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Tracking the Terps
News and notes on Maryland football, basketball and other sports
Maryland baseball ranked in two major preseason polls

Fresh off a historic 2014 season, the Maryland baseball team appears that it will head into its first Big Ten season as the favorite.

The Terps are ranked No. 16 in Baseball America's preseason national poll, which was released Monday. It's their first time being ranked in Baseball America's preseason Top 25, and they're the only Big Ten team included.

Maryland is No. 14 in the D1Baseball.com rankings. Fellow Big Ten member Nebraska lands at No. 23 in that poll.

Defending national champion Vanderbilt tops both polls.

The Terps finished 40-23 last year, reaching the NCAA Super Regionals for the first time. They lost that best-of-three series to eventual national runner-up Virginia, two games to one.

Maryland begins its 2015 schedule Feb. 13 at the Caravelle Resort Tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The Terps begin with a game against Western Kentucky and will also play Canisius, Old Dominion and Coastal Carolina down there.

Maryland's first home game is Feb. 24 against VCU.

Big Ten play...

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Jake Layman, Melo Trimble projected in first round of some NBA mock drafts

Maryland’s emergence as one of the nation’s top college basketball teams amid an unexpectedly-quick turnaround has landed a few players on NBA mock draft boards.

The biggest jump has been made by junior forward Jake Layman, who went from being considered a top prospect toward the end of his freshman year to a low second-round pick as a sophomore -- if he was even going to picked at all.

Layman is now being mentioned on a couple of mock draft boards as a low first-round pick. Draftexpress.com is touting the 6-foot-9 Layman as the 27th overall pick, going to the Memphis Grizzlies.

A lot will play out during the Big Ten season and NCAA tournament. Some scouts measure a player’s value when going up against another high pick, as Alex Len’s skyrocketed two years ago after dominating Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel.   

Layman, whose stock jumped when he put up 21 points and 12 rebounds in a win at Oklahoma State against Cowboys star Le'Bryan Nash and consistently had big numbers while Dez Wells was...

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Junior point guard Anthony Cowan Jr. commits to Maryland

Anthony Cowan Jr.'s roots at Maryland run deep.

Growing up in Bowie, he attended Gary Williams' summer camp in College Park several times. His father, Anthony Sr., received his master's from the school. His grandmother works in the university's African-American Studies program.

So it made sense that Cowan, a four-star recruit rated the No. 62 prospect overall by Scout.com in the Class of 2016, orally committed to Mark Turgeon's program on Saturday. The 5-foot-11, 165-pound point guard won’t officially sign a letter of intent until next year, but he announced his commitment Monday.

Cowan also has a connection to current freshman star point guard Melo Trimble. The two were part of the same D.C. Assault Amateur Athletic Union program and played against each other in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference when Trimble was at Bishop O’Connell in Arlington, Va. Cowan is now a junior at St. John's College High in Washington.

Cowan said in an interview with The Baltimore Sun that Maryland...

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Terps drop to No. 16 in AP poll and to a No. 3 seed in bracket projections

This week's AP Top 25 is out, and it has Maryland’s men’s basketball team down three spots, to No. 16, after a week that included a loss at Indiana and Sunday night’s great escape against Northwestern.

The next round of bracket projections have also been posted, and here are the latest educated guesses as to where Maryland (18-3) will be placed on Selection Sunday.

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi dropped the Terps to a No. 3 seed in the East Region. (He had them on the No. 2 line last week.)

On his bracket, the Terps still begin in Pittsburgh. They’d play No. 14 William & Mary, the presumed champion out of the Colonial Athletic Association. Their potential Round of 32 matchup would be No. 6 Northern Iowa or the winner of a No. 11 play-in game between North Carolina State and Kansas State.

In that projection, the Terps cpuld face No. 2 Villanova in the Sweet 16 and possibly No. 1 Virginia in the regional final. (That region concludes in Syracuse.)

CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm also dropped Maryland to a No...

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Terps' game-winner wasn't drawn up, it was 'Dez being Dez'

Last-second victories have been rare in Mark Turgeon's four seasons at Maryland.

None of them have gone as Turgeon drew up in the huddle.

There was Alex Len's tip-in to beat North Carolina State two years ago. That came on a poorly conceived baseline jumper by Pe'Shon Howard that fortunately never touched the rim and was so off-line that the 7-foot Len had perfect position in front of the rim.

There was the 3-pointer by Dez Wells to beat Miami last season after the Terps had blown a 10-point lead in the final two minutes. It seemed an unlikely shot given how poorly Wells had shot from long-range during his first three seasons in college.

Now, there is Sunday’s night tip-in by Wells with a little more than a second remaining, which completed Maryland’s improbable comeback from an 11-point deficit with 3:24 left against Northwestern and ultimately gave the Terps a 68-67 victory.

That, too, wasn’t drawn up as it was designed.

Turgeon said after one of his most exciting wins in College...

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After injuries, Terps seniors Dez Wells, Evan Smotrycz adjust to new roles, seek old form

One of the more surprising aspects of the Maryland men's basketball team's 17-3 start this season has been that two seniors haven't been largely responsible for it.

Guard Dez Wells has shown just flashes of the player who led the Terps in scoring in each of his first two seasons in College Park, and forward Evan Smotrycz is only now providing more regular glimpses of the player who averaged 11 points and six rebounds as a starter last season.

Since coming back from a fractured right wrist in late December that sidelined for a month, Wells has averaged 11.5 points and nearly five rebounds per game. A 50.5 percent shooter over the past two seasons, Wells has shot just 40.3 percent from the field, though his accuracy from beyond the arc (52.0 percent) has improved dramatically.

Asked why Wells has not yet re-established himself as Maryland’s primary scorer, coach Mark Turgeon said Saturday: “It could be the way he is being played. They doubled him on the post the other night [in a loss at...

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