Troubled Basketball Recruit Evans Won't Play for Terps, After All

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By Eric Prisbell
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, May 24, 2008

Tyree Evans, the University of Maryland men's basketball recruit who has a history of legal troubles, will not play for the Terrapins, the school announced yesterday.

Five weeks after Evans signed with Maryland, the 23-year-old shooting guard requested and was granted a release from his national letter of intent, the school announced.

Maryland Coach Gary Williams said in a news release that "after much thought, Tyree felt Maryland was not the best fit for him at this time, and I support his decision. We wish him well in the future."

Maryland Athletic Director Debbie Yow recently issued a statement saying Evans faced a review by the Office of Student Conduct before he could be admitted to the school because of his criminal record. Among the issues under review were misdemeanor convictions for marijuana possession and assault and battery.

Evans was once a coveted recruit following an acclaimed high school career in Richmond, but his stock has fallen dramatically over the past four years that have included stops at one prep school and two junior colleges.

Evans had initially signed to play for Cincinnati, but then-coach Bob Huggins backed off after Evans was charged with statutory rape because of an alleged 2004 dorm room incident at his prep school, the Winchendon School. Evans received two years' probation after pleading guilty to a reduced charge of assault-and-battery misdemeanor.

Evans was arrested again in August 2005 near Virginia Commonwealth University and charged with felony possession of marijuana with intent to distribute near school property, according to court records. Evans pleaded guilty to an amended misdemeanor charge and received a 12-month jail sentence.

Eleven months of that sentence were suspended contingent on good behavior and community service, but Evans served two weeks in jail last summer. After Evans signed with Maryland last month, Yow told cnnsi.com that she was aware of the misdemeanor drug charge but said she was not informed about the incarceration prior to his commitment.

The 6-foot-3 Evans, a proficient outside shooter, was expected to have an immediate impact on a Terrapins team that has missed the NCAA tournament three of the past four seasons.

Evans averaged 21.2 points and 5.1 rebounds last season at Motlow State (Tenn.) Community College. Evans, who was rated the sixth-best junior college player in the country by rivals.com, made 44 percent of his three-point shots and shot 84 percent from the free throw line. During the 2006-07 season, Evans averaged 19 points per game for Butler County Community College.

A former high school all-American, Evans finished his high school career as Virginia's class AAA career leading scorer with 2,251 points. As a senior, he scored 884 points, the third-highest season total behind Allen Iverson and Moses Malone.

Williams, who did not immediately return a message, has been a staunch supporter of Evans. When Evans signed his letter of intent, Williams said: "Tyree has worked hard to get himself in position to play at the Division I level. He is an outstanding shooter with great quickness and will be a great complement to the players already in our program."


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