Welcome to The Sports Bank’s fourth annual college basketball season preview series where we break 111 teams in the 111 days leading up to the opening tip-off of the 2013-2014 season. We will rank the 84 power conference teams (including the new Big East and American Athletic Conferences) and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order. We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.
Entering his third year with the Maryland Terrapins, Mark Turgeon has yet to turn the program back towards the success it grew accustomed to under Gary Williams. The Terps have quality talent on the roster this year but a lack of depth is a major concern as they enter their swan song as members of the ACC.
Last Season: 8th, 8-10 in ACC, 25-13 overall
Predicted ACC Finish: 7th
Projected Depth Chart
C: Charles Mitchell (So)/Shaquille Cleare (So)/Damonte Dodd (Fr)
F: Jake Layman (So)/Evan Smotrycz (Jr)
G/F: Dez Wells (Jr)
SG: Nick Faust (Jr)
PG: Seth Allen (So)/Roddy Peters (Fr)
Gone: C-Alex Len, PF-James Padgett, SG-Logan Aronhalt, PG-Pe’Shon Howard (transfer-USC)
The biggest worry comes in the backcourt where Maryland actually returns all three starters but only has four scholarship players. In his first season after coming over from Xavier, explosive wing Dez Wells led the team in scoring a year ago. He and Nick Faust provide a lot of versatility and athleticism on the wing.
The point guard position was an area of weakness for the Terps last year. Seth Allen replaced Pe’Shon Howard in the starting line-up and as a result, Howard ended up transferring to USC this summer. Allen still has maturing to do as a floor general and figures to be pushed by freshman Roddy Peters. Peters is more of a creator and with a lack of depth at guard, should see a plenty of minutes from the opening tip of the season.
Jake Leyman’s role with Maryland will be pivotal this season. While he figures to start at power forward, he should see his share of minutes at small forward as well since he has the athleticism and versatility to play either forward position. Michigan transfer Evan Smotrycz gives Turgeon another face-up four who should be able to stretch defenses with his outside shooting.
With Alex Len taking his talents to the NBA, Maryland will rely on a trio undersized but physical big men to patrol the paint. Sophomores Charles Mitchell and Shaquille Cleare know how to throw their weight around inside but don’t have the capability of duplicating Len’s size and length as a shot blocker. Freshman Demonte Dodd could help in that area and should work his way into the rotation somehow.
I can’t see the Maryland Terrapins making a major leap this season and if the team suffers an injury or two, it could be detrimental to their success in the ACC. The future is bright though as Turgeon has already landed four big time recruits for the 2014 class. With no seniors on the roster, the Terps may be exiting the ACC like a lamb but could enter the Big Ten next year like a lion.
Player to Watch: Dez Wells
His combination of size, strength, athleticism, and ability to attack the rim makes him a fairly well-rounded player. The one aspect of his game that needs to improve is his outside shooting. If Wells can show more consistency from the perimeter (which figures to be a weakness for Maryland as a whole this season), both he and Terps could surprise some.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/8 vs. UConn (in Brooklyn)
11/17 vs. Oregon State
11/22 vs. Marist (Paradise Jam)
11/24 vs. Northern Iowa/Loyola Marymount (Paradise Jam)
11/25 vs. Providence/Vanderbilt/La Salle/Morgan State (Paradise Jam)
12/4 at Ohio State (Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
12/8 at George Washington
12/29 vs. Tulsa
OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#60 Florida Gulf Coast
#64 Florida State
#66 N.C. State
#67 Kansas State
#70 Miami FL
#72 Texas A&M
#73 Long Beach State
#76 Indiana State
#77 Georgia Tech
#84 Washington State
#86 Oregon State
#87 Louisiana Tech
#89 Wake Forest
#90 Central Florida
#95 Seton Hall
#97 George Mason
#99 Penn State
#101 West Virginia
#102 South Florida
#103 Mississippi State
#105 South Carolina
#106 Texas Tech
#108 Virginia Tech
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu to Milwaukee. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet , AND the second most accurate 2013 NBA Mock Draft. (Yup, nearly 3peat champ… #humblebrag.)
You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks