Maryland will certainly develop rivalries in the Big Ten as the years go on, but it’s going to take time. The networks love rivalry games, so why not take the initiative and get Navy on the football schedule every few years and Georgetown basketball every year, or every other year to start. It makes perfect sense.
Now that the NBA draft lottery is set, where might Alex Len land?
Matt Bracken: The sophomore center from the Ukraine is poised to become Maryland’s first lottery pick since Chris Wilcox went to the Los Angeles Clippers with the No. 8 pick in the 2002 NBA draft. Here’s a quick look at where several national media outlets project Len to be picked.
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** DraftExpress.com – Len to the New Orleans Pelicans at No. 6
** NBADraft.net – Len to the Minnesota Timberwolves at No. 9
** CBS Sports’ Jeff Goodman – Len to the Charlotte Bobcats at No. 4
The big man from the Ukraine is incredibly skilled for a 7-footer, and Michael Jordan's franchise is in desperate need of a center who can score in the post.
** SI.com’s Chris Mannix – Len to the Portland Trailblazers at No. 10
The Blazers need a starting center, and Len oozes potential. He's a physical 5-man who rebounds well, protects the paint (2.1 blocks per game) and can play with his back to the basket. A stress fracture in his left ankle will keep him out of individual workouts. That could hurt his stock, as teams would like to see signs of a diverse offensive game. But that could work well for Portland, which needs some muscle alongside LaMarcus Aldridge.
** Yahoo Sports – Len to the New Orleans Pelicans at No. 6
Len is a big, athletic two-way center but is also injured, coming off ankle surgery. However, it does sound like there’s a good chance he’ll be ready for the start of the season. The Hornets have Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson at power forward, while Greivis Vasquez has the inside track for another season at point guard, and Eric Gordon is the starting shooting guard as long as he’s healthy. They could easily be looking for another SG option here, and would also welcome a replacement for Robin Lopez at center, or a small forward other than Al-Farouq Aminu. If any of the previously mentioned players are still on the board at No. 6, I could see the Pelicans taking Porter, Bennett or Oladipo here. But if they’re all gone, Len makes a lot of sense.
** NBA.com’s Scott Howard-Cooper – Len to the Portland Trailblazers at No. 10
Expect the Blazers, already playing a lot of kids and in position for a playoff push, to explore trade possibilities to add a veteran or maybe multiple players for much-needed depth.
** Sporting News’ Sean Deveney – Len to the Minnesota Timberwolves at No. 9
Len didn’t show much in his season at Maryland, but he played more of a defensive role for the Terps. The Wolves have to guard against Nikola Pekovic’s free agency, as well as his frequent injuries.