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Tracking the Terps
News and notes on Maryland football, basketball and other sports
Keith Dudzinski runs his first practice as Terps' defensive coordinator

When the Maryland football team took the field at Byrd Stadium on Wednesday morning for the first day of spring practice, players on the defensive side took calls from a familiar face.

Newly promoted defensive coordinator Keith Dudzinski, who served as the inside linebackers coach last season and enters his fifth year as a member of Randy Edsall’s staff, led his first practice in his new post.

“You wake up knowing there’s a little bit more to worry about every single day, that’s for sure,” Dudzinski said after practice. “The great thing is that we’ve got a great staff. We’ve got good coaches. [I’ve] got the support from the head coach. And the bottom line, we’re in there, meeting every day, and we’re going to be on the same page, and we’re all excited to coach our guys.”

Dudzinski took over the defensive coaching responsibilities Feb. 19 after Edsall announced that Brian Stewart, who held the position for the past three seasons, was leaving the program. A statement released by...

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Damonte Dodd and Dion Wiley emerge from slumps in Maryland's win over Rutgers

Maryland sophomore center Damonte Dodd admittedly had lost confidence during a nine-game stretch in which he committed the same number of fouls (33) as points he scored.

Freshman shooting guard Dion Wiley came into Tuesday's game at Rutgers having not scored a basket in five straight games while playing a total of 23 minutes.

Coach Mark Turgeon said he didn’t lose confidence in either player, and he demonstrated it by keeping Dodd in the starting lineup and Wiley on the floor for the entire practice Monday.

Both players showed Turgeon’s faith was well placed in a 60-50 victory for the 10th-ranked Terps at the Rutgers athletic center. Dodd had six points, four rebounds and two blocks in 18 minutes. Wiley hit his first two shots, including a 3-pointer, and finished with five points and four rebounds in nine minutes.

“It was great to see him make some shots,” Turgeon said of Wiley, who had made just four of his previous 20 from the field. “I keep saying, people are going to help us....

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Terps clinch second place in Big Ten, still have chance for first

Nearly five months after Maryland was picked to finish 10th in its inaugural season in the Big Ten Conference, even junior forward Jake Layman admitted he could not have expected things to go any better than they have for the now 10th-ranked Terps.

“How could it not surprise you when everybody leaves and you have a whole new group of guys coming in, you really have no clue how a team’s going to be coming into a season," Layman said after Maryland clinched at least second place in the Big Ten with a 60-50 victory over last-place Rutgers Tuesday night.

Layman, the only player who stayed among the four-man freshman class of 2012-13, said he had an inkling when a new group, led by freshman guard Melo Trimble as well as senior transfer Richaud Pack, started working out when the team reconvened in early June.

It wasn’t until the season began that Layman said he saw the beginning stages of what could wind up being the biggest turnaround in college basketball this season.

“You see guys working...

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Five things to watch at Maryland spring football

Maryland's spring practice session begins Wednesday morning and will culminate with the annual Red-White scrimmage April 11 at Byrd Stadium.

Here are five things to keep an eye on as the Terps begin preparing for their second season in the Big Ten in the fall.

The development of backup quarterbacks Perry Hills and Shane Cockerille: It seems so long ago that Hills, then a true freshman, was thrown into a starting role for the first seven games after a season-ending injury to C.J. Brown in 2012. Now a redshirt junior, Hills has played sparingly since getting hurt himself that year. But he is the only other quarterback in the program beside fellow senior Caleb Rowe with any experience. With Rowe still rehabbing his own knee injury, Hills and Cockerille (Gilman) will get plenty of reps in the spring.

Decisions on the offensive line:  The Terps appear to have depth, and some experience, on a line has seemingly been a constant work-in-progress the past couple of years. Having lost center Sal...

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Terps hope to get Damonte Dodd back to his early-season self

Maryland center Damonte Dodd went from barely playing as a freshman last season to becoming a starter and regular contributor for the first two months of his sophomore year to barely playing the past two games.

That could change Tuesday when the 10th-ranked Terps visit Rutgers. A freak pregame injury to promising freshman center Michal Cekovsky prior to Saturday’s home win over Michigan has given Maryland coach Mark Turgeon one fewer option in the post.

While an MRI Monday showed no structural damage to the knee of the 7-footer from Slovakia, Cekovsky is expected to be held out until at least Sunday’s game at Nebraska.

It leaves Maryland with three options to play down low against the Scarlet Knights and possibly the Cornhuskers: the 6-11, 250-pound Dodd, forward Evan Smotrycz and forward Jon Graham.

Though he continued to struggle offensively, Smotrycz had nine rebounds and four assists in 27 minutes against the Wolverines, and Graham contributed six points and four rebounds in 12...

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Weekly Maryland recruiting roundup

In this week's recruiting roundup, Stefon Diggs' little brother shows real interest in a Southeastern Conference power.

Football recruiting

-- Class of 2016 defensive end target Terrell Hall committed to Ohio State on Monday.

-- Class of 2016 wide receiver target Trevon Diggs reportedly called Alabama his “favorite” after a weekend visit.

-- Class of 2016 wide receiver target Marcus Simms reportedly has Maryland as his top school.

-- Class of 2017 defensive end target Joshua Kaindoh (Mount Carmel) received an offer from Maryland last week. Ohio State and Florida State already have offered.

Basketball recruiting

-- Class of 2016 point guard commit Anthony Cowan Jr. had 14 points in a 57-35 loss to DeMatha on Feb. 23 in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference semifinals. Cowan was named first-team All-WCAC.

-- Class of 2016 center target Yankuba Sima said Maryland, Arizona and Louisville “have shown the most love,” with the Terps and Wildcats likely his top two.

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