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Wait-and-see approach leads to Jerome Burney's return for Terrapins

One of the surprises from last Saturday that got somewhat buried, given the outcome of Maryland's performance at Duke, was that redshirt junior forward Jerome Burney was A) on the road trip, B) in uniform and C) participating in warmup drills. Burney also suited up for Monday night's game against Virginia, and Maryland fans even chanted his name late in the 19-point rout, requesting that Coach Gary Williams sub Burney in.

While it is unlikely Burney will play much -- if at all -- for the Terrapins this season, it's interesting that he has progressed to the point where he can practice with the squad and at least potentially be available on game days. Last October, the school issued a press release stating that Burney would miss the season because of lingering right foot injuries.

But according to J.J. Bush, the men's basketball team's trainer, the fact that Burney is healthy enough to compete at the level necessary to participate in practices is not all that unusual, given the injuries Burney has dealt with. In February 2009, Burney broke two sesamoid bones on the bottom of his right big toe during practice 10 days after returning from a stress fracture in the same foot. Burney sat out the remainder of the season.

Bush said re-iterated in a phone interview Tuesday that sesamoid bones are very dense with little bone marrow, which means they don't always heal completely when fractured. In between the first set of radiology exams in February of last year and the second set taken in early June 2009, Bush said some natural healing had taken place.

"So you have two options," Bush said. "You can operate on it and take it out, but that's six months of non-weight bearing on crutches before you can start getting back in shape. The other option is to leave it alone and maybe some scarring would go across the fracture site and, you know, see how it goes. Jerome was the one that made the decision that, you know, if he got the surgery he was out for six months; that's the end of his career. If he doesn't do anything, you know, and it gets better and better, you see how it goes. So that's the option he chose."

The original plan, according to Bush, was for Burney to undergo another round of radiology exams in early August and then see whether Burney felt well enough to run. From then, Burney would determine whether he could play in the upcoming season.

While that set of tests never occured, Burney did test out the foot by playing basketball on his own. On Oct. 2, the school confirmed that Burney would be out for the season. That, however, did not halt Burney's plans to return to the court. Over the next few months he used a wait-and-see approach to recovery.

"You see how it feels," Bush said. "You just use common sense. If it hurts to walk, then obviously it's going to hurt to run. And if it doesn't hurt to walk, you know, then you see how it feels to run on it."

Bush declined to go into detail about certain aspects of Burney's progression (when he was first able to run, when he began practicing with the team, etc.), but clearly the past few months the foot improved enough for him to return to the court.

At least once a week, Bush said, he'll approach Burney to check on how the foot feels. If it feels fine, then Burney continues to practice. If Burney reports enough pain or discomfort, he sits out.

"He tells us how it feels and what he feels like he can do that day," Bush said. "And of course he helps us because he's a big body, and he helps us in practice. But that's been his decision primarily to do that. Nobody's pushed him. Nobody's forced him or anything like that. We've left it up to him, and we appreciate when he can help us. And we appreciate when he tells us that it's bothering him today so that's it. He watches. He lets us know how it feels."

By Steve Yanda  |  February 17, 2010; 10:21 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Comments

Meanwhile, for the last 4 minutes of the game vs. UVa, the students chanted "We Want Burney"

Gary did not oblige.

Posted by: CharlieF | February 17, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

The whole Burney saga is strange. Will he be able to medical redshirt this year if he doesnt play?

Posted by: jpfterps | February 17, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I for one, don't understand the intrigue surrounding Burney. He has not brought any real value to the team and yet continues to be a side story.

The focus should be on the performance of the players that are on the court. I hope Burney does indeed get better but I am not one to hope that he is the answer that will turn us into national contenders anytime soon.

Now on to this talk about Grevis and breaking records. Love him or hate him, he will go down as one of the biggest contributors to the MD program. For the past four years he has lived and breathed MD basketball and has an invested interest in the program.

In a pre-season interview he even stated that after graduation he wants to donate time and money to the program. Among other things, he spoke of trying to create a weight room dedicated just to the basketball team and mentoring future players. What other player has ever expressed that interest and followed through? It's nice to see Dixon, Francis, Mouton, etc in the stands from time to time but they seem to have forgotten where their success came from.

GV is a hero in Caracas and as a Hispanic-American he represents our people with the fiery disposition we are known for. Passion is not something that Grevis lacks. I love the fact that this year he speaks more about the "team" than himself. That is definite progress from even a year ago. I hope he comes out gunning against what will be a very hostile crowd towards him tonight. VAMOS TERPS!!

Posted by: terptilldeath | February 17, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

ttd -

I think the intrigue with players like Goins and Burney (I get them mixed up; is Goins even on the team? I seem to recall him leaving) is that they are the big bodies that GW recruited. Neither has played much in their careers, and the what-might-have-beens are inevitable. barno would have a better take on how they were rated as recruits, but assuming both had been decent players we would have a deep front court. Then again, Braxton Dupree was highly rated as a recruit and we saw what happened there.

