The older brother of Maryland Terrapins senior forward Byron Mouton was shot and killed in an apparent carjacking incident last weekend in Houston, and Mouton is not expected to rejoin the Terps until Sunday.
The Houston Chronicle reported that Kevin Gerard Mouton, 32, was found slumped over the steering wheel of his car with a gunshot wound in his side in the parking lot of a Houston apartment complex around 5:15 a.m. on Sunday. He died minutes later.
A Maryland athletic department source said members of the Mouton family informed Byron of his brother's death after Maryland won the BB&T Classic at MCI Center on Monday night. Byron, who is from Rayne, La., accompanied his family back to Louisiana on Tuesday. The funeral for Kevin Mouton is scheduled for tomorrow.
"There's no way to prepare for anything like this," Terps coach Gary Williams said last night. "You just have to get through the shock of it and feel for Byron. Basketball is not the thing right now. He's got to get things right with himself and his family."
Mouton could not be reached to comment yesterday.
Williams said he wasn't sure whether Mouton will play against Detroit at Cole Field House on Sunday night.
"Hopefully, he can make it back," Williams said. "I'm going to speak to Byron and see how he feels and go from there."
Seminoles looking good
The Florida State Seminoles are younger, leaner, and might have more talent than any other team in the Steve Robinson era. It remains to be seen whether that will pull the Seminoles out of the ACC basement.
Florida State is off to a 3-2 start and will get its first taste of ACC play on Dec. 16 with a visit to Wake Forest. The Seminoles, coming off three consecutive losing seasons and a 9-21 finish a year ago, are playing for the first time with all Robinson recruits.
Although the team will lean heavily on the senior leadership of point guard Delvon Arrington and small forward Antwuan Dixon, it's the youngsters and 6-foot-10 junior center Nigel Dixon - who is lighter than ever at 335 pounds - that could push this squad into the competitive middle of the league standings.
Sophomore power forward Michael Joiner is back after a solid freshman season. He rebounded from an 0-for-15 shooting slump to go 7-for-10 and score 21 points in Tuesday's 78-62 victory over Birmingham Southern. Sophomore guard J.D. Bracy, a partial academic qualifier who sat out a year ago, is angling for a starting job at shooting guard.
But Florida State could be deeper than expected if its freshman trio of forwards Anthony Richardson and Adam Waleskowski and backup point guard Adrian McPherson produces.
McPherson is the backup quarterback on the football team and has practiced sparingly with the basketball team. He should fill a hole behind Arrington. Waleskowski already is getting an average of 13 minutes of playing time. And Richardson, 6-7, who is averaging 9.8 points in only 18.8 minutes, looks like a star in the making. He was considered by many to be the finest collegiate prospect in North Carolina last year.
"It's been fun to watch [Richardson] go from the first day of practice, when he learned that he was a great high school player who couldn't get open and couldn't catch the ball, to a guy who is really learning," said Robinson, who is in his fifth season in Tallahassee with a 55-71 record. "We've been able to play a lot of people and get some real quality playing time for some of the younger guys this year."
As for the older players, no one has been more inspirational than Dixon, who was dubbed "Big Jelly" as a freshman. Dixon was 100 pounds heavier then. He weighed about 375 as a sophomore. Typically, after about three or four hard trips up and down the floor during both seasons, he would be gasping for air.
But after last season ended, Dixon cut fried food out of his diet, committed to drinking water almost exclusively, and began to take his running and weightlifting seriously. The results have been dramatic. Dixon is leading the team in scoring (10.8) and rebounding (6.4) and is averaging a healthy 20.8 minutes.
Leaving no doubt
Maryland talked a lot during the preseason about starting the season strong.
Going into Sunday's game against visiting Detroit, the Terps have made good on their intentions. Not only have they won six in a row, beaten a top 20 team in Temple, whipped No. 2 Illinois and won their fourth BB&T Classic by overcoming the ball-control Princeton Tigers and the fast-breaking Connecticut Huskies, they have crushed opponents in the second half with consistency.
After taking a 12-point halftime lead over Illinois, the Terps stretched that margin to 20 and weathered a bad night at the foul line before winning by 13. After looking frustrated against Princeton and drawing boos for falling behind at the break by 13 points, Maryland scored 33 of the game's final 44 points.