"Never is better than late" may be the motto of a couple of recent collegians with Maryland ties.
Maryland's Cedric Lewis and Coppin State's Larry Stewart were among those who were not chosen in the NBA draft last night. Now they will try to peddle their wares to any NBA clubs willing to extend an invitation to their rookie and free-agent camps.
"Sometimes it's better to be a free agent and to select a place that's good for you," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "I'd like to see Cedric [6 feet 9, 220-pound center/forward] get a chance. I think he deserves a chance to play for a professional team."
Coppin State coach Fang Mitchell took that idea one step farther.
"I spoke to Larry's agents on Tuesday, and they said that if Larry wasn't drafted in the first round, they hoped that he wouldn't be picked in the second, so he could have some say in where he wanted to go."
Mitchell said Stewart has received up to eight training camp invitations from various NBA clubs, including New Jersey and Miami.
One question surrounding Stewart is his height -- he is listed as 6-7, but was measured at 6-5 1/2 in the pre-draft camp held in Chicago.
"If anything, that would be his disadvantage," Mitchell said. "But at least he only lost an inch and a half. [UNLV's] Stacey Augmon went from 6-8 to 6-6. I always say that you have to do one thing well to make yourself stand out-Larry rebounds. All he wants is the opportunity to show what he can do."
Former Maryland guard Steve Hood, who finished his college career at James Madison, will also have to work to get his shot. Sacramento made him the 15th pick in the second round, the 42nd overall.