On a side note, a friend of mine from Bogota, who takes immense pride in Montoya, Shakira and most recently Sofia Vergara (sp?) and has many a put-down specifically for Venezuelans has adopted GV as his favorite. He roots against Manu Ginobili and others b/c they are Argentine. as he is quick to point out - GV has no arrests and is in good academic standing. Otherwise, he is not really a MD fan and has no connection with the University. But he tunes in to watch GV.

jfp - I am certain Burney already burned his medical redshirt.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | February 17, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Doubtful since he's on the roster and suited up on game days. Plus he already redshirted once.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 17, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Burney was part of the very solid top 25 recruiting class of Vasquez, Hayes, Milbourne, Boom Osby, and Burney. If you youtube him you'll see some crazy dunks he had in high school...guy definitely has serious ups and is lanky as hell.

Who knows if his foot is really healed, but I've seen enough of him in the few times he's been able to play over the last couple years to know that I want to see more of him. He had a couple of big plays that helped keep us in the game against UNC last year before we won in OT and the year before that he was a shot blocking machine in the Clemson game.

I understand Gary not wanting to mess with his rotation right now and doesn't see the need to risk anything by throwing Burney out there (unless there's an emergency, like Gregory and J. Williams fouling out). But hopefully next year, his senior year, he will finally be able to be a regular contributor to this team.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 17, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Burney is the type of player that this team is missing that would have made it a legitimate contender. He's a true 4, and during his freshamn year he showed flashes of why Gary recruited him with a great vertical and good hands. Between injuries and players ahead of him in the rotation, his playing and practice time was severely reduced. Burney never developed into the player he probably should have given his talents coming out of high school.

Who knows what his game looks like now with over 2 years of rust, but having another big available certainly isn't a bad thing, especially since Gary doesn't appear to have much trust in Padgett yet.

Who knows what the deal is with Goins. It's interesting how deep the Post dug into the program last year when the team was struggling to find all of the players that trasfered or left the program, yet this year Gary's had one guy leave after realizing he didn't want to go to school (Choi), another guy get suspended for "violation of team rules" (Gregory), and another just simply vanish without explaination who was a project to begin with (Goins). The Dino story was probably covered as much as possible due to privacy issues, but so little has been written about the other two, particularly Choi given the fanfare of his arrival as the first Korean to play D-1. Way to ride the bandwaggon Post!

Posted by: Russtinator | February 17, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Gary is being a good mentor to Burney... his foot is not totally healthy, and Burney is not good enough to play at this level. He is going to try and get a medical redshirt from the NCAA for this season and probably transfer to Loyola (or somewhere comparable) and hope to have 2 years of eligibility left. Most coaches don't want senior transfers, so Gary is looking out for the young man and giving him a better chance to find somewhere to play.

Gary is the good guy in this case.

Posted by: S2DU | February 17, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

barno,

Thanks for the info on Burney. Now I got it straight. We have no idea on Goins capabilities, but Burney has shown promise. Hopefully he can have a Dave Neal-like senior year.

Joemama - Thanks for the link. Here is what I found on GV and the scoring record:

Juan Dixon - 2,269
GV- 1,939 before UVA, 1,969 after UVA

So GV is an even 300 points short of Dixon.

6 ACC games to go
ACC Tournament
NCAA Tournament

Wow, if we go far in the ACC tournaments and NCAAs, he might just take it. Just saying.

I am now officially hoping that GV is the new all-time scoring leader at the University of Maryland.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | February 17, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Russinator-

Goins was never healthy, he showed up on campus with bad knees and could never get healthy. He was always going to be a project, but his knees were so bad he could not practice and work enough to improve.

Choi could not learn the language and was struggling in all his classes because of it. Also, he was suffering apparently from culture shock.

And Dino unfortunately got caught doing something that almost every kid does in college, only difference is that he is a D-1 athlete. Tough to blame Gary for what he did.

Posted by: S2DU | February 17, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Fair point by Russ on WaPo coverage. could it be that the Wapo realized they were guilty of terrible journalism last year? the stats were skewed and the logic inane. Its when I started paying attention to this board and eventually posting myself.

Choi leaving is kind of a big deal. The guy had shown improvement in games and was in the playing rotation (certainly ahead of Padgett). Its also kind of not a big deal, because the team has continued to win without him and he never scored much. Indeed, he did look lost on the court at times. Moreover, from a personal standpoint, he left with no clear destination in mind. But we really have not missed him have we?

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | February 17, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Fair point by Russ on WaPo coverage. could it be that the Wapo realized they were guilty of terrible journalism last year? the stats were skewed and the logic inane. Its when I started paying attention to this board and eventually posting myself.

