Maryland Basketball: Damonte Dodd looks to put it all together

Damonte Dodd has always been a big man with a large amount of potential.

He’ll have a chance to realize it during the 2016-17 season.

Dodd’s career began in 2013 just months after the Phoenix Suns selected Alex Len with the sixth overall pick in the NBA Draft. That left a gaping hole in the middle, but coach Mark Turgeon thought he had the incoming talent to combat the loss.

However, highly-regarded four-star recruit Shaquille Cleare never panned out and transferred after just two years in College Park.

Dodd was part of a two-man recruiting class that also included former Suitland (Md.) star Roddy Peters. However, out of the two, he’s the only one still with the program.

The Eastern Shore native didn’t pay much as a freshman due to depth in the frontcourt.

However, over the last two years, Dodd has been an important component of Maryland’s frontcourt.

During the 2015-16 season, Dodd’s averages were down a bit, but it was the most efficient year of his career.

Dodd shot a career-high 63.1 percent in 36 games, but really started off the season on a strong note. Over Maryland’s opening nine games, he was shooting a piping-hot 76 percent from the field.

The Massanutten Military Academy (Va.) alum has the beneficiary of a team that has exceptional at passing the basketball. When your point is Melo Trimble, it’s pretty easy to make a living around the basket.

Dodd is a very big body that does most of his damage with his back to the basket and in close. However, he does have a little bit of range and can hit the occasional jumper when he has to.

One of Dodd’s biggest strengths is his ability to protect the paint.

Over the course of his Maryland career, Dodd averages a block per contest and averaged as many as 1.5 rejections per game during his sophomore season. He’s very athletic for a big man and can close in on a scorer around the rim.

Dodd is also able to run the floor at a high rate, which will make him a very important piece for the Terps this fall.

Maryland lost Robert Carter Jr. and Diamond Stone from last year’s team, so Michal Cekovsky, Dodd and Duquesne transfer L.G. Gill will be the primary bigs. Gill showed off his athleticism during the team’s slam dunk contest at Friday’s Maryland Madness.

Dodd has been looked at as a defensive specialist in the past. But this coming season, he’ll get his moment in the sun as the team’s premier center.

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