LOUISVILLE, KY – It is a battle that has taken place in various species for years: the youthful, energetic challenger seeking to usurp the experienced and poised veteran. The latest edition of this battle is Thursday night when Maryland’s Diamond Stone squares up against Kansas’ Landen Lucas and Perry Ellis.
“There’s no pressure on this type of a stage,” freshman forward Diamond Stone said. “Perry Ellis is a great player. Landen Lucas is a great player. It should be a fun battle.”
Stone, CBS Sports’ Big 10 Freshman of the Year, has been a consistent force in the post for the Terrapins, averaging 12.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per game. He will begin the game matching up with Kansas junior forward Landen Lucas.
“I think what I do is good for this match up,” Lucas said. “They have bigs who like to use their body and I like to use mine. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Kansas senior forward Perry Ellis has led Kansas in points during NCAA the tournament so far, scoring 21 points each game against Austin Peay and Connecticut. Ellis is aware Stone’s presence may make it more difficult.
“He’s a very skilled player, so it’ll be a challenge,” Ellis said. “The age difference isn’t something I really think about. We’re both on the same court and we’re both going to need to compete.”
Although Stone respects Kansas, he is confident that his team will move on to the Elite 8.
“Kansas is a great team, but Maryland is also a great team,” Stone said. “If we go out and play Maryland basketball, hopefully that takes care of the job.”
Tip off at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville is set for approximately 8:40 p.m.