Tag Archive | "Terrapins"

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Maryland earns No. 5 seed in South, will face South Dakota State

Posted on 13 March 2016 by Luke Jones

In a season filled with lofty expectations, a late-season slide resulted in Maryland receiving the No. 5 seed in the South region of the 2016 NCAA tournament.

As high as No. 2 in the AP top 25 poll earlier this season before losing five of their last seven and falling to No. 18 in the rankings, the Terps will face the No. 12 seed South Dakota State in the first round in Spokane, Wash. on Friday. The Jackrabbits (26-7) won the Summit League for the third time in the last five years.

Friday’s game will tip at approximately 4:30 p.m. locally and will be televised on TBS.

The winner would advance to play either No.4 seed California or 13th-seed Hawaii on Sunday. The top overall seed Kansas is also in the South region and would potentially loom in the Sweet Sixteen.

Maryland had missed the NCAA tournament in four consecutive seasons before earning the No. 4 seed in the Midwest and advancing to the second round last year. However, expectations soared this year with the arrivals of freshman standout Diamond Stone and transfers Robert Carter Jr. and Rasheed Sulaimon.

The Terps began the season 15-1, but their 10-7 finish entering the NCAA tournament hasn’t inspired confidence that they’ll realize the Final Four predictions that so many made a few months ago. Maryland fell 64-61 to Michigan State in Saturday’s Big Ten tournament semifinal after topping Nebraska in the quarterfinals on Friday night.

This was the fifth time in school history in which the Terps have won at least 24-regular season games, but they will be trying to advance to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2003. Maryland has won at least one game in its last 11 NCAA tournament appearances dating back to 1998.

The program is making its 26th trip to the “Big Dance” and second under fifth-year head coach Mark Turgeon.

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Terps still ranked in top 10 despite loss at Minnesota

Posted on 22 February 2016 by WNST Staff

After suffering its worst loss of the season, Maryland appeared to be in danger of falling out of the top 10 for the first time all year.

Instead, the Terps hung on at 10th overall in the latest AP top 25 rankings released on Monday afternoon. Mark Turgeon’s team was No. 6 last week before Thursday’s shocking loss at Minnesota, who hadn’t won a conference game all season.

Maryland fell from fifth to No. 9 in the USA Today coaches’ poll.

Michigan State climbed to No. 6 in this week’s AP rankings while Iowa fell to eighth after a road loss to Penn State.

The Terps (23-5) return to action Saturday afternoon when they play at Purdue.

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Terps freshman Stone suspended for Minnesota game

Posted on 15 February 2016 by WNST Staff

Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon announced Monday that freshman center Diamond Stone has been suspended one game for his conduct late in the first half of Saturday’s loss to Wisconsin.

The 6-foot-11 big man was issued a technical foul but was not ejected for appearing to shove Badgers forward Vitto Brown’s head against the floor in the midst of an altercation. Wisconsin freshman Charlie Thomas was also issued a technical foul after he and Stone argued with one another.

“Diamond’s conduct during Saturday’s game was a poor representation of the standards that we have established as a program at the University of Maryland,” Turgeon said in a statement released by the school. “I have talked with Diamond and he realizes he made a mistake. He felt very badly about what happened and will learn from this experience. I want to sincerely apologize to Vitto Brown and [Wisconsin head coach] Greg Gard for what transpired Saturday.”

Asked about the incident following Saturday’s 70-57 loss, Turgeon said he could not see what happened from his vantage point, but he would review the video and discuss the matter with Stone. The talented big man will serve his suspension on Thursday as the Terps travel to face Minnesota.

The freshman scored 10 points and registered four blocks against Wisconsin despite Maryland having its school record 27-game home winning streak snapped.

“I want to apologize to Vitto Brown and the Wisconsin basketball team for my unacceptable behavior during Saturday’s game,” Stone said in a statement. “I regret that I let the emotions of the game get the best of me. I let my team down, and I accept full responsibility for my actions.”

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Maryland’s win over No. 3 Iowa brings peace of mind

Posted on 29 January 2016 by Luke Jones

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Mark Turgeon had downplayed the notion that Thursday’s showdown with third-ranked Iowa was a must-win game for Maryland.

The coach reiterated that sentiment even after the No. 8 Terrapins earned their first win of the season against a ranked opponent and served the Hawkeyes their first loss in Big Ten play in a 74-68 final

“Everybody that cares about Maryland basketball was in a panic, but we never were,” said Turgeon, who reminded that all three of the Terps’ losses had come in challenging road environments. “We’re in a grind session right now. We’ve got a tough schedule ahead of us. We’re trying to be the best team we can be in March and peak at the right time.”

