The past week was a big one for Maryland power forward recruit Jordan Williams.
On Tuesday, Williams scored 36 points, grabbed 24 rebounds and blocked seven shots in Torrington’s 81-76 overtime win over Kennedy in the first round of the Connecticut Class L tournament.
Last night, Williams powered the Red Raiders to a 56-49 win over Pomperaug.
The younger Williams finished the game with 16 points while Maryland-bound Jordan posted another double-double, scoring 24 points and hauling in 14 rebounds.
Torrington (19-6) advances to play second-seeded Stratford (22-1) in the quarterfinals at 7 p.m. on Monday at a site yet to be determined.
Earlier in the week, Torrington coach Tony Turina compared Williams’ game to that of former Providence standout and current Minnesota Timberwolves forward Ryan Gomes.
“Jordan is light-years ahead of where Ryan was at this time in his high school career,” Turina said. “There is no comparison.”
Gomes went on to play college ball at Providence, where he worked hard and made himself a better NBA prospect and eventually a great professional.
“If Jordan puts in the same time and effort that Ryan did at Providence, he could exceed anything we could expect.”
The Hartford Courant profiled Williams on Wednesday, touching on what it’s like to be a part of a legendary Connecticut basketball family.
The No. 20 that Jordan wears follows the family line. His dad, Leron, an assistant at Torrington, wore it for the Raiders, as did Murray. And Murray wore No. 20 at UConn from 1987-91.
"It means a lot to me to follow them," Jordan said. "And I feel real good because I talked to [Maryland coach] Gary Williams and he said I've got No. 20 next season. But before that I'd like to wear my Torrington No. 20 for a few more games."
• Kansas is sending a big name to Brooklyn in its effort to land Lincoln shooting guard Lance Stephenson. According to SNY.tv’s Adam Zagoria, KU assistant Danny Manning is the Jayhawks’ point man in Stephenson’s recruitment.
Kansas figures that if Stephenson wants to develop into an NBA player at a high-level program, who better to teach him than Manning, the No. 1 overall pick by the L.A. Clippers in the 1988 NBA Draft?
Stephenson, the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2009 according to the Hoop Scoop and No. 9 by Rivals, will likely choose from among Kansas, Maryland and St. John’s and hopes to announce March 21 at Madison Square Garden after the PSAL championship game.
• Terps shooting guard target Will Barton paced Lake Clifton in its 63-54 win over Seneca Valley last night in the Class 3A state semifinals.
"We really did want to take it one game at a time," said junior forward Will Barton, who had 18 points and nine rebounds. "People thought we were playing, but you see how focused we are out there on the court. When teams make a run at us, we don't panic, we don't start fussing - we just stay together, and now we have one more to go to accomplish all our goals."
• Potential Maryland point guard target Tyrone Garland had a big game in Philadelphia Bartram’s 78-53 loss to Penn Wood in the second round of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class AAAA playoffs.
The Pats advance to the state quarterfinals, where they will meet Pennsbury on Saturday at a site and time to be determined. Penn Wood improved to 25-4, while Bartram's season, despite a stellar, 21-point performance by Tyrone Garland, ended with an 18-9 mark.
• UM small forward target Roscoe Smith had a double-double in Walbrook’s 74-69 loss to Springbrook in the Class 4A state semifinals.
In its return to the state tournament, though, it was Springbrook (26-0) that seemed in control of the game, only to allow Walbrook (23-4) to stay just close enough. Star forward Roscoe Smith, a highly-touted junior, had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Warriors.
• The Daily Progress of Charlottesville, Va., recapped the Miller School’s Virginia Independent Schools Division 2 championship, giving much of the credit to Terps small forward target Mychal Parker.
The 6-foot-6 junior poured in a game-high 26 points, 10 of which came from the free-throw line. Parker made timely baskets throughout and also helped key a pivotal third-quarter run for the Mavericks.
When he wasn’t doing the scoring, he often found open teammates Brice Kofane, Marshawn Powell and Hippolyte Tsafack underneath. Parker also grabbed nine rebounds and snagged a pair of steals in the win.
• UM shooting guard target Taran Buie is in Indianapolis to watch his brother, Talor Battle, play in the Big Ten tournament.
Battle's mother, Denise Murphy, is visiting Indianapolis from Albany along with her next oldest son -- Taran Buie -- a junior at Maginn who is also being heavily recruited to join his big brother at Penn State.
• Maryland center signee Essence Townsend powered Paterson (N.J.) Catholic to a 65-52 win over Gill St. Bernard’s for the New Jersey North Non-Public B championship.
Townsend finished with a triple-double: 12 points, 15 rebounds and 13 blocks.
“She played tremendous, tremendous,” said Andre. “We have a lot of weapons, but when she is scoring we are very hard to guard.”
• The high school career of UM point guard recruit Dara Taylor ended Monday with Caravel Academy’s 46-45 loss to Caesar Rodney in the quarterfinals of the Delaware High School Girls Basketball Tournament.
Dara Taylor (20 points) tried to get off a 3-pointer but could not, and with four seconds left she drove in and scored, hoping to draw a foul. The Riders avoided contact and won.
"We let their pressure get the best of us when we shouldn't have," Taylor said. "I take full responsibility for that. We got to a fast run-and-gun game and completely changed what we did in the first half. We got out of hand and played right into their hands."
Later in the week, Taylor was named the Gatorade Delaware Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
The 5-foot-7 senior point guard led the Buccaneers to a 14-11 record and the quarterfinals of the state tournament this season, averaging 17.8 points, 5.5 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 5.0 steals per game.
It was also announced this week that Riverdale Baptist forward and Terps signee Tianna Hawkins was named Gatorade Maryland Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
• Terps combo guard commitment Natasha Cloud hit a crucial bucket in Cardinal O’Hara’s 36-34 win over Wilson in the second round of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class AAAA tournament.
O'Hara outscored Wilson 15-4 in the second quarter and appeared to be in command when it took a 10-point lead 2:05 into the third. Natasha Cloud hit a 3-pointer to put the Lions up 34-23 with 5:55 left in the fourth.
• The Washington Post’s Josh Barr reports that Linganore fullback Zach Zwinak recently added a Notre Dame offer to his already lengthy scholarship list.
He previously had been offered by Maryland, West Virginia, Penn State, Stanford, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, California, Pittsburgh and Kansas State.
• Linganore offensive tackle Robby Havenstein claims offers from Maryland, Kansas State, Penn State, Stanford and West Virginia, according to Yahoo! Sports.
Already Havenstein has taken in one junior day to Maryland.
“I just got to know them more. It’s a good place to hang out and I’m getting to know everyone there better.”
• St. John’s (D.C.) defensive tackle Andre Monroe received an early offer from the Terps.
“I have one offer from Maryland,” he said. “I’m in touch with Pittsburgh and Duke. I’m also receiving letters from Michigan State, Northwestern, Boston College, Rutgers and Tennessee. New Mexico is very interested in me.