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5 stats that determined the outcome of Maryland-Michigan State

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5 stats that determined the outcome of Maryland-Michigan State

Basketball is often a numbers game. The five numbers below went a long way toward determining the outcome of Maryland’s 74-65 loss to Michigan State on Saturday evening in East Lansing.

Here they are:

1) 25

Points scored by Michigan State guard Bryn Forbes, who came into the game averaging 13.1 points per game. Not only did he nearly double his average scoring output, but he broke out of a funk that spanned the Spartans’ three-game losing streak.

Over the last three games, he had shot 5-of-22 from the field and scored a total of 16 points. Saturday night? Those 25 points came on 15 shots. Michigan State needed something from someone in that backcourt not named Denzel Valentine. Forbes delivered.

2) 3

The number of shots from the floor taken by five-star Maryland freshman Diamond Stone. Against Michigan State bigs Deyonta Davis, Gavin Schilling, and Matt Costello, Stone had a chance to be a focal point.

But Turgeon said it himself during an in-game interview with ESPN -- his team fell in love with the jump shot early. It was not until the second half when Maryland really emphasized the ball screen action with Melo Trimble and Stone or Robert Carter, Jr. that the offense got any momentum.

He was only able to shoot four free throws -- all makes -- which is typically an indication of how often a player touches the ball in the paint and his aggressiveness in attacking the rim. Had he gotten going, that would have opened up the perimeter more as well.

MORE TERPS: MARYLAND DELAYS RETURN FROM MICHIGAN BECAUSE OF WEATHER

3) -10

That was the rebounding differential for Maryland. In the first half, they were outworked by a Michigan State team that was able to chase down long rebounds and push players around on the block to go get loose balls off the rim.

Costello was a force. His 12 rebounds included six on the offensive glass that kept possessions alive for the Spartans.

And it is not just the second-chance points (Michigan State had 15 off of 17 offensive rebounds) that should worry you. Not closing out a possession with a board forces you to defend for another 30 seconds. That exposes you to more fouls and leads to an overall fatigue. Both were issues in the first half especially.

4) 3 (again)

The number of free throw attempts by Maryland point guard Melo Trimble. Head coach Mark Turgeon has continued to beat the drum about the way fouls are called and its possible connection to Trimble’s dip in free throw attempts per game, which is at 3.9 this season after he visited the stripe 6.9 times per game last season.

Yes, part of it is that 11 of his 17 shot attempts on Saturday night were from three. That’s not where you’re going to get fouled. But Turgeon will almost assuredly look back at at least a pair of Trimble drives to the bucket where fouls were not called and could have some questions.

Take away Trimble’s ability to get to the line and it changes the way he can play. He is less efficient. How many times last year did we see him take 17 field goal attempts to get 24 points? Those attempts from the floor were typically closer to 10.

5) 29.6

Maryland’s shooting percentage from three-point range was not what it needed to be to beat Michigan State, but that’s the caveat that I pointed out in the lead-up to this game. Maryland is built to beat the Spartans in a way that Iowa, Wisconsin, and Nebraska did -- spread it out and hit your shots.

They just didn’t hit their shots. If a few threes fall and, say, they go 10-for-27 (37 percent), we are talking about a completely different basketball game down the stretch and possibly a different outcome.

Yes, they needed to get the ball inside more. But that work inside could have been aided by a make or two more from the perimeter.

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Investigation finds Maryland culpable in death of player

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USA Today

Investigation finds Maryland culpable in death of player

TOWSON, Md. -- An independent investigation into the death of University of Maryland football player Jordan McNair has determined that trainers on the scene did not follow proper procedures after he collapsed on the field.

McNair was hospitalized on May 29 after a team workout and died June 13. The family attorney said the cause of death was heatstroke.

Dr. Rod Walters, a former college athletic trainer and sports medicine consultant who led the investigation launched by the school following McNair's death, said Friday "there was a failure to identify symptoms and aggressively treat it."

Maryland athletic director Damon Evans acknowledged last month that "mistakes were made" by the training staff in the treatment of McNair, a 19-year-old sophomore offensive lineman. University President Wallace Loh visited McNair's parents to offer a personal apology for how the situation was handled.

The report released Friday stated that there appeared to be a failure to recognize the severity of the incident and that when the severity was identified, inadequate cooling devices were used in place of cold water immersion or cold whirlpools.

Terrapins head coach DJ Durkin is on administrative leave while an unrelated external investigation into the culture of the football program is being conducted.

According to the report, Durkin was on the scene when McNair collapsed. His role in the events that followed was not made clear.

Much of Walters' report focused on recommendations that would enable a tragedy like this from happening again.

In a release issued before the news conference began, the university wrote: "We made immediate changes following Jordan's death and have continued to make enhancements informed by the preliminary observations of the external review we received this summer."

