Maryland Terps

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The least talked-about NBA prospect on Maryland's roster

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The least talked-about NBA prospect on Maryland's roster

Maryland five-star freshman Diamond Stone has been the center of most talk about how quickly the Terrapins have upgraded their roster in one year's time. If not him, it has been about the addition of Duke guard Rasheed Sulaimon.

But it's the player who will play alongside Stone in the frontcourt who is the team's least talked-about, possibly high-level NBA prospect -- Georgia Tech transfer Robert Carter.

Transfer years have a tendency to make players fade into the background of a national conversation, which is only reasonable considering they're not on the court. But now eligible, Carter will be a difference maker.

"Robert Carter has been terrific from day one since we got him. He's just totally changed his body," head coach Mark Turgeon told ESPN's Andy Katz and Seth Greenberg this week.

Turgeon says that Carter dropped more than 20 pounds and cut his body fat percentage in half, from about 22 to 11. And that's on the frame of a guy who averaged 11.4 points and 8.4 rebounds the last time he was on the court at Georgia Tech.

MORE TERPS: TURGEON TALKS PROGRESS OF FIVE-STAR FRESHMAN

That was one of the biggest question marks for him while he was at Georgia Tech. Could he cut weight and play with more intensity? The first part seems to be answered. The second part does, too, if you listen to Jake Layman's praise of him throughout practice last season.

Layman credits Carter with making him tougher when the natural small forward was asked to play power forward for the Terrapins last season. Praise continues from Turgeon, too.

"He's a good player. He was a good player at Georgia Tech and we expect him to be a really good player for us," Turgeon said. "What he can do is he can really stretch the defense. We have a team full of good shooters and Robert's right up there with all of them as far as shooting the ball from three. He can flat-out shoot it."

That's what could push Carter into the conversation with Stone, Layman, and Trimble as possible first-round draft picks on this roster.

The most coveted player archetype in the NBA right now is the stretch-four. Teams are enamored with the idea of playing small. And now we're looking at a 6-8 forward with a 7-2 wingspan who is a double-double threat every night while being able to stretch the ball out to the perimeter? He checks all the boxes.

Who knows? Deep NCAA tournaments runs have a way of showcasing certain players and helping to make them a lot of money in the NBA Draft. Maryland has the team to do just that.

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Maryland basketball unveils plans for new performance center

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Maryland basketball unveils plans for new performance center

The Terps were the only team in the Big Ten without a performance center dedicated specifically for basketball. That's about to change.

Maryland Athletics announced Tuesday a fundraising campaign to build a new Basketball Performance Center. The facility, totaling 60,000 square feet, would be home to both the men's and women's basketball teams.

The athletic department has already raised $19 million of the estimated $36 million needed to complete the project. With Tuesday's launch of the public phase of the fundraising campaign, the remaining $17 million will be funded through donations and athletic department revenues.

"It is our vision that with a new Basketball Performance Center, the university will continue its ascent in the Big Ten Conference and provide our teams with the infrastructure they need to continue striving for championships,” Athletics Director Damon Evans said at the event. “This new center will help provide a transformative experience for our student-athletes, giving them an unmatched opportunity to become top collegiate basketball players."

Maryland is one of only four schools to have won a championship in both men's and women's basketball, the men in 2002 under Gary Williams, and the women in 2006 under Brenda Frese, who's entering her 18th season with the Terps. She was named head coach of the women's team the day after the men won the National Championship in 2002. Both she and men's head coach Mark Turgeon spoke Tuesday.

“This training facility will keep both our basketball programs ahead of the curve and at the top of their games,” Frese said. “We always strive to be the best and this facility will represent that. In my 17 years at Maryland, the support we've received is incredible and I know our fans will love seeing our programs work out of the best facility in the country.”

The women's team is ranked No. 5 heading into the season, is returning all five starters and is adding the No. 3 recruiting class in the country as they try to defend their Big Ten regular-season title.

"The addition of a performance center will have an immeasurable impact on our basketball program as we strive to provide a first-class experience for our student-athletes,” Turgeon said. “The facility will upgrade nearly every facet of our program, further elevating our status in the national basketball landscape."

The men's team is a consensus top-10 team and returns every contributor from last year's team other than Bruno Fernando. The Terps will be led by senior point guard Anthony Cowan and Jalen Smith, who was a Big Ten All-Freshman honoree last season.

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Are the Terps a Top 10 team? This 2019-20 preseason Top 25 poll says 'yes'

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Are the Terps a Top 10 team? This 2019-20 preseason Top 25 poll says 'yes'

Maryland basketball's season ended in disappointing fashion last season as Tremont Waters sank the Terps with a last-second layup in the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament. Even still, NBC Sports College Basketball Talk's Preseason Top 25 has Maryland as the No. 9 team entering the season.

Sights immediately turned toward this coming season. Four freshmen enter the mix in Donta Scott, Chol Marial and Makhi and Makhel Mitchell. The first is a fill-it-up wing scorer from Philadelphia, the last two, twin 6-foot-9 big men from Washington, D.C. who wanted to stay home. Marial is a 7-foot, one-time top player in the nation who's been hampered by lower-body injuries. He'll miss time to start the season.

It won't be easy, but Marial and the twins will be tasked with replacing some of what the Terps are losing from now-Atlanta Hawk Bruno Fernando. Last year, Fernando averaged 13.6 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. His production will be missed, but he's the Terps' only significant departure.

Here's a full breakdown of the Terps' roster:

  • WHO’S GONE: Bruno Fernando
  • WHO’S BACK: Anthony Cowan, Jalen Smith, Serrel Smith Jr., Eric Ayala, Aaron Wiggins, Ricky Lindo, Darryl Morsell
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Chol Marial, Makhi Mitchell, Makhel Mitchell, Donta Scott
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Anthony Cowan, Eric Ayala, Aaron Wiggins, Ricky Lindo, Jalen Smith


The length of that 'who's back' line is almost as important as who's on it. Seven key contributors return, including senior point guard Anthony Cowan and sophomore big man Jalen Smith. The team will likely go as far as the two of them can carry it. Aaron Wiggins could be the x-factor that takes this team from a competitive, top-25 team to a dangerous, top-10 team. He's got all the talent and mentality to become a top-scorer on a great team. It's not always that simple, though.

There is nothing riskier than going all-in on a team coached by Mark Turgeon, but here we are. - Rob Dauster

This could be a make or break year for Mark Turgeon. He has one of the most talented rosters in the country. The last time the Terps entered the season with a Top 10 team, they never lived up to the hype. Another lackluster performance this season could heat up the hot seat for Turgeon.

But the big story is the 1-2 punch of Cowan and Smith and the depth that surrounds them. If they can put it all together, the Terps could make some noise in College Park this season.