“We are very excited about the addition of Alex to our basketball team”
The Terps have signed Ukranian 7’1 big man Olexiy Len to replace the sizeable shoes of the departed sophomore Jordan Williams for the upcoming season. He will bring some added height and gives the Terps nine scholarship players for the year. As a member of the Ukranian national team, Olexiy (pronounced oh-LEX-ee) averaged 16 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 4.3 blocks in the U-18 European Championships in 2010. Len joins a thin and very untested front line of 6’8 James Padgett, 6’10 Berend Weijs, 6’5 Mychal Parker, and 6’9 Ashton Pankey.
In terms of his performance from the U-18 European Championships, europeanprospects.com wrote:
Athletically, Len is really off the charts for a European player. He can play above the rim and uses this on both ends of the court. He came up with several incredible dunks or catches high in the air that he finished with the alley-oop dunk out of nowhere. Defensively, he is a constant threat for anyone approaching the basket as he has excellent timing and feel for the big block shot. On the rebound situations, he grabs the ball really high with two hands and holds it high in order to finish it immediately on the offensive end. He is present on every rebound with his long arms and if he can not grab it, he can at least put the other players in trouble.
In comments released by the university, Len said: “It has been a dream of mine to come to the United States to play college basketball. In Ukraine we do not get to watch much NCAA basketball, but the first time I saw Maryland play was a memorable one. I saw a video of Maryland playing Duke in Comcast Center in 2010 season. I could not believe the atmosphere — 18,000 people, excitement and fans running onto the floor after the victory. It was unbelievable.” Len caught the right game with the Terps victory over Duke and now he will get to contribute to the rivalry.
In later comments, Len went on to say, “Coach Turgeon brings a new start to Maryland. For me, this is a brand new beginning as well. So, we are in it together. Coach shared with me his vision for the team, and how he could see me fitting in to his system. It felt good, like the right place for me to be. I can see myself coming in and contributing right away and helping our team compete in a great league. I’m extremely excited to be a Terp.” As I said before, Len brings added height to the team and should definitely help the young Terps improve on their 19-14 season from last year. “I’m looking forward to working with Alex and helping him reach his potential as a player and a person,” said Turgeon.