Morris won't confirm report that he's returning

He wants to stay, graduate next year, his mother says

March 01, 2000|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- When the season began, Terence Morris' mother thought she would see him play his final game at Cole Field House tonight.

Now, she is not so sure.

Morris declined to comment to the media yesterday, when the Washington Post reported that he had told his mother, Roxanne Bright, he would return for a fourth and final season with Maryland.

"He did say that he wanted to get his degree," Bright said yesterday. "If his grades are good, he wants to stay at Maryland and graduate next year."

Morris talked to his mother about his plans early last week.

"I wanted to know now what he's planning, so that I know what to do to keep him straight," Bright said. "He told his brothers and sisters last summer that he was going to stay at Maryland for four years. I did think this would be his last year. It's his decision."

The 6-foot-9 Morris, who is projected as a small forward in the NBA, would most likely be at least a lottery pick in the June draft if he chose to enter his name. The Atlantic Coast Conference Preseason Player of the Year has said he would consider staying for four years and following the model established by the likes of Tim Duncan and Keith Van Horn.

Morris has made just 41.5 percent of his field-goal attempts in ACC games, but in all games he is among the conference's top 10 in six of nine statistical categories. He has made a sizable contribution to a school single-season ACC win streak, which should reach nine games against Florida State (11-14, 6-8) tonight.

That streak began in Tallahassee on Jan. 29, when Maryland (21-7, 10-4) beat the Seminoles, 82-63. Another Terps win would clinch second place in the ACC for the second straight year.

NOTES: Maryland finishes the regular season at Virginia on Saturday. The Terps can notch 12 ACC wins for the third time in their history. They were 12-4 in 1994-95, and set a school record with 13 conference wins last season. The Terps have 49 wins over the past two seasons, and the last time they won 50 times in a two-season span was from 1971 to '73. With Juan Dixon leading the way, Maryland has made 50 percent of its three-pointers in the past four games and elevated its mark to a season-high .360. Steve Blake's next assist will tie the Maryland freshman record of 178 set by John Lucas in 1972-73.

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