With 20 points and 11 rebounds over the past two games, Maryland freshman Shaquille Cleare seems to be emerging. The heralded freshman is beginning to find his way.
“You see it in practice first. He was getting better in practice,” coach Mark Turgeon said today before the Terps (8-1) practiced for tomorrow night’s game against Monmouth (5-5). “He didn’t get any chance against George Mason. In the last two games, he’s had a chance. I’m happy for him. He’s a good kid."
Cleare is 6-9 and weighs about 265 pounds. “Shaq gets in here, you see bodies kind of bouncing off of him. I’ve never had anyone like him – physically,” Turgeon said. He said opponents have already begun to flop, hoping to attract foul calls.
Cleare got only 20 minutes of playing time combined against Northwestern and George Mason.
But he has received 48 minutes on the court in the two games since – and Turgeon has had the opportunity to practice with Cleare and 7-1 center Alex Len in the lineup together.
“Over Christmas, we’ll have a lot of time to practice. So we’ll practice them together more,” Turgeon said.
Cleare, who competes in the paint against Len during practices, was asked today about Len.
“I made him what he is this season,” Cleare deadpanned. "Nobody beats up on him like I do."