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Maryland-Wisconsin Preview: 5 things you need to know

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Maryland-Wisconsin Preview: 5 things you need to know

Maryland faces Wisconsin on Saturday at Byrd Stadium in College Park as the Terrapins try to get a victory in their second-to-last home game of the season.

Here are 5 things you need to know about the matchup.

1) Homecoming game

Interim head coach Mike Locksley has made it a point to talk about the importance of homecoming weekend as a way for the program to keep ties with its former players and cultivate a culture that extends beyond just a four-year cycle of players in and out.

Locksley said a number of program alumni have reached out to him and plan to be in town for the weekend.

2) Will the turnovers stop?

Maryland’s turnover issues are now a turnover epidemic. The Terrapins are tied for last in the nation with the most giveaways per game. It is coming from both directions -- both interceptions and fumbles.

It’s unclear what exactly is the fix. The obvious answer is just to do the things that help to reduce turnovers, meaning holding the ball tighter and throwing the ball away instead of into coverage if the play breaks down. Putting that into practice is more of an ask.

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3) Another stout defense

Maryland has faced an elite succession of defenses since entering conference play, but that’s life in the Big Ten -- Michigan, then Ohio State, then Penn State, then Iowa, and now Wisconsin.

A coaching change in the middle of that stretch and a change in offensive philosophy has allowed the offense to do more, but they still have their shares of troubles, which begin with the above-mentioned turnovers.

The Badgers allow just 4.3 yards per play, good for 12th in the nation, and just 11 points per game, which is No. 1 overall.

4) Controlling the running game

Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon ran it consistently on Maryland last season in the Badgers’ 52-7 win over the Terrapins last season, racking up 122 yards and three touchdowns. He’s off to the NFL, but his backup from last season (who almost got 100 yards himself in that game) is now the center of attention.

Corey Clement has missed seven games to injury this season, but he came back strong last week against Rutgers with 115 yards and three touchdowns. Maryland’s defense has done better, even with injuries, against the run and has held a few elite running backs to average or below-average days of late.

Can they do it again against Clement?

5) Another step closer to the record?

Maryland junior Yannick Ngakoue is now three sacks away from tying the program’s single-season record for sacks in a season (13). While the staff continues to stress that he be a complete player, his ability to get to the quarterback is invaluable.

Wisconsin ranks 33rd in the nation in the percentage of plays on which its quarterback is sacked (4.28 percent) so it won’t be easy.

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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.

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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.