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Maryland's Diamond Stone falls out of the lottery in latest DraftExpress projections

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The former five-star recruit dropped nine spots to No. 17.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

In DraftExpress's first updated December mock draft, Maryland freshman center Diamond Stone fell from No. 8 to No. 17, a large fall in these extremely early rankings. Fellow Terp Jake Layman sits at No. 30, the final pick of the first round, and Melo Trimble is slated at No. 36.

So far this season, Stone is averaging just 9 points and 3.7 rebounds. That's due in large part to early-game foul trouble, as he's playing just 19.1 minutes per game.

As expected, the freshman has looked good on offense, shooting 56.8 percent from the field and 72.2 percent from the free throw line. He's exhibited his excellent post moves, showing he's strong putting up shots with his left hand.

Stone has rebounded nicely as well, putting up a higher percentage of his boards on offense (13.3 percent of Maryland) than on defense (12.5 percent). a higher offensive rebounding percentage (13.3 percent) defensive at 12.5 percent.

He certainly has struggled on the defensive end, where he's had difficulties acclimating to Mark Turgeon's defensive scheme. Stone has yet to build chemistry with fellow newcomer and big man Robert Carter Jr.

Stone holds the second worst defensive rating of all Maryland bigs standing 6'9 or taller at 102.8, a substantial 8.8 difference below Carter. But as he's just seven games into his college career, he certainly has room to improve on that end.

The Terps should be comfortable with the way Stone has performed thus far, knowing he"ll be able to contribute mightily to the Terrapins offense if he can manage his foul trouble. Mock drafts will change and Stone will bounce around the first round, but even when the mock is final on draft day, a prediction is still a prediction.