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Maryland-Rider Preview: 5 things you need to know


Maryland-Rider Preview: 5 things you need to know

After an emotional win over Georgetown on Tuesday, No. 3 Maryland returns to the floor on Friday night for a game against Rider.

Here are 5 things you need to know.

1) ‘Weight of the world’ lifted

Maryland’s game against Georgetown was enormous, not just for the immediacy of having an early test as the No. 3 team in the nation but because it was a game 20-plus years in the making with local rivalry implications.

Head coach Mark Turgeon said he felt like life was put on hold to prepare for that game, but now they’re past it and they can get into a normal routine again.

2) Trap game?

Maryland senior guard Rasheed Sulaimon said that this is one of those games the Terrapins have to be careful about.

“Heading into Rider before we go to Cancun can be kind of a trap game, coming off a big emotional win and we can’t overlook anyone,” Sulaimon said. “We’re getting ready and getting focused again to scout Rider like any other team.”

What might indicate that Maryland won’t overlook them? They were more or less beaten through 34 minutes against Georgetown before storming back from seven points down to win. At this point, they likely understand that they still have much to work on.


3) Another mid-major in the mix

Maryland welcomed Mount St. Mary’s in its season opener, a team that was picked to win the Northeastern Conference. Though Rider must now overcome an 0-2 start, they come into the 2015-16 season as one of a handful of teams in the mix to win the MAAC.

Why? Having three starters back helps, including a pair of guards in Teddy Okereafor and Jimmie Taylor. The key so far, though, has been the early progress of junior Xavier Lundy. His minutes have doubled from last season and his production has reflected that increase, going from 5.8 points in 14.5 minutes per game last season to 14 points in 28 minutes per game through two games so far.

The 6-7, 230-pound forward shoots 56.5 percent from the floor and can extend the defense out toward the three-point line as well.

4) Figuring out the backcourt rotation

Turgeon even said it after the win over Georgetown. Maryland missed Dion Wiley in the rotation. Because he was out and, as Turgeon said, he’s still finding the “guts” to play Jaylen Brantley, Rasheed Sulaimon and Melo Trimble logged more minutes than they would have liked.

Brantley played against Mount St. Mary’s in the opener and had a nice lob to Jake Layman for a slam, but played just one minute against Georgetown. A game like the one on Friday night should afford Turgeon the flexibility to put Brantley in and experiment with the level of comfort he gets from it.

5) Polishing Diamond

Georgetown center Bradley Hayes was as fundamental a veteran college big man as you’ll find and Diamond Stone struggled to find his groove against him. He struggled with foul trouble and couldn’t get looks offensively or stops defensively.

Turgeon said that is completely natural so early in a college career. Don’t be surprised on Friday night against Rider to see more feeding into Stone in the post and letting him go to work. With Hayes not clogging the lane, he will have more freedom of motion and we’ll be able to see his full offensive repertoire again.

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Maryland reacts to latest FBI investigation reports

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Maryland reacts to latest FBI investigation reports

The world of college basketball has been on high alert since last fall when reports first surfaced of a longterm FBI investigation into the worst-kept secret in sports: college athletes being paid to play.

News surrounding the scandal died down after the inital wave of arrests, but Yahoo! Sports released a warning of sorts recently and followed it up on Friday by naming players (both past and present) for the first time. There were dozens of programs and players implicated, including Maryland's Diamond Stone.

Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon released the following statement Friday afternoon.

"Late last night we were alerted of a report associating one of our former student-athletes with an agent. We are extremely disappointed, and we will fully cooperate with any investigation. I do not have a relationship with Andy Miller or anyone from his agency, and at no time have I ever had a conversation with Andy Miller or his agency regarding any Maryland basketball player. We remain steadfast in upholding a program of integrity that reflects the values of our University community."

Stone played for the Terps during the 2015-16 season, after which he left for the NBA. That Terps team was highly-ranked entering the season but ended up losing in the Sweet 16 to top-seeded Kansas.


Andy Miller is the agent whose financial records were used to implicate so many players in the Yahoo! Sports report. It's no surprise that Turgeon would deny having a relationship with Miller regarding any of his players, but the question remains: What does this mean for Maryland basketball?

You can be sure that Turgeon will be meeting with both past and current assistant coaches Friday to confirm they have not had any involvement with Andy Miller. He'll also certainly be meeting with higher-ups at Maryland, as they try to cover their bases. 

That said, it seems unlikely Maryland would take an action as drastic as firing Turgeon over these allegations. There has been no evidence released so far that implies Turgeon had any knowledge of Stone's actions. Barring further information coming to light, it seems as though this is a case of Stone developing a relationship with Miller's agency separately from Maryland.

Some of the more vocal members of Maryland's fan base would like to think Turgeon is on the hot seat. The truth is, given his long-term contract and the current state of Maryland's finances, it's not currently feasible to fire him and expect to afford a more accomplished coach. Though if further reports indicate Turgeon was complicit, then all bets are off.

It remains possible the NCAA will impose punishments on the schools involved with this scandal, in the form of reduced scholarships, postseason bans, or worse. But that's likely off the table until further evidence comes out regarding how much schools and coaches actually knew. It is a near-certainty that some schools were in cahoots with Miller and other agents; the problem is identifying which schools were intentionally breaking the rules, and which were simply unaware. Ultimately, however, some degree of responsibility falls on the head coach.

For now, the biggest worry on the minds of Maryland fans should be vacated wins. If Diamond Stone was ineligible, then it's possible the victories Maryland recorded during the 2015-16 season will be erased from the record books. Unfortunately, this could include their run to the Sweet 16, which was the program's first in more than a decade.

Given the expectations surrounding the team during Stone's year in College Park, his tenure could already be considered a disappointment. Losing those wins would further dampen the memories fans have from that season.

On the bright side, at least the Terps didn't have a Final Four run to lose.

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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.


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.


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.

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