Maryland Terps

Adelman coaching Timberwolves after 3-week break


Adelman coaching Timberwolves after 3-week break

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Rick Adelman is back on the court and coaching basketball after three weeks away to help his wife through a health scare.

His Minnesota Timberwolves lost nine of 11 games without him to fall behind in the powerful Western Conference playoff race.

Adelman helped restore hope in this downtrodden franchise when he came aboard before last season. So the Timberwolves have missed him. In some ways, though, Adelman may need the Wolves as much as they need him.

Adelman ran practice Monday and said he planned to coach against the Clippers on Wednesday night if all is satisfactory with Mary Kay Adelman, who is being treated for an undisclosed condition. Adelman said he delayed his return until he felt it would be for good. He said his wife is improving and he hopes the worst is over.

``It's hard,'' Adelman said, referring to his absence. ``I've never done this. It's never happened. But there's some things that are more important than basketball or anything else. I think the team understands that. Hopefully things will settle down here now.''

Adelman declined to elaborate on his wife's problems Monday. The issue surfaced this month and required her to be hospitalized while doctors set a treatment plan. Adelman missed practice Jan. 7, then missed his first game Jan. 8, a home win over the Atlanta Hawks with assistant Terry Porter filling in.

Any hopes the team had of navigating the tricky path without their coach ended with a wave of injuries. There were long-term injuries to Kevin Love, Brandon Roy, Chase Budinger, Josh Howard and Malcolm Lee, Recently, Nikola Pekovic and Alexey Shved sustained injuries that have kept them out for more than a week. Ricky Rubio is still working his way back from a torn ligament in his left knee last March.

A team that started the season with expectations of making the playoffs for the first time since 2004 is 17-24 - 12th place in the West. The Wolves have lost four straight, including a back-to-back on the road last weekend at Washington and Charlotte, where the Bobcats snapped a 16-game home losing streak.

Adelman has been in constant contact with his staff during his absence, speaking with Porter daily and with president of basketball operations David Kahn about possible roster moves. He returned for a brief meeting Jan. 16 to apprise his players of his situation and to give them a pep talk.

``We've got half the season left,'' Adelman said Monday. ``Even though a lot of things have been thrown our way, life moves on. You've got to find a way to get yourself energized and focus on what you can do right now. Like I told the team, everybody's got to do a little bit more.''

Pekovic and Shved returned to practice Monday and hope to be available Wednesday when the Wolves start a six-game homestand. Adelman's presence in practice gave the team a boost.

``It's already a big deal,'' forward Andrei Kirilenko said. ``You feel the positive emotions get back. You were feeling down, but now you feel everything getting back to normal.''

Those who know Adelman well speak with fondness about his love for Mary Kay. The rare smiles seen on the curmudgeonly coach's face usually come before games she attends, when he looks for her in the stands and gives her a wave before pregame introductions.

``Obviously he's had a difficult time,'' said Porter, whose relationship with Adelman dates to the late 1980s when he was a point guard on Adelman's Portland teams. ``For me, it was stepping in and doing the best I can to try to leave less stress on his plate, so to speak. It's part of my job too to be able to step up in there when it's called upon.''

Getting back on the court appeared to be good therapy for Adelman. The basketball lifer returned to the routine he's had for decades, and his mood lightened when asked about the job Porter has done. He joked about a $2,000 fine Porter incurred for a recent technical foul.

``I'll take some of the other stuff,'' Adelman said. ``But he's got to pay for his own technical.''

Adelman has tried to keep his wife's situation private. Two of their sons also work for the team - R.J. in the front office, David on the coaching staff. Both remained at work while their father was away.

``They're looking better,'' Adelman said. ``We're going to take it each day as it comes.''


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Maryland women's shooting struggles lead to second-round loss vs. N.C. State


Maryland women's shooting struggles lead to second-round loss vs. N.C. State

RALEIGH, N.C.  — Kiara Leslie had 21 points and 11 rebounds against her former team, and North Carolina State beat Maryland 74-60 on Sunday in the second round of the women's NCAA Tournament.

Leslie, who spent three seasons at Maryland before graduating and transferring to N.C. State, finished one point shy of a career high.

Kalia Ealey and Chelsea Nelson added 12 points apiece while Akela Maize scored 11 to help the fourth-seeded Wolfpack (26-8) earn their first Sweet 16 appearance since the late Kay Yow led an inspirational run in 2007.


N.C. State, which shot 45 percent and was 7 of 14 from 3-point range, will play the Oklahoma State-Mississippi State winner on Friday night in the Kansas City Regional semifinals.

Brianna Fraser had 17 points for the fifth-seeded Terrapins (26-8), who were held to 37 percent shooting.

