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April 22, 2009

Season recap: James Padgett

James Padgett has always been a man of few words.

The Brooklyn (N.Y.) Lincoln power forward famously told one Maryland recruiting site that his official visit to College Park was “fair,” just days before committing to UM.

But Padgett took his strong-and-silent persona to another level last December, according to Lincoln head coach Dwayne “Tiny” Morton.

“The most important part of his senior year was when he got injured,” Morton said. “He sprained his ankle ... [when he] went up for a dunk and came down awkwardly before the game started. ... We were playing Duncanville (Texas) on TV and he didn’t even tell anybody [he sprained his ankle]. But he kept working, kept playing and didn’t quit.”

The Railsplitters suffered a 77-57 loss that day, but Morton said what stood out most about the game was Padgett’s toughness.

The 6-foot-8, 220-pounder was slowed by the ankle injury for much of his senior year, but he played through the pain. Lincoln hit its stride once his health improved. While Maryland target and five-star shooting guard Lance Stephenson drew all the accolades for turning in 30-point performances on a nightly basis, Padgett did the oft-overlooked dirty work in the post.

“He did a great job,” Morton said. “He had a great end to his senior year. He probably averaged 18 [points] and 12 [rebounds] in the playoffs. He made a couple All-City first teams and we won our fourth city championship in a row. ... He brought a lot of leadership. He always kind of led quietly by example.”

After the season, Padgett faced a minor dilemma. NCAA rules permit student-athletes to participate in no more than two postseason all-star games. Earlier this year, Padgett was picked to play in the Jordan Brand Classic Regional All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden. The event was Padgett's last chance to play on his hometown’s biggest stage.

But when Padgett was invited to play in the Charm City Challenge at the Towson Center and the Capital Classic at American University’s Bender Arena, the decision was simple.

“When I heard about [those all-star games], I thought it was a great situation for Padgett,” Morton said. “I know he wants to get used to playing in front of the Maryland fans and they’re not used to seeing him. So I was kind of happy he got used to playing down there.”

At Charm City, Padgett earned MVP honors, scoring 22 points on 11-for-13 shooting. Four days later in Washington, Padgett contributed four points and a team-high seven rebounds.

Both all-star game performances ramped up expectations for Padgett among Maryland fans, but Morton said that’s fine. He expects Padgett to go about his business as usual upon arrival in College Park.

“He just has to play to his potential,” Morton said. “I don’t think they’re going to push him too hard, expecting too much from him. They love his potential, which I’m happy about. ... I think once he gets down there and gets his strength together, he’s going to be OK.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 10:39 AM | | Comments (16)
Categories: Season recaps


According to zagsblog the Henry's are going to kansas. Matt do you think we will get Lance if this is true?

Dude this article is about padgett.. who cares about lance. We have a guy who is commited to play for the terps who is an excellent ball player. Enough with Lance yea hes great but lets focus on guys who actualy want to play here not be a star on a team then go get his money in nba

Agreed. Let Lance do what Lance does which is waffle. He's John Gilchrist without the jump shot.

Padgett looks like the real deal. The guy is tough, mentally and physically. Too bad about Braxton Dupree but he was not having any fun and his confidence was shot.

I look forward to Padgett playing at MD. I think late his sophmore year will be his breakout year. He has definitely been getting better each year and once he bulks up and gain experience in the ACC he will develop into one of the best in the conference.

With MD clearing Dupree today I think something big is about to happen. Things have been mighty quiet in CP as if the cat has eaten the canary. I would imagine we will hear something by Friday.

Good things are on the horizon for the Terps program!

john gilchrist couldn't carry born ready's jock. please don't make that comparison. it negates everything else you say.

Padgett was a great pick-up and I think he pay some serious dividends at Maryland - he is of the perfect mold for Gary and this team. With Braxton leaving this will open up some more playing time for both Padgett and Williams. He will have a chance to prove himself.

I have to agree about something happenning. Greives is having a news confernece tommorrow about staying or going, Dupree leaves and opens up a scholarship, and then tommorrow morning the Henrys are announcing they are going to Kansas so that defintiely has an impact on Stephenson and Painter is making a visit to the Terps. Things are on the move with one of those two. I tell you I would love to see Will Barton commit to the Terps for 2010.

Padget we are very happy to have you!!!


What are the chances we get Painter with the open scholarship? I don't think we get Lance and I believe Vasquez will be back next year. We need big guys who can play. Thanks

Dave -- I'm really not sure on Lance, and to be honest, I'm not sure anyone is. Morton said he didn't know.

Rick -- Sounds like there's a decent chance, although UM will have plenty of competition. Saying that he wants to visit is obviously a good sign.


Any word on where Dupree is heading? Do you think Goins is next? Where will Burney and Gregory fit in next year?

In respects to Stephenson and Painter, I have to believe something is up. I believe Gary and his staff are working double time and are going to pull off a major signing soon.

Is Braxton Dupree on of the worst cases MD has had in terms of a player never realizing his potential?
I rank him up there with Will Bowers.

Rob -- No word on Dupree's next stop. I'd guess a local school, but I don't think he's made a final decision yet.

People ought to give Dupree a break. From everything that I've ever read about him, he's a good kid and student and never caused any problems on or off the court. In other words, he properly represented the university. As for his basketball career at UM, it appears that many of his original doubters were correct about him, or at least of his ability to be competitive at the high D1 level in the ACC. I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.


Without speculating upon whether there will be any further attrition to the Terps' roster (aside from awaiting Vasquez's NBA draft decision) I read an article suggesting that Burney may also leave. The reason seemed primarily focused upon his chroinc foot injuries and inability to play on it. Do you have any information on that circumstance?

As well, I also get the impression that Painter's academics may very well relegate him to a 2010 recruit status (at least for Maryland.) What, if anything, do you know about that possibility?

Henry just committed to Kansas. Come on STEPHENSON, make the right move and come to the TERPS!!!

Terp'nTexas -- I've heard and read similar things on Burney, but nothing more than what you wrote. I think it's undecided as of now. Ditto on the Painter stuff. Sounds like 2010 could be an option.

I hope Dupree stays local he could be big in any of the conferences that local schools play in; Coppin, Morgan, Towson, Umbc, or Loyola. Also Gary & Keith Booth have to get a top tier player from Baltimore and not second tire guys like Dupree. Hopefully Roscoe at Walbrook or Will from Lake.

For Maryland to be a good program they need to get the top in their area. 2010 Will Barton, Roscoe that should be their only focus right now.......

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About Matt Bracken

Matt Bracken was a lightly recruited football and tennis prospect out of East Lansing (Mich.) High School in 2001, but spurned all (nonexistent) scholarship offers to attend the University of Michigan. Matt graduated from UM in 2005, earned a master's degree in new media journalism from Northwestern University in 2006, and spent the first 11 months of his career as an online producer / videographer / blogger at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. He has worked at The Baltimore Sun since July 2007, where he currently serves as the deputy sports editor for digital.

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