Tag Archive | "Terrapins"

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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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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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