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Maryland-Wisconsin Preview: 5 things you need to know


Maryland-Wisconsin Preview: 5 things you need to know

Coming off an early-week win over Bowie State, Big Ten play returns for Maryland on Saturday when Wisconsin comes to XFINITY Center.

Here are 5 things you need to know about the 6:30 p.m. tip.

1) Already one win, but now different circumstances

Yes, Maryland has a win over Wisconsin already this season. But that Maryland victory in Madison was part of a stretch where the Badgers lost four of five games. Now, Wisconsin comes in having won six straight games, a stretch that includes victories over Michigan State and Indiana.

It took the Badgers some time to get their footing after the departure of head coach Bo Ryan, but Greg Gard appears to have steadied the ship. When asked on Friday, Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon says even he feels like that Jan. 9 game was a long time ago.

2) You remember the shot, but what about what led to it?

Melo Trimble’s heroics are cemented in the history of this season, but not so much the circumstances that led up to that point. With 1:28 to play in that game, two Robert Carter, Jr. free throws made it an eight-point game.

What followed were two misses on the front ends of Maryland one-and-ones and the Badgers clawed back to tie it. Then came Trimble’s shot.

This time around, Maryland is more confident it could handle a late-game situation better defensively. Trimble said it is maturity. Turgeon has also stressed defense specifically over the past few weeks, which could add to it.


3) The ball question

For the first time publicly, Turgeon responded to talk about the difference between Under Armour basketballs and other brands that other teams use. It is an issue unique to college basketball -- and it’s likely not changing any time soon.

Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes, as part of a larger answer that featured a few jabs at the NCAA’s economic model, said he less than prefers the balls. Turgeon said that anytime a program uses a unique brand, it can provide an edge. Sure, it’s something to adjust to, but does it really affect an outcome?

If Wisconsin’s offense struggles, I’d be more apt to point to Maryland’s improved defense, which has become its strength as it endures some offensive issues itself.

4) Speaking of Nigel Hayes…

Hayes needed 15 shots to get 17 points the first time these two teams met, which was part of the reason Maryland was able to get a win in Madison. But during this winning streak, he has been on a tear for the Badgers.

In the past six games, Hayes is averaging 21.5 points per game and carrying this offense. As far as Maryland’s defensive assignments, expect Carter to get looks against him, as well as senior Jake Layman. Layman has evolved into a proven stopper for the Terrapins this season and he would be the best option to shut down any type of big-time performance.

5) Implications of this game

Entering Saturday, there is a three-way tie atop the Big Ten with Maryland, Indiana, and Iowa all at 10-2 in conference play. The Terrapins control their own destiny.

But if one is looking for places that a loss could occur, it cannot be here for Maryland. Having to go on the road to Purdue and on the road to Indiana, they almost have to sweep the rest of their home contests to put themselves in the best position.

In regards to a bracket, they likely need to win out and make a deep run in the Big Ten tournament to get into the No. 1 seed conversation. One loss in the final six games likely won’t hurt their chances of a No. 2 seed, but again, those road matchups loom and it always feels better to take care of business at home and play with house money on the road.

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Maryland lineman Jordan McNair dies two weeks following workout collapse

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


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.