Maryland Terps

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Minnesota upsets No. 6 Maryland: 5 things you need to know

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Minnesota upsets No. 6 Maryland: 5 things you need to know

Maryland has allowed lesser teams to hang around in the past this season before-- almost like clockwork -- storming back to get a win. Not on Thursday night.

In perhaps the most unlikely upset of the college basketball season, the Minnesota Gophers, who were previously winless in Big Ten play, came out of the gate hot and withstood a second-half Maryland push to earn a stunning 68-63 victory.

Despite a career high of 28 points from Rasheed Sulaimon, Maryland’s offense was otherwise stagnant and unable to ever get into a rhythm. Three Gophers were in double figures, led by guard Nate Mason.

Here are 5 things you need to know.

1) Textbook on how to let lesser teams stay in games early

Maryland has allowed this to happen at different points this season. Lesser teams can stick around by capitalizing on a pair key things that the Terrapins allow them to do -- hit shots from the outside and force turnovers.

Senior Joey King came off the bench hitting three of his first four shots from deep. As a team, the Gophers hit six of their first eight from three. For a measuring stick, Minnesota came into Thursday night’s game shooting 31 percent from that distance.

The Terrapins turned the ball over three times in the first four minutes, which allowed the Gophers to push it back the other direction. Not only does that combination of shooting and forcing turnovers put points on the board, but it gives them confidence.

Made shots make a team winless in conference play believe they can beat the nation’s No. 6 team and that goes a long way.

2) Noticeable absence of Diamond Stone

Robert Carter, Jr. is a nice post option and was clearly part of the game plan on Thursday. But this offense was already struggling. Taking its most bruising interior finisher out of the mix because of suspension makes the job much easier for the defense.

The result becomes too many lineups with limited options in the post, like Damonte Dodd and Michal Cekovsky on the floor at the same time. Maryland even tried a lineup that had Jaylen Brantley, Varun Ram, and Cekovsky. Where was the offense coming from there?

Even against a team that entered the game 175th in adjusted defensive efficiency, per KenPom, Maryland could not get anything going.

3) A shining half vs. a disastrous half

Maryland trailed by 11 points at the break because their massive struggles were combined with a stellar first half from Minnesota during which they were 7-of-13 from three. It was the most points scored by Minnesota since Nov. 27. It was the most points Maryland had surrendered since against North Carolina on Dec. 1.

4) On the verge of unraveling, but Maryland responds

After back-to-back turnovers that were flipped into easy Minnesota scores, it was a 50-38 game with 11:45 to play. With very few other cards to play, the Terrapins turned to full-court defensive pressure and it worked.

A 14-4 Maryland run followed to cut the game to just two points, 54-52. Maryland went smaller during that stretch, too, which allowed them to apply that pressure. Minnesota’s hot shooting in the first half regressed to the mean during that stretch and the Terrapins were able to climb back.

They took the lead with 3:04 to play on a Rasheed Sulaimon three.

5) Missed opportunities in final two minutes

After taking the lead late, Maryland’s execution in the final two minutes left opportunities on the table. Included in that was an uncharacteristic stretch from point guard Melo Trimble, who remains in a funk offensively.

From the team as a whole, shot selection was questionable. Turnovers, of which the Terrapins committed 15 on the night, came back to bite them in key spots. Minnesota’s ability to hit free throws down the stretch sealed it.

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Maryland's Kevin Huerter surprises at 2018 NBA Combine

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Maryland's Kevin Huerter surprises at 2018 NBA Combine

Going into the 2018 NBA Combine, Kevin Huerter was not receiving much hype, was off many NBA Draft boards, and many assumed he was heading back to college anyways.

Playing in the first scrimmage of the combine process, all those storylines quickly changed.

Playing against players like Jacob Evans, Donte DiVincenzo, Udoka Azubuike, and Jevon Carter, Huerter emerged as one of the top stars. The two-year Maryland spot-up shooter saw 25 minutes of action and only trailed Penn State prospect Tony Carr in points on his squad.

With 14 points (5-11 FG, 3-8 three-pointers), Huerter showed development since he was last seen with the Terps. His passing was the biggest asset for his team and was not afraid to take a shot against these top defenders.  The 6-7 forward also added three rebounds, an assist, and had only one turnover.

Although his shooting in-game was not fantastic, in the individual drills he showed off.  Of the seven shooting marks, he ranked in the top five in five of them.  He also had the best shuttle run (2.96 seconds).

No question, Huerter’s draft stock significantly rose. Although still early, he is looking to be the highest rated Terp prospect this year over Justin Jackson and Bruno Fernando.

Consensus among those at the NBA Combine seems to believe that Huerter will return for his junior season at Maryland.

After today though, it may be hard to say no.

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Panthers' first-round pick D.J. Moore visits Maryland with his new puppy

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Panthers' first-round pick D.J. Moore visits Maryland with his new puppy

D.J. Moore has an adorable new puppy!

Days after the Carolina Panthers selected Moore as the No. 24 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the former Maryland wide receiver returned to his roots and paid a visit to College Park.

But the first-rounder wasn’t alone when he went to Maryland. According to the Terps’ football Twitter account, he brought his new puppy with him. Seriously, look at this puppy!

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The Big Ten Receiver of the Year in 2017, Moore was obviously a crucial component of the Terps’ offense. He finished the season with 80 catches — a Maryland single-season record, which was also a Big Ten high.

He declared for the NFL Draft after his junior season with Maryland.

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