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Five things Maryland will miss from the ACC

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Five things Maryland will miss from the ACC

Increased financial stability ultimately led University of Maryland President Wallace Loh to pursue membership in the Big Ten athletic conference. For Maryland, almost 60 years of ACC tradition was tossed aside for the greener pastures of the Midwest and the revenues delivered by the Big Ten television network.

As Maryland fans grapple with the conference shift, CSN examined some of the aspects of life in the ACC that Maryland fans might miss most.

Tradition -- For multiple generations of Terp fans, a prominent place in the ACC was a source of pride. Maryland was a founding member of the conference in 1953, and for almost 50 years Maryland served as the northern most point in the ACC. While many in the Terp crowd claimed that the conference held a bias for its North Carolina teams, Maryland won multiple championships in basketball and football. Non-revenue sports in the ACC are another strength; Maryland enjoyed much success in ACC men's and women's lacrosse, soccer and field hockey amid some of the best competition in the country.

College basketball experts still speak of the famous N.C State-Maryland 1974 ACC Tournament championship game.

The matchup featured 10 players that would go on to the NBA, and N.C. State's 103-100 overtime win led to big changes for the NCAA. In 1974, only conference champions made the NCAA Tournament. After that Maryland team failed to make the tournament, despite finishing the year ranked the No. 5 team in the country, the NCAA expanded the tournament from 32 to 48 teams.  

Duke Rivalry -- While Maryland enjoyed many great years in men's basketball throughout its time in the ACC, when the Terps were at their best in the early 2000s, Duke often played the role of heel.

No rivalry in the ACC was as intense at that point as the Jason Williams and J.J. Redick Duke squads facing up with the Juan Dixon and Lonny Baxter Maryland teams.

Many would argue that the most heartbreaking loss a Maryland team ever suffered came in the 2001 Final Four, an epic collapse against a Duke team that would go on to win the national championship. But that loss also propelled the Terps to their first and only national title the following year.

 A bitter memory for Maryland fans, Duke also registered an absurd win in Cole Field House in the infamous "Miracle Minute" game. 

In January 2001, Maryland led Duke by 10 points, 90-80, with about a minute to play, only to lose the lead, lose their composure, and eventually lose the game in overtime 98-96.

The game will forever live in College Park folklore, and former Duke star Shane Battier acknowledged that the intensity of those Duke-Maryland games from that era were the most intense he ever faced in college. 

Maryland also won some monumental games over Duke.

One of the best wins came when the Lady Terps delivered a victory over Duke in the 2006 national title game. Duke was a heavy favorite in the game, but coach Brenda Frese and star freshman Kristi Toliver brought home the title in a 78-75 overtime win.

All ACC Rivalries -- For a period of time, no rivalry played like Duke against Maryland. But for the almost 60 years Maryland competed in the ACC, every game was intense. Every rivalry mattered, especially in the pre-expansion days when all teams in the conference played a home-and-home round robin basketball schedule.

Maryland knew it would play NC State, North Carolina and Virginia twice every year. The crowds at Cole Field House were some of the best in the country, and famous Terp coaches like Lefty Driesell and Gary Williams battled ACC legends like Dean Smith, Jim Valvano, Bobby Cremins, and later Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams. 

Tobacco Road -- Despite all the cries of "Carolina refs" heard from the Cole Field House crowd, there was a lore and excitement to visiting the famed programs along North Carolina’s “Tobacco Road.”

Duke, N.C. State, North Carolina and to a lesser-degree Wake Forest gave the Terps great competition, while Maryland coaches could use the Tobacco Road trips as a selling point to recruits. Nothing will replace playing in Cameron Indoor Stadium or the Dean Dome.

Geography -- Though for most of the ACC’s existence Maryland served as the northern-most team, many of the Terps' foes were within an easy car ride for fans to attend away games.

From College Park, Md., driving to Charlottesville, Va., would take about two hours, while a trip to Duke, N.C. State or North Carolina would take roughly four hours. Add another hour to get to Wake Forest.

In the Big Ten, the road trips will get much longer. 

