Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics
College basketball season is here. Along with new head coach Kevin Willard, there are seven new faces on the Maryland men’s basketball roster this season.
One new player played for Willard at Seton Hall, four players are from Maryland and the other two live in other parts of the world.
These players join returnees, forwards Donta Scott and Julian Reese, and guard Hakim Hart, among others.
The two biggest additions to the men’s basketball team are guards Don Carey and Jahmir Young, both from Prince George’s County. Carey and Young are expected to start alongside Scott, Reese and Hart.
Maryland is Carey’s fourth school. Most recently, Carey has played for Georgetown for the past two seasons.
“It was so close to home,” Carey said. “I played Willard for two years so I know his style and how he trains. Maryland is a great university to play basketball. The winning culture here is real.”
Carey has experience with Willard’s Seton Hall teams as Hoya. Carey was 2-4 against Seton Hall in his Hoya career.
Young spent his entire college career at Charlotte, where he was one of the Niners’ best players.
“It was a great opportunity that I couldn’t pass up,” Young said. “Being able to play in front of my family was something I always wanted to do and I was able to do that growing up.”
Junior guard Jahari Long followed Willard south to Maryland after spending his freshman two years of college at Seton Hall, hampered by COVID-19 and injuries. Long caught Covid early in his debut season and took him out of the rotation, and surgery to repair a torn cartilage in his left knee cut short his second season.
“I chose Maryland because Coach Willard showed the confidence and belief that I can go back to where I was before my injury,” Long said.
Long is from Houston and loves the Houston Rockets, Astros and Texans. Long’s favorite Rockets players are Steve Francis and James Harden. Francis is a former Terp from Takoma Park, Maryland.
At 6ft 11in, center Caelum Swanton-Rodger is the tallest member of the Terps and one of two newcomers to the team. Swanton-Rodger is from Calgary, Canada.
“I wanted to be in a school that has a rich basketball culture, a great fan base, and of course Kevin Willard, who’s a great coach, so it was really a no-brainer,” Swanton-Rodger said.
Swanton-Rodger’s goal this season is to average eight points per game while cementing his place in the roster.
The other newcomer to the team is from Maryland.
Guard/Forward Noah Bachelor joins the team after completing his senior year at IMG Academy in Florida.
“This is my dream school, so it’s definitely very special to be here,” Bachelor said.
Bachelor believes he will be an Impact Freshman and has set his sights high on Big Ten Freshman of the Year or other Freshman First Team Award lists.
A surprise walk-on also recently joined the team.
Carson Dick is a walk-in Junior Guard from Glenelg, Maryland. Dick was a practice player for the team before officially joining the team this week.
“Carson had great energy and personality [at walk-on tryouts]’ Willard said. “He’s left-handed, often shoots poorly and gets yelled at.”
Degree Transfer Patrick Emilien is the other Canadian on the list, and Maryland is his third school.
“I chose Maryland because I was exposed to Tony Skinn (assistant coach) and was able to develop a relationship with him,” Emilien said. “My sister also went to Howard University, so I was familiar with the area, and I knew how important Maryland basketball was, so I couldn’t say no when I got this opportunity.”
Emilien is from Toronto, where French was his native language. Emilien and Swiss-born youngster Arnaud Revaz will only speak French to each other on the pitch.
Emilien played for Central Michigan and St. Francis in New York where his teams struggled. The most successful team Emilien played on was his second season in Western Michigan when the Broncos finished 13-19.
“Right now I’m just concentrating on coming together as a team and winning as many games as possible,” said Emilien. “I think we’re going to surprise some people.”