Feb 24, 2015; College Park, MD, USA; Maryland Terrapins guard Melo Trimble (2) reacts after making a basket in the second half against the Wisconsin Badgers at Xfinity Center. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
As the college football season approaches, not many people are thinking about college basketball.
However, ESPN is the exception to this rule. Already making early predications about the 2015-2016 NCAA Basketball season, ESPN has preemptively named the Maryland men’s basketball team No. 1 in their “No-Longer-Way-T00-Early Top 25” over North Carolina, Kentucky & Virginia. As fans, this is the most exciting ranking Maryland has been graced with for as long as anyone can remember.
With the return of guard Melo Trimble and players like center Diamond Stone and wing Rasheed Sulaimon, Maryland could have the best roster in the nation. Also, the back court’s depth with forward Jared Nickens and guard Dion Wiley will allow Maryland to emphasize strong, versatile shooting.
Additionally with forward Jake Layman, Stone, and forward Robert Carter returning to the floor, Maryland will have talented rebounders and shot blockers in the front court.
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It is undeniable that coach Mark Turgeon has recruited incredible talent to play together for the 2015-2016 season, but No. 1 comes with a lot of pressure that this team is not accustomed to. Maryland, which saw multiple players exit after the 2013-2014 season, entered into the Big Ten from the ACC and seemed like it was far from being on top.
Seeing the Terps on top is certainly weird after the recent horrors of the end of the Gary Williams era, and the struggles Turgeon initially endured. The glimmers were guards Greivis Vasquez and Dez Wells, who both have the talent to contribute at the NBA level.
Many will be shocked that Maryland have jumped above teams like Duke, Kentucky, and North Carolina. However, Maryland is easily a contender for a national title with infusion of talent that Turgeon has put together. Trimble and company have brought vigor, excitement, and optimism back to the floor at Xfinity Center in College Park after a very long drought of down seasons.
Will Maryland remain atop this No. 1 spot? Only time will tell, but this 2015-2016 Maryland basketball team is worthy of this ranking.
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