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Maryland pulls past Cleveland State: 5 things to know

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Maryland pulls past Cleveland State: 5 things to know

COLLEGE PARK -- It looked like Maryland’s dominating win over Rhode Island in Cancun might serve as a turning point, putting the Terrapins’ tendency to let mid-major teams hang around in the past.

They still need to work to fully kick the habit, but Maryland seemed to have control for nearly the entirety of its 80-63 victory over Cleveland State on Saturday night in front of 17,282 at XFINITY Center in College Park.

Forward Robert Carter, Jr. led the away for Maryland with 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting while adding eight rebounds. Sophomore Jared Nickens added a boost from three-point range with 16 points on 4-of-6 shooting from deep.

Here are five things to know.

1) Letting a mid-major hang around, again

This has been Maryland’s problem all season and it happened again on Saturday night. It always seems to be a combination of small teams and those teams hitting shots on a given nights -- even the ones that are reasonably contested.

Take this, for instance: Cleveland State came into Saturday’s game ranked 337th out of 351 teams in offensive efficiency this season, creating just 0.819 points per possession. Somehow, it was a four-point game at the half. Probably because...

2) Perimeter defense lacking early

Twenty-two of Cleveland State’s 33 points in the first half came in the paint. For a team with this much length defensively and the versatility to throw out different lineups, Maryland should be able to prevent that.

Too many Vikings in the lane means too many layups for a team that came into the game shooting 25 percent from three-point range. Cut off that driving lane and take your chances with them shooting from the outside because the numbers say they won’t burn you.

3) Robert Carter, Jr. is an #allday option

Maryland is starting to realize -- and they will only learn further -- that any time they need a bucket, Robert Carter, Jr. will be their guy in any variety of ways. He can take an Iso look in the post. He can work off a pick-and-roll. He can face up. He can even step out and hit a three.

After a monster game in Cancun against Rhode Island, Carter carried Maryland early with 10 first-half points on 3-of-5 shooting while adding five rebounds.

4) A change coming out of the break

It’s obvious that Maryland saw the issue they faced at halftime and made an adjustment. They started hedging hard on ball screens and using a mix of soft and hard ¾-court pressure. That got the Vikings uncomfortable and less in-tune on the offensive end.

The result was an 11-2 run to start the second half to balloon Maryland’s lead to 13 points.

5) Three-pointers help to seal it

It was clear from the start that Maryland wanted to work the ball inside against a smaller Cleveland State team. The thing about the Terrapins is that they can flip the switch whenever they want and typically start hitting from deep.

In the second half, that’s what they did. After the Vikings cut the deficit to nine points, 54-45, with just over 12 minutes to play, Maryland used a 10-4 run that was fueled by threes from Jake Layman and Jared Nickens to push the lead to 15 over a five-minute span.

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Maryland lineman Jordan McNair dies two weeks following workout collapse

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Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun

Maryland lineman Jordan McNair dies two weeks following workout collapse

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Jordan McNair, a University of Maryland football player hospitalized after an organized team workout two weeks ago, has died.

Maryland executive athletic director Damon Evans said McNair was hospitalized on May 29 and died Wednesday.

McNair was a 6-foot-4, 325-pound offensive lineman preparing for his sophomore season. A graduate of McDonogh (Md.) High School, McNair played one game last season.

After leading McDonogh to an 8-3 record as a senior, McNair chose Maryland over Ohio State, Auburn, Penn State and Rutgers.

In a statement, Maryland coach DJ Durkin said, "Our team is heartbroken with the loss of Jordan McNair. Jordan was an incredible young man, and his passion and enthusiasm made him an invaluable and beloved member of our team."

He added, "Over the past few weeks, Jordan never gave up with his family, friends and team by his side. Our team will continue to be inspired by the spirit of this brave fighter."

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Dustin Clark to part ways with Maryland basketball

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USA TODAY Sports

Dustin Clark to part ways with Maryland basketball

Maryland basketball head coach Mark Turgeon announced earlier today that assistant coach Dustin Clark is parting ways with the program to pursue an opportunity in Texas with a family business. 

In three seasons as a full-time assistant, Clark was responsible for recruiting Kevin Huerter and Anthony Cowan Jr., along with incoming freshman Aaron Wiggins. 

The 35-year-old also made a point to recruit overseas, spending much of his time at the Canaris Basketball Academy in the Canary Islands, where he found former Terps center Michal Cekovsky and current redshirt freshman forward Joshua Tomaic. 

Clark will become the second member of Turgeon's staff to leave the team following this past season. Nima Omidvar, who was brought on to replace Clark as director of basketball operations in 2014, walked away to become a full-time assistant coach at South Alabama in April. 

At the start of the 2018-19 season, Bino Ranson will be the only original member of Turgeon's staff. 

Matt Brady, who has had previous head coaching stints at James Madison and Marist, will replace Clark. 

In his eight years at JMU, Brady won 139 games and enjoyed four seasons with 20 wins or more. His 2012-13 team won the Colonial Athletic Association and reached the NCAA tournament. He finished with a 73-50 overall record after four seasons at Marist. 

The news comes after a season in which the team failed to make the NCAA tournament with an overall record of 19-13, including 8-10 in Big Ten play.