St. Mary’s, UM to meet for first time

Baltimore Sun - - COL­LEGE BAS­KET­BALL - Don.markus@balt­ twit­­sprof56

he is to­day, ba­si­cally driv­ing it to the rack and be­ing a solid point guard. Doesn’t make a lot of mis­takes,” Smith said.

Smith had one of his big­gest thrills play­ing bas­ket­ball at the ex­pense of Trim­ble’s team in a play­off game.

“Not to sound like I’m blow­ing my hat off, but one time when we were in the sev­enth grade, I hit a gamewin­ner at Trin­ity Col­lege in Wash­ing­ton,” Smith said.

Tre Mou­ton, a 22-year-old fresh­man guard from Wal­dorf who played high school ball at North Point, joined the team this year af­ter Har­ney found him work­ing at a lo­cal Ver­i­zon store. Mou­ton came to Mary­land games on a reg­u­lar ba­sis when his un­cle, By­ron Mou­ton, played for the Terps af­ter trans­fer­ring from Tu­lane. The younger Mou­ton at­tended the NCAA ti­tle game in At­lanta in 2002.

“I ac­tu­ally played there [at Xfin­ity Cen­ter] in high school, in the state cham­pi­onship as a ju­nior, but play­ing against Mary­land is a com­pletely dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence,” Mou­ton said. “I never thought I’d have the op­por­tu­nity to do that. It’s go­ing to be ex­cit­ing. I can’t wait. My last or­ga­nized game [be­fore St. Mary’s], we lost in the semis at the buzzer my se­nior year to Eleanor Roo­sevelt.”

Re­call­ing how he was re­cruited by Har­ney, Mou­ton said: “Ran­dom phone call. I was at work and it was Coach Har­ney.”

Har­ney was look­ing to up­grade his ros­ter, not his cell­phone plan.

“He told me that the sit­u­a­tion would be good for me, and ev­ery­thing just hap­pened to work out,” Mou­ton said.

Har­ney, who set up the game be­tween his peren­ni­ally suc­cess­ful Di­vi­sion III pro­gram and the Terps through two other friends on Tur­geon’s staff — as­sis­tant coach Bino Ran­son and di­rec­tor of bas­ket­ball op­er­a­tions Nima Omid­var — said he doesn’t have any delu­sions go­ing into tonight.

“As far as Thurs­day goes, we want to win the game, but we’re try­ing just to look at what we’re do­ing and how we can do it bet­ter,” said Har­ney, whose Sea­hawks opened with a 95-66 win over Penn State-Al­toona on Tues­day. “We’re go­ing to ap­proach it like ev­ery other game, but we’re also self-aware to re­al­ize we’re deal­ing with fu­ture NBA play­ers.”

That was the case five years ago, when St. Mary’s went up to NewYork to play St. John’s, which at the time fea­tured fu­ture NBA player Moe Hark­less. The Sea­hawks led by six with about nine min­utes to go be­fore fall­ing, 77-70.

“It was un­usual cir­cum­stances,” Har­ney said. “[Steve] Lavin was about to un­dergo treat­ment for prostate can­cer that week. We got lucky. They played zone the whole Melo Trim­ble St. Mary’s De­laszo Smith played in the same mid­dle school leagues as Mary­land’s Trim­ble. “He was ba­si­cally the same kind of player he is to­day,” Smith said. game and we hit a bunch of 3s. We gave them a game.”

Har­ney joked that most Terps fans must’ve thought “it was a typo or St. Mary’s of Cal­i­for­nia” when they saw the game on Mary­land’s sched­ule. Though the game doesn’t count against Mary­land’s RPI — and is of­fi­cially an ex­hi­bi­tion for St. Mary’s — there are some rea­sons the game is be­ing played.

Ac­cord­ing to a con­tract for the game ob­tained by The Baltimore Sun through the Mary­land Pub­lic In­for­ma­tion Act, St. Mary’s is re­ceiv­ing a $20,000 guar­an­tee.

“In some ways, they make money. They have to pay D-IIs and lower D-Is more than they pay us,” Har­ney said. “It’s a wind­fall. It’s more than our en­tire bud­get.

“It’s a per­fect storm of things — it’s re­la­tion­ships and net­work­ing, that’s part of it. I have a re­la­tion­ship with most of the staff mem­bers of the team. … I coached at Bel Air High School and played in men’s leagues all over Baltimore, and that’s where I got to know Bino. He was com­ing off be­ing at St. Frances at the time.”

Har­ney said that af­ter he at­tended Tur­geon’s camp for high school teams last sum­mer, the game be­tween the schools took shape.

“It was me be­ing at the team camp on the morn­ing of the cham­pi­onship game, but I was there to re­cruit,” Har­ney said. “It was the tim­ing then, and then he ask­ing me to talk to his son, Will, about the dif­fer­ences be­tween Di­vi­sion I and III. It was [the el­der Tur­geon] put­ting a face to the same and say­ing, ‘Yeah, we’ll do that game.’ That’s how it hap­pened. Nima was re­ally the guy that got the game for me.”

Har­ney, who is now re­cruit­ing the younger Tur­geon, said there will be plenty of St. Mary’s fans at Xfin­ity Cen­ter on Thurs­day. Just as Mary­land fans did at Ver­i­zon Cen­ter against Ge­orge­town in the team’s 76-75 win Tues­day night, Sea­hawks fans will try to drown out the home crowd.

“You mark my words — you are go­ing to be sur­prised at how many of our fans will be there,” Har­ney said. “We’re re­ally grow­ing a huge fan base for Mary­land in South­ern Mary­land. They’re ba­si­cally junkies down here. We have an in­sane Di­vi­sion III bas­ket­ball en­vi­ron­ment; it’s a miniver­sion of what Mary­land has.”

Tur­geon held a sum­mer camp at St. Mary’s last sum­mer. Har­ney ex­pects most of the 1,300 fans that show up for games at the “Hawk Dome” to be at Xfin­ity Cen­ter.

“This place is go­ing to be a ghost town Thurs­day,” Har­ney said.


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