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Preview: 4 things to know about Maryland-Richmond

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Preview: 4 things to know about Maryland-Richmond

Randy Edsall and the Terrapins welcome head coach Danny Rocco (who happens to be one of Edsall's former colleagues) and the Richmond Spiders to College Park for their 2015 season opener on Saturday at Byrd Stadium.

Here are 4 things to know as you get ready for the game:

1) Perry Hills takes his place under center

It was an open quarterback competition in camp and redshirt junior Perry Hills won it outright. Now he starts his first game since he was thrown into the fire as a true freshman. He’s a different kind of underdog and there are some questions that will begin to be answered against Richmond.

“I think people never thought he had a chance to be the quarterback and it’s the great thing about sport," Edsall said. "It’s the great thing about life that don’t believe what other people say."

How much will read-option be a part of this offense with Hills under center, as opposed to the run-oriented C.J. Brown last season? Will there be a greater reliance on the running backs? Will tight ends occupy a larger part of the offense?

2) Unveiling the 4-3

Maryland was 77th in the nation against the run, measured by yards per carry by opponents, last season. For that reason, with new defensive coordinator Keith Dudzinski comes a switch from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3.

Look for players like Yannick Ngakoue and Jesse Aniebonam to have their hands in the dirt more now, with the hope that they can use their athleticism to rush the passer and stuff the run.

"One week you're against the power run game the next week you're going to be in spread," Dudzinski said. "There's always going to be tweaks and things you have to do. Right now we've got some young guys who are still learning to play some good fundamental techniques."

Read more below on the biggest threats to that defense on Saturday.

MORE TERPS: CAPTAINS, UNIFORMS, MORE VS. RICHMOND

3) Changes to Richmond’s offense

Last season, Richmond routinely gained over 400 yards and worked often out of the spread. During a radio appearance this week, Maryland head coach Randy Edsall said he expects more dropback looks under new offensive coordinator Charlie Fisher.

Richmond sophomore quarterback Kyle Lauletta begins his first season under center, aided by talent at the skill positions, including running backs Seth Fisher (who is a large man) and Jacobi Green, as well as wide receivers Reggie Diggs and Brian Brown.

"Their guys that have really great length, they have athleticism and they have speed," Dudzinski said. "Hopefully with Sean [Davis] at corner he can help us because he's got great length and hopefully he'll play physical there. Then Will [Likely] has to step up and play long."

4) A crucial stretch

It seems odd and premature to call the first three games of the season a crucial stretch, but it is for Maryland. Starting out the season with three home games -- all of which are winnable non-conference matchups -- will help to dictate whether or not this team ends up eligible for a bowl.

If they can come out 3-0, then a series of tough toss-up games are on the horizon that will ultimately determine how this season turns out (at West Virginia, vs. Michigan, vs. Penn State).

Edsall is a "one game at a time" kind of coach, so he didn't acknowledge much more than that on Tuesday.

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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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USA Today Sports Images

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.