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Maryland's Anthony Cowan says goodbye to Terps after abrupt end to college career

Maryland's Anthony Cowan says goodbye to Terps after abrupt end to college career

It was by design. Anthony Cowan, the senior and team leader, would be the last player to cut the net after Maryland basketball clinched a share of the Big Ten regular-season championship.

Cowan waited for his moments and finally took the scissors, climbed the ladder and made the final cut before proudly holding the net and putting it around his neck.

It wasn't supposed to be his last moment as a Maryland basketball player. The team had high hopes for a run in the conference and NCAA tournaments, but both were canceled because of the coronavirus. Instead of thinking about those possibilities, however, Cowan is grateful for everything he accomplished in his four seasons at Maryland, especially that conference championship.

"From the moment I committed to the University of Maryland in 2015, it was my goal to hang a banner," Cowan wrote Friday in a farewell letter posted to Twitter and addressed to Terp Nation. "We could drive ourselves crazy asking 'what if' and thinking about what could have been. Instead, the greatest memory I'll have is doing something on senior night that I set out to do: hang a banner."

Cowan wrote that he has come to peace with the abrupt end to his college career.

Some have called the ending 'unceremonious.' But to him, there was a heck of a ceremony in that final moment on the Xfinity Center floor.

"Being showered in confetti. Cutting down the nets. All in front of family and friends," Cowan wrote. "And soon, that banner will be hung. You know I'll be back to see it."

The Bowie, Md., native takes such pride in hanging the banner because he's always been tied to the state university.

His father and uncle are alums of the university. His grandmother was a professor in the African American studies program. He grew up watching highlights of Juan Dixon and Steve Blake, two of the greatest guards to ever take the court in College Park. He followed in Melo Trimble's footsteps and took the program to heights that his predecessor never did.

"Leave a place better than how you found it," Cowan wrote. "You know my story. Maryland is in my blood. It will always be a part of me."

During his senior season, Cowan not only helped the team ascend to heights it hadn't accomplished since 2010 — its last conference championship before this season — the guard also ascended the list of Maryland greats. Cowan finished his career first in program history in consecutive starts (130) and free throws made (579); second in career minutes (4,395) and starts (130); third in 3-pointers made (206); fourth in double-figure scoring games (107); fifth in assists (584) and seventh in points (1,881).

The banner that Cowan helped raise may have some company. Eventually, Cowan could join the Maryland greats that have their jersey number displayed in the rafters of the Xfinity Center. 

But Cowan was never one to bask in the individual accomplishments. Even after the comebacks against Illinois and Michigan State this season — two games where Cowan took over late — the veteran guard remained focused on how the team could improve for their pursuit of a championship. 

In the end, he got the championship he was seeking. The shortened season took a lot away from Cowan, but it can never take that moment from him.

"We are champions," Cowan wrote after naming every player and coach in his letter. "Nobody can ever take that away from us."

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Report: Top quarterback recruit Caleb Williams gave Maryland last word before college decision

Report: Top quarterback recruit Caleb Williams gave Maryland last word before college decision

On Sunday night, the No. 1 quarterback prospect of the 2021 recruiting class will announce his decision on where he will spend his college career. And he may not even have to leave the DMV to do it.

Gonzaga’s junior signal caller Caleb Williams has narrowed his list of options down to three schools: Oklahoma, LSU and Maryland. Though the Sooners under quarterback guru Lincoln Riley are considered the favorites to land him, the hometown Terrapins have outlasted a plethora of other schools throughout Williams’ decision-making process. According to The Washington Post, he gave head coach Michael Locksley and the Terps final word, last speaking with Maryland coaches on June 27.

Ranked the fourth overall player in his class by 247sports, Williams is coming off back-to-back seasons in which he was named first-team All-Met. As a junior in 2019, he threw for 1,770 yards and 19 touchdowns while showcasing his dual-threat ability by rushing for 838 yards and another 18 scores.

Locksley and the Terps have already enjoyed a successful offseason of recruiting highlighted by landing 247sports’ fourth-ranked wide receiver in the 2020 class, Rakim Jarrett. A product of St. John’s in D.C., he flipped from LSU on signing day, surprising even Locksley.

RELATED: HOW STEFON DIGGS CONVINCED RAKIM JARRETT TO PICK MARYLAND OVER LSU

Though the Terps went just 3-9 (1-8 in Big Ten play) last season, the addition of Jarrett as a legitimate weapon in the passing game may be enough to convince Williams to forego Oklahoma and LSU. He plans to announce his decision Sunday at 9 p.m.

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Top 2022 prospect Emoni Bates commits to Michigan State

Top 2022 prospect Emoni Bates commits to Michigan State

The No. 1 prospect basketball in the class of 2022 Emoni Bates announced his commitment to Michigan State on Monday. 

The five-star small forward is considered the best high school prospect in more than a decade and will be taking his talents to the Big Ten.

Bates had offers from four other schools: DePaul, Florida State, Kentucky and Michigan. The Michigan native announced his commitment extremely early in the recruiting process –– so early that the top eight recruits in the 2021 class have not even announced their decisions yet.

The 6-foot-9, 205-pound forward became the first commit of Michigan State’s class. He is also the first five-star to become a Spartan since Jaren Jackson Jr. in 2017 and the first No. 1 prospect to sign with the school since ESPN began its recruiting database in 2007.

His commitment came at a crucial time for the Spartans who lost significant talent at the end of last season in 2019 Big Ten Player of the Year Cassius Winston, who graduated, and 2020 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Xavier Tillman Sr., who declared for the NBA Draft after his junior season.

Maryland will now have to face Bates at least twice a year in Big Ten play. The Terps have two commits in their class of 2021 – four stars Julian Reese and Ike Cornish – but have yet to add a member to the class of 2022. 

Last season, Maryland and Michigan State each won one matchup against the other. The two teams tied alongside Wisconsin as co-Big Ten Champions. All three teams posted a 14-6 conference record before the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments were cut short or canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

In the final AP Poll, Michigan State finished ninth while Maryland finished 12th.

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