Former Maryland basketball star Walt Williams, who currently serves as an analyst on the team's radio broadcast at home games, said Wednesday that he heard sophomore forward Charles Mitchell being "disruptive" during a timeout in Tuesday’s game against Virginia Tech.
The incident led to Mitchell being sent to the locker room by Terps coach Mark Turgeon.
Williams said he didn’t hear or see what preceeded the timeout.
“I was listening to what Mark was telling them at the under 4-minute timeout, and I could hear Charles talking too. You could hear both of them. Charles wasn’t going back and forth with anyone, he was talking to himself. That’s what happened when we were inside the huddle. I can’t speak to what was happening before. He was being disruptive and Mark sent him to the [locker rooom] to cool off.”
Mitchell and assistant coach Scott Spinelli were seen having words on the bench. After being sent to the locker room, Mitchell returned to the bench with about eight minutes left in the second half. He did not re-enter the game, sitting at the end of the bench with his sneakers off as Maryland finished off a 64-47 win over Virginia Tech.
"[Mitchell] is an emotional guy. He’s high-octane," Williams said. "You want guys like that who want to be in the game, but they have to be respectful."
A Maryland spokesman said Turgeon was out recruiting and wouldn't have any update or further comment on Mitchell on Wednesday.
Mitchell had been substituted out of the game with a little over four minutes remaining in the first half. Turgeon typically gives his regulars extra time before a timeout to rest and then brings them back in after the television break. Freshman center Damonte Dodd, who had yet to play, replaced Mitchell. He forced a jump ball to retain possession and later fed junior guard Dez Wells for a layup.
Sophomore Shaquille Cleare started the second half in Mitchell's place and was more productive than he has been lately, finishing with four points, three rebounds and a blocked shot in 17 minutes.
Williams -- who starred at Maryland from 1988-1992 before a long NBA career -- said part of Turgeon’s job involves dealing with different types of players.
“You’ve got to manage the personalities as well,” Williams said. “You want guys who are high energy and who can bring an energy to the court. Players have to realize that there are certain ways of doing things. You have to respect the game and your coaches, make sure you are mindful of those things. He just needed some time to cool down.”
Turgeon declined to discuss the incident after the game or speculate as to what sort of disciplinary action would take place. He said he talked with Mitchell after the game and would talk again on Wednesday before making any final determination. Turgeon, who was not available for comment Wednesday morning, had given his team off from practice Wednesday and Thursday.
Turgeon has suspended only one player since coming to Maryland in 2011. He kept Pe'Shon Howard at home during the team’s road game at Florida State last season and then later suspended the guard from the team’s game at home two weeks later against No. 2 Duke. The Terps won despite Howard’s absence, the biggest home win during Turgeon’s three-year tenure. Howard transferred to USC after the season.
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