Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon announced on Monday that he has suspended Diamond Stone one game after the freshman center committed an ugly flagrant foul against Wisconsin forward Vitto Brown in the Terrapins’ 70-57 loss on Saturday. Stone will have to sit out Maryland’s game at Minnesota on Thursday.
The incident occurred in the final seconds of the first half, in which Stone and Brown were tangled with each other while angling for a loose ball. After both went to the floor near the baseline, Stone attempted to climb to his feet and pushed Brown’s head into the court.
Turgeon was in contact with Big Ten officials about the play and gained support from the league in his decision to suspend Stone late Monday afternoon. According to a statement released by the Big Ten on Monday evening, the league “publicly reprimands Stone for his actions” but will not levy additional punishment for the freshman.
Turgeon called both Wisconsin Coach Greg Gard and Brown to apologize for the incident on Sunday. Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderson also called Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez to apologize on Sunday, in addition to Brown’s parents. Stone also made contact with Brown by telephone and apologized on Sunday.
“I want to apologize to Vitto Brown and the Wisconsin basketball team for my unacceptable behavior during Saturday’s game,” Stone said in a statement. “I regret that I let the emotions of the game get the best of me. I let my team down and I accept full responsibility for my actions.”
On Saturday, the game officials reviewed the play and deemed the contact Stone made with Brown’s head warranted a flagrant foul but did not eject him from the game. Wisconsin forward Charlie Thomas was also assessed a technical foul after briefly arguing with Stone after the play.
“We had a jump ball. The two players fell to the floor. We had a contact dead ball technical foul against [Stone]. Then we had an unsporting technical foul against [Thomas],” head official DJ Carstensen said after the game. “It was a flagrant one foul. That’s what we deemed it. We say that was a flagrant one contact foul. The ball was dead and there was contact.”
Both Turgeon and Gard had obstructed views and said that they didn’t witness the incident during the game, but Turgeon added that he planned to review film of the play and speak with Stone.
“Diamond’s conduct during Saturday’s game was a poor representation of the standards that we have established as a program at the University of Maryland,” Turgeon said in a statement. “I have talked with Diamond and he realizes he made a mistake. He felt very badly about what happened and will learn from this experience. I want to sincerely apologize to Vitto Brown and Greg Gard for what transpired Saturday.”
Stone, the Milwaukee native who arrived on campus as one of the most celebrated recruits in school history, has quickly established himself as one of the most productive front-court players in the Big Ten.
He’s averaging 12.8 points on 56.9 percent shooting from the field and is pulling down 5.4 rebounds per game.
Stone has also made considerable strides on the defensive end and is currently tied for fourth in the Big Ten with 1.7 blocked shots per game. He registered 10 points and four blocks in 29 minutes in the loss to Wisconsin on Saturday, which snapped Maryland’s 27-game winning streak at Xfinity Center.