Maryland Men’s Basketball 2018 Season Preview
Feature photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics
After missing the NCAA Tournament last season, Maryland Terrapins are entering this year with high expectations.
Maryland’s 2017 season was not one to boast about. After winning only 19 games, the team is infusing a lot of young talent in their deep freshmen lineup. This is Mark Turgeon’s seventh year coaching the Big Ten team, but he hasn’t quite met expectations. With no record of defeating a ranked opponent since his debut, Turgeon was expected to rebuild the Terps team after the retirement of Gary Williams. Overall, Turgeon has won 157 games since being named the head coach of the Terps but has only made it to the Sweet Sixteen once.
Maryland enters the season with the No. 7 recruiting class from the Class of 2018. Jalen Smith, a five-star forward from Baltimore, the No. 29 recruit in the country, brings an excellent amount of size and skill to the front court. With the ability to run the floor, challenge his matchups, and consistently put up shots in the paint, Smith will bring versatility to the team.
Trace Ramsey, Bosco Institute Prep School graduate, has a lot to offer the struggling team. As a 6-foot-7 forward, his consistent shooting ability isn’t the only thing he’s bringing to the floor. The well-rounded positional player is able to control the floor offensively with no fear of scoring in the paint. The four-star Florida guard, Eric Ayala, will also help put points on the board for the Terps, as he averaged 14.2 points a game, shooting 41.5 percent from the field, according to the Under Armour Association (UAA) website. There’s no doubt that Ayala will have playing time, hoping to give the team more depth in the back court, one of Maryland’s biggest weaknesses.
Other recruits, including versatile players Aaron Wiggins and guard Serrel Smith, will also look to contribute this upcoming season.
With Kevin Huerter now playing for the Atlanta Hawks, junior point guard Anthony Cowan Jr. and sophomores Bruno Fernando and Darryl Morsell will need to fill that leadership void.
Maryland’s non-conference schedule opens with Delaware, Navy, North Carolina A&T, Hofstra, Mount St. Mary’s and Marshall. The Terps will then play former ACC rival Virginia on Nov. 28, their first game in the Atlantic Coast Conference-Big Ten Challenge. Playing against one of the best defensive teams in the country, Maryland will have a chance to see their true potential as they gear up for their Big Ten schedule after.