Dixon meets SAT requirement, likely to join Terps next month Calvert Hall guard still needs NCAA clearance

November 25, 1997|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- Juan Dixon, an All-Metro guard at Calvert Hall last season, has met the NCAA requirements for freshman eligibility and is expected to join the Maryland basketball team next month.

Dixon had signed a letter of intent with the Terps, but only recently received an SAT score high enough for him to qualify to play as a freshman. Once his case is approved by an NCAA clearinghouse, he can enroll as a full-time student for the spring semester and begin practicing with Maryland Dec. 21, the day after first-semester exams end.

Even if he's enrolled and eligible, Dixon still might not play for Maryland this season. Freshman forward LaRon Cephas went through a similar situation last year and was redshirted. In Cephas' case, the Terps didn't experience any serious injuries last year, but this team is thin in the backcourt.

Dixon could not be reached to comment. Coach Gary Williams cannot comment until Dixon is officially cleared, but Mark Amatucci, his high school coach, expressed relief.

"I'm elated for Juan," Amatucci said. "He was a legitimate 2.2 student here, and he needed a 930 on the SAT to qualify. He got a 1,000.

"It's been rather difficult for both of us. You hear people talking, 'Why didn't he pass, how could this happen to a kid from Calvert Hall?' Juan isn't a bad student, but he's not the best test-taker. He continued with his tutoring. This is something I always knew he could do."

Dixon was a three-time first-team All-Metro. Last season he averaged 23.4 points and 4.5 rebounds for Calvert Hall, which was runner-up to St. Frances in the Catholic League.

The 2-1 Terps, meanwhile, play their third straight game at Cole Field House tonight (7: 30) against Florida International. The Terps, who moved into the AP Top 25 yesterday at No. 24, said they'll have no difficulty taking them seriously, since the Golden Panthers weren't that far behind the College of Charleston in the Trans America Athletic Conference last season.

That's the same College of Charleston that beat Maryland, 75-66, in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

"I showed them their [Florida International's] scores against Charleston last year, and that was that," Williams said. "They lost a buzzer-beater at Charleston."

Forward Laron Profit is on a roll for Maryland, averaging 24.0 points on 56.9 percent shooting and 9.0 rebounds.

Pub Date: 11/25/97

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