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“I just have to do things much smoother, to run plays and be a better defender,” Cleare said. “I have to limit my standing around and be involved in every play now and just get better.”

The last two games helped. Turgeon still is seeking greater consistency out of his deep and talented rotation, and providing a starting opportunity for four freshmen last week offered the coach a chance to see how each handled a new situation.

After his most effective week to date, Cleare is better positioned than ever to dole out some bruises far beyond Maryland’s practices.

“I’ve seen him come out of his shell tremendously,” sophomore Dez Wells said. “He’s done an incredible job of just establishing himself as an inside presence for us. We always knew he was a great player, but once he got the opportunity, he took full advantage of it. You should look forward to his minutes improving a lot as ACC season gets here.”

NOTES: Maryland is 2-0 all-time against Monmouth, with the last meeting a 91-55 rout early in the 2001-02 season. The Terps are 19-5 in nonconference games under Turgeon, including 14-1 at home. Maryland has 169 assists through nine games, effectively halfway to its season total of 339 last season.