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Maryland-Hawaii Preview: 5 things you need to know

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Maryland-Hawaii Preview: 5 things you need to know

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Maryland found itself in this situation just one year ago, on the verge of a Sweet 16 with one game to win to make it happen. Last year it was West Virginia. This year it is Hawaii. 

Here are 5 things you need to know about Terps-Rainbow Warriors.

1) It starts with defense

Hawaii ranks seventh in the country in defensive efficiency, which is what this team hangs its hat on. Opponents don’t shoot well from three-point range against them, which is really what won Maryland’s first-round game for them.

So where will the weak link be defensively for Hawaii? SDSU had to give up threes to Jake Layman and Jared Nickens because it focused so hard on shuttind down Melo Trimble and the interior duo of Robert Carter and Diamond Stone.

We’ll see.

2) Expect a lot of fouls

Aggressive defense is often paired with a lot of fouling. That’s true for Hawaii. They rank 235th in the country in fouls per possession defensively, meaning they send the opponent to the line a lot (22.1 free-throw attempts per game).

They also draw a ton of fouls on the other end of the floor. They are 11th in the country in the number of attempts they themselves take from the line per game. So it’s a balancing act for Maryland. 

They got into bad foul trouble against South Dakota State. That can’t happen again. But they can also make a living at the line against this team. That would benefit them greatly.

MORE TERPS: 3 STATS THAT SHOULD GIVE MARYLAND CONFIDENCE VS. HAWAII

3) The “big” problem

Stefan Jankovic is a matchup nightmare for almost any team in the country. At 6-11, he is the team’s leading scorer and rebounder while shooting nearly 56 percent from the floor and 39 percent from three on 2.5 attempts per game.

South Dakota State made Maryland really uncomfortable by putting its bigs in ball screen actions and making players like Damonte Dodd and Diamond Stone move their feet and defend out to the perimeter. The Rainbow Warriors can do the same thing on Sunday.

Jankovic is the perfect big to do that.

4) Winning the battle of the guards

As good at Jankovic is, Hawaii actually ripped off a big run in the second half against California to put that game away while he was sitting on the bench with foul trouble. That’s a credit to how well their guards played in that game.

Aaron Valdes is the team’s second-leading scorer. Roderick Bobbitt had 17 points in that first-round win. Quincy Smith more than doubled his average scoring output with 19 points in that game.

For Melo Trimble, he needs a line that looks more like his lines from earlier this season or even last season to put Maryland in the best position. That means a lot of points on a lot of free throws and only a dozen or so shots from the field. If that comes to be, it will mean Maryland was efficient all night.

5) Not overlooking anyone

Maryland players returning from last year’s team will tell you that there was an excitement about having the opportunity to play then-undefeated Kentucky in the Sweet 16. Such an excitement, even, that they forgot about the West Virginia team right in front of them -- one that presented a terrible matchup for them in the first place.

That shouldn’t be an issue on Sunday against Hawaii.

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

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USA TODAY Sports

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.

MORE TERPS: LEFTY DRIESELL IS FINALLY GOING TO ENTER THE HALL OF FAME

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.

MORE NCAA: BEST BUZZER BEATERS IN NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY

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.