The list of changes already implemented, according to the school, include an increase in doctors and training at practices and games; additional on-site cooling stations to football training camp and practices consisting of portable spray misters, recovery drinks and cooling towels; and increasing the number and length of recovery breaks.

Officials say the changes were made after receiving preliminary observations of Walker's findings.

Maryland athletic director Damon Evans acknowledged last month that "mistakes were made" by the training staff in the treatment of McNair, a 19-year-old sophomore offensive lineman.

Loh was very candid last month when talking about the school's role in McNair's death.

"They entrusted their son to us, and he did not return home," Loh said of McNair's parents. "The University accepts legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes that were made on that fateful day. ... They misdiagnosed the situation."

On that day, the law firm of Murphy, Falcon & Murphy, which represents the McNair family, wrote in a statement: "While Marty and Tonya will never get another day with Jordan, Dr. Loh's words were meaningful to them and give them some comfort that he will put the University on the path to change the culture of the program so that no Terrapin family will have to endure the heartache and grief that they feel."

In the wake of McNair's death, an ESPN story reported that the coaching staff engaged in physical and mental abuse of the players.

Durkin was placed on administrative leave on Aug. 11. Strength and conditioning coach Rick Court resigned two days later, and head trainer Wes Robinson, along with Steve Nordwall, an assistant athletic director for training, remain on administrative leave.

Loh distinguished between training staff and coaching staff when he spoke about mistakes that led to McNair's death, but added the reports of "bullying behavior" by football coaches "are totally inconsistent with what we stand for, and our values."

The Walters review was one of two separate ongoing investigations being overseen by the Board of Regents. In addition, an eight-member commission has been appointed to look into the culture of the football program.

That investigation is ongoing.

"The Board of Regents is committed to uncovering all the discoverable facts about Jordan McNair's tragic death, and separately, the culture of the football program," Board of Regents Chair James Brady said.

Offensive coordinator Matt Canada has been serving as interim coach. Maryland is 2-1 heading into Saturday's Big Ten opener against Minnesota at home.

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Vernon Davis writes a letter to the Maryland Terrapins football team in the Players' Tribune

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USA Today Sports Images

Vernon Davis writes a letter to the Maryland Terrapins football team in the Players' Tribune

The 2018 Maryland football team was faced with a hardship that no team ever dreams of going through. Having to overcome the pain of losing their teammate Jordan McNair, then taking the field in competition is an obstacle that no one understands until they face it themselves.

And former Maryland Terrapin Vernon Davis wants the team to know how proud he is of them.

Davis, a current tight end for the Washington Redskins, took to the Players' Tribune to write to the Maryland football team.

He called the touching letter, 'For Jordan'.

In the piece he wrote: 

Ever since the final whistle of that truly incredible Week 1 victory over Texas, I’ve found myself thinking about you guys a lot — about what you all must be going through in dealing with the loss of your teammate Jordan McNair just three months ago, and how difficult everything must be. Eventually, over the past few weeks, I got to the point where I decided that I wanted to sit down and write something to the team.

There are a bunch of things I want to say here. But the most important one, by far, is just to let you all know that….

I couldn’t be more proud of you guys.

Davis continued, talking about their emotional victory over the Texas Longhorns

Losing a teammate, a brother, the way that the Maryland football family lost Jordan this past summer was an unspeakably sad tragedy. I can only imagine the level of grief and heartache that each and every one of you has experienced. And after going through what you have, no one would’ve faulted you if you didn’t win a single game this year — at least not those of us who understand grief, and pain, and loss.

I mean, you could’ve lost 100 to nothing in that opening game at FedEx Field against the Longhorns on September 1 and … we would’ve understood.

But, well, that’s not what happened.

Instead, on that afternoon, even as you continued to hurt and mourn, you found in your sport the opportunity to create a positive, life-affirming moment.

At the same time, you also showed me, once again, just how special this university is to me. And why, after all these years, I still love Maryland with all my heart.

Playing three years with Maryland, Davis caught nine touchdowns with 1,371 yards. Because of his instant impact and averaging 16.5 yards per catch, he decided to forgo his senior season and head to the NFL. In 2006, he was drafted No. 6 overall by the San Francisco 49ers.

He concluded: 

...you’ve all already shown anyone paying attention the strength and heart and will of this team. So I have no doubt that you’re going to bounce back and finish the season strong. And as you’re going about that journey, you all — each and every one of you — need to know that it’s not just me who is proud of you.

You guys are inspiring people worldwide — Terp alums, for sure, but also just people who know what you’re going through and realize the fortitude that it takes to keep moving forward in the face of it all.

We see you. We’re proud of you. And … we believe in you.

So just keep doing the best you can. Stay together. Play the game with love. And always, no matter what, keep Jordan in your heart.

Because I’m pretty sure he’s proud of you, too.

Once a Terp, always a Terp,

Vernon

To read the 'For Jordan' letter in its entirety on the Players' Tribune, click here.

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