Maryland Basketball: Terps Add Ukrainian Center Alex Len for 2011-12 Season

Patrick DuffyContributor IAugust 29, 2011

Maryland basketball head coach Mark Turgeon announced Monday the team has added Ukrainian Olexiy "Alex" Len to the roster.

Len, a 7'1'' center, grabbed global attention while playing for the Ukrainian national team in 2010.  That year he averaged 16 points, 11.4 rebounds and 4.3 blocks per game in the European Championships.

“We are very excited about the addition of Alex to our basketball team,” Turgeon said through an official athletic department release. “To be able to add a player with his ability so late in the recruiting calendar is good for us. We’re fortunate that, prior to our arrival, Alex was being recruited to Maryland. For him to reach this point is a testament to his great family support and his character. I’m looking forward to working with Alex and helping him reach his potential as a player and a person.”

Len’s addition brings Maryland’s number of scholarship players to nine and his size is paramount. The Terps are loaded with guards but have few options in the front court after All-ACC power forward Jordan Williams left school early for the NBA.

Len expressed excitement about playing in the United States, but admitted he had not seen many NCAA Basketball games. However, he said watching Maryland play against Duke at the Comcast Center in 2010 piqued his interest.

The news of Len’s signing comes immediately after coach Turgeon and his staff added four-star center Shaq Cleare for 2012-13. Cleare, a Houston native, is 6'9'' and ranked as the No. 6 center in the country. He joins a recruiting class with Virginia guard Seth Allen that is currently ranked No. 17 nationally. 

The University of Maryland starts classes on Wednesday and Len will join his teammates later this week.