Five-star Maryland freshman Diamond Stone celebrates his birthday Wednesday, Feb. 10. To mark the occasion, why don’t we look back?
Here are the Top 5 moments of Stone’s very young career so far at Maryland.
5) Notching a win vs. UConn
Connecticut was a team that heavily recruited Stone out of high school. This was a featured game on national television at Madison Square Garden. Maryland wanted to add to its non-conference resume and Stone came through.
Though he shot 6-of-16 from the floor, he was just shy of a double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds.
4) Change of pace vs. St. Francis
For the first time, Mark Turgeon brought Stone off the bench. In this new role as a sixth man, his development as a player took off. Gone were the frustrations of early foul trouble and in were new, better matchups as he entered the game.
Also, he was more fresh (and foul-free) in late games when it mattered. Against St. Francis, he scored 16 points in 19 minutes on the floor.
3) In amongst the trees vs. Purdue
When Purdue came to College Park, Maryland had just one (arguably two) RPI Top 50 victories to its name. The Terrapins needed a win, facing a team with size unlike almost any other contender in the country and a pair of seven-footers, A.J. Hammons and Isaac Haas.
Turgeon called it his best defensive effort of the year and he is correct. Stone wasn’t going to shut the two down, but he made their lives difficult without fouling. By one point in the first half, he had held the duo to 4-of-11 shooting from the floor and committed just one foul.
On the other end of the floor, his versatility in the pick-and-roll gave the Boilermakers problems all night. He finished with 12 points and six rebounds in a crucial Maryland win.
2) The next step defensively vs. Nebraska
Stone has come a long way defensively in his time at Maryland, from being sometimes the weakest link on the floor to now being part of a team that is hitting its stride and becoming elite on that end of the floor. Nebraska might have been the official turning point.
In a close defensive battle all game, Stone blocked eight shots to go along with 16 points and 10 rebounds, narrowly missing a triple-double in a big road victory.
1) Record-setting night vs. Penn State
How could it be anything else? Not only did Stone break a Maryland freshman scoring record that was older than he is, but his 39 points -- and the second-half effort it took to get there -- helped the Terrapins come from behind to beat Penn State. He added 12 rebounds.
As he exited the court, the crowd chanted his name.