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Friday is a much-anticipated day in College Park. It's expected the NCAA clearinghouse will make a decision regarding the eligibility of Alex Len, the center who could potentially salvage the Terps' frontcourt.
The NCAA has been evaluating the details of Len and his family's move to the United States, and from this point, it's out of first-year head coach Mark Turgeon's hands.
"Everything that we were in control of went well; we're not in control with what's happening now," Turgeon said during media day Wednesday. "If it does come Friday, I think it will be a pretty swift movement from there."
Although Friday is a tentative deadline, Turgeon said the process could linger further if Len is ruled ineligible. If that is the situation, the case would be presented to a committee within a week. Len could be ineligible anywhere from zero games to a year.
Turgeon, though, said he's very confident in his case.
"We feel very strong about our case. Hopefully we're going to get a positive outcome, and it won't be much more than zero, if it is more than zero games."
Len, a 7-1, 225-pound center from the Ukraine, decided to play for Maryland in late August. A member of the Ukraine national team at the U-18 European Championships in 2010, Len averaged 16 points, 11.4 rebounds and 4.3 blocks per game.
With the departure of senior forward Dino Gregory, center Jordan Williams and sophomore Haukuur Palsson, the Terps were in desperate need of frontcourt depth. Turgeon said that he's watched a lot of Len, that he's a good shot-blocker and good on the defensive end.
But in addition to learning a new culture and a new language, Len must also adjust to the physicality and speed of the college game.
"I don't know when the light bulb is going to come on. And when that comes on, it's going to be an instant change," Turgeon said. "He has a high skill level and a lot of God-given ability. But it's a different game for him right now.'