August 17, 2019

Maryland Basketball: #3 Terps knock off Rider 65-58 after extended scare for all in College Park

After a great comeback win in a renewed rivalry against the Georgetown Hoyas, the Maryland Terrapins came out a bit sluggish against the Rider Broncs. Luckily with the new 30 second shot clock, college basketball is a long game that allows for the more talented team to usually come up on top. Even though Maryland did not take their first lead until the 5:26 mark of the second half, the Terps were victorious 65-58 against an aggressive Rider team that looks to be competitive in the MAAC.

Michal Cekovsky starts for Diamond Stone, but Turgeon opts to go small

Cekovsky was the Terps best center against Georgetown and Mark Turgeon was hoping to get the best mix of Damonte Dodd‘s defense and Diamond Stone’s offense. After poor defense from Cekovsky early, Turgeon brought Stone off the bench three minutes into the game before ultimately going into a small ball lineup. It was Jared Nickens off the bench against the Hoyas that helped lead the Terps to victory and Turgeon tried to use that as a catalyst against Rider. Postgame, Stone said that anyone of the Terps bigs (Cekovsky, Dodd, and himself) can start and it does not matter between the three.

Maryland kept things close in the first half despite being visibly out played

(Photo by: @UMTerps)

(Photo by: @UMTerps)

The Terps came out slow for the second straight game and did not lead at all in the first half. Eight minutes into the game, Maryland was 1 of 6 from beyond the arc and getting outrebounded 9 to 7. With the interior defense lacking while Rider’s aggressive on-ball defense was paying off, Maryland found themselves in a whole. But as we have come to know this season whenever Turgeon finds his team in a rut, he looks to graduate transfer Rasheed Sulaimon who came through with nine points when the offense was sputtering. At the half, the Terps were down 31-29 when it could have been worse.

Rider comes out on fire to start the second half

After committing a turnover to start the half, it was all Rider who came firing with a 12-0 run. Even after a Turgeon timeout, Maryland could not figure things out and found themselves down by 14, the most this season. It was a mix of bad defensive rotations and transition buckets that hurt the Terps, but luckily for those in College Park things would change by the end of the half. At the end of this run by the Broncs, the veteran leadership of Sulaimon and Robert Carter Jr. were in the ears of their teammates to calm down and relax because they were going to win this game.

Diamond Stone showing why he was a five-star recruit

After not starting the game, the Wisconsin native showed Terp Nation why he is still a force to be reckoned with. Against the smaller Rider defenders, Stone went to work in the post and was starting to finish close to the basket. Stone would get the Terps first points of the half to snap Rider’s 12-0 run with a layup and would follow that up with a MONSTROUS put back dunk that energized the sold out Xfinity Center crowd. Stone’s eight points over a five minute span would directly lead to a 17-5 run. It was also Stone’s work on the defensive end, with two recovery blocks, that helped Maryland’s interior defense that was tested in the first half. Stone told me postgame that even though he may not show it on the court, he appreciates the support of the fans because it amps him up internally.

Closing things out in crunch time a success again

At the 5:26 mark in the second half, Sulaimon gave Maryland their first lead of the game at 52-50. Two minutes later, Melo Trimble hit his first three of the game after both Rider defenders fell back with Stone off the pick-and-roll to give Maryland the lead for good. Helping the Terps close things out were their dominance on the offensive glass as they had eight second chance opportunities thanks to crashing the boards. Credit Rider for sticking with it offensively, but Maryland responded in their own right. It certainly helped the Terps cause when the Xfinity wall helped Rider’s Kahlil Thomas miss the front end of the one-and-one free throw. The Terrapins were great in close games last year, and it seems like we might see a similar trend this time around.

The Terps will take off for the Cancun Challenge to face off against Illinois State on Tuesday 11/24.

Maryland Basketball: In a game of runs, #3 Terps comeback to knock off the Georgetown Hoyas

It took two universities, separated just 17 miles apart, 22 years to renew a rivalry that was budding through most of the mid-20th century. Maryland is in a much different place as a program as in 1993, Gary Williams used it as a program turning game, while today Mark Turgeon was just trying to maintain their #3 ranking as the team continues to build chemistry. A great game to watch for non-fans, but a heart attack variety if you were invested, SportsCenter was hosted after a thrilling 75-71 Maryland victory that Turgeon called a “big relief”.

