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5 takeaways from Maryland Madness

A quick rundown of the season-opening party.

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Media Day Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland basketball is on its way. The Terps’ men’s and women’s teams were introduced to their fans for the first time this season during Maryland Madness on Friday.

If you weren’t at Xfinity Center, don’t worry. Here’s what you missed:

1. Mark Turgeon knows how to make an entrance. The Terps’ head coach showed up in a bright orange car while the PA announcer bellowed his praises.

Rolling up in a car was Turgeon’s way of promoting Driven to Cure, a non-profit used to raise awareness for kidney cancer. Turgeon’s neighbor, who has the disease, was in the car with him.

2. Kevin Huerter impressed. The freshman reached the finals in the 3-point contest, holding his own alongside teammate Shatori Walker-Kimbrough. Huerter followed by electrifying the crowd with this windmill dunk.

He finished second in this event as well, with L.G. Gill taking the proverbial crown. But any Terps fans who didn’t know what the 6’7 guard was capable of do now.

3. Melo Trimble can dunk now.

The junior guard slammed one down towards the end of the black-gold scrimmage. Turgeon told reporters after the event that he had never seen Trimble dunk in a game before. He’s apparently improved his vertical since the spring, and it’s a welcome addition to his already robust skill set.

4. Special Olympics Maryland athletes shined. Nearly 30 of the organization’s athletes were in attendance Friday. Four competed alongside men’s and women’s basketball players in the skills competition, and another was a judge for the dunk contest. It’s the first time SOMD has been a part of Maryland Madness.

5. The SportsCenter theme worked out alright. This was far from a given after last year’s underwhelming magic-themed evening. When this theme was first announced, everyone’s immediate thought was that Scott Van Pelt was coming to town, but he shot down the idea quickly. Van Pelt did make an appearance on the big screen at the start of the event, but it was Johnny Holliday and Christy Winters-Scott sitting behind the anchor desk. They only took center stage a couple times, and it never felt forced.