Maryland Terps

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Turgeon finally says what pundits have been saying for months

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Turgeon finally says what pundits have been saying for months

Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon, given the opportunity publicly at Big Ten Media Day in Chicago on Thursday, finally acknowledged what pundits and prognosticators have been saying about his team for months.

“We’re not going out saying that we’re going to go to a Final Four, win a national championship,” he said. “But everybody’s saying it for us.

“We have Final Four talent. I think we have national championship talent. Now, whether we win one game in the NCAA tournament or even get there remains to be seen.”

It remains remarkable that the conversation in College Park one year ago at this time was how many games Turgeon needed to win to keep his job. Now we’re talking about a potential No. 1 team.

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It is a credit to Turgeon, who allowed a group of players he recruited to transfer and put trust in a group of young, unproven players to stabilize the program in one year’s time. Having a leader like Dez Wells and a supertalent like Melo Trimble doesn’t hurt, either.

They are the favorites to win the Big Ten and are projected to be in play for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament -- but they face a brutal schedule, especially in the conference.

“I think we do have a talented group,” Trimble said. “I think that it’s a challenge we want to look up to. I think we have the players to do it. I think we just have to work on the grind and the process and like I said don’t worry about the outsiders and just focus on what’s our goal.

“Everyone wants to get to the national championship game.”

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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.