Leading scorer Kaila Charles, plagued all day by foul trouble, finished with four points -- 14 fewer than her average -- on 2-of-8 shooting before fouling out with 2:29 left. She had scored in double figures in 30 of her previous 33 games.

Maryland's offense, which averages 80 points, had trouble scoring against one of the nation's stingiest defenses.

N.C. State allows 56.7 points per game and only one team in the past two months -- top-seeded Notre Dame -- has reached 70 against the Wolfpack.


Maryland: The Terrapins were denied their sixth Sweet 16 in seven years in part because their potent perimeter game was nonexistent. Maryland, at 39.1 percent the nation's seventh-most accurate team, missed all five of its 3s. Kristen Confroy, who's third in the nation from long range at 40.3 percent, didn't attempt one.

N.C. State: Leslie kept tormenting her former teammates by turning steals into layups. Big brother C.J. Leslie led the N.C. State men's program to a Sweet 16 in 2012, and now she's headed to one, too.


N.C. State will play either top-seeded Mississippi State or ninth-seeded Oklahoma State on Friday night in the Kansas City Regional semifinals.


UMBC's NCAA Tournament hopes end vs. Kansas State, but its Cinderella run was unforgettable


UMBC's NCAA Tournament hopes end vs. Kansas State, but its Cinderella run was unforgettable

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — UMBC's improbable run through the NCAA Tournament was brief. The statement the Retrievers made and their place in history is forever.

For one weekend in March, the tiny commuter school from Baltimore known for its academics and championship-winning chess team captured the hearts of the college basketball world and beyond. UMBC became the first No. 16 seed to knock off a No. 1 in March Madness, a victory over Virginia that made the Retrievers the ultimate Cinderella.

The fairytale came to an end Sunday night in a 50-43 loss to No. 9 Kansas State -- heartbreaking because it was a game UMBC could have won, but still satisfying because the Retrievers touched so many people by accomplishing what many thought was impossible.

"We put our name on the map. We gave hope to teams that come to the tournament with lower seeds," said senior guard K.J. Maura. "I think we gave hope to guys that are not even that tall like me. People that feel like they are underdogs in their life, I think we gave hope to everything they want to do in life."


Stephen Curry noticed the team and sent UMBC the sneakers the team wore against Kansas State. The Golden State Warriors had his Curry 5s, which are in limited release, and other swag sent to the team. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams declared the Retrievers "Surgeon General approved" and posted a photo of himself on Facebook wearing a sweatshirt from his alma mater.

NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers tweeted to UMBC guard Joe Sherburne, who claims to be Rodgers' biggest fan. And for a team addicted to the video game "Fortnite," their dreams were made when Ninja, a popular gamer who recently played against rapper Drake and JuJu Smith-Schuster of the Pittsburgh Steelers, FaceTimed with the team early Sunday.

"They play with passion, they play with heart, they play together," coach Ryan Odom said. "We do things together for one another, and obviously when you have a big win like that (over Virginia) and it's so shocking, you know, people love to see that. They love to see the upset.

"And our guys handled it with grace and understood the circumstances. They weren't pounding their chests or anything. They expected to be here and expected to compete."

When UMBC returned to the locker room following its ouster, Odom had written just one word on the whiteboard. The Retrievers needed a buzzer-beating 3 against Vermont to win their conference title and make the NCAA Tournament, but they showed up believing they could beat Virginia, and the same about Kansas State.


So Odom simply penned "Proud" on the board for his players.

"Just very proud of these kids and what they've been able to do as the representatives that they are for our university," Odom said. "Just captured our country and beyond, to be honest, from a sporting perspective and it's really, really neat to see."

Sherburne said Odom relayed stories from friends who had texted or called from outside the country to rave about UMBC. Near tears after an 0-for-9 shooting night, Sherburne found consolation in the joy UMBC brought to so many.

"From when we beat Vermont until the last two hours were the greatest time of my life," Sherburne said. "What we did, everyone in here, it's the greatest time of our lives."

Odom arrived at UMBC two years ago and inherited a team accustomed to losing. He told them he was going to get them to .500 that first year; they thought he was joking. But slowly the culture changed and the Retrievers did everything Odom told them they could accomplish.

And then some.

"When I got here, first we were a four-win team that year, and then the next year we went on to win seven games," said graduate student Jairus Lyles. "Then Coach Odom and his staff came in, we won 21 games and this year we had a tremendous season."

Odom doesn't know how far the UMBC program can grow. Those four letters are now synonymous with the biggest upset in college basketball history, but it's a long way from becoming a basketball school.

"UMBC is a unique place -- lot of high achieving kids on campus," Odom said. "We want guys that want to be great from a basketball perspective and want to play after college. But, at the same time, we want folks that are highly motivated academically that want to do great things past basketball. Because the air goes out of the ball at some point for everybody."