Tag Archive | "Terrapins"


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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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No. 4 seed Maryland draws Valparaiso in difficult Midwest region

Posted on 15 March 2015 by Luke Jones

A 27-6 record and the No. 8 ranking in the country didn’t do Maryland any favors on Selection Sunday.

The Terrapins will return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2010, but a No. 4 seed in the Midwest region and a potential Sweet 16 meeting with No. 1 Kentucky tempered the celebration for Mark Turgeon’s squad. Projected as a consensus No. 3 seed even after Saturday’s 62-58 loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten tournament semifinals, the Terps were apparently punished for their inability to top the Spartans for the third time this season.

Maryland takes on No. 13 seed Valparaiso in Columbus on Friday and will face the winner of West Virginia-Buffalo in the second round on Sunday. The Terps haven’t reached the round of 16 since 2003.

John Calipari and the undefeated Wildcats would likely await if Maryland can escape the opening weekend.

The tip-off for Friday’s game is scheduled for 4:40 p.m. with the contest being shown on TNT.


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Turgeon, Wells, Trimble, Layman earn Big Ten honors

Posted on 09 March 2015 by WNST Staff


ROSEMONT, Ill. – Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon has been named Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year by the media, the conference office announced Monday. Senior Dez Wells, freshman Melo Trimble and junior Jake Layman also earned various All-Big Ten honors as the Terps finished with a school-record 26 wins in their inaugural season in the league.

Wells was tagged First Team All-Big Ten (coaches) and second team (media) while Trimble landed on the first team (media) and second team (coaches). Layman earned third team honors (media) and was also named honorable by mention by the coaches. Trimble was also named to the All-Freshman Team.

“I’m incredibly proud of what our team has accomplished. This is award is a testament to our coaching staff, players and administration who did a tremendous job preparing for our first season in the Big Ten,” Turgeon said. “I am very excited for Dez, Melo and Jake. The hard work they put in starting this summer paid off and I am very happy for this well-deserved recognition.”

“I am thrilled for Mark as he is very deserving of this honor, particularly with it being our first season in the Big Ten. Mark’s tireless work ethic and commitment helped established a new school record with 26 wins,” Maryland director of athletics Kevin Anderson said. “I’m happy for the success that Dez, Melo and Jake had during this remarkable regular season.”

Turgeon led Maryland to 26 wins in the regular season, a nine-game improvement from its 17 victories in the 2013-14 season, a mark that is second among schools in the Power Five conferences. Maryland – which finished second in the Big Ten – cracked the Associated Press poll Top 10 for first time since Feb. 3, 2003 – a span of 12 seasons and has been ranked among the Associated Press Top 25 poll for 15 consecutive weeks, the longest such streak since 2002-03.

Under the guidance of Turgeon, who is in his fourth year at the helm of the Terrapin program, Maryland finished its inaugural season in the Big Ten with a perfect 9-0 home record, which included victories against then-No. 5 Wisconsin, Michigan State and Indiana. Overall, Maryland concluded with an 18-1 home mark at XFINITY Center.

Wells finished the regular season on an absolute tear, scoring in double-figures in 11 straight games, while averaging 17.7 points per game with a .527 field goal percentage during that span. He added a pair of double-doubles at Rutgers and Nebraska as the Terps reeled off seven consecutive wins to wrap up the season.

The guard/forward from Raleigh, N.C., scored 20-plus points in five games this season, including three of the last six games, and led the team in scoring (26), rebounds (7) and assists (4) in a win vs. then-No. 5 Wisconsin (2/24). He ranked ninth in scoring (15.3) and eighth in free throw pct. (.802) in the Big Ten and recently passed former Naismith Player of the Year Joe Smith on Maryland’s all-time career points list and is currently 23rd (1,343).

