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Maryland lands another 2014 perimeter prospect in Jared Nickens

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Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon and his staff have locked up their backcourt of the future, adding a third prospect to the group on Sunday.

According to multiple outlets 6-6 wing Jared Nickens has verbally committed to attend Maryland, joining 2014 prospects Romelo Trimble (point guard) and Dion Wiley (shooting guard). Nickens averaged 16 points and five rebounds per game at the Westtown School in Pennsylvania, and his ability to shoot from the perimeter gives the Terrapins another capable shooter in the 2014 class.

Nickens also held offers from schools such as Dayton, Oklahoma, Oregon State, Providence, Rutgers, Seton Hall and Wake Forest. According to Jeff Ermann of InsideMDSports.com, Nickens scheduled visits to Dayton and Wake Forest before making the decision to commit to Maryland.

“He seems really excited and happy about his decision. When he got there, he just was very comfortable with coach Turgeon,” Nickens’ AAU coach, Brian Coleman, told Daniel Martin of CSN Washington. “He was already comfortable with those guys. He and his parents loved the university and he just felt like, ‘I’m comfortable here.'”

With Maryland having three perimeter players committed to attend the school next year, the focus now turns to a front court that has just one newcomer this summer (6-9 Damonte Dodd) and can certainly use a boost depth-wise.

And according to InsideMDSports.com, there are two players already on Maryland’s radar: 

Two of their top prospects: 6-10 Riverdale Baptist (Md.) prospect Chinanu Onuaku, and Atlanta seven-footer Trayvon Reed. Both impressed scouts this weekend at the NBA Top-100 Camp in Charlottesville, Va., and both appear to be potential top-50 prospects.

Of the six players currently in the Maryland front court (power forwards and centers) three are either juniors or seniors, with Dodd and sophomores Shaquille Cleare and Charles Mitchell being the underclassmen.

The success that Turgeon and his staff have enjoyed when it comes to recruiting perimeter prospects is certainly something to celebrate if you’re a Maryland fan.

But in order to make sure they’re a factor immediately upon entering the Big Ten in 2014, the coaching staff still has some work to do when it comes to the options in the post.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown:

Niang, Morris lead No. 14 Iowa State past No. 24 Texas

Iowa State forward Georges Niang drives past Texas guard Tevin Mack, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
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After falling at Texas Tech for the second straight season midweek, No. 14 Iowa State needed to bounce back with No. 24 Texas visiting Hilton Coliseum. The return of Jameel McKay, who was suspended for two games, certainly helped the Cyclones and the play of Georges Niang and Monte Morris was key as well. But the biggest difference on this night was the fact that Iowa State was able to limit the effectiveness of Texas point guard Isaiah Taylor.

 

Taylor scored just nine points on 3-for-14 shooting from the field, and with Morris and Niang scoring 24 points apiece the Cyclones won by the final score of 85-75.

Taylor had multiple opportunities to make plays around the basket thanks to his ability to beat defenders off the bounce, but he struggled to finish. Add in a 0-for-4 night from three, and Texas’ most dangerous offensive option was unable to duplicate his performance in the first meeting between the two teams. In Texas’ 94-91 overtime win over the Cyclones January 12, Taylor scored 28 points and dished out six assists with just one turnover, shooting 11-for-17 from the field.

Four Longhorns finished in double figures, with Tevin Mack and Javan Felix scoring 18 apiece, but with Morris decisively winning the point guard matchup Texas was unable to pick up the win on the road.

For Iowa State the aforementioned tandem of Morris and Niang performed as they did in the first meeting, which should come as no surprise. What helped them, especially when it came to Texas attacking the basket, was the presence of McKay. McKay finished the game with eight points, seven rebounds and four blocks in 22 minutes of action, and to have their best interior defender back on the floor certainly helped the Cyclones on this night.

With their lack of depth Iowa State’s margin for error is small, especially when it comes to foul trouble, injuries and disciplinary reasons. Even with Texas’ size advantage Iowa State outscored them in the paint 48-34, and McKay’s defensive ability factored into that. The Cyclones can put points on the board with the best of them, but at some point they’ll need to string together stops as the games get even bigger.

Iowa State managed to do that down the stretch, with Morris and Niang running the show offensively. And that’s a good formula to be able to rely upon as the season approaches its most important month.