Kevin Huerter, who could have been Orange, drops 23 for Maryland in homecoming


Syracuse, NY – While the rest of his teammates were leaving the Carrier Dome on Monday night, Maryland sophomore Kevin Huerter returned to the floor he had just lit, meeting a series of familiar faces.

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Huerter lost 23 points for Maryland in a 72-70 loss, giving Orange everything he could handle, but in the end he came away with a loss. When he returned to the court, his basketball character vanished a little and he was again a son, friend, clbadmate and teammate.

Huerter, a sophomore who graduated from Shenendehowa High School in Clifton Park, New York, took pictures with family members in Maryland T-shirts, friends in Shenendehowa High School clothes and even a couple of old clbadmates. of team that rocks Syracuse t-shirts.

Now a student at Syracuse, her former teammate Jaia Benson exchanged text messages with Huerter earlier in the week, wishing her luck and warning her to take care of Tyus Battle. Afterwards, he took a picture with Huerter while wearing a Carmelo Anthony shirt.

"It's amazing, especially because he had such a good game," said Benson. "Honestly, I want him to do it well, and I want us to win, it's the perfect result for me."

Not so much for Huerter, whose team left the Carrier Dome believing that it had squandered a brilliant performance. Huerter scored 23 points on a scorching 7-for-9 shot from behind the 3-point arc.

They came despite the relatively competent attention of Orange's defenders. Most of Huerter's brands went into difficult situations to protect. He hit a pair of 3-pointers that run to the corner in transition, another out of an offensive rebounding fight and stopped twice at a distance that could have made Steph Curry think twice.

On several occasions Huerter saw halfway between the end of the half court "S" and the 3-point line, shooting from a spot where the 2-3 zone does not generally extend.

"You feel like you wasted one," said Maryland coach Turgeon. "You feel like you wasted a lot of effort on your part, I was very nervous tonight, I wanted to play well, and he did it, I was happy that he came home to play the way he did."

Along with his shooting, Maryland used the Huerter game to do the most damage any opponent has done to the Syracuse defense. The Terrapins started the game with Huerter on the high post, then moved him to the goal, his gravity took the defenders away and allowed him to throw easy pbades into the free-throw line.

The strategy could have worked if the Terrapins had shot more than 65 percent of the free throw line or avoided turning the ball more than 18 times.

His father, Thomas, estimated that Huerter played in front of about 300 family and friends, so many that he could not satisfy all the requests. As game time approached, Huerter began receiving text messages from acquaintances simply by listing his row and seat number.

This, of course, could have been the daily existence of the family, and it was not difficult to imagine a valuable role for Huerter in Orange after a game in which Syracuse showed only one weakness, throwing 3 of 18 from behind the 3-point bow.

Syracuse recruited Huerter while dealing with scholarship restrictions due to his most recent NCAA investigation. The Orange expected Huerter to attend high school and reach freshman this season. Huerter's game exploded enough to make it a valuable badet in 2016.

Syracuse did not have a scholarship until Malachi Richardson left early for the NBA Draft, and by then Huerter had already made a decision Choose the Terrapins. The Orange brought in graduate transfer Andrew White instead.

"We did not have scholarships," Boeheim said. "Everyone thinks that the NCAA does not hurt you too much … Oh, yes, it hurts, it crushes you, we knew it was a great player, a great shooter, a perfect player for us, a tremendous player and a tremendous shooter."

Thomas Huerter said that his son liked Syracuse's coaching staff and chose Maryland partly because he was close to home. Even so, he warned, it is not known how things would have felt on an official visit and whether Syracuse would have been his destiny under different circumstances.

Huerter also said he did not agree with the premise that playing at Syracuse would have been a sure thing if Orange had another scholarship, only that Orange would have been another attractive option.

"I do not know if that's fair (badume it)," Huerter said. "Obviously it's the closest place, I did not go down the same way I went down with others, I do not think anything would have changed."

As he walked away from his solemn press conference and warmed up Welcoming his loved ones, Huerter's guard fell a little. He managed small smiles and placed his long arms on the shoulders of those who squeezed together to take pictures near the corner of the visitor's locker room.

The Carrier Dome was a home, not a home, and was equally bitter and sweet.

"This is a game that circulates in your calender," Huerter said. "A lot of the reason was playing in front of a lot of family, many friends who could not get to College Park and Syracuse being the New York School, or whatever … It's frustrating, it's bittersweet, it's not a good feeling to lose, it's not It matters how many points you score, what shots you make, who was here. "

Contact Chris Carlson at any time: Email | Twitter | 315-412-1639

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