Maryland Terps

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4 reasons why Stefon Diggs was smart to head to the NFL


4 reasons why Stefon Diggs was smart to head to the NFL

Former Maryland wide receiver Stefon Diggs left college early and entered the 2015 NFL Draft, only to slip into the fifth round where he was selected by the Minnesota Vikings.

But as time passes, even though Diggs fell to that point, it is becoming clear that the former Terrapins star made the right decision.

In his first career NFL start on Sunday, Diggs tallied 129 receiving yards. It was the second straight game that he had at least 80 yards each in two straight games. The last Vikings rookie to do that? A guy by the name of Randy Moss.

Set aside the coaching change at Maryland or any internal program questions. On strictly a personal basis -- because that’s ultimately what should dictate a player’s decision -- here are four reasons why Diggs made the right call.

1) Getting paid

Amateur athletes don’t get monetarily compensated for their work. Professional athletes do. Diggs reportedly signed a four-year, $2.5 million deal with the Vikings after being drafted. That’s obviously far more than the scholarship athletes receive in college and often at least one major driving force behind declaring.

It also sets up for this....

2) Contract implications

Perhaps part of the criticism for Diggs leaving was that falling to the fifth round put him in a certain pay bracket and if he could have improved his stock with another year in college, he would be making more.

But that’s a risk (explained more below) and coming out now starts the clock, so to speak. He is working through the first year of that four-year deal, instead of starting the first year next season. Second contracts are where players can really cash out and Diggs is essentially betting on his own talents.

If he continues to produce this way, he can make himself some good money in a few years -- one year sooner than if he had stayed.


3) Injury concerns

Injuries were part of the reason Diggs slipped in the draft. Though they could really be classified as freak injuries -- he got rolled up on and broke his leg, then got hit in the abdomen and bruised a kidney -- NFL scouts take notice of that.

If he had stayed in school, he would have run the risk of being injured again while not being under contract. If injury does occur now at some point, he’s still receiving a paycheck.

4) Quarterback issues at Maryland

Diggs caught passes primarily from dual-threat quarterback C.J. Brown in college, who was an impact player with his legs, but had limitations through the air. But Brown would likely get the starting job over the three quarterbacks on the Maryland roster right now.

Maryland has struggled to get the ball to its receivers with consistency this season, whether it be Perry Hills, Caleb Rowe, or Daxx Garman under center.

Maryland is 121st of 128 teams in the country in yards per pass attempt at 5.1. Its top receiver, Levern Jacobs, has 222 yards through six games.

If Diggs were to play another year in an offense that struggles to get him the football, perhaps he could have slipped further in the draft. Now he is in an offense with a blossoming quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater and he is quickly becoming his favorite target.

Stay tuned.

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Maryland women's shooting struggles lead to second-round loss vs. N.C. State


Maryland women's shooting struggles lead to second-round loss vs. N.C. State

RALEIGH, N.C.  — Kiara Leslie had 21 points and 11 rebounds against her former team, and North Carolina State beat Maryland 74-60 on Sunday in the second round of the women's NCAA Tournament.

Leslie, who spent three seasons at Maryland before graduating and transferring to N.C. State, finished one point shy of a career high.

Kalia Ealey and Chelsea Nelson added 12 points apiece while Akela Maize scored 11 to help the fourth-seeded Wolfpack (26-8) earn their first Sweet 16 appearance since the late Kay Yow led an inspirational run in 2007.


N.C. State, which shot 45 percent and was 7 of 14 from 3-point range, will play the Oklahoma State-Mississippi State winner on Friday night in the Kansas City Regional semifinals.

Brianna Fraser had 17 points for the fifth-seeded Terrapins (26-8), who were held to 37 percent shooting.

Leading scorer Kaila Charles, plagued all day by foul trouble, finished with four points -- 14 fewer than her average -- on 2-of-8 shooting before fouling out with 2:29 left. She had scored in double figures in 30 of her previous 33 games.

