Terps Hoops Update with Kyle Tarp, Part II

In our first summer installment with Terps strength and performance Coach Kyle Tarp last week, we delved into the current Terps and their summer progress including the new freshmen/transfers on campus. Now, we break down how the Terps fared in last month's NBA Draft from Tarp's perspective, which for some was a bittersweet night in ways.

In our first summer installment with Terps strength and performance Coach Kyle Tarp last week, we delved into the current Terps and their summer progress including the new freshmen/transfers on campus.

Now, we break down how the Terps fared in last month's NBA Draft from Tarp's perspective, which for some was a bittersweet night in ways.

Rising junior guard Melo Trimble was the only Terp that stayed home for his training with Tarp, with the others shuttled off to training spots through their agents, which proved not so advantageous for some. 

Trimble opted to return to College Park after testing the waters at the Chicago pre-draft camp, a wise move, while the others met with mixed reviews on a night two Terps were selected and two got free agent looks.

First things first was freshman forward Diamond Stone, who trained in Florida but fell from potential lottery pick a few months ago to No. 40 (second round) to the Los Angeles Clippers after a trade, reaffirming some observers' thoughts that he should have returned for at least another year at UMD.

Still, two taken on Draft Night was a real positive for Tarp.

"To get two guys get drafted was really, really cool," Tarp said. "And obviously Robert (Carter, Jr.) picked up (by Golden State in free agency). So I am happy for those guys because you got guys who all had a different kind of journey to get there so that is pretty cool."

Stone's fall had most folks' attention, be it his poor body fat content at pre-draft camp, to his true height (6-9 and change) at check in, to his work ethic. Tarp wished he had another year with him, too, given how far he had come since when he first arrived on campus last summer as an overweight rookie former McDonald's All American.

"So Diamond, I only got him....he had a kind of chopped-up summer, " Tarp said. "But you see where he was when he got here: barely running up and down the floor, at 270 pounds, to playing 32 minutes a game during conference. And he dropped a 40 on Penn State. And to being able to compete at a more manageable 250-pound weight. So I am proud to see him go [in the Draft]."

Stone, who trained in Florida, checked in with the worst body fat content at pre-draft camp, while Carter, Jr., wasn't far behind. He trained in Atlanta.

"Do I wish I had more time with him? Obviously. But again, to see a guy get an opportunity to achieve his goal, I am all for it," Tarp said.

For Tarp, senior Jake Layman may have been his most rewarding pupil. He went No. 47, also in the second round and eventually landing in Portland via trade, on a night not everyone was certain his name would be called. He re-located to Chicago for training this spring.

"With Jake, Jake was a really special one," Tarp said. "Not only because I had him for four years, but what Jake had to endure as a player. 

"For him to make it after all the good times and all the bad times he endured....the 17 and 16 wins, five guys transferring....obviously then back to back tournament experiences and a Sweet Sixteen. 

"And the one thing with Jake, his commitment and loyalty never wavered. He was never going to transfer, he was never this excuse or that excuse, he was, 'I committed to Maryland and I love Maryland and I am going to keep working my tail off.'

"And when you see his development, he came in at 185 pounds soaking wet and puking his guts out on the first workout where I think this is just a warm-up. To then him leaving at 215 pounds and how he has developed. 

"But also how he was able to communicate, his maturity, his commitment to academics. I mean, you talk about a poster child for just development overall, Jake was the guy. It wasn't just physically in the weight room, it was all areas. 

"So I give a lot of credit to his family and him for his values for how he conducted himself. So I was off my rocker for Jake that he got picked and got an opportunity to play at the next level because he earned it."

As for Robert Carter, Jr., Tarp also wished he had more time with the  Georgia Tech transfer who played one season at College Park. He went undrafted, but is competing with Golden State in summer league this month after signing on as a free agent.

"Again, you wished you could have had him another year. That's another guy," Tarp said. "But he loves basketball probably more than anybody I know. And to get an opportunity to do it professionally and make some money and support his family and all that, I am so fired up for him. Robert's another guy I am very happy for."

Senor guard Rasheed Sulaimon, Tarp said, he fielded tons of calls from teams and scouts about. Sulaimon trained in his hometown of Houston.

"There was so much interest in him with the calls the last few months," Tarp said. "Rasheed is a competitor, and if he gets in that situation (free agent camp) and gets an opportunity I think he will do very, very well. He was the ultimate competitor."

Trimble may have made the best call of all, and Tarp said he came back with renewed focus and energy and has not missed a step resuming his role on the team in summer workouts. Had he stayed in the draft, Trimble would have likely been a late second round pick, if not a free agent pickup. 

In Part III of our series with Tarp later this week, we will look at some remarkable new technology the Terps have added in the weight room this off-season. 


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