The Maryland basketball team is coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance with a relatively young group this past season.
With the season being a few months away, the Terrapins announced the Big Ten portion of their 2017-18 schedule and it appears to be pretty favorable.
Maryland is play both home and away games against Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Penn State, and Purdue. The Terps faced each of those times on only one occasion during the 2016-17 campaign.
The Terps will also host the likes of Iowa, Minnesota, Rutgers, and Wisconsin. Maryland faced all four schools last season with the Wisconsin being the only one that they only faced once.
In terms of their away Big Ten schedule, Maryland will travel to Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, and Ohio State.
At first glance, it definitely could be a lot worse for the Terps.
Maryland does have to travel to Indiana, Michigan State, and Northwestern. However, the Terps went 3-1 against those teams last season with the lone loss coming against the Wildcats in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament.
Assembly Hall is one of the toughest venues in the country for opposing teams to come into. On the other hand, the Hoosiers got a great deal of talent from last year’s group in James Blackmon Jr., Thomas Bryant, and OG Anunoby.
Despite reeling in coach Archie Miller from Dayton, Indiana could be in for a down year in the Big Ten.
Michigan State will arguably be the toughest team that Maryland will face all season. The Spartans return their talented duo of Miles Bridges and Nick Ward, who accounted for nearly 30.8 points, 14.8 rebounds, and 2.5 assists a season ago.
Bridges will most likely be the preseason Big Ten Player of the Year. Despite just a 6-of-16 performance shooting the ball, the do-it-all guard still managed to scored 18 points and grab eight rebounds against the Terps in a 63-60 Maryland victory.
Ward poses a significant threat as well given Maryland’s struggles on the boards last season. Maryland lost Damonte Dodd and LG Gill down low, but do return Michal Cekovsky and Ivan Bender in addition to having freshman Bruno Fernando join the rotation.
Much like Michigan State, Northwestern returns a significant amount of talent in Scottie Lindsey, Bryant McIntosh, and Vic Law, who all averaged double figures last season. The trio combined for 50 points in the Wildcats’ win over the Terps in the Big Ten Tournament in March.
While Maryland does face Minnesota and Wisconsin next season, it will take place within the friendly confines of the Xfinity Center.
The Terps went 2-1 against the Badgers and Golden Gophers last season with the loss coming via an 89-75 decision against Minnesota. Wisconsin does return Ethan Happ, but lost quite a bit of talent from last year’s roster.
Maryland definitely has a chance to be one of the top teams in the Big Ten next season. Despite losing Melo Trimble, the Terps return Anthony Cowan, Kevin Huerter, and Justin Jackson, who were three of the top four scorers a season ago.
If that trio has a similar season next year, it’s not crazy to think that Maryland could make a run in the NCAA Tournament.