In the months leading up to the 2015-16 college basketball season, BTPowerhouse will be releasing a new series called the 'BTPowerhouse 25,' which features the Top 25 players in the Big Ten as voted by members of the staff. All players set to be on Big Ten rosters for next season were eligible during the staff vote with their top selection receiving 25 points and their 25th and final selection receiving 1 point.
Today's edition will take a brief look at Diamond Stone of Maryland who came in at #11 in the rankings. The Terrapins have high expectations this year and he will be a key cog in their championship hopes.
'BTP 25' - #11 Diamond Stone
- Eligibility: Freshman
- Career Totals: N/A
- 2014-15 Averages: N/A
- Positional Role: Center
Maryland Terrapins freshman center Diamond Stone comes in 'BT Powerhouse 25' ranked number 11. This is high praise for a big time prospect who has never seen action in the Big Ten. But given his talents, it is well deserved. Stone is a centerpiece both literally and figuratively for the Terps. He holds a lot of potential that will define how far this Terps team will go. Maryland is expected to be among the favorites to win the national championship heading into next season and if the Terps pull it off, Stone will certainly play a role.
Stone is very solid at crashing the boards as well which will keep opponents honest inside the paint as they won't have the ability to cheat and double team Terrapin players on the outside. Stone is also an excellent free throw shooter at the center position. Most teams would cringe late in games when their center takes a shot at the charity strike, but that most likely won't happen with Stone. Stone got better and better each year from the free throw line at Dominican high school from 60 percent to 74 percent.
Over the course of the summer, Stone has shown that he can also hit jumpers from the perimeter. Offensively, he can either turn his back to the basket and use his face up game to score. His skill set provides the Terps with the opportunity to run high pick roll plays as well as isolation inside the paint. Furthermore, Stone's ability to shoot from the perimeter will make it almost impossible for opponents to run a 2-3 zone against him.
Areas for Improvement
Stone needs to get a bit bigger. As great as his skillset looks on paper, the level of competition he saw in high school is nothing compared to what he will see in the Big Ten. Some people think that the physicality of the players in the Big Ten is all talk, but it's something that will be apparent with centers like AJ Hammons and Alex Olah this year.
Stone just needs to make sure that the moment isn't too big for him. For normal freshmen, the moment can get big for them. It gets even bigger when playing for a team that is expected to be a major power this year like the Terrapins. If Stone can handle his emotions early on as a freshman, he should be fine.
Stone's skill set will have many NBA scouts looking at him over the course of the season. Right now, Stone would be looking at anywhere from a late first round pick to a mid first round pick. His free throw shooting will certainly give scouts something to look at and his ability to stretch the floor in this day and age in the NBA where coaches look for athletic centers and power forwards who are not statues. If all goes well, Stone could legitimately push for All-Big Ten status, but of course, having never played a minute at the college level, there will be plenty of questions.
- Players That Just Missed The Cut
- #25 - Kendrick Nunn (Illinois)
- #24 - Bryant McIntosh (Northwestern)
- #22 (tie) Rasheed Sulaimon (Maryland)
- #22 (tie) - Thomas Bryant (Indiana)
- #21 - Rapheal Davis (Purdue)
- #20 - Derrick Walton Jr. (Michigan)
- #19 - Caleb Swanigan (Purdue)
- #18 - Shavon Shields (Nebraska)
- #17 - Eron Harris (Michigan State)
- #16 - Zak Irvin (Michigan)
- #15 - Jae'Sean Tate (Ohio State)
- #14 - Bronson Koenig (Wisconsin)
- #13 - Alex Olah (Northwestern)
- #11 (tie) - Diamond Stone (Maryland)
- #11 - To be continued ...