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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, 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, 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.

Michigan State’s Tum Tum Nairn battling foot injury

Lourawls Nairn Jr.
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Michigan State has climbed on the back of star senior wing Denzel Valentine early in the season but they’ll undoubtedly need more help as the season goes on if they want to sustain their current top-5 ranking. One of the keys to the Spartans could be the on-going health of sophomore point guard Lourawls ‘Tum Tum’ Nairn, who is battling a foot injury.

According to a report from Kyle Austin of, Nairn has been putting on a protective boot the last few months to help battle plantar fasciitis as the guard has been playing in practices and hasn’t had his minutes reduced in games.

The injury looked like it was hurting Nairn’s early-season play, but he’s been very good in two games at the Wooden Legacy in California this week, so it could be that he’s getting more used to playing through the pain of the injury.

If Nairn is healthy and capable of contributing, he’s a huge boost to Michigan State because he’s one of the fastest players in college basketball and an additional ball handler on the floor. Through six games so far this season, Nairn is averaging 5.3 points and 4.7 assists per game as he’s been one of the team’s best distributors.

Plantar fasciitis can be a tough injury to fight through, so we’ll have to see if this affects Nairn as the season goes along.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: A few tournaments are still going on

Justin Jenifer, Charles Jackson
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GAME OF THE DAY: George Washington vs. No. 24 Cincinnati, 1:30 p.m.

Two 6-0 teams clash at the Barclays Center in what could be an important game for NCAA tournament resumes of both teams. The Bearcats picked up their most legitimate win over Nebraska, but the Colonials pose as a more real threat after they beat Virginia at home earlier this season. Cincinnati hasn’t shot the ball well in recent wins, but they’re beating up opponents on the glass and the defense has been solid. George Washington is coming off of a win over Tennessee in which they held off the Volunteers in the second half. The Colonials have lost 20 of their last 23 against ranked opponents, but another win over a top team would look great for them going forward.

THIS ONE’S GOOD TOO: No. 4 Iowa State vs. Illinois, 6:00 p.m. (CBSSN)

This game is apart of the Emerald Coast Classic in Niceville, Florida as the Illini could desperately use a win after a 3-3 start. Illinois head coach John Groce and his team are feeling the pressure for a big win on a neutral site after falling to North Florida, Providence and Chattanooga earlier in the season. The No. 4 Cyclones easily dispatched Virginia Tech earlier in the event and have found a nice balance on offense with the emergence of senior big man Jameel McKay inside.


  • N0. 2 Maryland has struggled to put away teams early at times this season and they’ll try to change that behavior when they host Cleveland State.
  • Staying in the Big Ten, No. 16 Purdue hosts Lehigh. With a game at Pitt and against New Mexico looming, could this be a trap game for the Boilers?
  • Nebraska and Tennessee take the floor in consolation action at the Barclays Center. The Huskers need someone besides Shavon Shields and Andrew White to step up in the scoring column while Tennessee is getting huge numbers from senior guard Kevin Punter.
  • Two 4-0 teams will meet in Brooklyn as Louisville takes on Saint Louis (7:00 p.m., ESPN3). Neither team has faced a significant test this season and this is the Cardinals’ first game away from home.
  • An intriguing night game to keep an eye on is Belmont traveling to BYU (8:00 p.m.). The Bruins are as well-coached as any team in the country and forward Evan Bradds has been playing great ball to start the season. The Cougars don’t have a high scorer like they did in the past, but Kyle Collinsworth is a triple-double threat every time he steps on the floor and BYU has a lot of weapons around him.
  • UAB and Virginia Tech battle in one of the more intriguing consolation games of the Emerald Coast Classic. Both teams are coming off of disappointing losses but have a shot to make things better on the trip with a solid win on Saturday.


  • Bryant at Georgetown, 11:00 a.m. (FS2)
  • Bucknell at Penn State , 12:00 p.m.
  • Tennessee-Martin vs. Mississippi State, 12:00 p.m. (SEC Network)
  • Ole Miss at Bradley, 1:00 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Old Dominion at VCU, 3:00 p.m.
  • Hawaii at Texas Tech, 3:00 p.m.
  • Kent State at Pitt, 3:00 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • SIU-Edwardsville at Butler, 4:00 p.m.
  • Georgia at Seton Hall, 6:30 p.m.
  • Western Illinois at Creigton, 7:00 p.m.
  • Colorado State vs UTEP, 7:30 p.m.