Terps opt not to keep up with Jones

MARYLAND NOTEBOOK

With plenty of forwards, team is no longer interested in junior-college standout

October 27, 1999|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

The Maryland staff apparently has concluded that three established junior wings for the 2000-2001 season are enough.

The Terps planned for Homecoming weekend visits Friday from a pair of highly regarded forwards. Chris Wilcox, a 6-foot-9 power forward from North Carolina, is still expected in, but yesterday, Maryland called Tallahassee Community College to say it is no longer interested in Antwan Jones, one of the nation's top junior-college prospects.

Jones, 6-8, is expected to play small forward when he reaches the NCAA level next season. Juan Dixon and Danny Miller, who will be first-year starters for the Terps this season, will be juniors then, as will Byron Mouton, another wing who transferred after showing his potential at Tulane.

"Billy Hahn [Maryland's senior assistant coach] called me today and informed me that they're not bringing in Antwan for a visit after all," Tallahassee coach Mike Gillespie said. "Billy told me that, in Gary Williams' words, they're satisfied with Mouton.

"The amazing thing is, [Jones] was really enamored to play in the ACC. He grew up about 90 miles away from here. Maryland would have had a great shot at getting him. They canceled the visit three days before the kid was supposed to visit them. He'll be devastated."

Gillespie said Jones was as productive as any player he's had in nine seasons at Tallahassee, including Bootsy Thornton, the Dunbar High graduate who is a senior at St. John's. Jones is a preseason junior-college All-American for a program expected to contend for the NJCAA championship. Tallahassee will start Marcus Hatten, a Mervo product, at the two-guard spot.

Maryland has made other junior-college calls, as the Terps' staff has been in contact with Reggie Evans, a power forward from Pensacola, Fla., who will anchor Coffeyville Community College in the rugged Kansas league. Evans has taken no campus visits, and will not sign a letter of intent until the spring.

By then, the Terps will know if star forward Terence Morris will return for his senior season. The junior from Frederick is a prime NBA prospect, and if he leaves early, Maryland will need to add a mobile big man or two like Evans, Wilcox or Abdou Diame, the 6-9 native of Senegal who is at Oak Hill (Va.) Academy.

Catch Terps early

It's usually impossible to purchase a ticket for an ACC game at Cole Field House, but seats are available for nearly all of Maryland's non-conference games.

The Terps again sold out approximately 9,800 season tickets. A block of 4,000 seats are reserved for students, but not all are always used.

Single-game tickets are available for exhibition games against the Down-Under All-Stars on Nov. 3 and the California All-Stars on Nov. 9, and the first two rounds of the NIT, against San Francisco on Nov. 17 and the Fordham-Tulane winner Nov. 19. To order tickets, telephone 1-800-462-8377.

Tickets could become available for Fairleigh Dickinson (Nov. 22); Winthrop (Dec. 7); George Mason (Dec. 27); UMBC (Dec. 30) and Coastal Carolina (Jan. 2).

Nearly 4,000 tickets, priced at $20, are available for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge against Iowa on Nov. 30 at Baltimore Arena. The BB&T Classic at MCI Center on Dec. 4 and 5, which will match Maryland against Illinois and George Washington against Seton Hall in the semifinals, has plenty of seats left. Only two-day packages, at $60, are on sale at this time.

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