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.
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.