Maryland Terps

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Turgeon finally says what pundits have been saying for months

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Turgeon finally says what pundits have been saying for months

Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon, given the opportunity publicly at Big Ten Media Day in Chicago on Thursday, finally acknowledged what pundits and prognosticators have been saying about his team for months.

“We’re not going out saying that we’re going to go to a Final Four, win a national championship,” he said. “But everybody’s saying it for us.

“We have Final Four talent. I think we have national championship talent. Now, whether we win one game in the NCAA tournament or even get there remains to be seen.”

It remains remarkable that the conversation in College Park one year ago at this time was how many games Turgeon needed to win to keep his job. Now we’re talking about a potential No. 1 team.

MORE TERPS: MARYLAND GETS FIVE FIRST-PLACE VOTES IN COACHES POLL

It is a credit to Turgeon, who allowed a group of players he recruited to transfer and put trust in a group of young, unproven players to stabilize the program in one year’s time. Having a leader like Dez Wells and a supertalent like Melo Trimble doesn’t hurt, either.

They are the favorites to win the Big Ten and are projected to be in play for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament -- but they face a brutal schedule, especially in the conference.

“I think we do have a talented group,” Trimble said. “I think that it’s a challenge we want to look up to. I think we have the players to do it. I think we just have to work on the grind and the process and like I said don’t worry about the outsiders and just focus on what’s our goal.

“Everyone wants to get to the national championship game.”

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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.