Midnight Madness returns to Cole Field House
Junior Jonathan Graham is slated to start at center for Maryland tomorrow against North Carolina Central, head coach Mark Turgeon told the media in a conference call on Monday afternoon.
Graham, who has been an asset off the bench for the Terrapins since he was given consistent minutes beginning Dec. 8 against George Washington, is averaging 2.3 points and 2.5 rebounds in close to 10 minutes per game.
Tuesday will mark his first start of the season.
“Hes a fourth-year guy. I don’t see why he can’t handle it,” Turgeon said. “He’s just got to go out and do what he does--play hard. There’s not a lot of pressure on our post guys right now … I think that’s a good feeling for all of them.”
Graham has been an energy player with good length for the Terrapins in the time he has been on the floor. He presents an alternative to Charles Mitchell and Shaquille Cleare, who are more limited athletically below the rim, and he is far more polished all-around than freshman big man Damonte Dodd.
“He’s the most consistent on ball screens. He knows how to play,” Turgeon said. “Shaq’s pretty solid defensively for us. Damonte gives us length ... He just gives us tremendous energy, which our team needs right now.”
Graham will be the third starting center in three games for Maryland. Dodd started Sunday night against Tulsa and Cleare started before the break against Boston University.
Mitchell has still yet to start a game this season.