‘In the right spot'

Dodd said he didn't have lofty goals when he got to Maryland, though he casually mentioned to Wright once that he expected to go to the NBA after one year “because that's what I thought everyone did.”

Dodd said last week that he expects to stay a Terp a lot longer.

“My [overall] expectations haven't changed,” he said. “I was hoping to come here and make an impact as much as I could, if it was in practice in making the guys better or any way I could.”

For most of the season, his playing time has been sporadic. Sometimes he'd go several games without getting onto the court. His appearance at Duke came after not playing in the previous three games, and Turgeon said at one point recently that he didn't see that changing.

“I wouldn't say I got frustrated. I got confused [about my role] sometimes,” Dodd said. “A lot of freshmen come in and don't play at all their first year.”

Now it appears he will get a chance to be part of Turgeon's regular rotation and continue to grow.

“[Turgeon] just wants consistency and someone who can protect the rim [defensively],” Dodd said.

It's something Maryland has lacked since 7-1 center Alex Len left for the NBA last spring after his sophomore year. Turgeon expects Dodd and 7-11/2 signee Trayvon Reed, who is likely to arrive next season, to share that role.

“I'm just proud of Damonte, because he hasn't hung his head,” Turgeon said. “He continues to work, paid his dues, continues to get better and now we all as a coaching staff, we feel comfortable that on the defensive end, he's probably going to be in the right spot. And that's a good feeling.”

Turgeon is not alone in seeing Dodd's progress on and off the court.

“I'm very proud of him,” Angela Anderson said. “Very proud.”

don.markus@baltsun.com

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