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Local hoops teams bypassed in preseason coaches poll

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Local hoops teams bypassed in preseason coaches poll

Plenty of promise exists up and down the Maryland's rosters and few will be stunned if the programs ends up ranked at some point this season. Just not yet.

Neither the Terps or Georgetown Hoyas picked up any votes in the just released USA Today preseason coaches poll. Hardly a stunner considering the youth on both rosters, though the ACC and Big East schools were picked to finish in the top of half of their respective conferences.

Indiana, led by sophomore sensation Cody Zeller, tops the initial poll, receiving 21 of a possible 31 first place votes. Up next, Bluegrass state stalwarts Louisville and Kentucky, each receiving five first place votes, followed by Ohio State, Michigan, North Carolina State, Kansas, Syracuse, Duke and Florida. Georgetown opens the season against the Gators on an aircraft carrier parked in Jacksonville.

While no DMV program ranked among the top 25, Virginia Commonwealth, gearing up for its first season in the Atlantic 10, finished second among the "others receiving votes" folk. Colonial Athletic Association favorite Drexel received two votes.

The ACC voters slotted Maryland sixth among the 12 conference teams. Georgetown finished fifth within the Big East.

Four ACC programs rank among the top 25, including North Carolina (11) and Florida State (tied for 24). Notre Dame (23) joins Louisville and Syracuse among Big East schools in the top 25.

And no, neither Maryland coach Mark Turgeon or Georgetown's John Thompson III are among the 31 voting coaches. Coppin State's Fang Mitchell is among the group filling out a ballot.

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Maryland lands a graduate transfer commitment from Duke

Maryland lands a graduate transfer commitment from Duke

The Maryland Terrapins snagged former Duke player Sean Obi as a graduate transfer, the school announced on Thursday. He didn't play last season due to knee surgury that he underwent last summer. 

Obi began his college career at Rice during the 2013-14 season, and posted 11.4 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. After his freshman season at Rice, he transferred to Duke where he had to sit out 2014-15 season, per NCAA rules. In his lone season as a Blue Devil, Obi played in just 10 games and averaged 0.5 points per game. As a graduate transfer, Obi will be eligible to play for Maryland immediately. 

We are excited to welcome Sean to Maryland," said Maryland coach Mark Turgeon. "As a graduate transfer, he brings high character, experience and maturity to our team. Sean is a good rebounder and gives us another physical presence inside. Sean is healthy and ready to contribute."

Obi, who is 6-9, could provide Maryland help on the offensive and defensive boards in 2017 after they ranked 300th in the country in defensive rebound percentage. 

More College Hoops: Former VCU Basketball star signs with Indianapolis Colts

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Mystics select Maryland's Shatori Walker-Kimbrough in WNBA Draft, Brionna Jones also taken in the 1st Round

Mystics select Maryland's Shatori Walker-Kimbrough in WNBA Draft, Brionna Jones also taken in the 1st Round

BY TYLER BYRUM (@theTylerByrum)

For the sixth straight year, a Maryland Terrapin has been taken in the WNBA Draft. This draft though marks the third time ever that two Terps, Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and Brionna Jones, were selected in the First Round.

With the sixth overall pick (traded from the Seattle Storm), the Washington Mystics decided to select a local talent, Walker-Kimbrough. The three time All-Big Ten First Team selection will go down as one of the best  guards to ever dawn a Maryland jersey even with the team's illustrious history. At 5'11", she holds the Terps all-time three point shooting percentage mark and is the program's second all-time leading scorer. This past season, which ended in a Sweet 16 run for the team, the AP Third Team All-American was named one of the 15 finalists for the Wooden Award as the national player of the year.

To get the Maryland standout, the Mystics acquired Seattle’s first round pick back in January that was part of a three-team trade. By Washington sending Bria Hartley and Kia Vaughn to the Liberty, the Storm acquired Carolyn Swords and thus sending their pick to the Mystics. 

Walker-Kimbrough is just another weapon added to the Mystics roster this off-season. Alongside the versatile Elena Delle-Donne, the Maryland grad will be yet another player opponents will have to matchup against, especially when second units are put on the court. Her offense will be huge for a team that had the third worst offensive numbers in the league, but her defense will add to the physicality the Mystics display on the court. 

Another former Terp (who guided Maryland to an NCAA title) and WNBA champion, Kristi Toliver also was picked up this past off-season by the Mystics after she won a title with the Sparks in 2016. Tianna Hawkins, a 2013 Maryland grad, is also listed on the team's roster.

Other selections for the Mystics in the 2017 draft include Jennie Simms from Old Dominion (18th overall) and Mehryn Kraker from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (27th overall).

Not too long after Walker-Kimbrough was taken, Jones was selected by the Connecticut Sun as the eighth overall pick of the draft. As a 6'3" center she lead the NCAA in field goal percentage the past two seasons. In the Big Ten, she currently holds the conference best career field goal percentage. She was also a finalist for the Wooden Award this past year, while being named an AP First Team All-American.

For the Sun, Jones will be a huge addition to their interior defense who allowed opponents to score 84.3 ppg, the third highest in the WNBA. She will also look to boost their offensive rebounding numbers as it is anticipated she will have to come off the bench. 

This draft is the first since 2009 that Maryland had two First Round picks, the team also saw two first rounders the year prior in 2008.

The overall number one pick of the draft was Washington's Kelsey Plum, who set the NCAA scoring record for points all-time and in a single season. She is heading to the worst offense in the WNBA, the San Antonio Stars. 

MORE MYSTICS: Delle-Donne joins John Wall and Bradley Beal for photoshoot