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Why Maryland's OC is still 'proud' of Hills after debut

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Why Maryland's OC is still 'proud' of Hills after debut

COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland offensive coordinator Mike Locksley maintained Wednesday in speaking with the media that, had one or two things turned out another way for quarterback Perry Hills on Saturday against Richmond “we’d be talking a little differently about him.”

Plagued by missed throws and unable to find a groove early, Hills was forced to readjust and finished the game 12-of-21 for 138 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

“It’s a lot like shooting free throws,” Locksley said. “Most of the underthrown balls Perry had were guys that were wide open. You have a tendency to be very careful and aim the ball instead of just throwing it with confidence and it’s like anything else.

“If he hits the first one, then things are flowing.”

Flow did seem to be at least part of the issue. Hills started 0-of-4 with an interception and his three other incompletions were comprised of a pair of underthrows and an overthrow in the red zone.

MORE TERPS: LIKELY HAS JOKED ABOUT LINING UP ON OFFENSE, TOO

“He missed the first one to Kenny [Goins] in the end zone,” Locksley said. “I think he started pressing a little bit and trying to aim the ball instead of throwing it.”

Finding that eventual groove was also aided by Maryland’s running game. The trio of Brandon Ross, Wes Brown, and Ty Johnson gained 341 yards on the ground -- the program’s highest single-game output in 13 years.

But against Bowling Green on Saturday, a team that surrendered 399 yards on the ground to Tennessee last week, the question will be if the defense begins to stack the box and force Hills to beat them.

If that happens, things shift for Hills.

“I’ve been playing this game since I was five years old,” Hills said on Wednesday. “So it’s just going to come down to reading and reacting, not overthinking things.

“Whenever they give you [a run-stopping defensive look] you obviously have to take advantage of it and then hit your passes -- just make the right read and hit open receivers.”

For the things he lacked against Richmond, Hills still did a number of good things, Locksley reiterated, and there's something to be said for that.

“His first meaningful start in three years for the kid, put 43 points on the board, 7-of-12 for third down situations for us and executed the two-minute [drill],” he said. “I’m proud of the way he played.”

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Huerter, the newest Hawk, introduced in Atlanta

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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.