Alex Len will play in Friday night exhibition

Turgeon says 7-footer is not "savior"

November 03, 2011|By Jeff Barker | The Baltimore Sun

Terps center Alex Len will play tomorrow night in an exhibition versus Northwood, coach Mark Turgeon said today.

Maryland learned yesterday that the 7-footer from Ukraine can start practicing immediately and play after 10 games -- a result  Turgeon characterized as good news. Len must sit because of a previous stint with a club team overseas.

"I'm thrilled to death with the decision," the coach said. "He can and he will play tomorrow."

Turgeon said Len became emotional -- "he teared up" -- when he learned of the NCAA panel's decision. He had been waiting for weeks.

Terps fans have become intrigued by Len, who blocked a number of shots when he returned to practice yesterday.

But Turgeon seems to want to lower the bar.

"He is not the savior. He's not ths hero. Physicality of the game and the speed of the game – he's got to get used to that. He's got a lot of tools you cant teach," Turgeon said.

"He’s a great shot blocker. He has a good mid-range game. And he can finish in transition.," Sean Mosley said of Len.

And finally, the media was told today by Maryland that Len has four years of eligibility. There had been confusion about this point, with the school saying at one point that it believed he had three years left. He is considered a redshirt freshman.

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