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How Maryland compensates for loss of Dion Wiley after surgery

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How Maryland compensates for loss of Dion Wiley after surgery

Maryland sophomore guard Dion Wiley will undergo surgery to repair the torn meniscus in his right knee and the timetable for his return is not yet exactly known.

As difficult as it is to lose a player before even playing a regular-season game, Wiley’s injury comes at a time when Maryland can best adjust and on a team that has the depth to absorb the hit, regardless of how much time he misses.

Without Wiley, Maryland has four guards it can now rotate through the two guard positions, counting Jared Nickens as one of those players after he started at shooting guard in the team’s exhibition win over Southern New Hampshire.

Melo Trimble, Rasheed Sulaimon, Jalen Brantley, and Nickens give Maryland three legitimate ball handlers and a big-time spot-up shooter, not to mention that Trimble, Sulaimon, and Brantley can all move off the ball themselves and hit shots.

Head coach Mark Turgeon said after Friday’s game that, were Wiley healthy, Brantley would have played less. With the injury, just expect more to be asked of Brantley, but realize that Maryland goes from being a solid 10 players deep to now (just) nine.

MORE TERPS: ASSORTED NOTES FROM MARYLAND'S EXHIBITION VICTORY

For now, it solves what was going to be an impending minutes question while leaning on players who are capable of taking on more responsibilities.

This is where the offseason addition of Sulaimon, with all of his versatility, comes into play.

Not only is he likely the team’s best perimeter defender and a scoring threat as a slasher from the shooting guard spot, but he can distribute the basketball as well.

“He’s our best assist guy,” Turgeon said on Friday. “He shares the ball, especially when Melo’s out of the game he’ll play point. He really thinks the game well and is good and smart and makes guys around him better. 

“The best teams play two point guards. The last three national champions had two point guards on the court at the same time. I think Rasheed thinks like a point guard, so it’s good for us.”

Maryland is moving closer to positionless basketball, as least when it comes to within the micro-units of guards and forwards. Wiley’s injury takes away a shooter who has worked hard to improve his overall game, but it is versatility that will help them to compensate in the end.

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Maryland's Darnell Savage signs rookie contract with Green Bay Packers

Maryland's Darnell Savage signs rookie contract with Green Bay Packers

Darnell Savage is the third NFL draft prospect profiled in our series ‘I Am the Prospect’. Download the MyTeams App for all three features.

Darnell Savage Jr. spent four seasons wowing fans in College Park as a defensive star for the Maryland Terrapins, and in April he found out he’ll be taking his talents to Wisconsin after being selected in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers.

Now, his future in Green Bay is officially official.

As Schefter mentions, Savage is the first first-rounder to sign a contract in 2019. It will be the standard length of first-round draft picks, going four years guaranteed with a fifth-year option. Reports are that the speedy, hard-hitting safety will earn $12.5 million over the first four seasons of the contract.

There were some questions about Savage’s fit in an NFL defensive backfield, given his size. But he is an athletic player with great instincts for the ball, and his statistics were thoroughly impressive the last two seasons in college. The Packers certainly believed he would be a terrific fit in their defense, considering they traded up to the 21st pick in order to make the selection.

Savage should have a great opportunity to start early in Green Bay, and now that he’s signed his contract so early, he’ll be able to get to work sooner rather than later. Knowing Savage, that’s just the way he wants it.

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NFL Draft prospect Tre Watson hopes to time draft night around 'Avengers' release

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NFL Draft prospect Tre Watson hopes to time draft night around 'Avengers' release

Thursday night will be a very important moment in the life of former Maryland linebacker Tre Watson.

At midnight, the highly-anticipated Marvel movie Avengers: Endgame will hit the big screen for general audiences to see, bringing the conclusion to a decade worth of popular films. Watson, like millions of others, has been counting down the days until he could see the Avengers and Thanos go at it one more time.

Oh, and Thursday also marks the beginning of the 2019 NFL Draft, where Watson will most likely hear his name called at some point over the three-day span.

While Watson will be tuning into the draft that night, he understands that his moment of recognition may come a little later on in the week. Therefore, Thursday is all about 'Avengers'.

"Fortunately, you know, I'm kind of realistic. I know I'm not going to be a first-round pick," Watson said in an interview on NFL Network. "So I'll just be watching that just kind of for the formality of it, I'm definitely excited for 'Avengers' and then I kind of will springboard into Day 2 and Day 3 where I'm hoping to hear my name called. It's really a perfect set up for me, honestly."

This isn't the first time that Watson has let it be known to the world that he is a dedicated Marvel fan. His Twitter feed is filled with thoughts on the movie, including a tweet from a few months back that took the internet by storm.

The first round of the draft still does have some intrigue for Watson, as his former teammate Darnell Savage Jr. has gained a lot of steam during the draft process and has a chance to be chosen on Thursday night. However, Watson will hope that Savage's name is called earlier in the night rather than later, as he will need time to get to the theatre to prepare to watch  Captain America and company save the day one last time. 

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