Choi leaving is kind of a big deal. The guy had shown improvement in games and was in the playing rotation (certainly ahead of Padgett). Its also kind of not a big deal, because the team has continued to win without him and he never scored much. Indeed, he did look lost on the court at times. Moreover, from a personal standpoint, he left with no clear destination in mind. But we really have not missed him have we?

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | February 17, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Hugh,

That's a bit of a stretch to say Greivis could break Dixon record. We'd have to go incredibly far in both tourneys for him to have a shot, and he'd have to be averaging well into the mid 20s per game.

As much as I like Greivis, I for one hope Juan's record stands as long as I live. There is no one more deserving to hold that honor than the skinny kid from bmore who lost his parents, who beat all the odds and all the doubters, to lead us to our first National Championship.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 17, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Earning an additional redshirt would not be unprecidented, but obviously if Burney logs minutes at the end of this season, the NCAA would be unlikely to grant him an extra year of eligibility.

Posted by: Russtinator | February 17, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Also, in another effort to bridge the gap in the blog, Barno here's my Simpsons Top-10 (if it's really possible to pick just 10 favs) in no particular order.

1. Bart of Darkness ("Rear Window" parody)
2. Burns, Baby Burns (Dangerfield as Mr. Burns' son)
3. Das Bus ("Lord Of The Flies" parody)
4. El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer) (Homer eats the Merciless Peppers of Quetzlzacatenango, trips out and sees a space coyote, voiced by the man in black, Johnny Cash)
5. Homer vs. The 18th Amendment (Homer is the beer baron in a "dry" Springfield)
6. The Joy Of Sect (Scientology parody)
7. Homerpalooza (Homer takes kids to festival and rocks out with Cypress Hill, et. al.)
8. Two Bad Neighbors (Bush moves across the street from the Simpson's)
9. Lemon Of Troy (Shelbyvillian's steal Springfield's beloved Lemon tree)
10. Deep Space Homer (Homer goes to space, by way of default, the 2 greatest words in the english language)

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 16, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

My only gripe is the Australia episode is missing. This just shows how impossible it is to pick a top ten. How did I leave out Two Bad Neighbors, Burns Baby Burns, and Bart of Darkness?? Hell even Deep Space Homer needs to be in the top 10, but which do I bump out of the list?

Posted by: Barno1 | February 17, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm disappointed that I haven't seen my personal favorite on anyone's Simpsons list. How can we leave out "A Star is Burns," the fantastic film festival episode.

"Get me Steven Spielberg!"
"He's not available."
"Then get me his non-union Mexican equivalent!"

"People see you as something of an ogre."
"I'll club them and eat their bones!"

"Football in the groin, football in the groin!"

Posted by: stjerome03 | February 17, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Which was your favorite short film in that episode?

Apu Nahasapeemapetilon's "Bright Lights, Beef Jerky"

Moe Syzlak's musical number, "Moe Better Booze"

Hans Moleman's film "Man Getting Hit by Football" which features Moleman getting hit by a football in the groin.

Barney Gumble's "Pukeahontas", a story about alcoholism

Burns' film "A Burns for All Seasons"

My personal favorite was Pukeahontas...

"Don't cry for me, I'm already dead" -Barney Gumble

Posted by: Barno1 | February 17, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

The Burney situation does seem rather odd. I do like how he seems to be honest when it comes to his foot, i.e., not hiding or disclosing when there is discomfort. Glad he releases he could do more harm to himself and the team if he isn't upfront and honest with the coaching/medical staff.

Now, sorry you were disappointed acebojangles in my list. Some of the ones that you mentioned are high up there on mine (Kamp Krusty and Homie The Clown). Usually though, for me, storylines that partly revolve around Lisa (Lisa's Pony, Last Exit 2 Springfield) just don't do it for me. Not that there aren't funny moments in said.

And as Barno's said picking a top 10 is rather hard. It'd be like asking that Duggar dad to pick his top 5 favorite kids out of the 400 he has now.

Hugh, you could definitely teach a thing or 2 to these wanna-be detectives about basic common sense, putting 2 and 2 together because you hit the nail on the head. No way I'm posting at 5 am pacific time.

Barno, you're right, Bart vs. Australia is also up there on my list ("I'm impresses you were able to write so legibly on your own butt") but again, what gets dropped off the list to add that one. I could probably bump Homerpalooza off the list as that one holds a more sentimental place in my heart because I was actually able to make B-Real laugh at a line from that episode at a Cypress Hill concert a few years ago.

Jerome, you mention another good episode, especially since it has my all-time favorite Simpsons character taking the original shot to the groin.

Now if we could only get The Simpson's to do an episode centering on the Terps. Maybe I'll get started on that today.

