Top 10: What should Terps fans be thankful for?Posted on November 28, 2013 by Nick Keninitz
Happy Thanksgiving #Terpnation! As we approach the end of a tumultuous football season and continue our final ACC basketball season, let's take a moment to remember what we can be thankful for. As always, there are plenty of things to NOT be thankful for, but let's keep it positive today.
10. Kyle Tarp
Those who follow Maryland basketball religiously understand how important and great Kyle Tarp is. Since joining the staff as the Director of Basketball Performance, Tarp has worked wonders with a variety of players, most notably Alex Len, Nick Faust, Chuck Mitchell and Jake Layman. You can thank him for all the awesome Instagram pictures of the team all ripped-up.
9. Jalen Tabor's and Damian Prince's patience & mindset
We aren't being premature here, just being thankful that these two five-stars haven't already jumped on board with one of the many elite programs who desperately want them. They have taken their time, talked up the hometown school, gone on their official visits and are considered Maryland leans. Check the crystal ball for Jalen and Damian and you'll see we seem to be in pretty good shape.
8. Patrick Mullins returning for his senior season
Mullins had an opportunity to leave after last season to be a high pick in the MLS draft, but elected to return for a final year. He's widely considered the nations best collegiate player and has been a joy to watch in his four years here. Let's hope he can help bring home another championship in a few weeks!
7. Will Likely's stellar true freshman campaign
Not a whole lot has gone right for Maryland Football (yet again). Per usual the injuries piled up, coaching concerns, poor attendance and more; however true freshman Will Likely has been a bright spot. As an undersized defensive back he's played phenomenal against bigger competition, while also proving he's a weapon on special teams. He's already a fan favorite.
6. Jake Layman's sweet and improved shooting stroke
With Logan Aronhalt's departure, it was uncertain if the Terps would have a true sharpshooter on this year's team. Many expected that Evan Smotrycz would be able to fill the role, which is helping to do, but it is Layman who has asserted himself as the go to guy behind the arc. He's shooting nearly 47% from deep through six games, a vast improvement over last year (29.9%).
5. Alex Len being drafted 5th overall
While it was tough to see the big guy go, ultimately you have to be happy that a Maryland player was drafted in the top 5. It certainly caught Trayvon Reed's eye and will be a selling point to recruits for years to come.
4. Juan Dixon returning to the program
Even though it was only announced yesterday this earns a high ranking on this list because Juan Dixon epitomizes Maryland Basketball. Adding him to the staff not only excites the fan base, but he should be able to help mentor young Maryland guards such as Seth Allen, Roddy Peters, Melo Trimble, Dion Wiley and more. Plus another connection in Baltimore can't hurt.
3. Coach Turgeon's understanding of Maryland Basketball history
Turgeon has taken some heat for his coaching recently, but one thing that should not go unrecognized is his commitment to upholding Maryland tradition. The decision to move Maryland Madness back to Cole Field House was genius, as was figuring out how to get Juan Dixon on staff.
2. Beating Duke 2 out 3 times (and in the Comcast Center for a final time?)
What could the final Duke game in Comcast Center, at least for a long while, is easily the greatest sporting event I've ever attended. Witnessing an upset of Duke in Comcast has been a dream for years, so you best believe rushing that court is a highlight of my life. Knocking them out of the tournament behind a tremendous performance from Dez Wells was icing on the cake.
1. Top 10 2014 basketball recruiting class
It has been far too long since Maryland landed an elite recruiting class. Led by two standout local guards, Melo Trimble and Dion Wiley, this class is a huge talent infusion.