Panic? That description might be too strong, but concern was growing about whether the Terps were as great as many thought they could be after last Saturday’s loss at Michigan State. And though a victory over a top-ranked opponent doesn’t guarantee a Final Four berth any more than the previous losses meant a trip to Houston wasn’t happening, Maryland offered some peace of mind on Thursday night.

Only three other games against currently-ranked opponents remain on the Terps’ regular-season schedule, meaning opportunities to enhance the NCAA tournament résumé in hopes of a No. 1 or No.2 seed were running low.

The signature win was more important than it was impressive as both teams trudged through an ugly second half that hardly resembled the fast-paced, high-quality first 20 minutes of action. Maryland was just 9-for-27 from the field and 0-for-10 from beyond the arc in the second half, but stingy defense was the difference for the Terps in the first game played between top-10 teams in the 14-year history of Xfinity Center.

Maryland outrebounded the Hawkeyes after struggling mightily in that department against Michigan State and Northwestern, and Robert Carter Jr. and Jake Layman combined to stifle one of the best players in the country as Jarrod Uthoff was an abysmal 2-for-13 and finished with just nine points.

Rasheed Sulaimon and Carter each scored 17 to lead the way for the Terps and ease the burden on star point guard Melo Trimble, who didn’t receive enough help in the loss to the Spartans last weekend. Maryland has plenty of players who can score — that was evident in the 100-65 demolition of Ohio State two weeks ago — but that balance and toughness needed to surface against a high-quality opponent.

To go along with the balanced offense, the Terps handled adversity in responding to Carter fouling out on a questionable call with less than two minutes remaining. Out of a timeout, Maryland executed a pretty set that resulted in a Diamond Stone dunk, forced a turnover on the other end, and then extended the lead to 66-60 on a layup by Jared Nickens with 1:11 left.

Iowa wouldn’t seriously challenge again as its nine-game winning streak was snapped.

“I think we grew as a team,” said Sulaimon about moving past the loss at Michigan State. “There’s a fine line in being a good and a great team, and I think that team chemistry and stuff like that makes a big difference.”

Time will tell whether the Terps crossed over from good to great on Thursday, but the victory was one fans were waiting for to help confirm why they’ve been so excited all season.

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Terps drop to No. 8 in AP poll before showdown with Iowa

Posted on 25 January 2016 by Luke Jones

A rough week that included a 74-65 loss at Michigan State didn’t hurt Maryland too badly in the polls.

Mark Turgeon’s Terrapins (17-3) fell only one spot to No. 8 in the latest AP Top 25 poll released on Monday despite a closer-than-expected home win over Northwestern and the defeat at the hands of the Spartans. Though standing in the top 10 all season, Maryland has yet to secure a win over a ranked opponent, leaving some to wonder just how great the Terps really are despite an abundance of talent on paper.

Defensive rebounding has been a major concern, particularly over the last two contests with Northwestern securing 16 offensive boards and Michigan State grabbing 17 on the offensive end to hand the Terps their third loss of the season.

Maryland will have a chance to secure its first victory of the season over a top 25 opponent against Iowa in College Park on Thursday night. The Hawkeyes have been one of the biggest surprises in the country and have climbed all the way to No. 3 in the AP poll with a perfect 7-0 mark in the Big Ten.

Following the win over the Terps to snap a three-game losing streak, Michigan State dropped one spot from No. 11 to 12th in the nation.

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Maryland hires Michigan’s D.J. Durkin as head coach

Posted on 02 December 2015 by WNST Staff

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Terps’ Wells untaken, Orioles prospect Connaughton selected in NBA draft

Posted on 26 June 2015 by Luke Jones

Two prospects of local interest saw mixed results during Thursday’s NBA draft as Maryland forward Dez Wells went unselected while Orioles pitching prospected Pat Connaughton was taken in the second round.

Despite going undrafted after a strong senior season in which he averaged 15.1 points per game, Wells is expected to join an NBA summer league team and will be given an opportunity to make a roster. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Wells lacks the ideal size to play forward and will need to continue developing his perimeter ability to make it as a guard at the NBA level, but his athleticism and competitive drive still figure to attract a potential suitor for summer workouts.

(Update: Wells has agreed to join the Wizards’ summer league roster, according to Comcast SportsNet.)

Connaughton’s story is more intriguing as he was selected by the Brooklyn Nets before his draft rights were sent to the Portland Trailblazers in a deal that also involved former Maryland point guard Steve Blake. After being taken by the Orioles in the fourth round of last year’s MLB amateur draft and reportedly receiving a $428,000 signing bonus, Connaughton appeared set to pursue a career as a top 10 pitching prospect in the organization after completing his senior year playing for the Notre Dame basketball team.

