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Maryland's ego gets bruised in shocking loss to lowly Illinois

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Maryland's ego gets bruised in shocking loss to lowly Illinois

NEW YORK -- After entering the week with a seven-game winning streak, things have gotten dark for the No. 13 Maryland Terrapins. That could not be more evident than the Terps shocking 78-67 loss to a six-win Illinois team in Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

Ayo Dosunmu scored 20 points, Tevian Jones had 18 to lead Illinois over Maryland.

Andres Feliz also had 15 points and the Fighting Illini (6-14, 2-7 Big Ten) snapped a two-game skid by handing the Terrapins their second straight conference loss.

Bruno Fernando led Maryland (16-5, 7-3) with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Anthony Cowan Jr. had 18 points and Jalen Smith had 11.

The Terrapins led by 11 during the first half, but Illinois pulled within 34-30 at the break after Dosunmu scored all the Illini's points on a 9-2 run.

Illinois hit four 3-pointers in a span of 1:27 early in the second half -- including two by Trent Frazier -- to take a 42-40 lead. Maryland ran off seven straight points, Illinois countered with six consecutive to regain the lead, then Maryland used a 10-4 run for a 57-52 advantage.

Illinois responded with a 10-2 spurt, capped by Jones' fourth 3 of the game with 4:49 left, and the Illini kept their poise rom there. Feliz made five free throws and Dosunmu had a fast-break layup and hit two other layups to extend the lead to 72-63.

BIG PICTURE

Illinois: In the second half, Illinois made 50 percent of its shots from the field (13 of 26), including 6 of 14 from 3, plus 16 of 17 from the foul line. For the game, Illinois shot 42.4 percent from the field, 34.8 percent from 3 and 90.9 percent from the stripe.

Maryland: According to data culled by KenPom.com, the Terrapins are the fourth youngest team in the nation. The young club has to be more careful with the ball after committing 21 turnovers to Illinois' nine.

UP NEXT

Illinois: At Minnesota on Wednesday night.

Maryland: Hosts Northwestern on Tuesday night.

NBC Sports Washington's Tyler Byrum contributed to this story.

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Maryland basketball unveils plans for new performance center

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Maryland basketball unveils plans for new performance center

The Terps were the only team in the Big Ten without a performance center dedicated specifically for basketball. That's about to change.

Maryland Athletics announced Tuesday a fundraising campaign to build a new Basketball Performance Center. The facility, totaling 60,000 square feet, would be home to both the men's and women's basketball teams.

The athletic department has already raised $19 million of the estimated $36 million needed to complete the project. With Tuesday's launch of the public phase of the fundraising campaign, the remaining $17 million will be funded through donations and athletic department revenues.

"It is our vision that with a new Basketball Performance Center, the university will continue its ascent in the Big Ten Conference and provide our teams with the infrastructure they need to continue striving for championships,” Athletics Director Damon Evans said at the event. “This new center will help provide a transformative experience for our student-athletes, giving them an unmatched opportunity to become top collegiate basketball players."

Maryland is one of only four schools to have won a championship in both men's and women's basketball, the men in 2002 under Gary Williams, and the women in 2006 under Brenda Frese, who's entering her 18th season with the Terps. She was named head coach of the women's team the day after the men won the National Championship in 2002. Both she and men's head coach Mark Turgeon spoke Tuesday.

“This training facility will keep both our basketball programs ahead of the curve and at the top of their games,” Frese said. “We always strive to be the best and this facility will represent that. In my 17 years at Maryland, the support we've received is incredible and I know our fans will love seeing our programs work out of the best facility in the country.”

The women's team is ranked No. 5 heading into the season, is returning all five starters and is adding the No. 3 recruiting class in the country as they try to defend their Big Ten regular-season title.

"The addition of a performance center will have an immeasurable impact on our basketball program as we strive to provide a first-class experience for our student-athletes,” Turgeon said. “The facility will upgrade nearly every facet of our program, further elevating our status in the national basketball landscape."

The men's team is a consensus top-10 team and returns every contributor from last year's team other than Bruno Fernando. The Terps will be led by senior point guard Anthony Cowan and Jalen Smith, who was a Big Ten All-Freshman honoree last season.

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Are the Terps a Top 10 team? This 2019-20 preseason Top 25 poll says 'yes'

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Are the Terps a Top 10 team? This 2019-20 preseason Top 25 poll says 'yes'

Maryland basketball's season ended in disappointing fashion last season as Tremont Waters sank the Terps with a last-second layup in the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament. Even still, NBC Sports College Basketball Talk's Preseason Top 25 has Maryland as the No. 9 team entering the season.

Sights immediately turned toward this coming season. Four freshmen enter the mix in Donta Scott, Chol Marial and Makhi and Makhel Mitchell. The first is a fill-it-up wing scorer from Philadelphia, the last two, twin 6-foot-9 big men from Washington, D.C. who wanted to stay home. Marial is a 7-foot, one-time top player in the nation who's been hampered by lower-body injuries. He'll miss time to start the season.

It won't be easy, but Marial and the twins will be tasked with replacing some of what the Terps are losing from now-Atlanta Hawk Bruno Fernando. Last year, Fernando averaged 13.6 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. His production will be missed, but he's the Terps' only significant departure.

Here's a full breakdown of the Terps' roster:

  • WHO’S GONE: Bruno Fernando
  • WHO’S BACK: Anthony Cowan, Jalen Smith, Serrel Smith Jr., Eric Ayala, Aaron Wiggins, Ricky Lindo, Darryl Morsell
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Chol Marial, Makhi Mitchell, Makhel Mitchell, Donta Scott
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Anthony Cowan, Eric Ayala, Aaron Wiggins, Ricky Lindo, Jalen Smith


The length of that 'who's back' line is almost as important as who's on it. Seven key contributors return, including senior point guard Anthony Cowan and sophomore big man Jalen Smith. The team will likely go as far as the two of them can carry it. Aaron Wiggins could be the x-factor that takes this team from a competitive, top-25 team to a dangerous, top-10 team. He's got all the talent and mentality to become a top-scorer on a great team. It's not always that simple, though.

There is nothing riskier than going all-in on a team coached by Mark Turgeon, but here we are. - Rob Dauster

This could be a make or break year for Mark Turgeon. He has one of the most talented rosters in the country. The last time the Terps entered the season with a Top 10 team, they never lived up to the hype. Another lackluster performance this season could heat up the hot seat for Turgeon.

But the big story is the 1-2 punch of Cowan and Smith and the depth that surrounds them. If they can put it all together, the Terps could make some noise in College Park this season.