Maryland Terps

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Justin Jackson carries Terps for big road victory over Minnesota

Justin Jackson carries Terps for big road victory over Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS -- Justin Jackson had a career-high 28 points and 10 rebounds, making all five of his 3-point attempts, and No. 22 Maryland beat Minnesota 85-78 on Saturday for its sixth straight win.

Jackson and fellow freshman Kevin Huerter combined to go 10 for 12 from 3-point range. Huerter finished with 19 points and Melo Trimble added 13 points, nine assists and seven rebounds as the Terrapins (19-2, 7-1) kept pace with Wisconsin in a tie for first place in the Big Ten.

Akeem Springs led the Gophers (15-7, 3-6) with a season-high 23 points, but they lost their fifth consecutive game despite a 41-31 rebound advantage and a 21-10 assist-to-turnover ratio. The biggest problem for Minnesota was its defense, with Maryland making more than half of its field-goal attempts (30 for 59), including an 11-for-18 performance from beyond the arc.

The Terrapins were four-point underdogs, their memory still relatively fresh of last year's 68-63 flop at Minnesota that gave the Gophers their first Big Ten victory after starting 0-13 in conference play. Minnesota has three new starters after the mess of last season, creating the toughest road test to date for a Terrapins team that won its first six contests away from campus.

The start was sluggish, with both teams missing nine of their first 12 shots, but the Gophers got their crowd going with a 19-1 run sparked largely by Springs that gave them a 21-9 lead past the midpoint of the first half. Four of their first six made field goals were dunks, further enhancing the energy in the 89-year-old arena.

Amir Coffey, who has produced most of his best rookie performances against Minnesota's most daunting opponents, swished a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 44 seconds left before halftime for a 33-26 lead. He scored each of his 11 points in the first half.

Minnesota entered the afternoon with the Big Ten's lowest 3-point shooting percentage allowed and Maryland was third, but the game became sort of a long-range shooting contest as players on both sides began to heat up.

Trimble's twisting, foul-drawing layup, after which he glared at the Minnesota student section for emphasis, put the Terrapins in front 58-56 for the first time since 9-8. Trimble gave them the lead again at 73-71 with a similar, gravity-defying play that drew a foul on Springs for a three-point play with 2:49 left.

Nate Mason answered with a 3-pointer and tied the game at 76 with a pair of foul shots with 1:47 remaining, but Huerter hit a 3-pointer from the corner to quiet the crowd and help the Terrapins inch toward the finish.

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Huerter, the newest Hawk, introduced in Atlanta

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USA TODAY Sports

Huerter, the newest Hawk, introduced in Atlanta

It was just months ago that Maryland sophomore Kevin Huerter was a sure lock to return for the 2018-2019 season in College Park. 

At some point during the offseason, the 19-year-old changed his mind and decided to test his luck and enter the 2018 NBA Draft. 

After a solid performance at the Combine, Huerter began to soar up draft projection boards. 

Fast forward to the night of the Draft on June 21 from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. 

The Clifton Park, N.Y. native declined an invite to instead be with his family, friends and former teammates at a local country club. 

After watching 18 players get their names called by Commisioner Adam Silver, this happened: 

This viral video had the 518 (Albany, N.Y. area code) basketball community buzzing about the kid who brought Shenendehowa High School its first state championship since 1987. 

Huerter enjoyed outreach from many different names throughout the sports community: 

On Monday, Huerter was officially introduced as the newest Atlanta Hawk. His father, Tom Huerter, documented part of the special day on Twitter: 

In other news, if you don't see Kevin Huerter in Summer League, don't worry. Earlier this month, Huerter learned he needed to repair torn ligaments in his right shooting hand in order to be fully ready for the start of camp. 

Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk expressed his confidence in a full recovery for Huerter during the introductory press conference Monday. 

Clearly the organization is in the middle of a massive rebuild, and it's hoping that newcomers Kevin Huerter, Trae Young and Omari Spellman will be at the center of it. 

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NBA Draft 2018: Maryland basketball's Justin Jackson drafted by Nuggets, traded to Magic

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USA Today Sports

NBA Draft 2018: Maryland basketball's Justin Jackson drafted by Nuggets, traded to Magic

Maryland basketball had two players drafted in one night for the second time in three years Thursday night when the Denver Nuggets picked Justin Jackson with the No. 43 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Jackson was subsequently traded to the Orlando Magic as part of a deal that brought the No. 41 overall pick, Kentucky's Jarred Vanderbilt, to Denver.

After his freshman season, in which he averaged 10.5 points and six rebounds a game while shooting 43.8 percent from beyond the arc, Jackson declared for the draft without an agent, but elected to return to Maryland for his sophomore season. But he'd play just 11 games before being shutdown for the year with a torn labrum. His draft stock was hurt, but obviously not totally erased.

He had surgery in January and ended up being the first Terp to declare for the 2018 NBA Draft back in March. Though Jackson's recovery kept him out of the NBA Combine, teams were still intrigued by what they'd seen from him in the past to be willing to take a flyer.

A 6-foot-7 forward with a 7-foot-3 wingspan, Jackson has the skill to play anywhere between the two or the four in the NBA, and the length to guard all kinds of players.

With Kevin Huerter headed to the last-place Atlanta Hawks, Maryland basketball's two draftees are slated to join last season's two worst teams in the Eastern Conference.