As roommates during their preparations for tonight's 25th annual Capital Classic, Lonnie Baxter and Danny Miller, both University of Maryland signees, have plenty to talk about.
They can discuss the immediate future that involves leading the Capital All-Stars against the U.S. All-Stars at 7: 30 p.m. at MCI Center in Washington, and their more distant futures with the Terps.
Baxter, a 6-foot-8, 250-pound forward from Hargrave Military Prep in Virginia, is hoping for a shot at the position vacated by senior Rodney Elliott (Dunbar). Miller, a 6-7 swingman from Rancocas Valley High in New Jersey, is hoping to step in for senior Sarunas Jasikevicius.
"It's not going to be a cakewalk, and no one's guaranteed a position," said Baxter. "But I'm the type of person who feels like if I give it my all, I can be there."
This past season, Baxter averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds, shooting 85 percent from the free throw line and 48 percent from the field. Most importantly, said Baxter, who also attended Richard Montgomery High in Rockville, "I got my grades up, qualified and signed early."
"I came to Hargrave at about 264 pounds, but I worked hard, got the weight off. I can run better, jump higher," said Baxter.
Baxter called Maryland's campus "like a second home. I've been zTC there so many times -- and with my parents being able to see me play, it's like my own back yard."
But the experience is going to be more of a ground-breaking one for Miller, who signed early with the Terps after narrowing his choices to Maryland, Duke and Virginia.
"Danny's our first player to go to an ACC school, which was a very difficult decision for him," Rancocas Valley coach Ron Powell said. "I remember [Duke coach] Mike Krzyzewski sitting in his living room on Sept. 10.
A 3.5 student with an SAT score of 1,240, Miller helped Rancocas win state titles in his sophomore (1996) and senior (1998) seasons.
Named a Parade All-American and South New Jersey's Player of the Year, he averaged 20.5 points, nine rebounds and four assists during this past regular season, and 28 points and 12 rebounds during the playoffs. The Red Devils finished 25-4.
Miller's older brother, Greg, is a redshirt sophomore at Virginia.
There is one Baltimore connection this year, with former Lake Clifton star Kevin Braswell on the U.S. team. Braswell graduates in June from Maine Central Prep Institute and will sign with Georgetown today.
"I saw a couple of my friends the other night and I want to show them how much better I've gotten," said Braswell, who led Maine Central to a 35-0 record, averaging 21 points, nine assists and 4.3 rebounds.
Braswell's teammates includes the sons of NBA legends Moses Malone and Bill Walton -- Moses Malone Jr. of Friendswood High (Texas) and Luke Walton of University High (California).
Moses Malone Sr., part of the inaugural Capital Classic in 1974, will be honored tonight.
Donte Smith, 6-2, Anacostia, undecided; Nate Green, 6-6, Pallotti, Dayton; Fred Primus, 6-3, Notre Dame (Va.), Pittsburgh; Dereck Franklin, 5-10, Chantilly (Va.), Boston U.; Ronald Curry, 6-2, Hampton (Va.), North Carolina; Jason Capel, 6-8, St. John's-Prospect Hall, North Carolina; Rick Smith, 6-3, Pallotti, Marist; Tim Washington, 6-9, Archbishop Carroll, East Carolina; Patrick Doctor, 6-8, Gwynn Park, American; Souleymane Camara, 6-11, Oak Hill (Va.), Kentucky; Lonnie Baxter, 6-8, Hargrave Military (Va.), Maryland; Danny Miller, 6-7, Rancocas Valley (N.J.).
Broderick Hicks, 6-2, Strake Jesuit (Texas), Wake Forest; Moses Malone Jr., 6-6, Friendswood (Texas), Houston; Luke Walton, 6-9, University (Calif.), Arizona; Jeff Boschee, 6-2, Valley City (N.J.), Kansas; Jermaine Clark, 6-5, St. Patrick (N.J.), St. Bonaventure; Dane Fife, 6-4, Clarkston (Mich.), Indiana; Adam Harrington, 6-4, Pioneer Valley (Mass.), N.C. State; Anthony Glover, 6-6, Manhattan Rice (N.Y.), undecided; Keith Bean, 6-8, Maine Central (Maine), N.C. State; Troy Murphy, 6-10, Delbarton (N.J.), Notre Dame; Corey Maggette, 6-6, Fenwick (Ill.), Duke; Kevin Braswell, Maine Central (Maine)/Lake Clifton (Balt.), 6-2, Georgetown.
Events: Preliminary -- District All-Stars vs. Suburban (Maryland, Virginia) All-Stars.
Main event -- Capital All-Stars (Maryland, Washington, Virginia) vs. U.S. All-Stars.
When: Tonight. Preliminary game, 5: 30; main event, 7:30
Where: MCI Center, Washington
Tickets: Available at all Ticketmaster outlets or by phone at 410-481-SEAT. Prices $17.50 (lower level), $12.50 (mid-level), $7.50 (upper level).
Pub Date: 4/08/98