Maryland Terps

Quick Links

Are the Terps a Top 10 team? This 2019-20 preseason Top 25 poll says 'yes'

jalen-smith-terps-usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Are the Terps a Top 10 team? This 2019-20 preseason Top 25 poll says 'yes'

Maryland basketball's season ended in disappointing fashion last season as Tremont Waters sank the Terps with a last-second layup in the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament. Even still, NBC Sports College Basketball Talk's Preseason Top 25 has Maryland as the No. 9 team entering the season.

Sights immediately turned toward this coming season. Four freshmen enter the mix in Donta Scott, Chol Marial and Makhi and Makhel Mitchell. The first is a fill-it-up wing scorer from Philadelphia, the last two, twin 6-foot-9 big men from Washington, D.C. who wanted to stay home. Marial is a 7-foot, one-time top player in the nation who's been hampered by lower-body injuries. He'll miss time to start the season.

It won't be easy, but Marial and the twins will be tasked with replacing some of what the Terps are losing from now-Atlanta Hawk Bruno Fernando. Last year, Fernando averaged 13.6 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. His production will be missed, but he's the Terps' only significant departure.

Here's a full breakdown of the Terps' roster:

  • WHO’S GONE: Bruno Fernando
  • WHO’S BACK: Anthony Cowan, Jalen Smith, Serrel Smith Jr., Eric Ayala, Aaron Wiggins, Ricky Lindo, Darryl Morsell
  • WHO’S COMING IN: Chol Marial, Makhi Mitchell, Makhel Mitchell, Donta Scott
  • PROJECTED STARTERS: Anthony Cowan, Eric Ayala, Aaron Wiggins, Ricky Lindo, Jalen Smith


The length of that 'who's back' line is almost as important as who's on it. Seven key contributors return, including senior point guard Anthony Cowan and sophomore big man Jalen Smith. The team will likely go as far as the two of them can carry it. Aaron Wiggins could be the x-factor that takes this team from a competitive, top-25 team to a dangerous, top-10 team. He's got all the talent and mentality to become a top-scorer on a great team. It's not always that simple, though.

There is nothing riskier than going all-in on a team coached by Mark Turgeon, but here we are. - Rob Dauster

This could be a make or break year for Mark Turgeon. He has one of the most talented rosters in the country. The last time the Terps entered the season with a Top 10 team, they never lived up to the hype. Another lackluster performance this season could heat up the hot seat for Turgeon.

But the big story is the 1-2 punch of Cowan and Smith and the depth that surrounds them. If they can put it all together, the Terps could make some noise in College Park this season.

Quick Links

Defense finally shows up for Maryland in rout of Oakland

reesemona_usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Defense finally shows up for Maryland in rout of Oakland

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Darryl Morsell led a balanced attack with 14 points, and No. 7 Maryland used a strong defensive effort to power past Oakland 80-50 Saturday.

Anthony Cowan Jr. contributed 11 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Terrapins, Aaron Wiggins scored 10 and Jalen Smith added eight points and seven rebounds.

After opening with lopsided victories at home against Holy Cross and Rhode Island, Maryland is off a 3-0 start for the sixth year in a row. The Terps are 33-6 at home over the past two-plus seasons.

Xavier Hill-Mais led Oakland (3-2) with 18 points. The Golden Grizzlies shot 36.5%, were outrebounded 40-30 and went 6 for 15 at the foul line.

The Terrapins used layups by Smith and Morsell to turn a 35-22 halftime lead into a 17-point cushion. Minutes later, Morsell contributed a pair of 3-pointers to a 12-3 run that made it 56-31 with 12:28 left.

Morsell, a 6-foot-5 junior guard, went 6 for 8 from the field and had seven rebounds in only 21 minutes.

Maryland coach Mark Turgeon used 15 players, nine of them for at least 10 minutes, and 13 different players scored.

The Golden Grizzlies broke to an early 16-12 lead and trailed only 24-22 before Maryland finished the first half with an 11-0 run -- including a dunk by Smith and a 3-pointer by Wiggins at the buzzer.

Oakland shot 37% from the floor before halftime, missing eight of nine from beyond the arc.

BIG PICTURE

Oakland made it interesting at the outset but withered under the weight of Maryland's depth. The Golden Grizzlies have 10 new players from last season, so need games like this to get ready for Horizon League play.

Maryland has far too much depth, height and talent for the opposition in these early mismatches. If there's any flaw worth noting, it's that the Terrapins have started slowly in each game before pulling away.

UP NEXT

Oakland: Hosts Hartford on Monday night.

Maryland: Continues its season-opening, five-game homestand against Fairfield on Tuesday night. In the only previous meeting, the Terps beat the Stags 71-42 in 2009.

MORE NCAA NEWS:

Quick Links

Jalen Smith bookends play with a block and alley-oop dunk

jalensmith_usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Jalen Smith bookends play with a block and alley-oop dunk

Maryland forward Jalen Smith has been the Terps’ leading scorer in the early goings of this season, topping the box scores in each of the team’s first two victories

Against Oakland on Saturday, the sophomore only scored eight points but stuffed the stat sheet with seven rebounds, three steals and three blocks—including this one that he helped turn into an alley-oop on the other end of the floor.

Smith entered the season with a selection to the preseason All-Big Ten Team after he averaged 11.7 points and 6.8 blocks per game as a freshman. He was  added to the Naismith Award watch list in early November as one of 50 college basketball stars eligible for the honor of being deemed the best player in the NCAA at the end of this season.

After beating Maryland 80-50 and moving to 3-0 on the year Saturday, the Terps are off until Tuesday when they host Fairfield at 8:30 p.m. ET.

MORE NCAA NEWS: