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Turgeon may have found the perfect role for Diamond Stone

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Turgeon may have found the perfect role for Diamond Stone

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- This game meant a little bit more to Maryland freshman center Diamond Stone, facing Connecticut on national television at Madison Square Garden.

“Diamond is one of those guys. He’s like Melo and guys -- brighter the lights, better they play,” Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon said. “Diamond did that tonight.”

Facing one of the teams that heavily recruited him during his time in high school, he was one rebound shy of a double-double, tallying 16 points and nine rebounds in Maryland’s 76-66 victory on Tuesday night.

Once again, Turgeon shifted him to the bench to begin the game, starting instead defensive-minded junior Damonte Dodd. It worked. Maryland got out to a 22-8 lead and Stone had five points and four rebounds by the 17:01 mark of the first half.

Turgeon accomplished two things by making the move. The starting defense got better -- proven by the way Connecticut’s offense struggled early -- and bringing an offensive talent like Stone off the bench unleashes a scoring barrage that second-unit post players have trouble with.

MORE TERPS: 5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MARYLAND'S WIN OVER UCONN

“He was good. He’s coming,” Turgeon said. “I keep saying, he gets better in practice every day, he gets more coachable, and he’s listening. He’s got a lot of good bigs around him, a lot of veterans. He’s listening to them and getting better.”

The next step for Stone continues to be his defense.

He was solid in the first half, some of his deficiencies hidden by the fact he could guard UConn’s Amida Brimah -- a player much more valuable for his defense than for his offense. In the second half he hit some bumps in the road, but it is clear that progress is still being made.

But with the threat he poses on the offensive end, Turgeon should be fine with letting him iron out those defensive issues in game minutes.

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Maryland's Darnell Savage signs rookie contract with Green Bay Packers

Maryland's Darnell Savage signs rookie contract with Green Bay Packers

Darnell Savage is the third NFL draft prospect profiled in our series ‘I Am the Prospect’. Download the MyTeams App for all three features.

Darnell Savage Jr. spent four seasons wowing fans in College Park as a defensive star for the Maryland Terrapins, and in April he found out he’ll be taking his talents to Wisconsin after being selected in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers.

Now, his future in Green Bay is officially official.

As Schefter mentions, Savage is the first first-rounder to sign a contract in 2019. It will be the standard length of first-round draft picks, going four years guaranteed with a fifth-year option. Reports are that the speedy, hard-hitting safety will earn $12.5 million over the first four seasons of the contract.

There were some questions about Savage’s fit in an NFL defensive backfield, given his size. But he is an athletic player with great instincts for the ball, and his statistics were thoroughly impressive the last two seasons in college. The Packers certainly believed he would be a terrific fit in their defense, considering they traded up to the 21st pick in order to make the selection.

Savage should have a great opportunity to start early in Green Bay, and now that he’s signed his contract so early, he’ll be able to get to work sooner rather than later. Knowing Savage, that’s just the way he wants it.

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NFL Draft prospect Tre Watson hopes to time draft night around 'Avengers' release

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NFL Draft prospect Tre Watson hopes to time draft night around 'Avengers' release

Thursday night will be a very important moment in the life of former Maryland linebacker Tre Watson.

At midnight, the highly-anticipated Marvel movie Avengers: Endgame will hit the big screen for general audiences to see, bringing the conclusion to a decade worth of popular films. Watson, like millions of others, has been counting down the days until he could see the Avengers and Thanos go at it one more time.

Oh, and Thursday also marks the beginning of the 2019 NFL Draft, where Watson will most likely hear his name called at some point over the three-day span.

While Watson will be tuning into the draft that night, he understands that his moment of recognition may come a little later on in the week. Therefore, Thursday is all about 'Avengers'.

"Fortunately, you know, I'm kind of realistic. I know I'm not going to be a first-round pick," Watson said in an interview on NFL Network. "So I'll just be watching that just kind of for the formality of it, I'm definitely excited for 'Avengers' and then I kind of will springboard into Day 2 and Day 3 where I'm hoping to hear my name called. It's really a perfect set up for me, honestly."

This isn't the first time that Watson has let it be known to the world that he is a dedicated Marvel fan. His Twitter feed is filled with thoughts on the movie, including a tweet from a few months back that took the internet by storm.

The first round of the draft still does have some intrigue for Watson, as his former teammate Darnell Savage Jr. has gained a lot of steam during the draft process and has a chance to be chosen on Thursday night. However, Watson will hope that Savage's name is called earlier in the night rather than later, as he will need time to get to the theatre to prepare to watch  Captain America and company save the day one last time. 

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