In his first season in College Park, Trimble led the team in scoring (16.0 ppg), assists (97) and steals (39) and paced the squad in in double-figure scoring games (28) and 20-plus point games (9). The point guard from Upper Marlboro, Md., ranked fifth in the Big Ten in points per game and first in free throw percentage (.874) and is fifth in the nation in free throws made (190). Trimble was named Most Valuable Player of the CBE Classic, averaging 21 points, three rebounds and two assists in a pair of wins over Arizona State and then-No. 13 Iowa State at the CBE Classic and scored a career-high 31 points against Arizona State (11/24), the highest mark for a Maryland freshman since former Naismith Award winner Joe Smith’s 33-point outing vs. Rider in 1993.

Layman has thrived in his new role at power forward in 2014-15, racking up 27 double-figure scoring performances. The Wrentham, Mass., native leads the squad in double-doubles (4) and ranks 18th in the Big Ten in scoring (13.1), 14th in field goal percentage (.474) and 14th in rebounding (5.9). During Wells’ seven-game absence due to a fractured wrist, Layman averaged 17.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.1 field goals, 11 field goal at­tempts, 5.3 free throws, 6.9 free throw attempts and 31.6 minutes as Maryland went 6-1 during the stretch with its lone loss coming to then-No. 7 Virginia.

Maryland, (26-5 overall 14-4 in B1G), ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press poll, will open play at the Big Ten Tournament on Friday, March 13 against the winner of Indiana-Northwestern on 6:30 p.m. EST.

Big Ten Men’s Basketball Honors

Mark Turgeon – Coach of the Year (media)

Dez Wells – First Team All-Big Ten (coaches); Second Team All-Big Ten (media)

Melo Trimble – First Team All-Big Ten (media); Second Team All-Big Ten (coaches); All-Freshman Team

Jake Layman – Third Team All-Big Ten (media); Second Team All-Big Ten (coaches)

What They’re Saying:

Senior Guard/Forward Dez Wells

”It is very humbling. This makes me want to work harder to do everything I can for my team to be successful. There is still more we want to accomplish. I share this honor with my teammates and coaches.”

Coach Turgeon taught me how to lead and be patient. He stood by me. We stood by each other. I am really excited for him. He is an outstanding coach and very deserving of the award. Coach is such a hard worker who is committed to making Maryland Basketball the very best.”

Freshman Guard Melo Trimble

“I want to thank my teammates, especially the seniors, who believed in me from the moment I got here and pushed me to work harder every day. I am very appreciative of the trust that they have in me. I also want to thank Coach Turgeon and the rest of the coaching staff for helping me make the transition to the college game.”

Junior Forward Jake Layman

“This is a tremendous honor. I appreciate all the support and encouragement from Coach Turgeon, my teammates and the staff. Last summer, I worked out with John Auslander and he really pushed and encouraged me to elevate my play to another level.”

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Trimble receives Big Ten co-freshman of the week honors

Posted on 02 March 2015 by WNST Staff


College Park, Md. – The Maryland men’s basketball team moved up four spots to No. 10 in the Associated Press Top 25 on Monday. The Terps, who defeated No. 5 Wisconsin and Michigan last week, are ranked in the Top 10 for the first time since February 3, 2003 (ranked No. 8 at that time). Maryland, winners of five straight contests, is 24-5 overall and is 12-4 in its inaugural season in the Big Ten Conference.

In addition, Maryland guard Melo Trimble was named co-Big Ten Freshman of the Week after averaging 17.5 points and connecting on 11-of-23 (47.8%) from the floor in home wins over No. 5 Wisconsin and Michigan. Trimble shared the honor this week with Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell.

This marks Trimble’s third Big Ten weekly honor this season. He was named co-Big Ten Player of the Week and freshman of the week on December 1.

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Maryland receives highest AP ranking in 12 years

Posted on 02 March 2015 by Luke Jones

Only a few months after being voted 10th in the Big Ten’s preseason poll, Maryland has earned the No. 10 spot in the entire country in the latest Associated Press poll released Monday afternoon.