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Maryland Basketball: Terps win big in exhibition over SNHU, but have things to clean up

The Maryland Terrapins basketball season has finally kicked off with an exhibition victory over Southern New Hampshire University, 82-60. Here are the five biggest takeaways from the victory that comes a week before Maryland opens the season against Mount St. Mary’s.

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Maryland Terrapins 2015-16 Season Position Outlook: Center

To be a competitive team in college basketball, one must have at least one dominant big man that can efficiently score in the paint. Unfortunately for Maryland, the loss of Charles Mitchell and Shaq Cleare left the Terps with a young center core that were raw offensively. Damonte Dodd was more of a defensive specialist and it took Michal Cekovsky quite a bit of the season to adjust to the American style of the game. Now with an elite talent in Diamond Stone, the Terps have a game changing center who will help fill a major hole for the Terps.

(Photo by: Terrapin Station)

(Photo by: Terrapin Station)

Stone dominated in high school, where he led Dominican to four straight state championships while averaging 24.4 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 3 blocks per game in his senior year. In the 2015 McDonald’s All-American game, Stone was 7 of 9 from the field with three rebounds and a couple of blocks.

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Maryland Terrapins 2015-16 Season Position Outlook: Power Forward

Due to the lack of a dominant big man offensively, one of Maryland’s biggest weaknesses last season, Jake Layman played most of his minutes as a stretch four. This year, with Georgia Tech transfer Robert Carter Jr. eligible, the Terps can return to a more traditional two big man set.

Although Carter is likely to have fallen off of many people’s radar while sitting out the past season, he is confident that he will return to prominence as he likely will. With the offseason, Carter has credited the strength and conditioning coaches at Maryland for getting his body into great shape entering his redshirt junior year.

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Maryland Terrapins 2015-16 Season Position Outlook: Shooting Guard

Out of all five positions in the Maryland Terrapins rotation, shooting guard is likely the one that has the most wrinkles to iron out before conference play. The only problem for Maryland is that they have early tests during non-conference play with bouts against Georgetown, UNC, and UConn, which will test them as soon as the season starts. The three players who will likely see the majority of the minutes at the two-guard position include Duke transfer Rasheed Sulaimon, sharpshooting and lengthy Jared Nickens, and highly recruited Dion Wiley. All excel at different things, but it will be Mark Turgeon‘s job to determine who exactly fits best with the starting rotation.

(Photo by: @kingsulaimon0)

(Photo by: @kingsulaimon0)

To me, I would start Rasheed Sulaimon alongside Melo Trimble because of his veteran leadership and excellent defense he can bring to the team. A one time five-star recruit and #12 ranked player in his class, Sulaimon decided to become a Terp because he trusted Coach Turgeon from his days at Texas A&M after graduating from Duke over the past summer. Turgeon expressed his affection for Sulaimon as a person and also was glad that he was starting to develop into the leader that they lost last year in Dez Wells.

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Maryland Basketball: Five ambitious, yet realistic goals for talented Terps in 2015-16

It is crazy to think that last year at this time, Mark Turgeon was on the hotseat after losing five important players to transfer including his very first recruit at Maryland, Seth Allen. Turgeon however knew during the Summer of 2014 that he had a “special group” with a combination of veteran leadership from the clutch Dez Wells and a number of talented freshmen headlined by Melo Trimble. This year even with the loss of Wells, the Terps are arguably the most talented team in the country, more than the likes of traditional powerhouses Duke and Kentucky. As a result, it will not be a surprise that a program picked to finish 10th in the Big Ten can make waves on the national level in March. Here are five optimistic but obtainable goals for this year’s Maryland Terrapins basketball squad.

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Maryland Basketball: Terps Land 4-Star SG Kevin Huerter

Kevin Huerter (6′ 5”-180) is the 12th ranked shooting guard in the nation and fourth best prospect out of the state of New York. He committed to Maryland today on Labor Day after a campus visit last Friday when the Maryland men’s soccer team upset #1 ranked UCLA.

https://twitter.com/KevinHuerter/status/640943842154422272

According to 247sports, Huerter is the 64th best player in the country while ESPN ranks the sharp shooter at 41. The Terps beat out the likes of Michigan, Notre Dame, and Virginia for the rights to Huerter after being heavily recruited by assistant coach Dustin Clark.

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