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By Matt Bracken and The Baltimore Sun | July 4, 2013
Two days before basketball practice officially started last year, Aki Thomas was named UMBC's interim head coach following the unexpected resignation of Randy Monroe . Heading into the 2013-14 campaign, Thomas has had the interim tag removed and several months to put his stamp on a Retrievers program that went 8-23 a year ago.  Guards Ryan Cook , Brian Neller and Adrian Satchell have graduated, while sophomores Jarrell Lane...
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Sports Digest | September 19, 2014
Et cetera Nationals claim former Oriole Florimon on waivers The Washington Nationals claimed former Orioles infielder Pedro Florimon on waivers from the Minnesota Twins. The Nationals designated outfielder Eury Perez for assignment. Florimon, 27, was the Twins' Opening Day shortstop but struggled this season and wasn't a September call-up in Minnesota. He hit .092 (7-for-76) with a .310 OPS, 22 strikeouts and eight walks in 33 games this season. He spent most of the season at Triple-A Rochester, playing mostly shortstop but with some second and third base.
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By Edward Lee and The Baltimore Sun | December 3, 2013
UMBC announced Tuesday that Aki Thomas has signed a two-year extension that will keep him as head coach of the men's basketball team through the 2015-16 season. Thomas, who at 34 is one of the youngest coaches in Division I, expressed his gratitude for the university's faith in him. “It tells me that they like the direction that we're taking the program in right now,” said Thomas, who succeeded Randy Monroe on Oct. 10, 2012 as acting head coach before earning the permanent title on March 4. “They see some really good things happening, which makes me feel good about the job that myself and the staff have been able to do so far. We still have a long way to go, but I also think we're moving things in the right direction.
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By Rich Scherr, For The Baltimore Sun | January 18, 2014
It's no stretch to say that the UMBC men's basketball team has looked far better at home this season than on the road. In Saturday's America East Conference matinee against Vermont, though, it didn't seem to matter that the Retrievers were playing at RAC Arena. Against the preseason conference favorite, UMBC seemed as overmatched as it's been at any point this season in a 73-47 loss before an announced 1,145. The Catamounts scored the game's first 11 points, holding UMBC without a field goal for the first 7:24 before building their lead to as many as 21 late in the first half.
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By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun | December 18, 2013
The UMBC men's basketball team is mired in a three-game losing streak, which would be more than enough to depress players and coaches alike. But that attitude has not set in just yet, according to coach Aki Thomas. “I'd say that the mood has been not bad,” he said Wednesday morning. “It's been pretty good actually. Usually, after a three-game losing streak or any losing streak, you'll get guys maybe putting down their heads a little bit. But our guys have responded with some really competitive practices and really focusing on getting better and improving.
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By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun | December 4, 2013
As the UMBC men's basketball team struggled through a three-game losing streak, coach Aki Thomas knew the outlook could turn even bleaker as a four-game road stretch loomed. But the Retrievers provided Thomas some relief by outlasting UMES, 64-59, at RAC Arena on Monday night. It was a welcome respite, considering the program won't play at home until Dec. 30, against Navy. “We don't play again at home until the end of the month. I thought it would be real important to get another home win before we have this long stretch where we have road games and finals,” Thomas said Tuesday.
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By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun | December 31, 2013
At first glance, the UMBC men's basketball team's 63-48 victory over visiting Navy at RAC Arena on Monday night might not seem critical. But since the win snapped a four-game losing skid for the Retrievers, the outcome was quite significant for coach Aki Thomas. “It was a pretty big win,” he said Tuesday morning. “We've been playing pretty well at home, and it was fortunate that we could play at home and win at home again. It gives us some momentum going into our league play on [Jan.]
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By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun | November 14, 2013
Losing at Arizona State, 96-61, on Friday may have been disappointing but not entirely shocking for the UMBC men's basketball team. Losing to Division III Eastern on Monday might have been a different story. Freshman guard Rodney Elliott nailed a 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds left in regulation and sophomore forward Malik Garner scored 12 of the team's 13 points in overtime to propel the Retrievers to an 84-79 win at RAC Arena in Catonsville. Coach Aki Thomas understood how fortunate UMBC (1-1)
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By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun | January 1, 2014
The UMBC men's basketball team has protected its turf at RAC Arena, winning four of five games this season in Catonsville. On the flipside, however, the Retrievers are winless away from home, going 0-8 en route to a 4-9 record. Coach Aki Thomas knows that if UMBC harbors any hope of advancing deep into the America East tournament, the team must begin winning on the road. “It's important,” he said Tuesday. “I'm glad that we're able to take care of home for the most part, but we're going to have to steal a few on the road.
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By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun | November 27, 2013
He might have played just 11 minutes, but Bryan Harris' brief outing in the UMBC men's basketball team's 75-60 loss to host Towson at SECU Arena on Tuesday night offered reason for optimism. In his college debut, the freshman had six points on 1-for-6 shooting (4-for-4 from the free-throw line), plus one rebound and two steals. Harris (Southern), who underwent a pair of heart procedures in 2012, initially signed to play at Wofford, but left to be closer to his hometown of Oxon Hill.
