This season Maryland landed monster recruit, center, Diamond Stone, and this has put Maryland at the top of the list with Kentucky at 7/1 college basketball odds to win it all. Are they a legitimate contender?
Melo Trimble To Stay In School
I must admit, that took some "stones" (and we'll get to that shortly) for Trimble to stay in school as he was the #22 ranked freshman in the NBA Scouting Report, meaning that he's "NBA Ready". Trimble will be looking to improve his stock where the NBA Draft is concerned this season with the Terps as Dez Wells eligibility has run out.
Trimble is the total package. Last season, the 6 foot 2 Maryland native led the Terrapins with 16.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3 assists and shot over 40 % from 3-point range and 86.3 % from the free throw line. Expect big things from Trimble this season as he could be the next "Melo".
Let's "cut" right to the recruiting as the Terrapins landed a the 6th ranked recruit in the nation in 6 foot 10, 250 pound Diamond Stone. In order to win championships in any league, a team needs a good big man and Maryland got their man in Stone. Not only that, his name is set up perfectly for major publicity. I think that his game can back it up.
Stone is a player with major skill. He can hit jump hooks with either hand, knock down the 3-ball, and can play the power game against any big. I expect Stone to have a huge freshman season and is a great reason for Trimble to stay in school. Who knows? This could be another Jahlil Okafor but with an outside game. That would make him unstoppable and make Maryland instant contenders to win it all, so keep this in mind when looking at the NCAA Basketball Odds.
A Perfect Spot For Layman
Guard, Jake Layman, has decided to return to Maryland and bypass the NBA. This will be a smart move for Layman as he has the experience and will pick up a lot of the points that Dez Wells has left.
At 12.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, Layman had a really poor ending to the past season. This will be Layman's chance to showcase his skills and make NBA Scouts heads turn if he wants to play at the next level. He can play off guard or small forward and look for his numbers to grow despite the presence of Stone.
Maryland is a very deep team. We could see some players such as Jared Nickens see some more playing time. Nickens averaged 6.1 points as a freshman in 19.3 minutes per game, but will need to improve his shooting efficiency to get more playing time as he shot under 40% from the field.
The Terps lose a little rebounding in Richaud Pack and Evan Smotrycz, but players are replaceable and Diamond Stone more than makes up for any big man that has graduated.
5 foot 10 Jaylen Brantley will also join the Terrapins coming out of junior college and should also be a nice addition to the team.
The question will be "Who will Duke get to guard Stone in the paint?" I don't think Duke will have an answer this season as will many other schools and that will make Maryland the cream of the crop as they contend for a title.