When Maryland takes the floor on Tuesday night in Mexico, they will see a player on the Illinois State side, DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell, who reminds head coach Mark Turgeon of the player who was so integral to the Terrapins’ own success over the past three seasons.
“You know who he is? He’s Dez Wells. He’s a Dez Wells guy,” head coach Mark Turgeon said during his weekly radio show, referring to the now-graduated former Maryland standout. “He wears the same number, 44. He can drive it. He can post it. He’s tough. He’s their Dez Wells. He’s a terrific player for them and a tough matchup.”
Akoon-Purcell is Illinois State’s centerpiece, the only player who averages double figures for the Redbirds through four games this season. His 17 points per game have come on 53 percent shooting from the floor and 40 percent three-point shooting on limited attempts.
At 6-5, 200 pounds, Maryland has a few different ways to defend him.
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“Rasheed [Sulaimon] will be on him. Jake [Layman] will guard him. We’ll have to double him some,” Turgeon said. “He’s just really a really good player, so he makes them go. Hopefully we can get him in foul trouble or do a great job on him tonight.”
There is good news for Maryland, though. Illinois State as a whole ranks 265th in the nation in offensive efficiency, scoring just 0.906 points per possession. That’s the offense with Akoon-Purcell included.
Take him out of it with an elite defender like Sulaimon or by doubling him? That would force others to carry the load and should put Maryland in a good position.
Tip is Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m.
Going into the 2018 NBA Combine, Kevin Huerter was not receiving much hype, was off many NBA Draft boards, and many assumed he was heading back to college anyways.
Playing in the first scrimmage of the combine process, all those storylines quickly changed.
Playing against players like Jacob Evans, Donte DiVincenzo, Udoka Azubuike, and Jevon Carter, Huerter emerged as one of the top stars. The two-year Maryland spot-up shooter saw 25 minutes of action and only trailed Penn State prospect Tony Carr in points on his squad.
With 14 points (5-11 FG, 3-8 three-pointers), Huerter showed development since he was last seen with the Terps. His passing was the biggest asset for his team and was not afraid to take a shot against these top defenders. The 6-7 forward also added three rebounds, an assist, and had only one turnover.
Although his shooting in-game was not fantastic, in the individual drills he showed off. Of the seven shooting marks, he ranked in the top five in five of them. He also had the best shuttle run (2.96 seconds).
No question, Huerter’s draft stock significantly rose. Although still early, he is looking to be the highest rated Terp prospect this year over Justin Jackson and Bruno Fernando.
Consensus among those at the NBA Combine seems to believe that Huerter will return for his junior season at Maryland.
After today though, it may be hard to say no.
D.J. Moore has an adorable new puppy!
Days after the Carolina Panthers selected Moore as the No. 24 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the former Maryland wide receiver returned to his roots and paid a visit to College Park.
But the first-rounder wasn’t alone when he went to Maryland. According to the Terps’ football Twitter account, he brought his new puppy with him. Seriously, look at this puppy!
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The Big Ten Receiver of the Year in 2017, Moore was obviously a crucial component of the Terps’ offense. He finished the season with 80 catches — a Maryland single-season record, which was also a Big Ten high.
He declared for the NFL Draft after his junior season with Maryland.
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