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How offseason of hype transitions into season of hope for Maryland

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How offseason of hype transitions into season of hope for Maryland

COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland knew that this day would eventually come. After an offseason of hype and talk about the possibility of a national championship run, the expectations placed on this program have officially been quantified.

The Coaches Poll ranks the Terrapins No. 3 in the country to begin the season, as does the Associated Press. ESPN.com has them at No. 1.

“It is a lot of hype,” head coach Mark Turgeon said on Thursday before his team’s exhibition against Southern New Hampshire on Friday. “It’s been awhile since Maryland has been ranked this high to start a season.

“Fortunately for me, I don’t read a lot of it and I think our kids, our players embraced it during the summer. I think our program embraced it and recently we’ve just been working hard, especially the last week we’ve really worked hard so we don’t really think about those things but we’ve just continued to work hard and tried to get better.”

It’s not empty hype or hypothetical hype for Maryland. This is a team with a mix of veterans and key young players, led by the Big Ten’s Preseason Player of the Year, a borderline first-round NBA Draft pick who chose to come back to school, and perhaps the best-kept transfer secret in college basketball.

MORE TERPS: WHY SULAIMON TRUSTS TURGEON MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE

That’s not to mention their complements -- a five-star freshman, a transfer from a national title team, and a bench full of pieces that just seem to fit.

“It’s hard not to hear about it, but it’s upon yourself and how your team handles it, how your coaches handle it on how you move forward after it happens,” senior forward Jake Layman said.

“I think Coach Turgeon does a great job of making sure we don’t buy into that stuff and kind of keeps us grounded.”

Friday’s exhibition unofficially begins Maryland’s season-long journey, but it also puts an end to what is difficult for prognosticators and teams alike -- predicting outcomes before a single game has been played.

It begins Friday.

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Maryland lineman Jordan McNair dies two weeks following workout collapse

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Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun

Maryland lineman Jordan McNair dies two weeks following workout collapse

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Jordan McNair, a University of Maryland football player hospitalized after an organized team workout two weeks ago, has died.

Maryland executive athletic director Damon Evans said McNair was hospitalized on May 29 and died Wednesday.

McNair was a 6-foot-4, 325-pound offensive lineman preparing for his sophomore season. A graduate of McDonogh (Md.) High School, McNair played one game last season.

After leading McDonogh to an 8-3 record as a senior, McNair chose Maryland over Ohio State, Auburn, Penn State and Rutgers.

In a statement, Maryland coach DJ Durkin said, "Our team is heartbroken with the loss of Jordan McNair. Jordan was an incredible young man, and his passion and enthusiasm made him an invaluable and beloved member of our team."

He added, "Over the past few weeks, Jordan never gave up with his family, friends and team by his side. Our team will continue to be inspired by the spirit of this brave fighter."

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Dustin Clark to part ways with Maryland basketball

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USA TODAY Sports

Dustin Clark to part ways with Maryland basketball

Maryland basketball head coach Mark Turgeon announced earlier today that assistant coach Dustin Clark is parting ways with the program to pursue an opportunity in Texas with a family business. 

In three seasons as a full-time assistant, Clark was responsible for recruiting Kevin Huerter and Anthony Cowan Jr., along with incoming freshman Aaron Wiggins. 

The 35-year-old also made a point to recruit overseas, spending much of his time at the Canaris Basketball Academy in the Canary Islands, where he found former Terps center Michal Cekovsky and current redshirt freshman forward Joshua Tomaic. 

Clark will become the second member of Turgeon's staff to leave the team following this past season. Nima Omidvar, who was brought on to replace Clark as director of basketball operations in 2014, walked away to become a full-time assistant coach at South Alabama in April. 

At the start of the 2018-19 season, Bino Ranson will be the only original member of Turgeon's staff. 

Matt Brady, who has had previous head coaching stints at James Madison and Marist, will replace Clark. 

In his eight years at JMU, Brady won 139 games and enjoyed four seasons with 20 wins or more. His 2012-13 team won the Colonial Athletic Association and reached the NCAA tournament. He finished with a 73-50 overall record after four seasons at Marist. 

The news comes after a season in which the team failed to make the NCAA tournament with an overall record of 19-13, including 8-10 in Big Ten play.