Maryland Terps

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Varun Ram isn't just the guy everyone wants to see shoot anymore

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Varun Ram isn't just the guy everyone wants to see shoot anymore

COLLEGE PARK -- Whenever he would get the ball with space around him, the crowd at XFINITY Center in College Park would implore him to shoot it. Now, there are not those cheers when a pass gets throw his way because he enters closer games, playing more meaningful minutes.

There is only the loud, drawn-out, low-toned sound of his name echoing inside the arena when he makes a big play. If you weren't familiar with the exercise, you would think the pro-Maryland crowd were booing.

This marks Varun Ram’s transition from beloved walk-on who everyone just wanted to see make a shot when the game was already in hand to key part of the rotation for a team with national title hopes.

Well, there are still those rises from the crowd occasionally -- even one on Saturday against Ohio State when he calmly knocked down a three-pointer in Maryland’s 100-65 win over the Buckeyes.

But as head coach Mark Turgeon tinkered with his lineup early here in conference play, he came to a realization this week.

“I learned that Varun is pretty important to us and he can really help us,” Turgeon said. “Gives us another really good defender on the floor, takes more pressure off Melo [Trimble]. Rasheed [Sulaimon] goes out, you still have a really good defender on the floor.”

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Though he stands just 5-9, the neurobiology and physiology major skitters around the floor almost weightlessly. What he gives up in size, he makes up for in relentlessness and effort.

Sulaimon, who sees Ram in practice every day, described it.

“Even if you beat him, you might think you beat him and then before you know it, he’s right back on top of you,” he said. “It’s just that constant pressure and he’ll wear you out over the course of a game.”

What has become of Maryland’s backcourt bench rotation is something you might see more in football with running backs, wide receivers, or tight ends. Depending on what the Terrapins need, Turgeon will either insert Ram for defensive purposes or transfer Jaylen Brantley if they need an offensive boost behind Trimble and Sulaimon.

The last two games, that has meant more minutes for Ram, though Brantley came in and played well in the final minutes of Saturday’s win.

“I think it just shows you how deep our team is and how we can go so many different ways,” Ram said this week.

“We can go big, we can go small, offensively, defensively we’re so versatile. And I think that’s what that shows. I haven’t really played all season and I played the last two games decent minutes so I’m ready to play whether I don’t play or not I just want to win.”

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Maryland's Kevin Huerter surprises at 2018 NBA Combine

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Maryland's Kevin Huerter surprises at 2018 NBA Combine

Going into the 2018 NBA Combine, Kevin Huerter was not receiving much hype, was off many NBA Draft boards, and many assumed he was heading back to college anyways.

Playing in the first scrimmage of the combine process, all those storylines quickly changed.

Playing against players like Jacob Evans, Donte DiVincenzo, Udoka Azubuike, and Jevon Carter, Huerter emerged as one of the top stars. The two-year Maryland spot-up shooter saw 25 minutes of action and only trailed Penn State prospect Tony Carr in points on his squad.

With 14 points (5-11 FG, 3-8 three-pointers), Huerter showed development since he was last seen with the Terps. His passing was the biggest asset for his team and was not afraid to take a shot against these top defenders.  The 6-7 forward also added three rebounds, an assist, and had only one turnover.

Although his shooting in-game was not fantastic, in the individual drills he showed off.  Of the seven shooting marks, he ranked in the top five in five of them.  He also had the best shuttle run (2.96 seconds).

No question, Huerter’s draft stock significantly rose. Although still early, he is looking to be the highest rated Terp prospect this year over Justin Jackson and Bruno Fernando.

Consensus among those at the NBA Combine seems to believe that Huerter will return for his junior season at Maryland.

After today though, it may be hard to say no.

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Panthers' first-round pick D.J. Moore visits Maryland with his new puppy

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Panthers' first-round pick D.J. Moore visits Maryland with his new puppy

D.J. Moore has an adorable new puppy!

Days after the Carolina Panthers selected Moore as the No. 24 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the former Maryland wide receiver returned to his roots and paid a visit to College Park.

But the first-rounder wasn’t alone when he went to Maryland. According to the Terps’ football Twitter account, he brought his new puppy with him. Seriously, look at this puppy!

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The Big Ten Receiver of the Year in 2017, Moore was obviously a crucial component of the Terps’ offense. He finished the season with 80 catches — a Maryland single-season record, which was also a Big Ten high.

He declared for the NFL Draft after his junior season with Maryland.

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