Maryland rises to No. 3 in AP Top 25 poll

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Maryland rises to No. 3 in AP Top 25 poll

The Maryland Terrapins continue to move toward the top of the college basketball AP Top 25 poll. 

After cracking the top-five for the first time since 2016 last week, Maryland now finds itself at No. 3, trailing only Louisville and Kansas. 

The Terps took care of business in the Orlando Invitational with wins over Temple, Harvard and Marquette to improve to 8-0.

With upcoming games against Notre Dame, Penn State and No. 13 Seton Hall, another move up the rankings could be in the works if another top team falls this week. 

Duke experienced a major fall in the polls thanks to a stunning loss at home to S.F. Austin. Michigan State also took a dive following a loss to Virginia Tech in Maui. 

Michigan saw the biggest jump this week, going from unranked to No. 4 in the polls thanks to wins over North Carolina and Gonzaga. 

2019 AP Top 25 Poll Week 5

1. Louisville: 7-0 (+1)
2. Kansas: 6-1 (+2)
3. Maryland: 7-0 (+2)
4. Michigan: 7-0 (UNR)
5. Virginia: 7-0 (+2)
6. Ohio State: 7-0 (+4)
7. North Carolina: 6-1 (-1)
8. Kentucky: 6-1 (+1)
9. Gonzaga: 8-1 (+1)
10. Duke: 7-1 (-9)
11. Michigan State: 5-2 (5-2)
12. Arizona: 9-0 (+2)
13. Oregon: 6-2 (-2)
14. Auburn: 7-0 (+4)
15. Memphis: 6-1 (+1)
16. Seton Hall: 6-2 (-3)
17. Florida State: 7-1
18. Baylor: 5-1 (+1)
19. Dayton: 5-1
20. Colorado: 6-0 (+1)
21. Tennessee: 6-1 (-4)
22. Washington: 5-1 (+1)
23. Villanova: 5-2 (-1)
24. Butler: 7-0 
25. Utah State: 7-1 (-10)

Receiving votes: Florida 111, Xavier 91, San Diego St. 89, Saint Mary's (Cal) 86, Oklahoma St. 85, Texas Tech 43, West Virginia 28, Purdue 24, DePaul 18, Arkansas 17, Indiana 13, Penn St. 9, Stephen F Austin 7, Oklahoma 6, Liberty 5, Notre Dame 2, Richmond 2, VCU 2, SMU 1, Delaware 1.

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Cowan has 16 points as No. 6 Maryland beats George Mason

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Cowan has 16 points as No. 6 Maryland beats George Mason

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Anthony Cowan Jr. scored 16 points, Jalen Smith had 12 points and 10 rebounds and No. 6 Maryland overwhelmed previously unbeaten George Mason 86-63 on Friday night.

The Terrapins (5-0) closed the first half with a 19-2 run to go up by 12 and coasted to the finish against the Patriots, who went 8 for 30 (27 percent) from the floor after halftime.

This was the last of five straight home games for the Terps to open the season, and they won all of them by at least 18 points. The last time Maryland won five in a row by double figures was in the 1998-99 season.

Smith was held scoreless over the first 16 minutes but ended up with his third double-double of the season. Aaron Wiggins scored 15 and 6-foot-10 freshman Makhi Mitchell had 12 points and eight rebounds -- all in the second half.

AJ Wilson scored 19 for the Patriots (5-1), who were off to the most successful start in school history.

George Mason's campus in Fairfax, Virginia, is only 34 miles south of College Park. But the difference in the programs can be measured by Maryland's 9-0 record against the Patriots.

After getting off to a slow in what has become a potentially worrisome pattern, the Terrapins ended the first half with a flourish to take a 43-31 lead.

Maryland trailed by as many as seven points early and was down 29-24 before turning it around with a flurry of shots from a variety of spots.

Cowan and Wiggins each connected from beyond the arc, Smith popped a 15-footer and Cowan, Eric Ayala and Smith contributed layups. Maryland also made five free throws during the pivotal surge.

BIG PICTURE

George Mason: The Patriots have too many injuries to keep pace with the deep Terrapins, but this squad does appear to have enough talent to make some noise in the Atlantic-10.

Maryland: Playing at home against lesser foes wasn't much of a challenge for the Terps, who should receive more of a test at the upcoming Orlando Invitational.

SHORT-HANDED

The Patriots played without senior guard Justin Kier, who will miss the first few weeks of the season with a stress fracture in his right foot. Kier and senior guard Ian Boyd, who's out for the year after undergoing wrist surgery, have combined for 1,632 points and 799 rebounds. In addition, freshman Bahaide Haidara (wrist) is out 4-6 weeks.

UP NEXT

George Mason faces Old Dominion on Monday in the Cayman Islands Classic.

Maryland gets a five-day break before facing Temple on Thanksgiving morning in Orlando, Florida.

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Maryland gets great news as Anthony Cowan Jr. withdraws from NBA Draft to return for senior season

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Maryland gets great news as Anthony Cowan Jr. withdraws from NBA Draft to return for senior season

Anthony Cowan Jr. announced that he will return to Maryland basketball for his senior season after testing the NBA Draft waters.

Cowan, a local product out of St. John's College High School, has started every game at Maryland for the past three seasons. The point guard has led the Terps in scoring and assists the past two years, most recently helping the team to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. 

His return will be a huge boost to the Terrapins after big-man Bruno Fernando decided to forgo his eligibility for his final two seasons in College Park for the NBA Draft. Including Cowan, the team returns seven of its top eight scorers for the 2019-20 season and will be one of the more experienced squads in the nation.

With Cowan staying at Maryland, NBC Sports' Rob Dauster says that the Terps will be a potential top-five team entering the season.

His decision came hours before Wednesday's NBA draft withdrawal deadline. Earlier on the same day, he worked out for the Sacramento Kings, according to Baltimore Sun reporter Don Markus.

While Cowan has shown an impressive ability to lead his team in his three years, he was not a projected pick for the 2019 NBA draft. It's another year for the senior to display his ability, and lead a talented team to national prominence after he only scored 20 points in two NCAA Tournament games last year. 

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