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For Terps, Nick Faust a key player

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For Terps, Nick Faust a key player

With the game still very much in question, Maryland’s Nick Faust threw down a ferocious tomahawk dunk to take a 51-47 lead over George Mason.

Faust’s dunk came with about eight minutes left in the second half at a perilous time for the Terps. George Mason was outhustling the Terps, fighting for loose balls and long rebounds, and Maryland needed a spark.

The dunk got the VerizonCenter crowd on their feet and the Terps never again trailed.

“I thought the crowd was loud,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “When Nick dunked it and we were playing soft, we needed them, they were great.”

Maryland’s victory over George Mason (5-3) will not go down in history -- it was a sloppy game with poor shooting on both sides – but Faust’s contributions were key for the win.

Dez Wells is working his way towards stardom for Maryland (6-1). He dropped 23 points in the Terps win over Northwestern, and followed that up with 25 against Mason.

While Wells may make the highlight reel more often, Faust’s steady play and defensive presence has become crucial for Maryland during the team’s current six-game winning streak.

“Nick’s not caught up in scoring right now,” Turgeon said after the win over Mason. “He’s caught up in winning.”

Winning will be much easier for Maryland when Faust and Wells complement one another. In the Mason game, Faust finished with 14 points, five rebounds and four assists. Faust also missed a few layups and turned the ball over twice.

Wells flashed his dominant scoring ability against Mason, but he also led the Terps in the turnover category with five. At times, Wells was the best player on the court for Maryland, while at other times he was an asset for Mason.

Considering both Wells and Faust have a slasher’s game and a similar frame, much of Maryland’s tournament chances depend on how the two guards can play with one another. Center Alex Len will be Maryland’s highest NBA draft pick in some years, but Faust and Wells may determine the type of season Maryland has.

After the loss to Kentucky in the season opener, Faust explained that Turgeon sat him down for a conversation about what his role would be on this Maryland team.

“He basically just told me, ‘keep making the right play.’ Sometimes I don’t have to force it,” Faust said of his talk with the coach. “So lately I’ve just been doing whatever I can, helping my team win.”

Asked about what playing with Wells is like, Faust smiled.

 “It’s easy. The last two games Dez has been hitting nonstop,” Faust said. “I’ve just been milking him and making my plays when I need to.”

For a young Maryland team fighting through some growing pains, Faust and Wells will be very important pieces if the team is to make the NCAA Tournament.

“Our guys respect what each guy can do on our team,” Turgeon said. “Therefore, they like each other. I think we’re going to be a good team because of it.”

The dynamic between Wells and Faust looks to be built on a solid foundation.

“Having [Wells] there is definitely helping us as a team and getting me easy points,” Faust said. “We play off one another. I’m just trying to make the right play.”

How far the Terps can go remains to be see, but through seven games they’ve shown enough for Turgeon to be encouraged.

“We’re not there yet,” the coach said, “but I think we have a chance to be a good team down the road.”

 

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Maryland QB Perry Hills ‘day-to-day’ with shoulder injury

Maryland QB Perry Hills ‘day-to-day’ with shoulder injury

BY KEVIN CONNELL (@_KevinConnell)

Maryland quarterback Perry Hills is “day-to-day” with an apparent shoulder injury, Terrapins coach DJ Durkin said Monday.

Hills, a fifth-year senior, sustained the injury during Maryland’s 30-24 double-overtime road win over UCF on Saturday.

“Perry is about as tough as they come. Obviously, its timed well having a bye and time to recover and get healthy,” Durkin said, according to the Washington Post. “That’s a day-to-day thing. We’ll continue to monitor it all the way up to our preparation (for Purdue).”

Hills left the game after injuring his shoulder on a 1-yard run during the Terps’ second overtime period against the Knights.

On the next play after he left the game, backup quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome, a true freshman, weaved his way to the end zone on a 24-yard run for the game-winning score.

Against UCF, Hills completed 10 of 23 passes for 127 yards. Through three games this season, he’s thrown for 463 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.

Hills was the starter in eight games last season and started seven games as a true freshman in 2012, as well. He redshirted as a sophomore in 2013 and appeared in just three games the following year.

Maryland has its bye this Saturday before hosting Purdue in its Big Ten opener on Oct. 1. The game, which kicks off at 3:30 p.m. ET, also will be the Terps’ homecoming game.

RELATED: FORMER TERRAPIN STEFON DIGGS TRYING TO START A SHORT SHORTS TREND IN NFL

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Former Terrapin Stefon Diggs trying to start a short shorts trend in NFL

Former Terrapin Stefon Diggs trying to start a short shorts trend in NFL

Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs is turning heads on game days. In fact, his 285 receiving yards through two weeks leads the NFL. 

But the former Maryland football star is turning heads in practice for a different reason: his teeny, tiny shorts. A few photos to illustrate the point:

21 21 21 ...cooking up new sauce

A photo posted by @stefondiggs on

Necessities ...

A photo posted by @stefondiggs on

#VikingsCamp is back. #CanUDiggIt?

A photo posted by Minnesota Vikings (@vikings) on

In a great writeup in the Ringer, Diggs explains how hiked up hems became part of his signature style. 

Ironically, it all goes back to the NBA. Specifically its golden generation of stars in the '80s.

Diggs said he'd been in the habit of ordering retro basketball shorts for use off the field, but in the spring of 2015, he decided to bring the style to practice. 

“I kept rolling my shorts up, shorter and shorter,” Diggs said. “By training camp, [equipment managers] came up to me and said, ‘Uh, we can hem them. I guess.’”

In addition to the style element, the receiver appreciates less fabric for freer movement. Fast forward more than a year and his practice shorts are as short as anatomy will allow. 

Diggs is not alone in his affinity for showing some leg in practice and around town. Just check out Wizards forward Kelly Oubre. 

I get those goosebumps everytime!!!!!! 50 days... #Shhh 🎥: @samlimon_

A video posted by Wave Papi🙏🏽 (@kellyoubrejr) on

Life ain’t fair but it’s still good though, It’s a blessing just to be here🙏🏽 Everything 1K #Shhh

A photo posted by Wave Papi🙏🏽 (@kellyoubrejr) on

But Diggs does stick out in the NFL world, which may not have seen shorts that miniscule since Chris Cooley rocked these in the mid-2000s. 

“My mom sees it and makes fun of me constantly; she calls me John Stockton,” Diggs said. And she isn't the only one to reference thigh-bearing NBA stars. 

“Coaches name basically every ’80s basketball player. I’m paying respect to ’80s basketball players, even if I don’t know every player they are talking about. Sometimes I don’t even hear what coach it is, I just hear someone yelling some ’80s player.”

As far as Diggs is concerned, that's a compliment. But his teammates don't exactly agree. 

“His shorts are unreasonable,” fellow Vikings receiver Cordarrelle Patterson said. “He’s the first guy I’ve ever seen do that on a football field, but you can’t be mad at him, because he’s owning it.”

“I just look at it and say, ‘What is he doing?’ This is not going to catch on," cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said. “I don’t even know what Stef is trying to show off. He has skinny legs.”

The teasing only makes Diggs double down. “Everyone on the team has been making fun of me, so I’m not going to change now." 

But the former Maryland star isn't just a short shorts enthusiast. He's an evangalist as well. 

“Short shorts are cool. It should catch on," he said. Diggs told the Ringer that he hopes to talk to athletic wear companies about making them specifically for football. 

The equipment managers hemming his practice shorts would surely appreciate the help. 

MORE MARYLAND: TERPS ESCAPE UCF WITH DOUBLE-OVERTIME WIN