Maryland Terps

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First-Half Superlatives: Handing out awards to No. 4 Maryland


First-Half Superlatives: Handing out awards to No. 4 Maryland

The non-conference portion of the schedule is done and Maryland finished 11-1, now sitting as the No. 4 team in the nation.

How about some first-half superlatives? CSN has its list here.

MVP - Melo Trimble

Who else could it be? This team is supremely talented and the wealth is pretty evenly spread, but part of the reason it is able to be that way is because of Trimble as a rock at the point guard spot.

In his sophomore season, he has been more willing to shift into a full-time distribution role when needed while still showing his ability to take over games as a scorer when called upon. His 14.8 points per game is a team high. He leads the team with 5.8 assists (nearly double last season’s average). He even leads the team with 1.5 steals per game.

Best Supporting Actor - Rasheed Sulaimon

Where would Maryland be without Sulaimon? From a basic, X’s and O’s standpoint, were he not to have transferred from Duke to College Park the team’s backcourt depth would be so depleted after the injury to Dion Wiley that it’s almost certain they would not be the nation’s No. 4 team.

But from a leadership, fit, and production standpoint, he has been even more valuable. Sulaimon and Trimble have meshed together and filled in where the other is weak. He is one of five players on the team averaging double figures and is shooting 50 percent from both the field and from three.


Most Improved - Jaylen Brantley

When Wiley went down with that injury, it was assumed from the outside that the guard depth Maryland had would allow them to absorb it without much issue. But, as it turns out, Brantley still had to adjust to the Power Five game and Turgeon had to build the trust to put him in.

Now, both the trust and the confidence have come together and Brantley posted 14 points against Princeton and another 8 against Marshall. In this two-game stretch, he has made nine of his 11 shots.

A healthy Wiley would have pushed Brantley almost completely out of the rotation. Now he will be asked to shoulder key minutes in conference play.

Newcomer of the First Half - Robert Carter, Jr.

Preseason hype was about how Carter could be the best player on this Maryland team. He has lived up to it, averaging 13 points and 6.6 rebounds per game on a loaded team, while completely changing the dynamic of how the Maryland offense can work.

He now gives them a legitimate, take-it-yourself option in the post with an array of NBA level moves. It’s almost inevitable that we will see him take over a game at some point this season in Big Ten play.

Best Performance in a Losing Effort - Melo Trimble vs. UNC

There’s only one losing effort to speak of for Maryland so far this season, but there’s not really a question that the superlative should go to Trimble. In a back-and-forth battle on the road, Trimble overcame early jitters to finish with 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting. He made it a double-double by adding 12 assists.

Added to that, he barely sat. He played 38 grueling minutes and even had Maryland leading in the second half.

Highest Ceiling in the Second Half -- Diamond Stone

Stone says that he has fully accepted his role off the bench and it is paying off. Since becoming the team’s sixth man, he is averaging 14.2 points per game and has been better defensively -- probably due in part because he is now able to face second-unit forwards and centers to begin the game in his new role.

That has translated to confidence that carries over into big moments against the opposition’s best players. The five-star freshman is progressing nicely and will continue to do so. 

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Maryland basketball unveils plans for new performance center

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Maryland basketball unveils plans for new performance center

The Terps were the only team in the Big Ten without a performance center dedicated specifically for basketball. That's about to change.

Maryland Athletics announced Tuesday a fundraising campaign to build a new Basketball Performance Center. The facility, totaling 60,000 square feet, would be home to both the men's and women's basketball teams.

The athletic department has already raised $19 million of the estimated $36 million needed to complete the project. With Tuesday's launch of the public phase of the fundraising campaign, the remaining $17 million will be funded through donations and athletic department revenues.

"It is our vision that with a new Basketball Performance Center, the university will continue its ascent in the Big Ten Conference and provide our teams with the infrastructure they need to continue striving for championships,” Athletics Director Damon Evans said at the event. “This new center will help provide a transformative experience for our student-athletes, giving them an unmatched opportunity to become top collegiate basketball players."

Maryland is one of only four schools to have won a championship in both men's and women's basketball, the men in 2002 under Gary Williams, and the women in 2006 under Brenda Frese, who's entering her 18th season with the Terps. She was named head coach of the women's team the day after the men won the National Championship in 2002. Both she and men's head coach Mark Turgeon spoke Tuesday.

“This training facility will keep both our basketball programs ahead of the curve and at the top of their games,” Frese said. “We always strive to be the best and this facility will represent that. In my 17 years at Maryland, the support we've received is incredible and I know our fans will love seeing our programs work out of the best facility in the country.”

The women's team is ranked No. 5 heading into the season, is returning all five starters and is adding the No. 3 recruiting class in the country as they try to defend their Big Ten regular-season title.

"The addition of a performance center will have an immeasurable impact on our basketball program as we strive to provide a first-class experience for our student-athletes,” Turgeon said. “The facility will upgrade nearly every facet of our program, further elevating our status in the national basketball landscape."

The men's team is a consensus top-10 team and returns every contributor from last year's team other than Bruno Fernando. The Terps will be led by senior point guard Anthony Cowan and Jalen Smith, who was a Big Ten All-Freshman honoree last season.

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Are the Terps a Top 10 team? This 2019-20 preseason Top 25 poll says 'yes'

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Are the Terps a Top 10 team? This 2019-20 preseason Top 25 poll says 'yes'

Maryland basketball's season ended in disappointing fashion last season as Tremont Waters sank the Terps with a last-second layup in the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament. Even still, NBC Sports College Basketball Talk's Preseason Top 25 has Maryland as the No. 9 team entering the season.

Sights immediately turned toward this coming season. Four freshmen enter the mix in Donta Scott, Chol Marial and Makhi and Makhel Mitchell. The first is a fill-it-up wing scorer from Philadelphia, the last two, twin 6-foot-9 big men from Washington, D.C. who wanted to stay home. Marial is a 7-foot, one-time top player in the nation who's been hampered by lower-body injuries. He'll miss time to start the season.

It won't be easy, but Marial and the twins will be tasked with replacing some of what the Terps are losing from now-Atlanta Hawk Bruno Fernando. Last year, Fernando averaged 13.6 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. His production will be missed, but he's the Terps' only significant departure.

Here's a full breakdown of the Terps' roster:

  • WHO’S GONE: Bruno Fernando
  • WHO’S BACK: Anthony Cowan, Jalen Smith, Serrel Smith Jr., Eric Ayala, Aaron Wiggins, Ricky Lindo, Darryl Morsell
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Chol Marial, Makhi Mitchell, Makhel Mitchell, Donta Scott
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Anthony Cowan, Eric Ayala, Aaron Wiggins, Ricky Lindo, Jalen Smith

The length of that 'who's back' line is almost as important as who's on it. Seven key contributors return, including senior point guard Anthony Cowan and sophomore big man Jalen Smith. The team will likely go as far as the two of them can carry it. Aaron Wiggins could be the x-factor that takes this team from a competitive, top-25 team to a dangerous, top-10 team. He's got all the talent and mentality to become a top-scorer on a great team. It's not always that simple, though.

There is nothing riskier than going all-in on a team coached by Mark Turgeon, but here we are. - Rob Dauster

This could be a make or break year for Mark Turgeon. He has one of the most talented rosters in the country. The last time the Terps entered the season with a Top 10 team, they never lived up to the hype. Another lackluster performance this season could heat up the hot seat for Turgeon.

But the big story is the 1-2 punch of Cowan and Smith and the depth that surrounds them. If they can put it all together, the Terps could make some noise in College Park this season.