Midnight Madness returns to Cole Field House
COLLEGE PARK--We didn’t know much about Jonathan Graham when he decided to transfer from Penn State to Maryland shortly before the start of the school year and was then granted a waiver to play immediately during the 2013-14 season.
He was “Ernie’s kid,” the son of Maryland legend Ernest Graham, who still holds the program’s single-game scoring record of 44 points, which is now nearly 35 years old.
But on Sunday against George Washington, despite Maryland’s loss, we began to know more about the younger Graham, a gritty and scrappy rotation player in the frontcourt who has earned respect and is beginning to see meaningful minutes now, too.
“I knew what I was signing up for when I came here,” Graham told the media on Tuesday. “My thing is I want to earn whatever I get. If I work hard enough and I earn whatever minutes I have, I just want to win games.”
Graham played 15 minutes in Maryland’s loss to George Washington, tallying a solid five points, five rebounds, and three blocks. He was expressive during his time on the floor, bringing energy to a team that otherwise lacked it for much of the game until finding a spark in the second half.
“Jon is good. Jon has changed everything for us,” Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon said. “Jon, by playing hard, is rubbing off on everybody else. Jon’s going to play early and often if he plays well on Thursday.”
Thursday against Boston College brings the start of ACC and Graham could see significant burn. As Turgeon tries to find the right lineup combination in the frontcourt, Graham could contribute against the Eagles, who are the worst rebounding team in the conference.
“Whether it’s me playing five minutes or playing 15 minutes or not playing at all,” Graham said. “I came here to help this team win games and get them back to where Maryland needs to be."
“That my way of playing, you know?" he continued, talking about his demeanor on the floor. "That’s my way of winning. You’ve got to be tough on defense. You’ve got to be gritty. You’ve got to show the other team that you’re willing to play defense for however long it takes.”