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Tracking the Terps
News and notes on Maryland football, basketball and other sports
Terps ranked 10th in Associated Press poll, highest since 2002-03 season

The target on the Maryland’s men’s basketball team got bigger Monday.

The Terps, who have been ranked in the Top 25 since early December and flirted with reaching the top 10 in mid-January, were ranked No. 10 in the latest Associated Press poll.

It marks the first time in the top 10 for Maryland (24-5 overall, 12-4 in the Big Ten) since the 2002-03 season, a year after the Terps won their only national championship in program history and reached the Final Four for the second straight year.

With the women's team ranked No. 4, Maryland is the only school in the country to have both its basketball teams in the top 10.

Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said before practice Monday that he wasn’t sure how he would handle the ranking with his team. Turgeon has said during the season that the Terps have struggled at times with being ranked.

“If I say we struggled with it, teams get fired up to play us is really what happened,” Turgeon said. “It’s just a number. The guys should be proud of it. It is...

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After tears and cheers for Dez Wells, Terps guard rises to challenge vs. Michigan

In a matter of minutes at Xfinity Center, Dez Wells went from not wanting to cry to having to play basketball.

In a postgame interview with ESPN’s Dan Dakich, Wells explained why that had proved so difficult for much of Saturday afternoon. Being honored on Senior Day, he said, necessitated “a little bit of an adjustment” to his game, and probably not one the guard could make on the game’s opening possession.

Just seconds into No. 14 Maryland’s game against Michigan, Wells received a pass in the post. He turned, saw pressure and aimed a pass -- not a particularly good one -- at Melo Trimble, waiting beyond the 3-point arc.

The ball bounced in front of the freshman guard and was intercepted easily by Michigan’s Aubrey Dawkins, who could have jogged to the opposite basket and still finished with a dunk.

If any tears had blurred Wells’ vision, maybe the Terps were fortunate to have avoided the real waterworks.

“I thought I was going to cry a lot more,” Wells said after he had 13 points,...

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Before Senior Day, Terps transfers reflect on unlikely path to College Park

Typically, Senior Days are about players who have spent their entire college career in the same place, growing from freshman to senior, some even from role player to star.

For five of the 11 seniors — seven players and four team managers — the Maryland men’s basketball team will honor before Saturday’s regular-season home finale against Michigan at Xfinity Center, College Park was a second home. Or, in one case, a third home.

For Evan Smotrycz, there’s more than a little irony in the opponent the No. 14 Terps will face. The 6-foot-9, 230-pound forward spent his first two seasons playing for the Wolverines.

“Obviously, I was interested when I saw we were playing Michigan,” Smotrycz told reporters before practice Friday. “Like I said, it’s not some sort of revenge game for me. [I] just think it’s ironic that it fell on the last game of the year.”

There is some irony, too, for 6-3 guard Richaud Pack, who came to Maryland this season as a graduate student after splitting his first three...

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Shane Cockerille and Perry Hills will take snaps as Maryland kicks off spring football

Maryland's spring football practices begin Wednesday, and one of the biggest concerns for the Terps will be replacing C.J. Brown at quarterback.

Caleb Rowe, the likeliest candidate to start, will be sidelined for the spring as he continues to rehabilitate from a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in October.

That means junior Perry Hills and sophomore Shane Cockerille (Gilman) will take the majority of the snaps with the first-team unit throughout the spring.

During a Friday teleconference, coach Randy Edsall said he has been especially impressed with Cockerille’s growth off the field, as he has started to embrace the leadership responsibilities that come with the position.

“You can just see the maturity level rising with him,” Edsall said. “He sees the importance of what we’re doing, and now he knows there’s opportunity for him, and he knew he needed to step up and give himself the best opportunity to be a quarterback here at Maryland.”

Because of the timing of his injury, Rowe...

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Terps to be featured in 90-minute Showtime special airing March 18

The Maryland and Notre Dame men's basketball teams will be part of a 90-minute special, "HOOPS U," which will air on Showtime at 9 p.m. March 18.

The behind-the-scenes documentary will chronicle the teams' path to the NCAA tournament from the final month of conference play and the conference tournaments through March 15, when the NCAA tournament bracket is unveiled.

"HOOPS U is yet another example of our commitment to delivering diverse and dramatic sports programming," said Stephen Espinoza, executive vice president and general maanger of Showtime Sports.

"This will give viewers a unique insight into what really goes on behind the scenes at a premier college basketball program," said Steve Mayer, executive producer and head of IMG, which is producing the special. "Our production team is receiving unparalleled access from both universities and the result will be a fascinating look at the preparations, personalities and pressures associated with college basketball at the highest level."...

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Is Dez Wells on the Mount Rushmore of Maryland dunkers?

In recognition of 70 years of dunking in college basketball, Maryland's athletic website put up a poll earlier this month asking fans to vote on the best dunk in Terps history. (It includes a highlight video that's well worth watching.)

I'm not sure if it's too late to add a candidate, but Dez Wells' baseline slam Tuesday night against Wisconsin probably belongs on that list.

Let’s be clear, Tuesday’s jam doesn’t top Wells’ poster dunk against Penn State, which is included in the voting on Maryland’s poll. But it belongs in the same category as the others, especially if you take into account when it came and that it helped fuel one of the Terps’ biggest wins of the Mark Turgeon era.

Regardless of which team you root for, if you’re a hoops junkie, it was the type of dunk that gets you off the couch and forces you to make a grunting noise that your probably couldn’t otherwise replicate. (Or maybe that’s just me.)

I’m no Dr. J, so I won’t attempt to break down which of those dunks is the...

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