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3-of-5 Preview: Questions (and answers) for Robert Carter

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3-of-5 Preview: Questions (and answers) for Robert Carter

In the days leading up to Saturday’s Midnight Madness festivities, CSN will take a look at each projected member of Maryland’s starting five with an individual preview for each player. We will pose three questions of the five starters, with CSN’s answer for each listed just below it.

Here is the 3-of-5 Preview.

Name: Robert Carter

Position: Power forward

Class: Junior

2013-14 Stats (before sitting out transfer season): 11.4 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 1.1 BPG

Question 1: How will he be different from the player last seen at Georgia Tech?

The biggest thing you’ll notice about Georgia Tech’s Robert Carter and Maryland’s Robert Carter will be his body. Mark Turgeon says he dropped a tremendous amount of weight, cutting his body fat percentage in half.

That’s the scary part. He nearly averaged a double-double in the ACC when he was far from being in optimal shape. His body is completely different and he has a transfer year of seasoning, working to stretch his game out toward the perimeter and become a true stretch four.

Plus you’ll get the same rebounding rate and some rim protection.

MORE TERPS: TURGEON ACKNOWLEDGES WHAT PUNDITS PREDICT

Question 2: How does he change the offense?

Last season, point guard Melo Trimble was one of the best players in the country when it came to initiating and executing the pick and roll. He did it without really having many reliable options as a dance partner on the roll.

Jake Layman could do it. Evan Smotrycz had his moments. But Damonte Dodd and Jon Graham held value more on the defensive end and the glass. Now you insert Carter and the game completely changes.

Trimble was a threat to shoot the three if the defense went under the screen. He could drive to the basket and get fouled or score if you went over the top. Now he has a pick-and-pop option with Carter that defenses have to legitimately defend. That’s tough.

Question 3: Is he a first-round pick after this season?

What is the most coveted positional prototype in the NBA right now, outside of perhaps a tall lead guard? The stretch four.

With teams wanting to play more small ball, a big who can roam on the perimeter while still rebounding the basketball and defending multiple positions is a luxury that every team would like to have.

Robert Carter is that type of player. You won’t see him on many draft boards or preseason projections at the moment because he slipped under the radar after sitting out a transfer season. But by the end of the year, watch out. The first round is in sight if he plays up to his potential.

In the days leading up to Saturday’s Midnight Madness festivities, CSN will take a look at each projected member of Maryland’s starting five with an individual preview for each player. We will pose three questions of the five starters, with CSN’s answer for each listed just below it.

Here is the 3-of-5 Preview.

Name: Jake Layman

Position: Small forward

Class: Senior

2014-15 Stats: 12.5 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.4 APG

Question 1: How will things change as he shifts back to his natural position?

Layman played a good deal of power forward last season as injuries made it almost a necessity. With Robert Carter becoming eligible, Layman shifts primarily back to his natural position at small forward.

One would think he learned things while having to change positions. He became more of a threat in the post, which helped to diversify his offensive game. He has said himself that he was made tougher by having to go against Carter every day in practice. His shooting percentage also increased dramatically.

That should carry over as he shifts back, giving him the option to use his athleticism against bigger defenders or take smaller defenders down into the post.

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Question 2: Is he willing to regularly get into the driver’s seat?

Over his first three seasons in College Park, the biggest critique of Layman has been that in big games he fades into the background. Was that a factor of players like Dez Wells taking the lead and Layman deferring?

With Wells having graduated, does Layman fill that role as a senior? Or do players like Carter and Stone and Sulaimon gladly pick up the slack and we see a similar pattern from the Massachusetts native?

Maryland is better the more weapons they have. And Layman is a weapon that they would love to turn to whenever possible. He just has to know that Maryland is fine with him missing a few shots because by this point in his career he has proven that he can hit his groove eventually.

Question 3: Will a senior season improve his draft stock?

Layman was projected to be a fringe first-round pick in the 2015 draft because of his combination of size, athleticism, and shooting ability fits perfectly into the NBA’s new-found love for small ball.

Now that he returns, which direction does his stock head? If he appears to level off, perhaps the perception of him by scouts does as well. But players have stayed four years and not hurt their stock in the past.

What would he have to do to improve it? Showing more assertiveness is likely atop that list, plus more improvement on the defensive end. If he does those things, he should cement a spot on that first or second-round fringe.

PREVIOUS INSTALLMENTS

3-of-5 Preview: Melo Trimble

3-of-5 Preview: Rasheed Sulaimon

3-of-5 Preview: Jake Layman

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NBA Draft 2018: Maryland basketball's Justin Jackson drafted by Nuggets, traded to Magic

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USA Today Sports

NBA Draft 2018: Maryland basketball's Justin Jackson drafted by Nuggets, traded to Magic

Maryland basketball had two players drafted in one night for the second time in three years Thursday night when the Denver Nuggets picked Justin Jackson with the No. 43 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Jackson was subsequently traded to the Orlando Magic as part of a deal that brought the No. 41 overall pick, Kentucky's Jarred Vanderbilt, to Denver.

After his freshman season, in which he averaged 10.5 points and six rebounds a game while shooting 43.8 percent from beyond the arc, Jackson declared for the draft without an agent, but elected to return to Maryland for his sophomore season. But he'd play just 11 games before being shutdown for the year with a torn labrum. His draft stock was hurt, but obviously not totally erased.

He had surgery in January and ended up being the first Terp to declare for the 2018 NBA Draft back in March. Though Jackson's recovery kept him out of the NBA Combine, teams were still intrigued by what they'd seen from him in the past to be willing to take a flyer.

A 6-foot-7 forward with a 7-foot-3 wingspan, Jackson has the skill to play anywhere between the two or the four in the NBA, and the length to guard all kinds of players.

With Kevin Huerter headed to the last-place Atlanta Hawks, Maryland basketball's two draftees are slated to join last season's two worst teams in the Eastern Conference.

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NBA Draft 2018: Atlanta Hawks draft Maryland basketball's Kevin Huerter with the No. 19 overall pick

NBA Draft 2018: Atlanta Hawks draft Maryland basketball's Kevin Huerter with the No. 19 overall pick

Maryland basketball's Kevin Huerter was drafted No. 19 overall Thursday night by the Atlanta Hawks.

He's the Terps' highest draft pick since the Phoenix Suns drafted Alex Len fifth overall in the 2013 NBA Draft.

Huerter played two seasons with Maryland, averaging 12 points, five rebounds and three assists as a Terp. He's best known for his knockdown shooting ability, as he knocked down 46.6 percent of his shots from the field, including 39.4 percent of his three-point shots. During his sophomore season, he was better than 50 percent from the field and better than 40 percent from deep.

Back in April, when Huerter first declared for the 2018 NBA Draft without an agent, it was widely assumed he was just testing the waters to get feedback from NBA scouts and would return to school for his junior season. But an outstanding performance at the NBA Combine saw his hardly existent draft stock skyrocket. Almost overnight, Huerter's name was popping up in the first round of mock drafts, and now what seemed like a no-brainer decision to return to school wasn't so clear.

On May 30, he announced that he would leave his name in the 2018 NBA Draft and hire an agent. He recently had surgery on a torn ligament in his hand, but is expected to miss only two months and make a full recovery by the time the 2018 NBA season starts.

With the Atlanta Hawks, Huerter should pick up right where he left off shooting in college, but can also provide high basketball IQ and sneaky athleticism. He and Trae Young join Dennis Schröder and Kent Bazemore who finished last in the Eastern Conference last season.

MORE 2018 NBA DRAFT COVERAGE: