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Why Maryland will stick with Perry Hills as starting QB

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Why Maryland will stick with Perry Hills as starting QB

COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland junior quarterback Perry Hills will be the team’s starting quarterback going forward, interim head coach Mike Locksley said during his introductory press conference on Sunday.

“Number one,” Locksley said, “stabilizing the quarterback position first and foremost was the most important thing for us to do and what you saw [Saturday vs. Ohio State] was a byproduct of us stabilizing it.”

Prior to Saturday’s game, Maryland was essentially down to the last card in its deck at quarterback. Hills did not work the first time around. Caleb Rowe led the FBS in interceptions. Daxx Garman was getting sacked at a high rate and completing a low percentage of his passes.

So Maryland dusted off what looked like the old playbook used when now-graduated quarterback C.J. Brown was under center and made Hills a dual-threat. It worked, with Maryland keeping it competitive for three solid quarters before ultimately losing to Ohio State

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“The decision was made last Sunday with Coach [Edsall] and I that we were going to make the commitment to Perry Hills as our starting quarterback and that he wouldn’t have to look over his shoulder,” Locksley said. “And because of the skill set that Perry brings to the program and to our offense, we have to build it around that.”

Questions of consistency in the wide receiving corps will persist, but the offensive game plan Maryland rolled out on Saturday looked to be more foundationally solid than in weeks past.

Maryland gives itself a chance when it doesn’t turn the ball over and by moving Hills around, the defense was given a number of different looks.

“What you saw earlier in the year was based off the type of quarterback that was playing,” Locksley explained. “Caleb Rowe, more of a pro-style dropback guy, but once we made the decision to go with Perry, Perry’s skill set enabled us to do some things offensively that we displayed yesterday and we’re hoping to be able to build on.”

But 25 carries for your quarterback in conference play? Maybe durability will be the next question.

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NBA Draft 2018: Maryland basketball's Justin Jackson drafted by Nuggets, traded to Magic

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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.

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NBA Draft 2018: Atlanta Hawks draft Maryland basketball's Kevin Huerter with the No. 19 overall pick

NBA Draft 2018: Atlanta Hawks draft Maryland basketball's Kevin Huerter with the No. 19 overall pick

Maryland basketball's Kevin Huerter was drafted No. 19 overall Thursday night by the Atlanta Hawks.

He's the Terps' highest draft pick since the Phoenix Suns drafted Alex Len fifth overall in the 2013 NBA Draft.

Huerter played two seasons with Maryland, averaging 12 points, five rebounds and three assists as a Terp. He's best known for his knockdown shooting ability, as he knocked down 46.6 percent of his shots from the field, including 39.4 percent of his three-point shots. During his sophomore season, he was better than 50 percent from the field and better than 40 percent from deep.

Back in April, when Huerter first declared for the 2018 NBA Draft without an agent, it was widely assumed he was just testing the waters to get feedback from NBA scouts and would return to school for his junior season. But an outstanding performance at the NBA Combine saw his hardly existent draft stock skyrocket. Almost overnight, Huerter's name was popping up in the first round of mock drafts, and now what seemed like a no-brainer decision to return to school wasn't so clear.

On May 30, he announced that he would leave his name in the 2018 NBA Draft and hire an agent. He recently had surgery on a torn ligament in his hand, but is expected to miss only two months and make a full recovery by the time the 2018 NBA season starts.

With the Atlanta Hawks, Huerter should pick up right where he left off shooting in college, but can also provide high basketball IQ and sneaky athleticism. He and Trae Young join Dennis Schröder and Kent Bazemore who finished last in the Eastern Conference last season.

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