Both Penn State and Rutgers are roughly four hours from College Park, but the next closest team plays 400 miles away in Columbus, Ohio. To arrive at Ohio State will require a seven-hour car ride, the next closest school is Michigan, a mere nine-hour trip.

Much will change as Maryland shifts to the Big Ten, but there is plenty to miss from the ACC. 

 

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Maryland snaps two-game skid, control Minnesota at home

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USA Today Sports

Maryland snaps two-game skid, control Minnesota at home

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Kevin Huerter scored 19 points, Anthony Cowan Jr. had a career-high 10 assists and Maryland used a strong second half to beat cold-shooting Minnesota 77-66 Thursday night.

Michal Cekovsky delivered 10 of his 17 points during an 18-2 run that gave the Terrapins a 50-34 lead against the weary Golden Gophers, who could not summon the energy to make a comeback.

RELATED: COULD AN INJURY FILLED SEASON VAULT THE TERPS IN '18-'19?

Maryland (15-6, 4-4 Big Ten) snapped a two-game skid and improved to 12-1 at home. Cowan did his part by distributing the ball and scoring all 15 of his points over the final 12 minutes.

Jordan Murphy had 19 points and 14 rebounds for Minnesota, his nation-leading 19th double-double of the season. The Golden Gophers are in the middle of a stretch of three games over six days, concluding with a matchup against No. 22 Ohio State in New York on Saturday afternoon.

Minnesota (14-7, 3-5) finished 23 for 64 (36 percent) from the floor and made only three baskets in the opening 10 minutes of the second half.

The Golden Gophers led 32-29 before Huerter hit a 3-pointer to spark the decisive run. The 7-foot-1 Cekovsky followed with the first of his five dunks in a span of just over 5 minutes, most of them on alley-oop passes from his guards.

With Huerter leading the way, Maryland made 10 of its first 12 field-goal tries after halftime.

In the first half, the Terrapins trailed 16-10 before Huerter scored eight points in a 13-0 run. It was 29-21 before Minnesota rattled off seven straight points to end the half.

READ MORE: BRACKETOLOGISTS ARE NOT CONSISTENT WHEN IT COMES TO MARYLAND

BIG PICTURE

Minnesota: The Golden Gophers can be forgiven for their recent slump, given that they're missing two of their best players. But they can't afford to feel sorry for themselves if they want to survive this stretch that features one home game from Jan. 15 to Feb. 3.

Maryland: The Terrapins desperately needed this victory after losing three of four. Now at .500 in the conference after beating a depleted Minnesota squad, Maryland can regroup during a stretch in which it plays just one game over the next nine days.

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An injury riddled season may prepare the Terps for a historic future

An injury riddled season may prepare the Terps for a historic future

Injuries are the tale of the 2017-18 season for the Maryland Terrapins.

A season that was supposed to signify the post-Melo Trimble era in College Park quickly became derailed after the loss of Naismith Trophy contender Justin Jackson and his backup Ivan Bender.

Short-term, these injuries have set Maryland back this season, so much that they are on the bubble of making the NCAA Tournament. Even if they do happen to miss the tournament for the first time since 2014, it is not all doom and gloom for Maryland. The way these injuries have sprouted up could propel the Terps back to the national stage a year from now. A stage higher than the program saw during the Trimble era.

BRACKETOLOGY: WHERE DO THE EXPERTS HAVE THE TERPS?

Back in December, it was an all too familiar sight for the Terps under head coach Mark Turgeon. The Terps announced that Jackson (9.8 ppg, 8.1 rpg) would miss the rest of the season due to a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Merely three days later it was announced Bender (4.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg) was going to miss the season too with a torn meniscus.

With these two added to the list, it marked the eighth significant injury for the Terps since Turgeon took over in 2011-12 according to Don Markus of the Baltimore Sun.

Losing Jackson and Bender further dug a hole that Maryland was in at the start of the year. Opening the season with only 11 scholarship players, two less than the NCAA maximum, there was no depth concern in the Maryland camp given the quality of players they had. Now having only 11 or 12 scholarship players is not too uncommon in college hoops. In reality, only eight or nine players see significant time in a Division I rotation.