However, Connaughton had a strong season for the Fighting Irish, which left the door open to professional basketball. The 6-foot-5 forward’s draft stock climbed during the scouting combine when he showed off his perimeter shooting and a 44-inch vertical leap, the best of any prospect who participated.

In six appearances for short-season Single-A Aberdeen last season, Connaughton pitched to a 2.51 ERA in 14 1/3 innings.

It remains uncertain if — or when — the Orioles will attempt to recover Connaughton’s bonus money as they continue to hold his baseball rights and could allow him time to see how his potential NBA career plays out in the coming months before taking any action.

In other local news, former Maryland great and Toronto Raptors guard Greivis Vasquez was reportedly traded to the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday.

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Maryland receiving all-too-early hype as top 5 team in 2015-16

Posted on 07 April 2015 by Luke Jones

Even as the final tones of “One Shining Moment” were ringing in your head early Tuesday morning, the college basketball world was wasting no time looking ahead to next year.

And if the “all-too-early” looks at the 2015-16 season are any indication, the Maryland Terrapins could be entering territory they haven’t seen in more than a decade. With the confirmation that point guard Melo Trimble will return for his sophomore year and the arrival of five-star center Diamond Stone, the Terps are on track to be a consensus top 5 preseason pick in the minds of several experts.

The Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy envisions Maryland as the No. 3 team in the nation, citing less dependence on perimeter shots with Stone and Georgia Tech transfer Robert Carter manning the frontcourt next season.

CBS Sports projects the Terps at No. 4 behind two old ACC foes — No. 1 Virginia and No. 2 North Carolina — in the “ridiculously early” preseason top 25. Gary Parrish sees a “Final Four-caliber roster” for head coach Mark Turgeon.

Not to be outdone, ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan likes Maryland as his No. 5 squad and the preseason Big Ten favorite “by a wide margin” because of the core four of Trimble, senior Jake Layman, sophomore Jared Nickens, and Stone.

Do these absurdly-premature preseason rankings mean anything? No, but it’s another reminder of how far Turgeon’s program has come over the last calendar year.

And it allows you to daydream about the possibility of the Terps headlining next year’s “One Shining Moment” package after having to watch Mike Krzyzewski and Duke do it again on Monday night.

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Five-star recruit Diamond Stone commits to Maryland

Posted on 28 March 2015 by Luke Jones

Less than a week after its season came to a disappointing end in the NCAA tournament’s round of 32, the University of Maryland received a commitment that could springboard the Terps into the national title discussion for 2016.

Five-star big man Diamond Stone announced his intentions to attend Maryland on Friday night, which suddenly transforms a frontcourt that was the Terps’ biggest weakness this season into a major strength. The 6-foot-10 center out of Dominican High School in Milwaukee will combine with Georgia Tech transfer Robert Carter to form an imposing twosome.

Stone took an official visit to Maryland back in October and had narrowed his choices down to the Terps, Wisconsin, Connecticut, and Oklahoma State. His arrival coupled with the return of freshman sensation Melo Trimble will arguably give Maryland its most talented team since the 2002 national championship squad.

A McDonald’s All-American this past season, Stone averaged 24.4 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks per game.

Maryland’s strong ties with Kevin Plank and Under Armour likely helped in his recruitment as the shoe and apparel company sponsored Stone’s AAU team.

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Trimble reportedly planning to return to Maryland next year

Posted on 24 March 2015 by Luke Jones

After completing one of the best freshman seasons in University of Maryland basketball history, point guard Melo Trimble will apparently stay put next season.

According to InsideMDSports.com, Trimble plans to return to College Park for his sophomore season after leading the Terps in scoring with 16.2 points per game. His efforts were a major factor in Maryland making it back to the NCAA tournament for the first time in five years.

Most NBA draft experts projected Trimble to be selected no earlier than the end of the first round, making his decision relatively easy despite trepidation from many fans in College Park. At only 6-foot-2 and 175 pounds, Trimble will need to improve his skills as a pure point guard in order to give himself the best chance to succeed at the next level.

Head coach Mark Turgeon has the potential to oversee his best team yet at Maryland next year with Dez Wells being the only significant departure from this year’s squad. The Terps will be adding Georgia Tech transfer Robert Carter and junior college point guard Jaylen Brantley to the mix for the 2015-2016 season while Trimble, Jake Layman, and Jared Nickens — three of Maryland’s top four scorers this past season — will return.

Trimble, a former McDonald’s All-American, made 41 percent of his 3-point shots as a freshman and showed a tremendous ability to get to the free-throw line, making 86 percent of his attempts from the charity stripe.

The Upper Marlboro native was a first-team all-Big Ten selection voted by the conference media.

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