to call it Maryland Madness and wish they'd move everything back to midnight) tomorrow, it's time to prep yourself for the 2008-2009 Basketball season. You can view a breakdown of the Terps basketball schedule here.
The Men's team features 3 freshmen (assuming Jin Soo Kim clears the NCAA clearinghouse, which as of this morning he had not) who will all likely contribute instantly to this team.
Sean Mosley - after an off-season of seemingly endless recruiting woes (Jennings transferring, the recruiting disaster of Evans and then having and 2 minutes later not having Bobby Maze, having Sean Mosley finally have an acceptable SAT score and being admitted was a sigh of relieve for Terps fans. Mosely is a 6'4" guard from St. Frances Academy in Baltimore who can do it all - shoot, rebound, and handle the basketball. I wouldn't be surprised to see him start off the season on the bench behind Eric Hayes but eventually take over Hayes' starting spot midway through the season as a shooting guard. From the highlights I've seen of Mosley, he has a good shot, has the ability to dish the ball and can rebound. I think he needs to work on his endurance, defense, and being more involved when he doesn't have the ball in his hands. He should have an immediate impact on this team though...hopefully as big as the last shooting guard to come out of Baltimore and play for the Terps.
Here is a video of some of Mosley's highlights from the Charm City Challenge Basketball game. Mosley had a good game, and was playing against talented players that are committed to other D1 schools such as Georgetown.
SportsGroove TV: Baltimore Wins Charm City Challenge (via MLBMarkG)
The next Terps freshman is center Steve Goins. Goins was a somewhat late addition to the Terps squad, filling a huge hole in the front court due to James Gist and BOOOM Osby graduating and because of the summer transfer of forward Gus Gilchrist. Goins is a 3-star center/power forward that could contribute this year for the Terps. A lot of his playing time will be determined by the actions of other Terps players, including Braxton Dupree and Jerome Burney. ( Allegedly, Dupree has subtracted fat for muscle this summer, but hopefully he's picked up on how to boxout and grab rebounds).
Goins has the size and athletic ability to push people around under the basket. I think he could get playing time, especially if other veterans aren't getting the job done in the front court. I think Gary is going to have a lot of these guys on a short leash, so if they don't perform or if Goins outperforms veterans in practice, expect to see him getting significant minutes.
Goins' biggest weaknesses seem to be his play under the basket and his ability to rebound, so unless he can improve on those over the summer, his playing time might be limited this year. But Goins' biggest upside is his potential - he could be a great player and has the athletic ability to do so. The only question is will he. You can read about Goins here from an article earlier in the year by the Baltimore Sun's Matt Bracken.
The final Terps freshman, still unofficially, is Jin Soo Kim. Kim, a forward originally from Korea (I believe he would be the first Korean-born player in Men's D1 basketball) who was originally committed to the class of 2009. Kim has reclassified for 2008, probably because of the transfer of Gus Gilchris.Currently, Kim is still awaiting clearance from the NCAA Clearing house. Hopefully this will happen shortly since practice can begin tomorrow.
Kim is going to be a good player and I think he's going to turn some heads in college. He has great ability around the basket - using the backboard, cleaning up trash and turning it into buckets; he just has a great touch under the basket. He also has a good mid-range jump shot and is good from the free-throw line. Kim could work his way into the starting line up, depending on how well Landon Milbourne progresses and how Cliff Tucker, Jerome Burney and Braxton Dupree play and how Gary decides to use each of them (does he use Tucker as a guard, etc.). If Kim is able to play in 2008, I'd be much less worried about MD's frontcourt, but still a little concerned as Kim's biggest downside (no pun intended), is his size. Although Kim's long arms are great for grabbing rebounds and inTERPcepting passes, they also show Kim's lack of muscle and size. Kim will benefit well from a college weight lifting program but this year could get pushed around somewhat inside, especially once ACC play starts. Kim makes Ibekwe his freshman year look like Barry Bonds. Check out a highlight video of Kim below.