Maryland Terps

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Durkin on early impressions of Maryland QBs he is inheriting

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Durkin on early impressions of Maryland QBs he is inheriting

The quarterback position at Maryland was a revolving door in 2015.

Perry Hills began the season, but was replaced by Caleb Rowe when Maryland showed an inability to stretch the field vertically.

Rowe was plagued by turnovers, for the year throwing an interception on nearly 1 in 10 pass attempts. When former offensive coordinator Mike Locksley took over at the interim head coach following Randy Edsall’s firing, Maryland turned to Hills full-time and tried to build the offense around his strengths.

With injuries, fullback Shane Cockerille was moved back to the quarterback position, which he was recruited to play out of high school, and even saw time.

Now begins the process of rebuilding under new head coach DJ Durkin.

Four-star quarterback Dwayne Haskins flipped his commitment from Maryland to Ohio State after the staff change, meaning the player who had become the assumed starter in 2016 is now wearing scarlet and gray.

Maryland added three-star Alabama native Tyrrell Pigrome and Indiana native Max Bortenschlager late in the 2016 class, but those two are not enrolled for the spring semester. That means Durkin is evaluating Hills, Rowe, Cockerille, and redshirt freshman Gage Shaffer.

MORE TERPS: ONCE-SUSPENDED RB PRACTICING WITH TEAM

“That’s an ongoing process,” Durkin said Tuesday after his team’s second practice of the spring. “It’s always hardest on the quarterbacks early because of timing and everything else going on and learning the offense and so we’ll keep evaluating that as we go.”

The quarterback will have to fit into the system being implemented by new offensive coordinator Walt Bell, a run-spread offense look that he is bringing with him from Arkansas State.

Though Bell says there is no prototype for a quarterback who can be successful in the offense, a quarterback with mobility is an asset. Bell’s quarterback last season at Arkansas State, Fredi Knighten, rushed for 400 yards in 2015.

That would seem to point to Hills as the most well-suited for the scheme. Durkin praised him on Tuesday, including pointing him out as one of the standouts during winter workouts.

“Perry had a really good offseason and he shows he’s a leader,” Durkin said. “He’s a tough guy, which is good. That’s an important part of that position that sometimes isn’t talked about all the time. You’ve got to be tough.”

The coach also pointed out positives from Rowe, Shaffer, and Cockerille. This early in the spring under a new staff, very little seems decided.

“They’re all getting reps and they all got equal opportunity to show what they can do.”

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Palmer's big 2nd half lifts Huskers past Maryland

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Palmer's big 2nd half lifts Huskers past Maryland

LINCOLN, Neb. -- James Palmer Jr. scored 24 of his 26 points in the second half, Isaiah Roby had all 11 of his after half, and Nebraska held off Maryland 70-66 on Tuesday night.

Palmer and Roby combined for 35 of the Cornhuskers' 40 second-half points, and they secured their first 20-win season since 2008. They won a sixth straight conference game for the first time in 20 years.

Palmer scored 15 straight points for the Huskers (20-8, 11-4 Big Ten) over a 10-minute span that ended when Roby hit one of two free throws with 2:57 left for a 64-59 lead. Roby had a double-double, with 10 rebounds, and he also blocked three shots.

The Terps (17-11, 6-9) had a chance to take the lead with a minute to play, but Glynn Watson Jr. blocked Anthony Cowan Jr.'s 3-point try, Evan Taylor came up with the loose ball and got it to Watson.

Watson missed a 3-pointer coming out of a timeout, and Roby got the rebound and was immediately fouled. He made both free throws for a 66-63 lead. Kevin Huerter's layin cut it to one point before Watson made two free throws.

Huerter went to the line with 2.8 seconds left, and after making the first free throw he intentionally missed the second. Palmer got the rebound, was fouled and put the game away with two free throws.

Bruno Fernando led the Terps with 21 points and nine rebounds. Huerter added 12 points and Darryl Morsell had 11.

BIG PICTURE

Maryland: The Terps' fading NCAA Tournament hopes might have been dashed with their seventh straight road loss.

Nebraska: The Huskers are resting firmly on the NCAA bubble and absolutely needed this win. They got it, thanks to Palmer and Roby's efforts in the second half.

UP NEXT

Maryland hosts Rutgers on Saturday. It's the teams' only meeting this season.

Nebraska visits Illinois. The Huskers beat the Illini 64-63 in Lincoln on Jan. 15.

RELATED: DMV College Basketball Power Rankings: Missed opportunities

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Maryland overwhelmed by Penn State in close loss

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USA TODAY Sports

Maryland overwhelmed by Penn State in close loss

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Lamar Stevens feels like he's playing his most consistent basketball right now, a bad omen for upcoming opponents considering Penn State expects its hybrid forward to do a little bit of everything.

Just like he did on Wednesday.

Stevens scored 25 points on 10-of-12 shooting with 14 in the second half to lift Penn State over Maryland 74-70.

RELATED: UPDATED DMV POWER RANKINGS

"Lamar really stepped up for us," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. "We needed every one of those points that he had tonight."

Tony Carr added 16 points, Josh Reaves scored 14, and Mike Watkins added 11 for the Nittany Lions (17-9, 7-6 Big Ten Conference), who equaled their previous best mark for conference victories under Chambers.

"The best teams always find ways to win," Stevens said. "We locked down when we had to, got huge stops, huge rebounds and I think that's a huge step for this team."

With Maryland (16-10, 5-8) up 20-14 midway through the first half, Stevens nailed his first of two 3-pointers to spark a quick 9-0 run that helped Penn State take control.

He rolled layups off his fingers and sank midrange jumpers on multiple back-to-back possessions in the second half, where he scored 11 of his team's first 20 points.

"He made some incredible, incredible shots," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. "He was terrific, he was so efficient."

Stevens added four rebounds, two assists and was 3-for-4 on free throws with all three makes coming in the final 5:48 as Maryland threatened.

MORE TERPS: MARYLAND STILL CONSIDERED BY MANY BRACKETOLOGISTS

Anthony Cowan Jr. led Maryland with 15 points while Kevin Huerter and Bruno Fernando added 13 apiece.

Darryl Morsell had 10 points for the Terrapins, who cut a 10-point deficit with 8:11 to play to just three with 1:13 left.

"I didn't think we competed in the first half defensively," Turgeon said. "I thought in the second half, we were really trying hard."

BIG PICTURE

Maryland: The Terrapins' disappointing season continues and they have dropped to 7-7 since stalwart forward Justin Jackson's season was ended by a torn shoulder ligament in late December. Although they shot better than their season average, the Terrapins were badly outplayed in the paint, getting outscored 32-22 and outrebounded 27-23.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions are playing an exciting brand of basketball as of late. They have a combined 22 dunks over their last three home games and opponents are finding it hard to play fast against a team that thrives on speed.