At T.C. Williams, n glimpse of the future of Maryland basketball
The question throughout Saturday’s 39th Capital Classic: Why not put the five Maryland-bound players on the roster of the U.S. All-Stars into the game simultaneously?
Finally the answer came with 8 minutes, 1 second left as coach Harry Martin matched guards Seth Allen and Sam Cassell, Jr. up with forwards Shaquille Cleare, Damonte Dodd, and Charles Mitchell. It didn’t take the crowd long to figure out the lineup combo.
“Let’s go Terps. Let’s go Terps,” fans chanted.
On a night when the drawing cards were the five Terrapins to be, Virginia Tech-bound Montrezl Harrell stole the show with 24 points, seven rebounds, and an impressive arsenal of dunks, leading the U.S. to a 105-93 victory. Harrell, who is from Tarboro, N.C. and spent a prep year at Hargrave Academy, was named MVP of the U.S. team.
The five Maryland-bound players did their part. Power forward Cleare rumbled for 14 points. Cassell, Jr. scored eight of his 12 points in a scintillating three-possession stretch late in the first half. Seth Allen scored six of his 10 points with three consecutive drives and forwards Mitchell and Dodd added seven and six points respectively.
“We’re going to be great contenders for the national championship and also win an ACC championship,” Mitchell gushed.
In Saturday’s entertaining showcase the Capital All-Stars bolted to an early nine-point lead behind MVP T.J. Huggins (10 points, six rebounds, four assists) before the U.S. All-Stars rallied late in the first half behind the hot shooting of Cassell. The U.S. scored the first three buckets of the second half and after that never trailed.
With the game decided, the 6-foot-7 Harrell flashed his power and quickness with two spectacular fast-break dunks in the final minute.
All that was left for the future Terps was to consider an exciting future with a big frontcourt.
“We noticed this year that Maryland was small, got beat on the boards,” Cleare said. “We’re gonna help them be a powerhouse next year.”