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.

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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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Huerter, the newest Hawk, introduced in Atlanta

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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.