Maryland Terps

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Terps dominate Rhode Island to win Cancun title: 5 things to know

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Terps dominate Rhode Island to win Cancun title: 5 things to know

Just before Maryland’s game against Illinois State, head coach Mark Turgeon admitted that his team was not playing like the No. 2 team in the nation.

For the first time this season, the Terrapins undoubtedly did in a dominating 86-63 victory over Rhode Island to win the 2015 Cancun Challenge championship on Wednesday night in Mexico.

Senior guard Rasheed Sulaimon was a spark plug early and continued into the second half, leading the way alongside Melo Trimble and Robert Carter, Jr. with 17 points.

Here are five things you need to know.

1) Best start of the season

Maryland has driven with the parking brake on in the first half of nearly every game so far this season. Wednesday night was a different story. The Terrapins were in rhythm offensively and not allowing the Rams to dictate the way the game would be played.

It helped that they hit their open threes, too. Once the floor is spaced, everything gets easier. Rasheed Sulaimon hit two big threes in the first 10 minutes to kickstart the offensive attack.

On Tuesday against Illinois State, Maryland had 31 points in the first half. They had 31 points against Rhode Island by the 7:42 mark of the first.

2) Playing them straight up

Rhode Island plays smaller, but they didn’t play the type of fast-paced, pressure-heavy game that gives Maryland trouble. There were many more traditional elements to the URI attack and that is where the Terrapins excel.

Part of it is simply roster limitations for the Rams. They really only run six deep, so they couldn’t swap players in and out and absorb foul trouble like Illinois State did on Tuesday. Because of that, Maryland was able to settle in.

Those three-pointers falling for Maryland also helped. Drain a few of those and the game changes.

It was apparent on the defensive end, too. Without star guard E.C. Matthews, there just was not enough offense there for the Rams to compete. They ran six deep and were it not for a clear emphasis on not fouling in the second half, this game would have been even more one-sided.

Rhode Island backcourt core of Four McGlynn, Jared Terrell, and Jarvis Garrett were held to 5-of-27 shooting.

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3) Robert Carter, Jr. shines

Word out of Maryland practice over the summer was that Robert Carter was the Terrapins’ best player. I’ve maintained that he’s a first-round pick in the 2016 draft. He looked like it on Wednesday night.

In the first half alone, he had 13 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks. He was scoring from everywhere on the floor, taking his man one-on-one in the post, running out in transition after a big defensive play, and even stepping out to hit his first three of the season.

He finished one rebound shy of a double-double with 18 points and nine rebounds.

4) A much more relaxed Melo Trimble

Maryland’s star sophomore had been playing tight and tentative through the season’s first four games. Wednesday was the first time we’ve seen the smooth, relaxed, worry-free Trimble running the point this season.

He worked often out of pick-and-roll sets with Carter, which makes it incredibly difficult for the defense to defend. Hedge out and he’ll dish to Carter. Go over the screen and he’ll drive by you. Go under the screen and he’ll shoot it. That flexibility opened up his game.

Trimble had 12 points in the first half on perfect 5-of-5 shooting and finished with 17 points on 7-of-7 shooting, six rebounds, and four assists.

5) Finally showing what they can be

This is what Maryland should be with the pieces it has and the way Turgeon has assembled them. They should be a versatile, efficient, three-point-shooting machine that jumps out to leads and can bury you late.

All it took was some shots to start falling. Shots fall, they get confident. Get confident and defensive effort improves. Defensive effort improves and that kickstarts the offense, which starts the whole cycle over again.

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Tony Dungy weighs in on the alleged toxic culture within the University of Maryland football team

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Tony Dungy weighs in on the alleged toxic culture within the University of Maryland football team

Tony Dungy is about as cool, calm and collected as a person can get. And when it comes to his coaching style, it's exactly the same.

Fourteen years in the NFL spent as a defensive coordinator/coach and 13 years as a head coach earned Dungy a Super Bowl Championship with the Indianapolis Colts. He posted an overall record of 148-79 with the foundation that cursing and raising your voice wasn't necessary for success. 

