Jasikevicius sweet on Terps

April 28, 1994|By Gary LambrechtDon Markus | Gary LambrechtDon Markus,Sun Staff Writer

Sarunas Jasikevicius remembers when Maryland grabbed his attention. It was the day the Terps opened the 1993-94 season with an overtime victory against Georgetown.

Jasikevicius began following the Terps after that, watching them all the way to the NCAA tournament's Sweet 16 round. By that time, Maryland had returned the favor by pursuing Jasikevicius.

Yesterday, the Terps gained a promising shooting guard when Jasikevicius signed a letter of intent to come to College Park this fall.

"Maryland is a great team in a great conference. I love the campus, I really like the players and the coaches, and I like the gym a lot," said Jasikevicius, a native of Lithuania who moved to Quarryville, Pa., last year and attended Solanco High School as a senior.

Jasikevicius, 6 feet 4, 190 pounds, immediately established himself as a three-point shooting threat, and he went on to average 20.5 points, seven rebounds and 4.5 assists. He helped Solanco to a 21-4 record, which included a 17-game winning streak.

"I didn't know anything about high school or college ball when I came here," said Jasikevicius, who also was recruited by Syracuse, Seton Hall and Pittsburgh. "Basketball is much more physical and more fun to play here, and more people come to watch the games.

"It was a big surprise [to be recruited]. I'm still not sure if I'm that good, but the coaches know better than me."

Maryland coach Gary Williams was unavailable for comment.

Don Fisher, Jasikevicius' coach at Solanco High, said the Terps will be rewarded.

"[The Terps] love the way he can shoot the three-pointer, and not only can he shoot it coming off a screen, he can create shots for himself," Fisher said. "Maryland isn't real deep at the guard position, and Sarunas learned from watching the games on TV that the ACC is the best conference.

"I was real pleased with the way Sarunas made his decision. He felt the coaching staff at Maryland was going to push him to be the best player he can be. Sarunas wants to be pushed, and Gary Williams likes to push his players, so I don't think there will be any conflict." Maryland athletic director Andy Geiger said last night that his discussions with Ohio State officials regarding the same position at the Big Ten school should be resolved shortly.

"It'll be a couple of days," Geiger said, when reached by telephone at a hotel outside Jacksonville, Fla., where he is attending an NCAA committee meeting. "Right now I'm keeping my own counsel."

Geiger is considered one of the leading candidates -- and perhaps the top candidate -- for the job left vacant by the retirement of Jim Jones. But Ohio State vice president David Williams, whose office is overseeing the search process, denied a published report in yesterday's Washington Post that said the job was Geiger's to accept or turn down.

Williams said that he hoped to bring the recommendations from the search committee to a scheduled meeting last night with Ohio State president Gordon Gee, who was returning from business in New York. Gee was unavailable for comment.

"We're probably going to get down today to the last two or four candidates," Williams said. "We're taking the position that we do have a short list. If everything goes well, we should have someone named by early next week."

Williams refused to speculate whether Geiger made the final cut. But considering his credentials that include more than 20 years as a Division I athletic director, including nearly the last four at Maryland, it would be surprising if the 55-year-old administrator wasn't on the list.

Williams also said that Geiger hasn't pulled his name from consideration. University of Maryland president William E. Kirwan said yesterday that he hasn't spoken with Geiger since last week.

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