The Maryland basketball team is coming off an early exit in the NCAA Tournament last season.
On Monday, the Terrapins announced their entire nonconference schedule for the 2017-18 season.
Maryland begins the season with an exhibition game against Randolph-Macon on Nov. 2. The Yellow Jackets are a Division III school that are coming off a 17-9 (13-3) season and will provide a tune-up for the Terps prior to the regular season opener.
Maryland begins the season on the road as they travel to Long Island for a battle with Stony Brook on Nov. 10. The Terps defeated the Seawolves 77-63 last season behind 21 points from Melo Trimble and 13 from Dion Wiley.
The Terps have plenty of lesser opponents on the slate, including Gardner Webb, Jackson State, and Maryland-Eastern Shore.
Below are our three observations from Maryland’s nonconference schedule as the season inches closer.
- Emerald Coast Classic is underrated – Maryland will travel to Florida at the end of November to participate in the Emerald Coast Classic. To begin the tournament, the Terps will face off against St. Bonaventure, who is coming off a 20-12 (11-7 Atlantic 10) campaign. Maryland will be looking to start off the tournament on the right foot, but it’s very a underrated field so an upset wouldn’t be out of the question. If the Terps get past the Bonnies, TCU likely looms in the championship game and the Horned Frogs are fresh off an NIT title last season. Former Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon definitely has the TCU program on the rise and that’s something that Maryland will have to be mindful of.
- Limited amount of marquee opponents – Maryland doesn’t have an incredibly difficult nonconference slate this coming season. The Terps will only face two teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament a season ago. Maryland will host Butler in the Gavitt Games, which annually pit teams from the Big East and Big Ten against one another. Butler is in the midst of changing regimes as Chris Holtmann left the school for Ohio State after succeeding Brad Stevens in 2014. The Bulldogs have won at least one NCAA Tournament in each of the last three seasons and reached the Sweet 16 last year. In addition, leading scorer Kelan Martin (16.0 points-per-game) is back in the fold for Butler. Maryland also faces Syracuse in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge at the Carrier Dome. The Orange had a down year last season and played in the NIT. Syracuse lost three of their top four leading scorers, so it looks like guard Tyus Battle (11.3 points) will get his chance to be “the guy.” Maryland does also face Bucknell out of the Patriot League, who did qualify for the NCAA Tournament last year. The Bison certainly wouldn’t be a bad win for the Terps have under their belt.
- Cruise control into Big Ten slate – Maryland doesn’t exactly finish off their nonconference schedule in thrilling fashion. After travelling to Syracuse on Nov. 27, their final five games consist of Ohio, Gardner Webb, Catholic, Fairleigh Dickinson, and UMBC. All of those contests are played within the friendly confines of the Xfinity Center. Despite the competition not being the stiffest, it also could be a good thing because coach Mark Turgeon may be able to rest several of his starters.