But Jackson was a starter and if not considered the best on the roster, he was at least their No. 2 guy. Paired with the loss of Bender, the most experienced forward on the roster was then a redshirt-freshman Joshua Tomaic.

In all likely-hood, the 2017-18 season was going to be the last season for Jackson in College Park. A season ago he declared his eligibility for the 2017 NBA draft but returned to the program after not signing with an agent. His flirtation with taking the next step gave the indication that with a solid-to-stellar season, Jackson was going to be an easy choice as a first-round draft pick in 2018.

Now with an injury after 11 games, going to the 2018 draft may not be the best option for the 6-foot-7 Canadian. The return to College Park may be imminent.

A good sign for the 2018-19 Terps.

Stepping up into the empty four spot in the starting line-up was the four-star freshman Bruno Fernando. Before the loss of Jackson and Bender, he was averaging 19.5 minutes and bringing in 10 points a contest. Now he is up to 24 minutes a game, and although spotty, scoring 10.4 ppg. The 6-10 ball of energy has displayed a wealth of skill to go along with his uncanny talent and is now a certified NBA Draft prospect. 

He has been fortuned more time to develop, which has been evident of late. He is fiery, a fan-favorite, and can be groomed to fill Michal Cekovsky’s (one of three players that will leave the program this year) spot in the post. Defensively Fernando has a team-high 26 blocks.

There is also more court time for the other healthy forward, Tomaic which would give Maryland four formidable forwards entering next year. If Fernando stays, and that is a big if, Maryland will start to look like an embarrassment of riches.

A good sign for the 2018-19 Terps.

LATEST DMV POWER RANKINGS: TERPS ARE STUCK

One slight disappointment this year, has been sophomore Kevin Huerter. With the loss of Jackson, he had to step up to be the other ball handler besides Anthony Cowan Jr. Although still with some of the best shooting numbers on the team (50.5 percent FG, 45.5 percent three-point range), his handling has been exposed.

As a freshman, he was known as a 6-7 spot up shooter. Now he forced to generate his own shot as the No. 2 guy behind Cowan, sometimes going for a little too much. He has to learn to initiate the offense, giving the team more options in a full ranged offense.

A good sign for the 2018-19 Terps.

Dion Wiley is seeing double the minutes he did last season after his knee injury in 2015. This is despite reoccurring concussion issues he’s been battling this year. It is by far his best season in every statistical category, shaping up to be the preferred bench guard next year.

A good sign for the 2018-19 Terps.

Another freshman Darryl Morsell is getting more time at the guard position with a limited rotation. Believe it or not, he may be the best freshman, over Fernando. 

A good sign for the 2018-19 Terps.

If everyone is healthy and Jackson and Fernando stay, it could be the most dynamic starting five in the Big Ten. Purdue is going to be losing four senior starters after this season. Ohio State will lose three starters if Keita Bates-Diop chooses to go to the NBA. Michgan's roster will be up in the air and while Michigan State will still be one of the top teams, they will be losing Miles Bridges to the NBA Draft at the end of this season.

A good sign for the 2018-19 Terps.

The projected line-up next season in College Park will be something like this: Anthony Cowan Jr., Kevin Huerter, Darryl Morsell, Justin Jackson, and Bruno Fernando. The bench will have Dion Wiley, Ivan Bender, and Joshua Tomaic. It will be a dynamic, electric, and flexible group that can play big or small.

None of this even mentions the two four-star recruits and a five-star that Maryland has coming into the program, with more open scholarships available to use, like five-star center Moses Brown. Additionally, there is a McDonald's All-American selection, Jalen Smith, that many recruiting experts pin Maryland as his primary choice.

At the time of this writing, the Terps are 14-6 (3-4 Big Ten) this year and by no means is the season over. The talent on this team is capable of going on a run and getting into the NCAA Tournament and from there we have seen crazier things happen. It would be foolish though to say they are not running out of time.

If that push is not there at the end of the year, there is still the NIT, which will give the young team more time together.

But with the roster currently assembled, with everyone healthy in 2018-19, it is hard not to see this team as a favorite for the Sweet 16 a year from now. With the quality of top recruits they continue to bring in, there is no question they will be in the national championship conversation.

And that projection is being modest.

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