Maryland adds major piece in Stone
Momentum continues to pick up for Mark Turgeon and Maryland. The Terrapins finished second in the Big Ten, made it to the third round of the NCAA Tournament and trotted out a group of promising freshman that are sure to impact Maryland’s team the next couple years. Then on Friday, Maryland added to their talented crop of young players by dipping into Milwaukee for five-star recruit Diamond Stone -- the highest rated pick up of Turgeon’s career. “I just felt that I could get better every single day and I felt that the coaching staff could get me to the next level,” Stone told Scout about his decision. The addition of Stone gives them an elite offensive talent at the center spot, which takes pressure off their perimeter players. “We basically completed a puzzle right there with him committing,” Maryland’s star guard Romelo Trimble told Scout on Saturday. And to a degree, Trimble is right. Stone joins Georgia Tech transfer Rob Carter in the frontcourt, as well as talented freshman Michael Cekovsky. On the perimeter they’ll have experience and multiple scoring threats in Jake Layman, Jared Nickens and Dion Wiley. “I believe we have a chance to do something really special,” Carter told Scout. Stone, who ranks No. 4 overall in Scout’s 2015 rankings, has a long list of accomplishments that include multiple state titles, a gold medal on the USA Basketball U17 World Championship team and a McDonald’s All-American selection. Offensively he’s gifted and at 6-foot-10 is able to score the ball in a variety of ways. From hooks over each shoulder to mid and long-range jump shots, he has the full package on the offensive end. “I feel me and Diamond will compliment each other in the frontcourt really well, with both of us being skilled bigs,” Carter added. “I’ve seen him play my 17 under year and his 16 and under year,” Trimble said. “He was dominating the game and I said to myself ‘this kids pretty good.’ Watching Jahlil [Okafor] this year and watching him, he could do something special.” While it would be unfair to expect Stone to have the same type of impact as the Duke star, Stone’s commitment is a big deal. He’s a difference maker and with the pledge the Terps should be the odds on favorite to win their league next year.