I know it’s hard believe, but college basketball season is right around the corner. Maryland Madness is this Friday and the games begin in less than a month.

For the first time in 22 years, Gary Williams will not be the coach leading Maryland Terrapins hoops. The future Hall of Famer surprised many by deciding to retire in May.

The man chosen to replace him was former Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon. Although Turgeon was not the big name coach that some fans had hoped for, he is a proven winner.

But as he is about to start his first year in College Park, he knows he has work cut out for him.

With the early defection to the NBA of All-ACC center Jordan Williams, Maryland lost it’s best player and only proven lost-post scorer and rebounder.

Get ready for “Small Ball”.

Guards Terrell Stoglin, Pe’Shon Howard and Nick Faust, a freshman from Baltimore, could all start. Senior Sean Mosley, also from Baltimore, could see time at power forward even though he’s more of a wing player.

In the paint, Alex Len was brought in late in the recruiting process. He is 7’1, but has yet to be cleared to play by the NCAA. Ashton Pankey, who has been injured for the the better part of two years, and Berend Weijs are a couple of other players who figure to see time.

With the commitments of C Shaq Cleare, F Jake Layman and G Seth Allen for 2012, Turgeon has done a fine job recruiting. So, the immediate future of Maryland basketball looks to be bright.

The 2011-12 season, however, will be interesting to watch. The undermanned Terps are not expected to be factors in the ACC. As a matter of fact, they may be really bad.

But that’s why they play the games.

It’s a new era of Maryland Terrapins basketball.

A new beginning. Are you ready?