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Maryland tops UConn in NYC: 5 things you need to know

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Maryland tops UConn in NYC: 5 things you need to know

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Big city, bright lights, not really a problem.

In another featured game on national television, this time at Madison Square Garden in New York City against a fringe Top-25 team, Maryland played -- all things considered -- its best start-to-finish game of the season in a 76-66 victory over Connecticut on Tuesday night.

Sophomore guard Melo Trimble led the way with 25 points, including 14-of-15 shooting from the free throw line. Freshman Diamond Stone was one rebound away from a double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds.

Here are five things you need to know.

1) Sticking with a successful starting lineup

Against St. Francis, putting Damonte Dodd in the starting lineup and bringing Diamond Stone off the bench jump-started the offense. Head coach Mark Turgeon stuck with it and it gave himself exactly what he would have wanted.

Once entering the game in place of Robert Carter, Jr., Stone had five points and four rebounds by the under-16 timeout. He had an and-one layup that sparked an outburst of emotion and confidence that we have not really seen from him this season.

2) Asserting themselves early

With help from that lineup, Connecticut had no answer for the Terrapins on the inside. Melo Trimble was dicing the defense by getting to the basket, then dishing to Stone for layups and slams.

After settling for jumpers on the first few possessions, Maryland made it a point to attack the basket off the bounce or by dumping it into the post and getting fouled. That supplemented their sub-par shooting effort in the first half to push them to a 16-point halftime lead.

MORE TERPS: MARYLAND DROPS IN LATEST AP TOP 25 POLL

3) Defense, defense, defense

Connecticut has no shortage of talented perimeter players, from Sterling Gibbs to Daniel Hamilton to Rodney Purvis to Jalen Adams. On top of that, Maryland struggled early in the season with perimeter defense.

Not an issue on Tuesday night. Connecticut scored just 22 points in the first half and shot 30.4 percent. Diamond Stone, who at times has struggled defensively, was able to guard UConn big man Amida Brimah -- much less an offensive talent than he is a defensive one. With that, nearly every possible trouble spot was accounted for.

4) Connecticut makes a second-half push

In the first four minutes of the second half, Maryland’s defense slipped into a rut of complacency. The lead was trimmed to nine by the 13-minute mark. The Connecticut-friendly crowd got louder. But a well-timed timeout by Turgeon helped to turn the tide and within about four minutes, Maryland had again pushed the lead to 16 points, 59-43.

Connecticut pushed back again, cutting the deficit to nine, 65-56, with 4:40 to play. Another stretch of terrific back-and-forth basketball saw Trimble hit a floater, then Purvis responded with a three to cut the Terrapins’ lead to six, 67-61.

5) A pivotal technical

After Daniel Hamilton made a three-pointer to cut the Maryland lead to just three points, 67-64, Connecticut guard Jalen Adams was called for a foul on the ensuing in-bound. Connecticut head coach Kevin Ollie was displeased. Papers ended up on the playing floor when he swiped them off the scorers' table in anger and he was given a technical foul.

Trimble made three free throws, pushing the Maryland lead back to six points. The momentum was never in Connecticut’s favor again.

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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.