Maryland's offense, which averages 80 points, had trouble scoring against one of the nation's stingiest defenses.

N.C. State allows 56.7 points per game and only one team in the past two months -- top-seeded Notre Dame -- has reached 70 against the Wolfpack.


Maryland: The Terrapins were denied their sixth Sweet 16 in seven years in part because their potent perimeter game was nonexistent. Maryland, at 39.1 percent the nation's seventh-most accurate team, missed all five of its 3s. Kristen Confroy, who's third in the nation from long range at 40.3 percent, didn't attempt one.

N.C. State: Leslie kept tormenting her former teammates by turning steals into layups. Big brother C.J. Leslie led the N.C. State men's program to a Sweet 16 in 2012, and now she's headed to one, too.


N.C. State will play either top-seeded Mississippi State or ninth-seeded Oklahoma State on Friday night in the Kansas City Regional semifinals.


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Big Ten season comes to a close for Maryland in final seconds of second round


Big Ten season comes to a close for Maryland in final seconds of second round

NEW YORK -- After struggling with injuries and poor play most of the season, Wisconsin is peaking at the right time.

Brevin Pritzl broke a tie with a foul-line jumper with 28 seconds left and Khalil Iverson secured the win with a steal in the waning seconds, leading Wisconsin past Maryland 59-54 on Thursday in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament.


Brad Davison and Iverson each made two free throws in the final nine seconds, and the ninth-seeded Badgers (15-17) advanced to the quarterfinals against top-seeded Michigan on Friday at Madison Square Garden after winning for the fifth time in seven games.

"It's a credit to these guys to my right and also the guys back in the locker room, how they've grown over the last month," Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said. "It has been fun to watch and hopefully we've got a lot more basketball yet to play."

The win wasn't pretty, but the Badgers made all the key plays down the stretch and eight-seeded Maryland (19-13) didn't.

The biggest plays were offensive rebounds by Iverson and Ethan Happ after Pritzl and Davison missed 3-point shots with the game tied at 53.

After the second miss with 40.3 seconds to go, Wisconsin called timeout and Pritzl got the game-winner 12 seconds later.

"I think, especially at the end of this game, the possessions are magnified," Davison said. "When you do things right those final possessions, you can really turn things around."

Maryland had a chance to tie the game when Kevin Huerter was fouled by Happ with 9.2 seconds to go, but he missed the first of two free throws and the Terps came up short for the seventh time in 11 games.

"I feel like we were fighting uphill all night," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. "We had the lead 24-23. It's the one time we had the lead. We tied it a bunch of times. It really came down to two things. We fouled too much and we couldn't get a rebound when we needed a rebound."


Happ had 14 points and seven rebounds for Wisconsin, which lost to Michigan State 68-63 less than a week ago. Davison finished with 13 points while Iverson had 11 and six rebounds and Pritzl 10 points. The Badgers, who lost starting point guard D'Mitrik Trice and reserve Kobe King to injuries in December, won despite shooting 36 percent.

"I personally figure we just have to string together an entire game for 40 minutes and just staying toe to toe with them like we did last game," Iverson said. "I know we'll be ready for them."

Huerter had 20 points to lead Maryland. Anthony Cowan Jr. added 16 points and Bruno Fernando had 12 points and nine rebounds.

Wisconsin never trailed in the second half, but it never led by more than three points in the final 11:40 until the closing seconds.

Pritzl's jumper broke a 53-all tie. Huerter then missed the first free throw and made the second. Maryland fouled Davison on the inbounds pass and he made both shots with 8.5 seconds to go for a 57-54 lead.

Wisconsin fouled Cowan rather than let him attempt a game-tying 3-pointer. Since it was a nonshooting foul, the Terps had to inbound with 5 seconds to go and Iverson stole Dion Wiley's pass and then closed the game with two free throws.

"He has evolved into our defensive end stopped," Gard said. "For him to come in and make a play like that at the end to seal it was great."