Shooting, rebounding get boost with duo, Terps' Williams says Cephas, forward from Del., still needs qualifying SAT

April 11, 1996|By Ken Murray | Ken Murray,SUN STAFF

Maryland signed two basketball recruits yesterday who figure to improve two of last season's problem areas for the Terps, if all goes as coach Gary Williams expects.

Kelly Hite, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Tampa (Fla.) Catholic, and LaRon Cephas, a 6-7 1/2 power forward from Sanford School in Wilmington, Del., have signed national letters of intent for Maryland, Williams said.

Hite averaged 15.4 points last season, shooting 53 percent from the field. Cephas averaged 23 points, 16 rebounds and five blocked shots, playing mostly in the post for the tiny private school that had 44 students in its senior class.

"The way we shot the ball this year, any improvement in shooting would be good," Williams said. "The height [of Cephas] brings a legitimate threat inside. Rebounding was a problem this year.

"Like any recruits, they have to do it at this level. You saw what Terrell Stokes, Laron Profit and Obinna Ekezie did at this level last season. That's what you want out of your freshmen."

There was only one snag in yesterday's signings. Cephas has not yet gotten a qualifying score on the Scholastic Assessment Test. Sanford coach Stan Waterman said Cephas had taken the test recently and was awaiting his score.

"We expect that he will [qualify]," Waterman said.

In a worst-case scenario, Waterman said Maryland would take Cephas as a partial qualifier, under new Atlantic Coast Conference rules. But partial qualifiers must sit out one season.

Waterman called Cephas a "rebounding machine," who amassed 1,614 points, 1,199 rebounds and 365 blocks in three years at Sanford.

"He's done everything for us," Waterman said. "With Maryland's style of play, I think LaRon will fit right in. He's very athletic. If he rebounds like he's capable, it will get him minutes [on the court]."

Hite said his only expectation was to "come in and work as hard as possible."

"[Williams] said I definitely have a chance to come in and play," Hite said. "He said they don't recruit anyone to sit on the bench."

Tampa Catholic coach Don Dziagwa said he had four players average double-figure points this season. "If Kelly played for a lot of other [teams], he would have averaged 25," Dziagwa said.

Pub Date: 4/11/96

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