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Top 3 games of Maryland's 2015-16 non-conference schedule

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Top 3 games of Maryland's 2015-16 non-conference schedule

Maryland released its 2015-16 non-conference basketball schedule Tuesday afternoon. You can see that here. But let's parse it a bit. Here are what look to be the Top 3 matchups:

3) Wednesday, Nov. 25 vs. Rhode Island (Cancun Classic, if applicable)

A few things. First, Rhode Island and Maryland would need to win for this matchup to take place in Cancun. If not, TCU could be the opponent. Secondly, yes, Connecticut is also on the schedule and that should be a solid matchup at Madison Square Garden in December.

But let's give the mid-majors some love here.

Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley fielded interest throughout the offseason from high-major programs, but decided to stay in Kingston -- and for good reason. His team's roster is loaded.

E.C. Matthews is an NBA-caliber guard. Hassan Martin is a double-double threat every night. Jared Terrell was an Oklahoma State commit before flipping to Rhody. Memphis transfer and former five-star recruit Kuran Iverson was ruled eligible by the NCAA earlier this year so he is scheduled to be on the court in the fall.

Many will pick the Rams to win the Atlantic 10 and they should give Maryland a tough run if they meet in Cancun.

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2) Tuesday, Dec. 1 vs. North Carolina (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)

How could a matchup between the possible No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country be the second best game of the non-conference? History. But we'll get to that in a minute.

The Tar Heels bring back a lot of firepower. Marcus Paige will be a National Player of the Year candidate. Kennedy Meeks is an outlet-passing wizard. Brice Johnson and Isaiah Hicks help to solidify the front line. 

It might feel weird calling this a non-conference game, but it could be one of the great ones (in the country) in the early part of the season.

1) Tuesday, Nov. 17 vs. Georgetown (Gavitt Games)

Forty-two years will have passed since the last time the Hoyas traveled to College Park when Maryland faces Georgetown on Nov. 17.

The Gavitt Games, which pairs Big Ten teams against Big East teams, paved the way for the matchup. With Maryland poised to start the season in the Top 5 and Georgetown in the mix for a conference title, it really couldn't have come at a better time.

National attention will be focused on the game at what should be a rocking XFINITY Center.

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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.