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Kevin Huerter's fast rise continues into draft night

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USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Huerter's fast rise continues into draft night

After two short years in College Park, Kevin Huerter is hopeful his name will be called during tonight's first round of the 2018 NBA Draft. 

The Clifton Park, N.Y. native has a chance to become the first Maryland player to be selected in the first round since Alex Len went No. 5 overall to the Phoenix Suns following his sophomore year in 2013. 

Huerter has long been consistent in his pursuit of excelling in the sport he loves. 

It began in high school, where he led Shen to its first state championship while setting the state scoring record. 

Then, as a senior, Huerter was named Mr. Basketball in the state of New York. 

From smalltown upstate N.Y. to receiving over 20 offers and ultimately signing with Maryland, Huerter never looked back. 

The 19-year-old earned a starting spot right out of the gate his freshman season averaging 9.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. 

In between his freshman and sophomore seasons, Huerter was selected to the United States team for the 2017 FIBA Under-19 Basketball World Cup coached by Jeff Van Gundy. 

Using that experience combined with an elevated offseason workout plan, he saw his production go up during his sophomore season scoring 14.8 points per game while en route to being named honorable mention All-Big Ten. 

After toying with whether or not he should leave Maryland, his father tweeted this out: 

Playing basketball with his talented younger sisters while trying to make the most difficult decision of his young life. That is Kevin Huerter in a nutshell. 

Fast forward to last month's NBA Combine in Chicago. Huerter chose to attend, seeing it as another opportunity to showcase his skills.

As a result, he saw his stock rise after showcasing his athleticism and sharp shooting, including a drill where he went 15 of 15 from 3-point range. 

According to Drew Zlogar, former teammate of Huerter's at Shenendehowa High School and current Digital and Social Content Publisher for the NBA, Huerter turned down a Barclays Center invite from the league to instead host a watch party of his own at a local country club in Clifton Park, N.Y., where he will be surrounded by family, friends and former high school teammates. 

As far as when Huerter is expected to come off the board, different scenarios continue to arise. 

If there's one thing for sure, it's that the former 3-star recruit is now an-almost guaranteed first round draft pick. 

Huerter has been known for his mild-mannered personality and cool-under-pressure aura about him in big moments. 

But the big man with a chip on his shoulder? That could be a scary thing for future opponents of the sharpshooter. 

Watch where Huerter goes in tonight's NBA Draft tonight at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. 

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Temple rolls to 35-14 upset of previously unbeaten Maryland

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Temple rolls to 35-14 upset of previously unbeaten Maryland

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Temple stuffed Maryland's potent offense, Anthony Russo threw for 228 yards and the Owls pulled off a 35-14 upset Saturday for their first victory of the season.

Ryquell Armstead rushed for 118 yards to help Temple (1-2) bounce back from losses at home to Villanova and Buffalo. The Owls took a 28-7 lead early in the third quarter and cruised to the finish as a 16-point underdog.

Shaun Bradley returned an interception 78 yards for a touchdown with 4:11 left to seal it.

Maryland (2-1) was striving to stay unbeaten under interim coach Matt Canada, who also serves as offensive coordinator. The Terrapins were averaging 39.5 points and 486 yards per game after rolling past Texas and Bowling Green, but nothing seemed to work against Temple.

Maryland totaled 195 yards, made only 11 first downs and got its touchdowns on an interception return and a blocked punt.

Starting quarterback Kasim Hill went 7 for 17 for 56 yards, Tyrrell Pigrome was 1 for 4 for 7 yards and both threw an interception.

The sour performance took the luster from the Terrapins' home opener in a season dedicated to fallen teammate Jordan McNair, who collapsed during a training session in late May and died of heatstroke two weeks later.

There was a moment of silence for McNair before the game, his No. 79 was painted in a large circle behind one end zone and a red 79 was painted outside both 21-yard lines, each of which are 79 yards from the goal line.

While the university investigates the circumstances of McNair's death and the culture of the football program, coach DJ Durkin is on administrative leave. Canada has been running the team since August.

On this day, very little went right. The Terps were burned by a fake punt, the defense yielded several big plays and a running attack that last week amassed 444 yards finished with only 132.

The game was scoreless late in the first quarter when Temple kept its offense on the field on fourth down at the Maryland 36. The Owls took a timeout, discussed the situation and went into punt formation.

Short man Todd Centeio took a direct snap, rolled right and threw a pass to a wide open Freddie Johnson for a touchdown.

In the second quarter, after Russo completed a 40-yard pass on a third-and-16, 330-pound defensive tackle Freddie Booth-Lloyd bulled into the end zone on fourth down from the 1.

Darnell Savage's 23-yard interception return halved the deficit, but the Owls added a touchdown just before halftime with a 65-yard drive that included Armstead's 25-yard run on a third-and-9.

Russo connected with Kenny Yeboah for a 47-yard touchdown on the opening drive on the second half.

THE TAKEAWAY

Temple: The Owls needed this victory to show themselves and their fans that those first two games won't have a bearing on the rest of the season. Beating a Big Ten team can only be a confidence booster before entering play in the American Athletic Conference.

Maryland: Maybe it was overconfidence, perhaps Temple figured out Canada's scheme or maybe the Terps aren't that good. Regardless, this is not the way Maryland wanted to play before opening in the Big Ten.

UP NEXT

Temple begin American Athletic Conference play on Thursday night against visiting Tulsa.

Maryland launches its Big Ten schedule at home against Minnesota, a team the Terrapins beat 31-24 last year.

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More AP college football:https://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball andhttps://twitter.com/AP--Top25

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Temple Football reps No. 79 in honor of late Maryland football player, Jordan McNair

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Twitter.com/@Temple_FB

Temple Football reps No. 79 in honor of late Maryland football player, Jordan McNair

Prior to Saturday's noon kickoff, Temple football's twitter account announced that the team will be wearing No. 79 stickers with the initials "JM" to commemorate the death of Maryland Football player, Jordan McNair.

Maryland Football dawned "Jordan Strong" warmup tees and the No. 79 is spray-painted in Maryland's end zone as well as on the 20-yard line.

Despite a classic football rivalry, Temple stands in solidarity with Maryland in a show of outstanding sportsmanship.