Oh, and Hugh it's gonna be 80 again here today. Shoot may even go to the pool and swim some laps, do some light reading, and check out any of the opposite-sex eye candy that may be there.

Big game for the Terps. We win this we're only a game behind those bastard blue devils for 1st place.

Also, I love how everyone will be rooting for my 'Canes tonight to beat up on Duke, though the prospects of that actually happening seem rather slim.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 17, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I think the film festival episode reveals my inner Homer. Despite the fact that I'm using the board right now as a way to take a break from prepping to teach James Joyce to my plebes tomorrow, my favorite short is definitely "Man Getting Hit By Football." I'm cracking up just thinking about it. However, perhaps one that gets overlooked is from Jay Sherman's show, the clips from "McBain: Let's Get Silly."

"Jay, my new film is a mix of action und comedy. It's called 'McBain: Let's Get Silly." (cut to clips)
"This is my Woody Allen impression: 'I'm a neurotic nerd who likes to sleep with little girls.'"
"Hey McBain, you suck!" (McBain throws grenade at audience)
(Back to Jay's show) "The film is just me standing in front of a brick wall for an hour und a half. It cost eighty million dollars."

Posted by: stjerome03 | February 17, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Hugh it's gonna be 80 again here today. Shoot may even go to the pool and swim some laps, do some light reading, and check out any of the opposite-sex eye candy that may be there.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 17, 2010 1:28 PM

Ok, for once I hate you Poopy. I really, really hate you right now. today it is bone-chilling cold with yet another day of f*d up commuting in both directions. Bone-chilling. Woke up early to shovel my neighbor's immense plow drift in front of his driveway so I can back out of mine.

Barno -

I know its an absolute stretch for GV to break it - it would likely require a FF appearance. Don't think anyone wanted to see BBonds surpass Aaron, and I remember vividly how few folks wanted to see Aaron pass Ruth. I just want to see them win, and continue winning. Would not look back twice at the scoring record if it meant a FF or even better, NC. I think that 20ppg is a safe bet with 8 games slam dunk gauranteed to go (regular season + at least 1 in the ACC and 1 in the NCAA). That would be 160 points. He is gonna come damn close as I think we all agree that the Terps are likely to play more than two post-season games.

That said, even if we were to shock the world and win an NC this year, his star would never burn as bright as Juan Dixon's in my book. But it would sure burn brighter than Bias, Buck Williams, Elmore, McMillen, Lucas and a whole host of others. I'll call it tied with Lonny Baxter. But yeah, I'm in fantasy land right now.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | February 17, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Poopy,

I'm a little biased towards the early Simpsons episodes. I liked the fact the show at that point was more of an actual sitcom that just happened to be animated, rather than the silliness it has eventually devolved into. I still think it's OK, but it's not The Simpsons to me anymore. Kind of like the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Some of their new stuff is OK, but it can't compare to the Uplift Mofo Party Plan.

Register another vote for Pukeahontas. I love Jay Sherman. Does The Critic still air late night on cable anywhere?

Posted by: acebojangles | February 17, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

I wanted Bonds to surpass Aaron.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 17, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Jerome, you left out the best part of that one quote:

Jay Sherman: [contemptuous] How do you sleep at night?
Rainer Wolfcastle: On top of a pile of money with many beautiful ladies.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 17, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I love the film festival episode>

Barney: My name is Barney Gumble and I'm an alcoholic.

Lisa: Mr. Gumble, this is a girl scout meeting.

Barney: Is it? Or is it you girls are too ashmed to admit you have a problem?

Posted by: fushezzi | February 17, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Barno you wanted Bonds to pass Aaron? Really? What side were you rooting for in Avatar?

And Hugh, you remember Aaron passing Ruth? Vividly?

Posted by: jpfterps | February 17, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

You knew I was a Bonds guy.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 17, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I gotta say, I don't mind that Bonds past Aaron either. Of course I really don't mind that most players were on the sauce. I actually got to see Bonds go deep to up at OPACY one Sunday afternoon when the Giants were playing the O's. He hit an absolute moon-shot onto the flag court/Eutaw Street. It was awesome, still have the ticket stub.

And the side I was rooting for in Avatar is....well I haven't seen it and really don't have an interest in doing so. Special effects aside, the story/plot line seems rather boring and done before.

Oh, and than there's this:

"Don’t kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he’d eat you and everyone you care about!"

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 17, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

"When I grow up I want to go to Bovine University!"

Posted by: fushezzi | February 17, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

avatar storyline is predictable and boring. visuals are incredible and worth seeing.

I'll never understand how anyone can be a "Bonds guy". I guess the same kind of person enjoyed the Vinny Cerratto tenure and unequivocally defends Dan Snyder too.

Wait, is that Barno's music I hear....

Posted by: jpfterps | February 17, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

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