Maryland Terps

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Much change in WR corps steadied by returning force

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Much change in WR corps steadied by returning force

COLLEGE PARK -- Just over a year ago, Maryland's wide receiving corps looked very different.

Nigel King has since transferred to Kansas and graduated. Stefon Diggs and Deon Long have gone on to the NFL. Marcus Leak has left the program. Juwann Winfree has left the program. Jacquille Veii, converted to a slot receiver from a running back, has transferred. 

Yet throughout training camp this preseason, head coach Randy Edsall has remained adamant about one thing. He's not sure where narratives about a possible dropoff in production came from. And perhaps much of that has to do with one player returning in 2015 from suspension -- Levern Jacobs.

Jacobs was the player who, back in 2013, did his best to fill in once Diggs and Long went down in the same game with season-ending injuries. He was charged with second-degree assault before the start of the 2014 season, resulting in his suspension, before being found not guilty of the charge in December.

One year of work on the practice field out of the public eye and now he is back. Edsall maintains that the cornerstone of his receiving corps has changed.

MORE TERPS: DIGGS SAVES BIGGEST PERFORMANCE FOR PRESEASON FINALE

"I think when you couldn't do something and play something that you really like, you end up having a better appreciation for what you're doing and what you have to get done in order to try to be better each and every day," Edsall said this week.

"I just see a level of maturity. I see the confidence level grow with him and I see a guy that appreciated things a little bit more."

Quarterback Perry Hills needs a go-to receiver and Jacobs has the potential to be that. During that 2013 season, he led the team in receptions (47) and receiving yards (640) despite only starting four games.

"I'm definitely hungry to be on the field Saturday," Jacobs said this week. "Missing a whole season last year, it's definitely tough for me but I think I did a pretty good job preparing to be back there on Saturday."

Expect there to be less of a reliance on the read-option with Hills under center, meaning he'll be looking for Jacobs, his brother Taivon, and fellow wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo with higher frequency.

Jacobs won Scout Team Player of the Week prior to Maryland's opener last season against James Madison and worked often against cornerbacks Will Likely and Sean Davis. That, he says, has prepared him.

"There's nothing," he said, "that I'm not ready for."

Maryland kicks off against Richmond at noon on Saturday.

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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.