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'Fate sometimes' -- Former Terp Mitchell reflects as ACC journey ends


'Fate sometimes' -- Former Terp Mitchell reflects as ACC journey ends

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Charles Mitchell was emotional in the Georgia Tech locker room after his Yellow Jackets lost to Virginia, 72-52, in the ACC tournament on Thursday night at Verizon Center.

He was seated in a chair, still in his game-worn jersey, talking to the few members of the media -- who could be counted on one hand -- as they filed into the locker room. Most were local reporters. The national writers were in the winners’ locker room, focused on the projected No. 1-seed Cavaliers.

Mitchell, the former Maryland Terrapin who was one of five players to transfer out of the program after the 2013-14 season, is in his second season at Georgia Tech. Unlike the two other players from his high school class who left Maryland, this is the end of the line for him. After receiving a waiver from the NCAA to play immediately with the Yellow Jackets in 2014, his four years of eligibility are nearly up.

A berth in the NIT could still be in store for this 19-14 team, but the mood postgame confirms that’s nothing to celebrate right now.

Mitchell sometimes dips his face into his hands or runs his fingers through his hair as he tries to find the right words for this moment, one that he knew would come eventually.

“It really just hit me. Walking off the court it really just hit me,” he told CSN. “I mean, it’s been a long four years, two different teams. I love this team that I’m on now. Really just walking down the bench, dapping my guys up it really hit me that I’ll never play ACC basketball again in my entire life.

“To play my last ACC game in the area I started in is kind of surreal, but I guess it’s destiny. It’s fate sometimes.”


Mitchell was part of a 2012 recruiting class for Maryland that also included Jake Layman, Shaquille Cleare, and Seth Allen. Another, Sam Cassell, Jr., was ruled ineligible and never played at Maryland.

On March 3, Layman was the only player from that group to raise a framed Maryland jersey above his head at center court during the team’s pregame Senior Night ceremony. Cleare is at Texas. Allen is at Virginia Tech.

“The craziest thing about that, we text and talk every day. Every day,” Mitchell said. “We’re all in a group message. It’s not a day that goes by where we don’t communicate with each other.

“They’re still my closest friends. They’re still my best friends. It’s no love-hate relationship. It’s all love for what they’re doing, what we’re doing. It’s just one big family that you can’t get rid of.

“Those group of guys when you’re around 30 and 40 you get with and laugh about things like this but they’ll always be my friends until the day I die. Those close-knit group of guys, I’ll never forget.”

Mitchell says he does not regret making the decision he did to transfer, however improbable this path might have seemed if it had been laid out as a hypothetical when he first got to College Park.

Allen will return to Virginia Tech as a veteran on a young and promising basketball team. Cleare has another year of eligibility and is already on a Texas team that will see what it can do in the NCAA tournament this month. Mitchell, like Layman, will soon see what the next chapter has for him.

“Life sets you on different paths and you have a different destiny,” he said. “You’ve just got to follow that path.”

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Palmer's big 2nd half lifts Huskers past Maryland

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Palmer's big 2nd half lifts Huskers past Maryland

LINCOLN, Neb. -- James Palmer Jr. scored 24 of his 26 points in the second half, Isaiah Roby had all 11 of his after half, and Nebraska held off Maryland 70-66 on Tuesday night.

Palmer and Roby combined for 35 of the Cornhuskers' 40 second-half points, and they secured their first 20-win season since 2008. They won a sixth straight conference game for the first time in 20 years.

Palmer scored 15 straight points for the Huskers (20-8, 11-4 Big Ten) over a 10-minute span that ended when Roby hit one of two free throws with 2:57 left for a 64-59 lead. Roby had a double-double, with 10 rebounds, and he also blocked three shots.

The Terps (17-11, 6-9) had a chance to take the lead with a minute to play, but Glynn Watson Jr. blocked Anthony Cowan Jr.'s 3-point try, Evan Taylor came up with the loose ball and got it to Watson.

Watson missed a 3-pointer coming out of a timeout, and Roby got the rebound and was immediately fouled. He made both free throws for a 66-63 lead. Kevin Huerter's layin cut it to one point before Watson made two free throws.

Huerter went to the line with 2.8 seconds left, and after making the first free throw he intentionally missed the second. Palmer got the rebound, was fouled and put the game away with two free throws.

Bruno Fernando led the Terps with 21 points and nine rebounds. Huerter added 12 points and Darryl Morsell had 11.


Maryland: The Terps' fading NCAA Tournament hopes might have been dashed with their seventh straight road loss.

Nebraska: The Huskers are resting firmly on the NCAA bubble and absolutely needed this win. They got it, thanks to Palmer and Roby's efforts in the second half.


Maryland hosts Rutgers on Saturday. It's the teams' only meeting this season.

Nebraska visits Illinois. The Huskers beat the Illini 64-63 in Lincoln on Jan. 15.

RELATED: DMV College Basketball Power Rankings: Missed opportunities

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Maryland overwhelmed by Penn State in close loss


Maryland overwhelmed by Penn State in close loss

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Lamar Stevens feels like he's playing his most consistent basketball right now, a bad omen for upcoming opponents considering Penn State expects its hybrid forward to do a little bit of everything.

Just like he did on Wednesday.

Stevens scored 25 points on 10-of-12 shooting with 14 in the second half to lift Penn State over Maryland 74-70.


"Lamar really stepped up for us," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. "We needed every one of those points that he had tonight."

Tony Carr added 16 points, Josh Reaves scored 14, and Mike Watkins added 11 for the Nittany Lions (17-9, 7-6 Big Ten Conference), who equaled their previous best mark for conference victories under Chambers.

"The best teams always find ways to win," Stevens said. "We locked down when we had to, got huge stops, huge rebounds and I think that's a huge step for this team."

With Maryland (16-10, 5-8) up 20-14 midway through the first half, Stevens nailed his first of two 3-pointers to spark a quick 9-0 run that helped Penn State take control.

He rolled layups off his fingers and sank midrange jumpers on multiple back-to-back possessions in the second half, where he scored 11 of his team's first 20 points.

"He made some incredible, incredible shots," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. "He was terrific, he was so efficient."

Stevens added four rebounds, two assists and was 3-for-4 on free throws with all three makes coming in the final 5:48 as Maryland threatened.


Anthony Cowan Jr. led Maryland with 15 points while Kevin Huerter and Bruno Fernando added 13 apiece.

Darryl Morsell had 10 points for the Terrapins, who cut a 10-point deficit with 8:11 to play to just three with 1:13 left.

"I didn't think we competed in the first half defensively," Turgeon said. "I thought in the second half, we were really trying hard."


Maryland: The Terrapins' disappointing season continues and they have dropped to 7-7 since stalwart forward Justin Jackson's season was ended by a torn shoulder ligament in late December. Although they shot better than their season average, the Terrapins were badly outplayed in the paint, getting outscored 32-22 and outrebounded 27-23.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions are playing an exciting brand of basketball as of late. They have a combined 22 dunks over their last three home games and opponents are finding it hard to play fast against a team that thrives on speed.