Despite injury, Smith keeps toehold


November 06, 1994|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Sun Staff Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- Despite sitting out a couple of practices last week because of it, Maryland center Joe Smith doesn't seem to be bothered too much by the jammed big toe on his right foot.

Smith, a consensus preseason All-American going into his sophomore year, dominated the team's intrasquad scrimmage yesterday. Though he didn't put up 40 points on 16-for-17 shooting as he did two weeks ago, the rest of the Terrapins couldn't stop him.

Playing against Smith might help prepare junior Mario Lucas or freshman Rodney Elliott, but does it help get Smith ready for the season? "It's sort of easier to turn and shoot over guys who are 6-8," said Smith, who had 22 points on 9-for-11 shooting, to go along with 10 rebounds. "And we don't really work on double teams in scrimmages like this."

Lucas, Bristol impress

Coach Gary Williams says he continues to be pleased by the effort and performance of Lucas and senior guard Wayne Bristol.

Bristol was the high scorer yesterday, with 27 points on 10-for-18 shooting and in one stretch made three straight three-point shots.

"The thing about Wayne is that he never stops. He gets a lot of his points off his defense," Williams said.

Looking back and ahead

The Terps had a player from their past and possibly one in their future at the scrimmage.

Keith Gatlin, who finished his career in 1988 as the school's all-time assist leader, was home during a two-week break from his pro team in Hagen, Germany.

"It's good to see the team back on top again, and all the excitement from the fans" said Gatlin, 28, who recently became engaged.

The other player is Obinna Ekieze, a 6-9, 270-pound center from Nigeria who plays at Worcester (Mass.) Academy. Ekieze made his official visit to the campus this week. It is not known whether he will announce his intentions during the fall signing period that begins Wednesday.

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