Terps guards making their point

Point guard appears to be least-settled position in Maryland's starting lineup


College Park -- Life at the University of Maryland is a little different for Parrish Brown, a junior college transfer from Kennedy-King College in Chicago. He doesn't have to drive 30 minutes to his first class, the academic resources available astound him, and he's in the mix to be a starting point guard in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Then again, so are several of his teammates.

Coach Gary Williams said at media day yesterday he and his staff have struggled to define a starting lineup, and part of their hang-up has been at point guard.

Williams pointed out that D.J. Strawberry played the position against Syracuse two years ago, and that Sterling Ledbetter started the last four games of last season at the position. He also added Brown to the mix, and Chris McCray.

"The point guard is going to be very competitive," Williams said. "We'll have to see. It's going to be interesting. A lot of that is going to be who runs the team the best, not who's the most spectacular, but who gets us in our offense, who plays the best defense on the other team's point guard - all those things go into it."

Brown was the starting guard for the past two seasons at Kennedy-King, with which he averaged 22 points, five assists and five rebounds. McCray started at the No. 2 position for the Terps for the past two seasons and averaged 14.1 points last year. Strawberry, who said he is 100 percent after missing the majority of last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, is one of the team's top defenders and can play three positions.

"It's going to be kind of fun to see us competing out there for the spot," Brown said. "There was an opportunity to play right away, and it was a good situation for me coming out of junior college. I fit in great."

New assistants

Michael Adams, who was most recently coach of the Washington Mystics and a former player for Williams at Boston College, was introduced yesterday as a new assistant coach, along with Rob Moxley, who spent the last seven years at North Carolina-Charlotte. They replaced Dave Dickerson and Mike Lonergan, both of whom earned head coaching jobs during the offseason.

Five assistants have left since the end of the 2001 season, and four of them are now in head coaching positions elsewhere.

"We've had a little bit of change with the assistant coaches," senior forward Nik Caner-Medley said. "A few guys have been in and out, but for the most part it's not going to disrupt the team at all."

That was then ...

Williams was asked yesterday about his expectations for junior guard Mike Jones, a highly touted recruit out of Thayer Academy in Massachusetts. His immediate response slightly deviated:

"Get your McDonald's All-American list out from three years ago and see how many guys are doing well in college right now," Williams said. "It's the most overrated thing I've seen. All those lists are bad.

"People say we don't get McDonald's All-Americans," he said, referencing Jones and Travis Garrison as proof otherwise. "That's not quite true. What that means is you've had a great high school career and now you move up to a much tougher level. Mike had games last year where he showed some really good things, but you have to be able to do that every day in practice."


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