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How offseason of hype transitions into season of hope for Maryland


How offseason of hype transitions into season of hope for Maryland

COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland knew that this day would eventually come. After an offseason of hype and talk about the possibility of a national championship run, the expectations placed on this program have officially been quantified.

The Coaches Poll ranks the Terrapins No. 3 in the country to begin the season, as does the Associated Press. has them at No. 1.

“It is a lot of hype,” head coach Mark Turgeon said on Thursday before his team’s exhibition against Southern New Hampshire on Friday. “It’s been awhile since Maryland has been ranked this high to start a season.

“Fortunately for me, I don’t read a lot of it and I think our kids, our players embraced it during the summer. I think our program embraced it and recently we’ve just been working hard, especially the last week we’ve really worked hard so we don’t really think about those things but we’ve just continued to work hard and tried to get better.”

It’s not empty hype or hypothetical hype for Maryland. This is a team with a mix of veterans and key young players, led by the Big Ten’s Preseason Player of the Year, a borderline first-round NBA Draft pick who chose to come back to school, and perhaps the best-kept transfer secret in college basketball.


That’s not to mention their complements -- a five-star freshman, a transfer from a national title team, and a bench full of pieces that just seem to fit.

“It’s hard not to hear about it, but it’s upon yourself and how your team handles it, how your coaches handle it on how you move forward after it happens,” senior forward Jake Layman said.

“I think Coach Turgeon does a great job of making sure we don’t buy into that stuff and kind of keeps us grounded.”

Friday’s exhibition unofficially begins Maryland’s season-long journey, but it also puts an end to what is difficult for prognosticators and teams alike -- predicting outcomes before a single game has been played.

It begins Friday.

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Maryland loses two as Justin Jackson declares for NBA Draft, will sign with agent


Maryland loses two as Justin Jackson declares for NBA Draft, will sign with agent

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Maryland forward Justin Jackson will forgo his final two seasons of college eligibility to seek a career in the NBA.

Terrapins coach Mark Turgeon also says guard Dion Wiley will transfer before playing his senior season.


Jackson averaged 10.5 points as a freshman before missing most of the 2017-18 season with a shoulder injury.

Jackson says, "After talking with my family and weighing my options, it's my desire to turn my full attention to preparing for a career in professional basketball."

Wiley appeared in 83 career games, playing a backup role on three teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament under Turgeon.

Maryland was 19-13 this season, including 8-10 in the Big Ten, and failed to reach the postseason.

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Lefty Driesell to be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame per report

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Lefty Driesell to be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame per report

Long-time University of Maryland men’s basketball coach Charles Grice “Lefty” Driesell will finally be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame this year.

This is according to NBC Sports Washington contributor Jon Feinstein.

Driesell coached the Terrapins for 17 seasons between 1969-86. While guiding the program to eight NCAA Tournament appearances and an NIT Championship, Driesell transformed Maryland into a legitimate force in college basketball.

When hired by the Terps, Driesell famously announced that he wanted to turn Maryland into the “UCLA of the East.” After only four seasons he had made it to two ACC Championship Games and his first Elite Eight appearance. His success opened the door not only for the program but the school to compete at the highest levels of competition.


Maryland made it as high as the Elite Eight twice under the reign of Driesell. He was named ACC Coach of the Year twice and won one ACC Tournament Championship in 1984. At the time of his NIT Championship with the Terps in 1972, the NIT was held in a similar regard to the NCAA Tournament.

He is second on Maryland’s all-time wins list (348), behind Gary Williams’ 461. Driesell however, still holds the best win percentage of all Maryland coaches with 68.6 win percentage.

After Maryland, the former Duke basketball coached at James Madison for just short of a decade and ended his coaching days at Georgia State. Driesell also coached at Davidson before taking the Maryland job to combine for over 40 seasons at the head of a Division I basketball program.

The 86-year-old was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame back in 2007. He also the namesake for the NCAA’s best defensive player of the year award, which was first awarded in 2010.

The official announcement from the Naismith Hall of Fame will be during the Final Four on Saturday, March 31.

WANT MORE HOOPS?  Listen below as Troy Machir and Chick Hernandez discuss Lefty Driesell's legacy in the area and why the Terps icon was on the outside of the Hall of Fame for so long.