It was just an exhibition, but the Terrapins can’t be happy about their 23 turnovers. Still, there were a lot of positives to be taken from their 91-55 victory over Southern New Hampshire. The Division II school’s tallest player stood 6’8 which just didn’t bode well against a Terps team with size.
“Diamond Stone showed he was pretty special. I just feel like eventually he’s going to be our starting center, so why not do it now?” – Mark Turgeon, Terps Head Coach
After a good run in the NCAA tournament last season, finding out that Melo Trimble would return to school and signing Diamond Stone on the recruiting trail, Maryland fans were ready to see this team on the court. Stone did well in his first collegiate contest, exhibition or not. The frosh finished with 16 points and five rebounds. He has to work on limiting his fouls, which is normal for most young bigs making that transition to college.
The Terps did a good job playing defense and sharing the ball. The Duke transfer looked good as well, he didn’t score a ton, but definitely showed why Turgeon see’s him as a floor general if Trimble is out of the game. Rasheed Sulaimon had five points, seven rebounds, and three assists. His addition only strengthens a Maryland side that struggled at times when then freshman point guard Trimble would come out of games. Good guard play also takes teams far in the postseason, not a bad addition at all.
Robert Carter Jr. also made his debut in a Terps uniform and the power forward looked good. He finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while making an impact on the defensive end with four blocks. His ability to step out and hit the outside shot will go a long way for Maryland, especially when he’s on the floor with Stone. Spacing reasons.
Trimble and Jared Nickens looked solid in the exhibition. Melo had 14 points and three assists, while Nickens scored 10 points on 4-7 shooting. The development of these sophomores are crucial for this team to achieve it’s goal of winning a national championship.
Again, it was against a Division II opponent and an undersized team at that, but Maryland looks ready to play inside-out as their coach wants. Stone’s poise in the post, especially in passing out of the double-team will be pivotal this season. The increased post presence should make things even easier on a team with good perimeter weapons and one of the top floor generals in the country.
Maryland opens it’s season this coming Friday when they host Mt. Saint Marys.