The twofold waiting game continues inside Comcast Center, where the fates of both Jon Graham and Dalonte Hill remain undecided.
On Oct. 20, Hill was charged with his third DUI in five years and promptly took a leave of absence from the Maryland men’s basketball program. With the season opener against Connecticut just six days away, he had still not returned as of practice on Friday morning.
“I’m day to day right now,” Coach Mark Turgeon said when asked about Hill’s status. Director of basketball operations Dustin Clark, whose career began as a student assistant under Turgeon at Texas A&M in 2006, has assumed Hill’s recruiting duties, which were primarily localized to the Washington D.C. area.
Turgeon also mentioned that first-year video coordinator Jonathan Trock is “doing more.” Trock comes to College Park after seven months with the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League. Before that, he spent four years with the University of Miami as a student manager. Trock replaced former video coordinator Matt Braeuer, a former player under Turgeon at Wichita State, who joined the Sam Houston State program as an assistant coach.
As for Graham, the 6-foot-8 transfer from Penn State, the NCAA has still not ruled on his waiver seeking immediate eligibility based on hardship. At best, Graham would be a fringe rotation player this season.
“We’ve had contact with the NCAA this week,” Turgeon said. “We hope to hear something soon. Really soon.”
>> As reported yesterday, point guard Seth Allen’s surgery finished with no complications. Turgeon called the left foot fracture a “clean break” and said surgeons “put a screw in” with a bone graft. Doctors estimated Allen’s recovery would take 10 weeks, pegging his return around the second or third week in January, depending on his progress. Maryland visits Florida State on Jan. 12 and hosts Notre Dame on Jan. 15, both possible dates for Allen’s comeback.
“It couldn’t have gone any better,” Turgeon said of the surgery. “Seth was in a really positive mood last night.”
>> Turgeon declined to specify numbers, but said sophomore forward Charles Mitchell has “been in the best shape since he’s been here” and has “lost a lot of weight.” Maryland likely will need either Mitchell or center Shaq Cleare on the floor at all times, so having well-conditioned post players will help compensate for Allen’s departure.
“I’m flying around everywhere, playing above the rim,” Mitchell said. “I feel like a whole new person. It feels great going into the season.”
Shedding poundage, Mitchell said, came from running 35-45 minutes on the treadmill and coming to Comcast Center for extra work on his scheduled off-days. On the mirror above the treadmills inside Maryland’s basketball performance center, strength and conditioning coach Kyle Tarp has written the “Chuck Workout,” a 30-minute, high-intensity session meant to simulate a real basketball game, complete with rest periods every four minutes, just like media timeouts.
The last time Mitchell took a day off? Three weeks ago.
“The treadmill became my best friend,” he said.
>> Jake Layman grew something resembling a playoff beard to support the Boston Red Sox. He’s from Massachusetts just like teammate Evan Smotrycz. The Red Sox, of course, clinched the World Series on Wednesday. It took Layman three weeks to grow this: