TideIllustrated – Bediako breaks character ‘Angry Chuck’ in win over Maryland

Birmingham, Ala. There is nothing sweeter than revenge, especially on the biggest stage.

While many college basketball fans watched Alabama and Maryland pined for a spot in the Sweet 16, Charles Pediaco was having a personal rivalry of his own against Maryland’s Julian Reese. With Bediako representing IMG Academy and Reese champion St. Francis Academy, the current Maryland forward, had one of his best performances against the Canadian in 2020.

Three years later, Pediaco overtook Reese as the Crimson Tide snagged their ticket to the Sweet 16 thanks to a 73-51 win over the Terapins.

“It was a personal game for me,” Pediaco said. “I played with him in high school and his team got the best of mine. I played well, but they got the win. … I can’t remember but I’m sure we lost at 11, so today I said to him ‘Well, it’s a little bit of a revenge game’ I was glad we got to the positive end of that.”

The playful Bediako was more dangerous than usual before the match and that pent-up aggression reached a new level when Reis opened the scoring 40 seconds into the match.

“I saw it in his eyes, he was like ‘Nah, never again,’” Namarie Burnett said. “That’s the kind of mentality Charles can get into. He can literally turn an opponent away. Seeing him become the centerpiece of our defense throughout the season is exciting to see especially at this time of year.”

Reese and Pediaco battled all night with the two talking a bit of trash talk to each other after fighting for rebounds. The hurling climaxed as the 7-footer made the best impression of Dennis Rodman, flipping the ball through the air twice before finally snatching it away from Reese, resulting in an offensive foul.

Bidacco raised four fingers, counting the number of fouls the Maryland forward had committed in the game that was met with a slam and Reese made his case to the umpire.

The thought of Pediaco trash-talking brought a smile to the face of Burnett who had been on the receiving end of some center pranks during practice.

“He says little little things that if you don’t hear them, that’s your business, but that’s how he feels,” Burnett said. “Whether they hear it or not or we don’t, you can see it on his face when he stops.”

While Bediako showed plenty of his midfield streak holding Reese to 14 points and two rebounds, accepting the mantra as Alabama’s edge protector was a process for him. His gentle giant demeanor off the field doesn’t mix with his snarling rim guard, but Jahvon Quinerly is one of those teammates who constantly force him to be meaner on the ground.

“I love the kind of person he is but there are times I tell him, ‘Bro you’re so sweet. You gotta be so mean sometimes,’” Quinnerly said. “I’m really happy for him. I’ve really seen him grow and it’s been great for us.”

Pedicow’s snarling became the push Alabama needed to beat a physical Maryland team. After scoring his third double-double this season, Alabama coach Nate Oates hopes to pack his “Angry Chuck” persona when the team travels to Louisville.

“He’s soft-spoken,” said the oatmeal. But Chuck’s whole angry deal is so right. He has a side of him that comes out when we need him out. Part of his offensive rebound is his playing it aggressive and tough. Punishing the keys. He puts them on guards. He gets them on the adults too.

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