Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series. Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days. This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days. We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order. We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.
It is a new era for Maryland Terrapin basketball as Gary Williams announced his retirement after 22 successful years of running the program. Mark Turgeon comes in from Texas A&M to take over for Williams but has his work cut out for him this season with only eight scholarship players on the roster.
GO HERE FOR OUR MARYLAND FOOTBALL PREVIEW
Last Season: T-7th, 7-9 in ACC, 19-14 overall
Predicted ACC Finish: 9th
Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Alex Len (Fr)/Berend Weijs (Sr)/Ashton Pankey (Fr)
F: James Padgett (Jr)/Mychal Parker (So)
SG: Sean Mosley (Sr)/Nick Faust (Fr)
G: Pe’Shon Howard (So)
PG: Terrell Stogin (So)
Gone: C-Jordan Williams, F-Dino Gregory, G/F-Cliff Tucker, PG-Adrian Bowie, F-Haukur Palsson (pro ball overseas)
The headline of this off-season for Maryland was all the losses the program endured. Besides losing three seniors, leading scorer and rebounder Jordan Williams declared for the NBA Draft while sophomore-to-be Hakur Paulsson opted to sign a professional deal overseas. On top of that, in-coming freshmen Sterling Gibbs and Martin Breunig asked for and were granted their releases from the commitments they originally made to Gary Williams. That leaves the Terps roster looking mighty thin since Turgeon was unable to add any additional recruits once he was hired.
Four of their top five scorers are gone leaving speedy point guard Terrell Stoglin as the top returning point producer. He had a terrific freshman campaign and will likely be the team’s go-to player. Sean Mosley and Pe’Shon Howard figure to join Stoglin in the starting backcourt. Mosley has under-achieved since arriving at College Park but brings some physicality and defensive prowess to the wing. Howard is due for a potential breakout season and is also capable of running the point which he will have to do since there is no back-up for Stoglin.
Since the frontcourt situation is such a question mark, Turgeon could elect to go with a four-guard line-up since the top four players on his team are all guards. That includes freshman Nick Faust who comes in as a major talent with a well-rounded game on both ends of the floor. After briefly reneging his commitment to Maryland when Williams retired, Faust stuck with the Terps and will be counted on to play heavy minutes right off the bat. Sophomore Mychal Parker only appeared in thirteen games as a freshman but came to Maryland as a top 60 recruit and should get plenty of opportunity to live up to his high ranking.
As for that front line, well to put it bluntly, it pretty much sucks. James Padgett was the ninth man on the team last year but is the most experienced player. 6-10 Berend Weijs played sparingly and lacks any real physicality in the paint. Ashton Pankey has not stepped on the court for a real game in two years. He missed his senior season of high school due to a leg fracture and redshirted last year. The Terps did recently get a big boost with the addition of seven-foot Ukrainian Alex Len. He could be an immediate starter for a Maryland frontcourt that lacks talent.
I am not doubting that Turgeon will be able to carry on the tradition and winning atmosphere Gary Williams built at Maryland. However, the lack of depth will be killer this season especially if even one player gets dinged up for an extended period of time. The Terps will probably have to go small more often than not and hope Len can prevent them from getting beat up inside by bigger, more physical teams.
Player to Watch: Terrell Stoglin
An ACC All-Freshman Team selection a year ago, Stoglin will be the centerpiece of the Maryland program for the next three seasons. While he has some young, talented players around him like Howard and Faust, Stoglin’s extended playing time as a freshman will make him the maestro this season.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/17 vs. Alabama (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
11/18 vs. Wichita State/Colorado (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
11/20 vs. Temple/Western Michigan/Purdue/Iona (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
11/29 vs. Illinois (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)
12/4 vs. Notre Dame
1/21 at Temple
OTHER 111 IN 111′S:
#79 Tulsa Golden Hurricane
#80 Minnesota Golden Gophers
#81 Western Michigan Broncos
#82 Dayton Flyers
#83 Stanford Cardinal
#84 Yale Bulldogs
#85 Georgia Bulldogs
#86 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#87 Richmond Spiders
#88 Ball State Cardinals
#89 Utah State Aggies
#90 Arizona State Sun Devils
#91 Marshall Thundering Herd
#92 Oregon State Beavers
#93 Washington State Cougars
#94 Iowa Hawkeyes
#95 Ole Miss Rebels
#96 Nebraska Cornhuskers
#97 Oklahoma Sooners
#98 South Florida Bulls
#99 LSU Tigers
#100 Colorado Buffaloes
#101 DePaul Blue Demons
#102 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#103 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#104 Seton Hall Pirates
#105 Providence Friars
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 South Carolina Gamecocks
#108 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#109 Penn State Nittany Lions
#110 Boston College Eagles
#111 Utah Utes
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. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.
You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.