The Maryland Terrapins were one of the surprise teams in college basketball last season as they made the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010. The Terps advanced to the Round of 32 as they won 28 games and finished 14-4 in their first Big Ten campaign.
As good as they were last year, Maryland is expected to be even better in 2015-16. Much better, as a matter of fact.
ESPN released their No-Longer-Way-To-Early Top 25 this week. To the delight of many, sitting at number at #1 is none other than the Maryland Terrapins.
A lofty ranking, for sure. But coach Mark Turgeon’s Terps are loaded as they return key players from last season’s team and welcome some impact newcomers.
Standout guard Melo Trimble and forward Jake Layman will be back with the experience of playing in the NCAA’s. Also returning are swingmen Jared Nickens and Dion Wiley. Big men Damonte Dodd and Michal Cekovsky are back as well.
After sitting out last season as a transfer from Georgia Tech, forward Robert Carter, Jr. will be on the floor for the first time as a Terp. Recruit Diamond Stone, a McDonald’s All-American, is expected to join Carter in the frontcourt.
Duke transfer Rasheed Sulaimon will play his senior season at Maryland after three years in Durham. Juco transfer Jaylen Brantley comes to College Park to provide depth at both backcourt positions.
Let’s not forget 6’9 Ivan Bender who looks to comeback from a knee injury.
The Terps were ranked #2 by the AP in the preseason of 2001-02. That team would go on to win the National Championship.
Maryland has never been ranked number one by the Associated Press.
If the ESPN rankings are any indication, that could easily change this season.