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By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun | January 14, 2014
The 5-11 record attached to the UMBC men's basketball team is troubling and frustrating and perhaps avoidable. The Retrievers were ranked 302nd out of 345 Division I teams in free-throw percentage, converting 64.4 percent (224-of-348) as of last Friday. They haven't finished a season above 70 percent since the 2010-11 campaign when that squad sank 70.7 percent (345-of-488), and the team's inability to take advantage of free throws is worrisome to coach Aki Thomas. “It's a concern,” he said Monday.
SPORTS
By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun | January 1, 2014
The UMBC men's basketball team has protected its turf at RAC Arena, winning four of five games this season in Catonsville. On the flipside, however, the Retrievers are winless away from home, going 0-8 en route to a 4-9 record. Coach Aki Thomas knows that if UMBC harbors any hope of advancing deep into the America East tournament, the team must begin winning on the road. “It's important,” he said Tuesday. “I'm glad that we're able to take care of home for the most part, but we're going to have to steal a few on the road.
SPORTS
By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun | December 31, 2013
At first glance, the UMBC men's basketball team's 63-48 victory over visiting Navy at RAC Arena on Monday night might not seem critical. But since the win snapped a four-game losing skid for the Retrievers, the outcome was quite significant for coach Aki Thomas. “It was a pretty big win,” he said Tuesday morning. “We've been playing pretty well at home, and it was fortunate that we could play at home and win at home again. It gives us some momentum going into our league play on [Jan.]
SPORTS
By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun | December 19, 2013
Playing on the road is never easy. That is especially true for the UMBC men's basketball team, which is 0-7 away from the RAC Arena in Catonsville this season and has lost its last eight games on the road. The Retrievers are 3-1 at home, but UMBC coach Aki Thomas acknowledged that the team must improve its road record. “The guys are aware of it,” he said Wednesday. “We've talked about that as well, and we've talked about how tough it is to win a college basketball game on the road.
SPORTS
By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun | December 18, 2013
The UMBC men's basketball team is mired in a three-game losing streak, which would be more than enough to depress players and coaches alike. But that attitude has not set in just yet, according to coach Aki Thomas. “I'd say that the mood has been not bad,” he said Wednesday morning. “It's been pretty good actually. Usually, after a three-game losing streak or any losing streak, you'll get guys maybe putting down their heads a little bit. But our guys have responded with some really competitive practices and really focusing on getting better and improving.
SPORTS
By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun | December 4, 2013
As the UMBC men's basketball team struggled through a three-game losing streak, coach Aki Thomas knew the outlook could turn even bleaker as a four-game road stretch loomed. But the Retrievers provided Thomas some relief by outlasting UMES, 64-59, at RAC Arena on Monday night. It was a welcome respite, considering the program won't play at home until Dec. 30, against Navy. “We don't play again at home until the end of the month. I thought it would be real important to get another home win before we have this long stretch where we have road games and finals,” Thomas said Tuesday.
SPORTS
By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun | December 19, 2013
Playing on the road is never easy. That is especially true for the UMBC men's basketball team, which is 0-7 away from the RAC Arena in Catonsville this season and has lost its last eight games on the road. The Retrievers are 3-1 at home, but UMBC coach Aki Thomas acknowledged that the team must improve its road record. “The guys are aware of it,” he said Wednesday. “We've talked about that as well, and we've talked about how tough it is to win a college basketball game on the road.
SPORTS
Sports Digest | September 19, 2014
Et cetera Nationals claim former Oriole Florimon on waivers The Washington Nationals claimed former Orioles infielder Pedro Florimon on waivers from the Minnesota Twins. The Nationals designated outfielder Eury Perez for assignment. Florimon, 27, was the Twins' Opening Day shortstop but struggled this season and wasn't a September call-up in Minnesota. He hit .092 (7-for-76) with a .310 OPS, 22 strikeouts and eight walks in 33 games this season. He spent most of the season at Triple-A Rochester, playing mostly shortstop but with some second and third base.
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By Edward Lee and The Baltimore Sun | December 3, 2013
UMBC announced Tuesday that Aki Thomas has signed a two-year extension that will keep him as head coach of the men's basketball team through the 2015-16 season. Thomas, who at 34 is one of the youngest coaches in Division I, expressed his gratitude for the university's faith in him. “It tells me that they like the direction that we're taking the program in right now,” said Thomas, who succeeded Randy Monroe on Oct. 10, 2012 as acting head coach before earning the permanent title on March 4. “They see some really good things happening, which makes me feel good about the job that myself and the staff have been able to do so far. We still have a long way to go, but I also think we're moving things in the right direction.
SPORTS
By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun | November 27, 2013
He might have played just 11 minutes, but Bryan Harris' brief outing in the UMBC men's basketball team's 75-60 loss to host Towson at SECU Arena on Tuesday night offered reason for optimism. In his college debut, the freshman had six points on 1-for-6 shooting (4-for-4 from the free-throw line), plus one rebound and two steals. Harris (Southern), who underwent a pair of heart procedures in 2012, initially signed to play at Wofford, but left to be closer to his hometown of Oxon Hill.
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