Coming off home wins over No. 5 Wisconsin and Michigan this past week, the Terrapins (24-5, 12-4) have cracked the AP’s top 10 for the first time since the 2002-2003 season and finished a perfect 9-0 home mark in Big Ten play, an impressive feat for their first season in their new conference. Many currently project Maryland to be a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament, which would be quite an accomplishment for a program that hasn’t made the “Big Dance” since 2010.

After suffering a number of transfers last offseason and failing to make the tournament in his first three seasons in College Park, head coach Mark Turgeon was feeling pressure from an unhappy fan base before senior Dez Wells, junior Jake Layman, and freshman sensation Melo Trimble formed one of the more productive trios in all of college basketball this year. Maryland has won five straight games and concludes the regular season this week with trips to Rutgers on Tuesday and Nebraska on Sunday.

The Terps currently sit second in the Big Ten behind Wisconsin and could clinch a share of the conference title with two wins and the Badgers falling on the road to Minnesota and Ohio State this week.

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Maryland football parts ways with defensive coordinator Stewart

Posted on 19 February 2015 by WNST Staff


COLLEGE PARK, Md. – University of Maryland and Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart have mutually agreed to part ways. Keith Dudzinski, who has served as the team’s inside linebackers coach the past four seasons, has been named Defensive Coordinator.

“We appreciate Brian’s contributions to our program over the past three seasons,” Head Coach Randy Edsall said. “Brian played an integral role in developing our student-athletes both on and off the field during his time at Maryland. While overseeing the defense he helped elevate our program to compete in one of the nation’s premier conferences. In our conversations, we both felt this was the best of course of action for Brian and his family, and the Maryland football program. I wish Brian the best in his future endeavors.”

“I truly enjoyed working with the coaches, student-athletes and administration at the University of Maryland,” Stewart said. “It was an exciting time to be a part of this program, and I will always have great memories and relationships from my time in College Park. After talking with my family and then meeting with Randy, we both agreed that this was best direction moving forward. I would like to thank Randy for the opportunity to coordinate the defense for the past three seasons. I also want to express my appreciation to the defensive staff and players for their hard work and commitment to the football program.”

Dudzinski has over two decades of coaching experience on the collegiate level, including eight seasons as a defensive coordinator. He has served as the inside linebackers coach at the University of Maryland for the past four seasons. Last year, Dudzinski tutored two of the team’s top three tacklers in All-Big Ten performer Cole Farrand and L.A. Goree. During his time as defensive coordinator at UMass-Amherst, the Minutemen finished among the top-20 in total defense three times and ranked first nationally in scoring defense in 2005.

“Keith is an accomplished coach who has a strong history as a defensive coordinator prior to his time at the University of Maryland,” Edsall said. “Over the past four seasons, he has been a great asset to our coaching staff in terms of game planning and developing our inside linebackers. Keith has a good rapport with our student-athletes and a great knowledge of our personnel, which will make for a seamless transition for our defensive unit.”

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Wells named co-Big Ten Player of the Week

Posted on 16 February 2015 by WNST Staff


COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland senior guard/forward Dez Wells earned co-Big Ten Player of the Week honors, the league announced Monday. Wells shares this week’s honor with senior forward Frank Kaminsky of Wisconsin.

Wells averaged 20.0 points and connected on 14-of-23 (61.0%) field goal attempts in a pair of wins over Indiana and Penn State.

A senior from Raleigh, N.C., Wells had a team-high 22 points and was 7-of-10 from the field and 7-of-7 from the free throw line in Maryland’s 76-73 win at Penn State. He added a team-high 18 points in the Terps’ 68-66 win over Indiana. In addition, Wells has posted six consecutive double-figure scoring games. He has averaged 17.3 points, and has made 35-of-63 (55.5%) field goal attempts in those contests.

Wells joins junior forward Jake Layman (Big Ten Player of the Week, (1/19) and co-Big Ten Player of the Week, (12/22) and freshman guard Melo Trimble (co-Big Ten Player of the Week, (12/1) in earning this weekly conference honor.

Maryland, ranked No. 16, will host Nebraska on Thursday, Feb. 19 at 7:00 p.m. at XFINITY Center.

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