Maryland Terps

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One thing Terps do best is where Michigan State has struggled most

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One thing Terps do best is where Michigan State has struggled most

If you cut to the core of what has been Michigan State’s biggest issue during the three-game skid that they will try to halt on Saturday against Maryland, it is not all on the offensive end of the floor.

The Spartans hit 11 threes against Nebraska and lost. They made another eight against Wisconsin and lost.

But the issue for Tom Izzo’s team is defense. The one thing that Michigan State has struggled with most of late is the one thing that Maryland perhaps does best -- space the floor -- and they should try to exploit it on Saturday in East Lansing.

Nebraska used Shavon Shields as a power forward and he carried the Cornhuskers, scoring 28 points. Versatile wings Jarrod Uthoff and Peter Jok combined to score 38 points for Iowa. Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes put 25 on the Spartans in that narrow Badger win.

Maryland can do the same thing.

MORE TERPS: 5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MARYLAND-MICHIGAN STATE

Jake Layman, Robert Carter, Jr., and Diamond Stone are all mismatches in the front court against less mobile bigs like Deyonta Davis, Matt Costello, and Gavin Schilling. The Terrapins can stretch it from the rim to the three-point line with any one of those three and can mimic what Shields, Hayes, Uthoff, and Jok did to be successful.

All of it starts a little further out, though, with point guard Melo Trimble. Michigan State will be without Tum Tum Nairn on Saturday, which removes their best perimeter defender and the player who would have checked Trimble on the defensive end.

Yes, that is the guy who Trimble famously crossed up last year and hit a step-back three at the end of the first half, but Nairn is a good defender. He is an agitator. Trimble’s job now gets easier as an offensive initiator getting the ball to Layman, Carter, and Stone.

They can space it out more comfortably and he should be able to operate.

Now comes the final part. They have to hit the shots that they create. We saw about as stark a contrast between two games as there can be with one team in college basketball. After putting up 100 points on Ohio State, the offense was ground to a halt against Northwestern.

The Terrapins shot just 23 percent from three on 17 attempts. They will need more on Saturday.

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Huerter, the newest Hawk, introduced in Atlanta

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USA TODAY Sports

Huerter, the newest Hawk, introduced in Atlanta

It was just months ago that Maryland sophomore Kevin Huerter was a sure lock to return for the 2018-2019 season in College Park. 

At some point during the offseason, the 19-year-old changed his mind and decided to test his luck and enter the 2018 NBA Draft. 

After a solid performance at the Combine, Huerter began to soar up draft projection boards. 

Fast forward to the night of the Draft on June 21 from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. 

The Clifton Park, N.Y. native declined an invite to instead be with his family, friends and former teammates at a local country club. 

After watching 18 players get their names called by Commisioner Adam Silver, this happened: 

This viral video had the 518 (Albany, N.Y. area code) basketball community buzzing about the kid who brought Shenendehowa High School its first state championship since 1987. 

Huerter enjoyed outreach from many different names throughout the sports community: 

On Monday, Huerter was officially introduced as the newest Atlanta Hawk. His father, Tom Huerter, documented part of the special day on Twitter: 

In other news, if you don't see Kevin Huerter in Summer League, don't worry. Earlier this month, Huerter learned he needed to repair torn ligaments in his right shooting hand in order to be fully ready for the start of camp. 

Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk expressed his confidence in a full recovery for Huerter during the introductory press conference Monday. 

Clearly the organization is in the middle of a massive rebuild, and it's hoping that newcomers Kevin Huerter, Trae Young and Omari Spellman will be at the center of it. 

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NBA Draft 2018: Maryland basketball's Justin Jackson drafted by Nuggets, traded to Magic

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USA Today Sports

NBA Draft 2018: Maryland basketball's Justin Jackson drafted by Nuggets, traded to Magic

Maryland basketball had two players drafted in one night for the second time in three years Thursday night when the Denver Nuggets picked Justin Jackson with the No. 43 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Jackson was subsequently traded to the Orlando Magic as part of a deal that brought the No. 41 overall pick, Kentucky's Jarred Vanderbilt, to Denver.

After his freshman season, in which he averaged 10.5 points and six rebounds a game while shooting 43.8 percent from beyond the arc, Jackson declared for the draft without an agent, but elected to return to Maryland for his sophomore season. But he'd play just 11 games before being shutdown for the year with a torn labrum. His draft stock was hurt, but obviously not totally erased.

He had surgery in January and ended up being the first Terp to declare for the 2018 NBA Draft back in March. Though Jackson's recovery kept him out of the NBA Combine, teams were still intrigued by what they'd seen from him in the past to be willing to take a flyer.

A 6-foot-7 forward with a 7-foot-3 wingspan, Jackson has the skill to play anywhere between the two or the four in the NBA, and the length to guard all kinds of players.

With Kevin Huerter headed to the last-place Atlanta Hawks, Maryland basketball's two draftees are slated to join last season's two worst teams in the Eastern Conference.