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Why Stone has 'chance to make a lot of money' if development continues

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Why Stone has 'chance to make a lot of money' if development continues

COLLEGE PARK -- It’s remarkable how skilled Maryland freshman Diamond Stone is offensively at this point in his young career. And he’s only going to get better.

Even over the last two games, his development has seemed to pick up as he was shifted to a sixth man role and responded with back-to-back 16-point games in two Maryland victories.

Credit some of that to the players he has around him, with defensive-minded junior Damonte Dodd entering the starting lineup -- taking the pressure off of Dodd when he enters the game because he can now be paired with sophomore Michal Cekovsky or with Dodd himself.

Dodd, who came in like Stone as a player who contributed far more on one end of the floor than the other, speaks with the freshman regularly -- both in games and in practice. As good as he is offensively, his defense still needs work, and he knows that.

“Defense is just all about effort,” Dodd will say to Stone. “If you just give max effort on defense and just try to get every rebound and just try to be in the right places, you can have a chance to make a lot of money.”

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To begin the season, head coach Mark Turgeon said that being in the starting lineup “means a lot” to the freshman. Perhaps that is why he was so consistently a starter, though he was paired with another offensive force in Robert Carter, Jr. while the bench went through dry spells when Dodd and Cekovsky were on the floor simultaneously.

Now, the tune has changed in favor of pragmatism and it has worked.

“He’s going to do what I tell him to do,” Turgeon said. “I do think that he enjoys challenges and he’s being challenged a little bit, but he does seem very comfortable.

“Long as he’s productive and he’s going to play well, he’s going to probably play the same amount of minutes whether he’s starting or not starting.”

Turgeon went on to praise the freshman, saying there is an extra hurdle he must clear in the sense that there are no other young players around him traveling along the same development curve.

The only other true newcomer, Jaylen Brantley, is 21 years old and has college experience at the junior college level already.

“Me and Rob, we just try to talk to him because we’ve been through there so we have to tell him where to be at because offensively you can see he can score the basketball,” Dodd went on to say of Stone. “So he’s just got to come defensively and once he comes defensively, he’ll be an outstanding player.”

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Palmer's big 2nd half lifts Huskers past Maryland

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Palmer's big 2nd half lifts Huskers past Maryland

LINCOLN, Neb. -- James Palmer Jr. scored 24 of his 26 points in the second half, Isaiah Roby had all 11 of his after half, and Nebraska held off Maryland 70-66 on Tuesday night.

Palmer and Roby combined for 35 of the Cornhuskers' 40 second-half points, and they secured their first 20-win season since 2008. They won a sixth straight conference game for the first time in 20 years.

Palmer scored 15 straight points for the Huskers (20-8, 11-4 Big Ten) over a 10-minute span that ended when Roby hit one of two free throws with 2:57 left for a 64-59 lead. Roby had a double-double, with 10 rebounds, and he also blocked three shots.

The Terps (17-11, 6-9) had a chance to take the lead with a minute to play, but Glynn Watson Jr. blocked Anthony Cowan Jr.'s 3-point try, Evan Taylor came up with the loose ball and got it to Watson.

Watson missed a 3-pointer coming out of a timeout, and Roby got the rebound and was immediately fouled. He made both free throws for a 66-63 lead. Kevin Huerter's layin cut it to one point before Watson made two free throws.

Huerter went to the line with 2.8 seconds left, and after making the first free throw he intentionally missed the second. Palmer got the rebound, was fouled and put the game away with two free throws.

Bruno Fernando led the Terps with 21 points and nine rebounds. Huerter added 12 points and Darryl Morsell had 11.

BIG PICTURE

Maryland: The Terps' fading NCAA Tournament hopes might have been dashed with their seventh straight road loss.

Nebraska: The Huskers are resting firmly on the NCAA bubble and absolutely needed this win. They got it, thanks to Palmer and Roby's efforts in the second half.

UP NEXT

Maryland hosts Rutgers on Saturday. It's the teams' only meeting this season.

Nebraska visits Illinois. The Huskers beat the Illini 64-63 in Lincoln on Jan. 15.

RELATED: DMV College Basketball Power Rankings: Missed opportunities

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Maryland overwhelmed by Penn State in close loss

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USA TODAY Sports

Maryland overwhelmed by Penn State in close loss

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Lamar Stevens feels like he's playing his most consistent basketball right now, a bad omen for upcoming opponents considering Penn State expects its hybrid forward to do a little bit of everything.

Just like he did on Wednesday.

Stevens scored 25 points on 10-of-12 shooting with 14 in the second half to lift Penn State over Maryland 74-70.

RELATED: UPDATED DMV POWER RANKINGS

"Lamar really stepped up for us," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. "We needed every one of those points that he had tonight."

Tony Carr added 16 points, Josh Reaves scored 14, and Mike Watkins added 11 for the Nittany Lions (17-9, 7-6 Big Ten Conference), who equaled their previous best mark for conference victories under Chambers.

"The best teams always find ways to win," Stevens said. "We locked down when we had to, got huge stops, huge rebounds and I think that's a huge step for this team."

With Maryland (16-10, 5-8) up 20-14 midway through the first half, Stevens nailed his first of two 3-pointers to spark a quick 9-0 run that helped Penn State take control.

He rolled layups off his fingers and sank midrange jumpers on multiple back-to-back possessions in the second half, where he scored 11 of his team's first 20 points.

"He made some incredible, incredible shots," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. "He was terrific, he was so efficient."

Stevens added four rebounds, two assists and was 3-for-4 on free throws with all three makes coming in the final 5:48 as Maryland threatened.

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Anthony Cowan Jr. led Maryland with 15 points while Kevin Huerter and Bruno Fernando added 13 apiece.

Darryl Morsell had 10 points for the Terrapins, who cut a 10-point deficit with 8:11 to play to just three with 1:13 left.

"I didn't think we competed in the first half defensively," Turgeon said. "I thought in the second half, we were really trying hard."

BIG PICTURE

Maryland: The Terrapins' disappointing season continues and they have dropped to 7-7 since stalwart forward Justin Jackson's season was ended by a torn shoulder ligament in late December. Although they shot better than their season average, the Terrapins were badly outplayed in the paint, getting outscored 32-22 and outrebounded 27-23.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions are playing an exciting brand of basketball as of late. They have a combined 22 dunks over their last three home games and opponents are finding it hard to play fast against a team that thrives on speed.