The assumption for Maryland going into the 2012-13 basketball season was that one of the team's freshmen power forwards was going to take away many of James Padgett's minutes, and perhaps his starting job.
Though Padgett's minutes have decreased, the 6-8 senior is still starting for Maryland (1-1) going into Friday's game against Long Island University (0-2) at Comcast Center. Many of the minutes have gone to a freshman, but not the one most fans and maybe even second-year coach Mark Turgeon expected.
Turgeon credits Padgett's blue-collar work ethic — and his continued productivity — for allowing freshmen Charles Mitchell and Shaquille Cleare to not have the pressure put on their broad shoulders right away.
I wrote last week going into the Kentucky game that freshmen Charles Mitchell and Seth Allen had outplayed the two most celebrated members of Mark Turgeon's first recruiting class, Shaquille Cleare and Jake Layman.
Mitchell, the last of the four to sign, has certainly been the most consistent. His 10 rebounds against the then-No. 3 Wildcats turned out to be the most by a Terps freshman in his first college game since Buck Williams in 1978, and we all know what kind of player he turned out to be.
I am writing a story for Friday's newspaper on Mitchell's rebounding prowess and how senior James Padgett's steady play has helped both Mitchell and Cleare develop.