COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland freshman center Diamond Stone will not play in Thursday night's game against Minnesota as he serves a one-game suspension for his involvement in a scuffle near the end of the first half of the team's last game against Wisconsin.
“Diamond’s conduct during Saturday’s game was a poor representation of the standards that we have established as a program at the University of Maryland,” head coach Mark Turgeon said in a statement at the time the suspension was announced. “I have talked with Diamond and he realizes he made a mistake."
The focus now shifts from the reality of not having him against the Gophers -- which the Terrapins are game planning for -- to questions about how he will play upon his return.
If you ask senior Rasheed Sulaimon, who went in-depth about his postgame conversation with Stone on Saturday, the freshman will come back wiser than he left.
"Diamond's 100 percent invested in our team right now. He understands everything that has happened," Sulaimon said. "We talked and he's going to learn from the situation and he's going to be better going forward.
"Right now, everyone of us is just locked in and dialed in on the betterment of the team and he's totally invested and I'm pretty sure he's going to be our biggest cheerleader as well so we're all looking forward to grow from that situation and move on as a team."
Without Stone, junior Damonte Dodd returns to the starting lineup. Dodd was a starter for a good portion of the middle of the season as Turgeon shifted Stone to a sixth man role in an attempt to shield him from foul trouble.
Dodd, who faces Stone every day in practice in the post, echoed Sulaimon's sentiments.
"It was a heat-of-the moment incident and we were losing and he was just trying to be real aggressive and he was just upset and we totally understand," he said. "This is just a learning experience for him and he just has to learn from it.
"Diamond's a good kid and I think they realized that and I think he's learning from it and just going to bounce back from it."