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Three Terps projected in top 35 of new NBA mock draft

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Three Terps projected in top 35 of new NBA mock draft

Three Maryland Terrapins are projected to be taken in the first 35 picks of the 2016 NBA Draft, as reflected in the latest edition of a DraftExpress.com mock released on Monday. 

They are as follows:

Diamond Stone | Freshman | Center | No. 17 overall

Since being shifted into a role off the bench, Stone has found his stride. Being split apart from redshirt junior Robert Carter, Jr. -- with whom he shares a number of skills -- and being paired with Michal Cekovsky or Damonte Dodd, he has been an offensive spark and revitalized the second unit.

The question for Stone continues to be on the defensive end of the floor, where he is learning to defend by simply staying vertical and challenging shots without fouling. Especially in pick-and-roll situations on defense he will have to improve. The good news? He has progressed quite a bit from the season's first game, so it is clear he absorbs coaching well.

MORE TERPS: HOW PRINCETON SURPRISED MARYLAND

Melo Trimble | Sophomore | Point guard | No. 21 overall

Trimble came into this season needing to prove that he can be more of a true point guard. He has done that so far this season, averaging 15.0 points and 5.7 assists per game. He is nearly doubling his assists per game total from last season. 

He has also shown the ability to take over games down the stretch, which he first showed last season. On the road against North Carolina he shined offensively. He did the same against Connecticut at Madison Square Garden. There will be questions about his ceiling, considering his lack of explosiveness -- but that's not his game anyway. 

Trimble has always been more of a cerebral point guard who excels in the pick-and-roll and by changing speeds, which can be winning traits at the pro level, too.

Jake Layman | Senior | Forward | No. 32 overall

There have been stretches of the season where Layman has faded into the background offensively, but he has been better as a defender and remained a solid rebounder in his senior season. 

Layman is the type of guy who will be a workout superstar, with his combination of size, athleticism, and shooting ability. All it takes is one team to buy in and see him as an asset -- especially in small-ball situations where he has shown he can play the power forward spot.

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Not listed are two other Maryland starters, guard Rasheed Sulaimon and power foward Robert Carter, Jr. 

Sulaimon has expanded his game to be more of a distributor since coming to Maryland, which should help his stock and could get him a shot in the league.

Carter is a versatile offensive player and very strong passer out of the post, but the question for him will be whether he needs good players around him to succeed in an NBA lineup or whether he can be a standalone option. The answer to that may determine whether he is a first rounder or a second rounder. His size and offensive skill alone should attract teams.

For the full mock draft from DraftExpress.com, click here.

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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.