The culture and coaching style of the University of Maryland football team is now under a microscope with the on-going investigation regarding the death of 19-year-old offensive lineman Jordan McNair. The university has taken responsibility for McNair's death after an ESPN article brought to light the abuse and "toxic culture" within the team, and what ultimately led up to McNair's passing under their supervision on May 29. 

It has also brought into question how high-level football teams are coached and if it's all just a part of the football culture. On Thursday, Dungy weighed in on the matter on 106.7 The Fan's Sports Junkies, simulcasted on NBC Sports Washington.

"Well first, I hope we don't just read into well, here was the culture, here's what the coach was doing so that's why this young man died," Dungy said.

Dungy recounted a scenario during his coaching career with the Colts where a player had an underlying condition that almost caused him to lose his life during a practice.

"You can't equate well, this happened because," Dungy went on to say. 

What Dungy does want people to understand is that the tough love, scream-in-your-face type of coaching style is not the stereotype coaches must adhere to. 

"But I do think we are a victim of caricatures. That we think that's the way it has to be."

"One of the last interviews I had before I got my head [coaching] job in Tampa, I was explaining to this owner how I was going to do things. He had heard about my reputation. He said 'I know you don't use profanity. You rarely raise your voice. How are you going to motivate these guys? How are you going to discipline? How are you going to keep guys in line?' And I said the same way my father kept me in line. By saying here's the rules and here's what we're going to do. I'm going to be like that with my players. And the guy looked at me square in the eyes and said 'impossible, that will never work in the NFL.'" 

Well, it did work for Dungy as his tenure spent as a coach in the NFL earned him enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016. 

Dungy noted in his interview with the Sports Junkies that the different personalities of coaches in the league highlighted in shows like HBO's Hard Knocks do not represent each and every coach. He mentions Jim Caldwell and Bill Belichick as successful coaches who are more mild-mannered like Dungy.

"And there's a thousand ways that work," Dungy said about coaching. "And you got to be true to your personality and everything. But the two coaches that I played for in the NFL – who won seven Super Bowls between them and were tremendous coaches, Hall of Famers – there was none of that. There was instruction, teaching, motivating, building you up and getting you ready to play, and so that's what I followed." 

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Maryland's strength and conditioning coach Rick Court resigns after the death of Jordan McNair

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Maryland's strength and conditioning coach Rick Court resigns after the death of Jordan McNair

On Tuesday during a press conference, the University of Maryland announced the removal of head strength and conditioning coach Rick Court.

This announcement comes in the wake of disturbing details leading up to, and including, the death of football player Jordan McNair.

It was also revealed that head football coach D.J. Durkin remains on administrative leave according to athletic director Damon Evans.  

Prior to this announcement, Court resigned and reached a settlement with the university.

During the press conference, university president Wallace Loh also stated that the university would take responsibility for McNair's death.

"The university accepts legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes that our training staff made on that fateful workout day of May 29, which of course led subsequently to his death," Loh said.

"Some of the actions of our athletic training staff, not the coaching staff, the athletic training staff, they basically misdiagnosed the situation. No vital signs were taken, other safeguard actions that should have been taken were not.”

McNair's died as the result of a heat stroke that occurred during the aforementioned workout. Collapsing on the field due to exhaustion, the 19-year-old suffered a seizure and the authorities were not contacted for nearly an hour. McNair would pass two weeks later.

Not much information on the internal investigation was released by the school up until the latest report from ESPN this past Friday. In this report, ESPN detailed a “toxic culture” that ultimately led to the death of the young football player. Court was at the center of these remarks and was given a lot of the blame for what happened.

After the allegations on Friday, Maryland put Durkin on leave due to "allegations of inappropriate behavior" along with other staffers that included Court. 

Matt Canada is currently the interim head coach of the Terps in his first season with the team. Canada was named Durkin's offensive coordinator this season after being fired from the same position at LSU. 

Maryland kicks off their football season in less than three weeks, hosting Texas on September 1. 

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