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Stone among big risers in latest 2016 NBA mock draft

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Stone among big risers in latest 2016 NBA mock draft

Maryland freshman center Diamond Stone is projected to be taken No. 11 overall in the latest edition of DraftExpress.com's 2016 NBA mock draft, released on Thursday.

That projection puts Stone back in the lottery after he had slipped into the early 20s earlier this season. 

Stone has progressed rapidly over the first 17 games of the 2015-16 season. Much of that can be attributed to how head coach Mark Turgeon has decided to use him, bringing him off the bench instead of keeping him in the starting lineup as he was to begin the season.

Off the bench, Stone is able to avoid early foul trouble, get a feel for the game, and regulate the Maryland rotation to pair him with a player like Michal Cekovsky who complements his skill set. 

NBA front-office personnel less and less look at raw stats and instead use efficiency numbers to project a player's talent at the next level. By that measure, his offensive statistics are impressive. Per 40 minutes, he is averaging 25.0 points and 10.6 rebounds while shooting nearly 60 percent from the field.

MORE TERPS: TRIMBLE MAKES MIDSEASON WOODEN AWARD CUT

He has also improved defensively, now posting a defensive rating of 94.2 per 100 possessions.

The ceiling for Stone, especially offensively, is high. Because of his efficiency in the post, he has been primarily an interior bruiser at the college level, despite coming into college with a reputation as a player who can stretch the floor. 

But it is clear that he has serious potential as a stretch-big. He is shooting 78.7 percent from the line on 4.4 attempts per game. A high percentage like that is often a good indicator of the promise in a big man's ability to stretch the floor with more development.

Elsewhere in DraftExpress.com's projection, sophomore guard Melo Trimble slips slightly to No. 23 overall and senior forward Jake Layman slips to No. 38 overall.

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Mike Locksley reportedly makes big addition to Terps staff with former Tennessee head coach

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Mike Locksley reportedly makes big addition to Terps staff with former Tennessee head coach

When Mike Locksley was hired to become the University of Maryland's newest head football coach earlier this month, it was expected that his biggest impact would come on the recruiting trail. Locksley has a well-deserved reputation as one of the best recruiters of talent in the DMV, and his hometown connections were a major draw for the university and its boosters.

His recruiting acumen doesn’t just apply to players, it seems. He’s begun putting together a coaching staff at Maryland, and many of the rumored candidates would represent major “gets” for a school of Maryland’s stature and reputation.

Former Tennessee head coach Butch Jones has accepted a position as tight ends coach and associate head coach for the Terps, Jeff Ermann of InsideMdSports reported on Tuesday.

Jones was a head coach for a decade prior to spending 2018 as an offensive analyst for Alabama, an off-field position. In the years prior, he spent time at Central Michigan, Cincinnati, and most recently Tennessee. He holds a career record of 84-54, and is 4-2 all-time in bowl games. He had a winning record at each school.

The title of associate head coach is a nice addition for Jones, but a former SEC head coach who experienced some success would seem to be somewhat overqualified for a position coach. Jones, similarly to Locksley, was attempting to rehabilitate his reputation under Nick Saban at Alabama, and is likely aiming to return to head coaching one day.

There are some conflicting reports. Rivals is reporting that while an agreement could be coming soon, it is not yet a done deal.

It would be a nice coup for Maryland, as Jones would come to College Park with a reputation as a good offensive mind and a stellar recruiter. Jones signed multiple top-10 recruiting classes at Tennessee, and while coaching in the SEC has certain advantages, his recruiting acumen fits in well with Locksley.

It remains unclear how much of an overhaul Maryland’s coaching staff will undergo under Locksley, though it stands to reason there will be some turnover. 24/7 Sports is also reporting that Locksley will be bringing on John Papuchis to coach special teams and linebackers, and Cory Robinson, a former director of player personnel at Maryland under Randy Edsall. Robinson’s role is not yet specified, though based on his experience it is assumed he’ll be working with defensive backs.

Elijah Brooks, longtime head coach at local powerhouse DeMatha, has also been rumored to be joining the Maryland staff, though it has not been reported at this time.

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Anthony Cowan highlights an ugly Terps start, hits historic milestone against Loyola Chicago

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USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Cowan highlights an ugly Terps start, hits historic milestone against Loyola Chicago

BALTIMORE -- Anthony Cowan scored 17 points and No. 23 Maryland overcame a sluggish start to beat Loyola of Chicago 55-41 on Saturday.

Cowan became the 55th player in Maryland history to score 1,000 career points, hitting the milestone with a free throw in the first half. He has 1,010 for his career. Aaron Wiggins added 10 points for the Terrapins (8-2).

Cameron Krutwig scored 12 points for the short-handed Ramblers (5-5), who have lost four of five.

Maryland won despite getting modest contributions from its imposing frontcourt. Sophomore Bruno Fernando and freshman Jalen Smith each picked up two fouls in the first half, and the pair combined for two points and two rebounds in 10 minutes as the Terps carried a 24-20 lead into halftime.

The 6-foot-10, 240-pound Fernando, who was averaging 14.7 points and 10.3 rebounds coming into the game, finished with eight points and five rebounds. The 6-10 Smith had one point and three rebounds in his first college game in his hometown.

Cowan and Fernando scored on Maryland's first two possessions of the second half, and Cowan added a 3-pointer to make it 31-22 with 17:03 to go. Loyola never got closer than six points the rest of the way.

The game was the second half of a doubleheader in the Charm City Classic. Morgan State defeated Towson 74-69 in the opener.

BIG PICTURE

Loyola of Chicago: The Ramblers dressed only eight scholarship players because guards Bruno Skokna and Lucas Williamson remain out with injuries. Loyola has lost both of its games against power conference teams this season (Boston College and Maryland).

Maryland: Two days after sputtering down the stretch in a loss at Purdue, the Terps needed time for their offense to emerge from the doldrums. Maryland improved to 3-0 under coach Mark Turgeon in games played in Baltimore.

UP NEXT

Loyola of Chicago enters a week-long exam break and won't play until Dec. 16, when it entertains Norfolk State.

Maryland hosts Loyola (Md.) on Tuesday in the teams' first meeting since 2003.

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