Evans, top shooting guard with troubled past, set to sign with Maryland

Terps basketball

April 16, 2008|By DON MARKUS | DON MARKUS,SUN REPORTER

Tyree Evans, a talented but much-traveled shooting guard whose college basketball career was initially derailed by legal troubles, is expected to sign a national letter of intent today at Maryland.

Bobby Steinburg, the coach at Motlow State Community College in Lynchburg, Tenn., confirmed yesterday that Evans will choose the Terps over Arizona, Florida State and Kansas State.

"That's the plan," Steinburg said.

Evans played one season at Motlow State, where he led a team with six Division I prospects to a 28-5 record by averaging 21.2 points a game. "He could have scored 40 if he wanted," Steinburg said of the 6-foot-3 guard.

Evans, who grew up in Richmond, Va., and attended high school there, initially committed to Kansas State in 2004, but the Wildcats rescinded the offer after Evans was charged with statutory rape while at a prep school in Massachusetts.

The rape charge was dismissed and Evans pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of assault and battery and was placed on two years' probation, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal. He was later dismissed from his team at Butler County (Kan.) Community College, according to the newspaper.

After leaving the prep school, Evans played one season at Butler Community College before coming to Motlow State.

Steinburg, a former Division I assistant who is in his second year as head coach at Motlow State, defended Evans as a person and praised him as a player.

"He's made some mistakes, but he's learned from them," said Steinburg, adding that he looked seriously into the situation at the prep school before taking Evans. "Everything he's done here has been positive. He goes to class. He's not into drugs. He's done nothing here but make the community proud."

Evans finished his high school career as the third-leading single-season scorer in Virginia history with 884 points as a senior, behind Moses Malone and Allen Iverson. At the time, recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons called Evans "the top prep-school wing guard in the nation."

Steinburg said Evans should be one of the top newcomers in the Atlantic Coast Conference next season, and could have an even greater impact by the time he is finished in College Park. Evans will have two years of eligibility left.

"He's got a chance to be all-conference," Steinburg said. "He's one of the best I've ever seen at putting the ball in the basket. He's a pro."

Said Gibbons: "He is a superior athlete. He's very explosive going to the basket. He just has a checkered past."

Evans is expected to join another shooting guard, Sean Mosley of St. Frances, as the first two recruits to sign for next season. It isn't clear whether Maryland coach Gary Williams had another scholarship spot open up or if the Terps are still recruiting point guard Bobby Maze, who committed orally in December.

Williams can't comment on recruits until today when the signing period begins. The signing period runs through May 21.

Note -- Maryland will play Michigan in the annual ACC-Big Ten challenge Dec. 3 at Comcast Center. The Terps are 6-3 in the event, including 4-0 at home.don.markus@baltsun.com

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