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In Jared Nickens' first season at Maryland, expectations were modest and that Terrapin team exceeded almost all projections by making the NCAA tournament and advancing to the second round.
Now, Nickens is a junior and after a season of sky-high expectations that culminated in a Sweet 16 appearance, the tables have turned. A talented group of underclassmen will be paired with a core of veterans on Mark Turgeon's 2016-17 team.
This time, though, Nickens is one of the elder statesmen. And he sees a mix of both change and continuity.
"When the season ended, it looked like the whole starting five was about to leave and then Melo [Trimble] decided to come back which is great for us," Nickens said Thursday at Camden Yards after accompanying Turgeon on the mound for a ceremonial first pitch. "That just adds another dynamic to our team and being that we're going to have a whole different team from last year to this year."
Leading the group of freshmen next season at Maryland will be point guard Anthony Cowan, a four-star recruit who will likely flex between a role as Trimble's backup and as Trimble's sidekick.
Fellow guard Kevin Huerter, at 6-6, is a talented shooter with point guard attributes, as well. That's before mentioning the late addition of forward Justin Jackson, a former UNLV commit solidified the frontcourt rotation with his pledge.
Four-star Micah Thomas and Spanish forward Joshua Tomaic round out the group.
"They're going to help a lot," Nickens said. "It kind of reminds me of my freshman year where we kind of, I wouldn't say thrown into the fire, but they're going to be able to contribute and we signed L.G. Gill ... so he has experience too. We're going to be pretty good this year."
And it all centers around Trimble, who was so integral to Maryland's success when he was a freshman. Having come to the Terrapins at the same time, Nickens has been along for every step so far and he can foresee what going through the draft process will do for Trimble.
"It just brings that fire to him, which I know he has. It's just going to allow him to play well," he said. "I mean, last year I would say he's seen all types of defenses so now he'll be prepared to know what's coming. I'm just excited to see his growth as a player."