USA Today released the preseason Coaches Poll for the 2017-2018 season, so it is time to look at how Maryland and the rest of the Big Ten stack up.
Duke tops the poll thanks to a stacked recruiting class that features seven recruits, including three of the top seven players, according to 247Sports.
The rest of the top five is rounded out with Michigan State, Kansas, Kentucky, and Arizona. The defending champion North Carolina Tar Heels come in ranked ninth as well.
For the Big Ten, a total of four teams made the top 25, as Minnesota (15th), Northwestern (20th) and Purdue (21st) join Michigan State (2nd). Three other Big Ten squads did receive votes, including Wisconsin, Maryland and Michigan.
The Big Ten seems to be in more of a lull from having a stronghold nationally. Coming into this season, Michigan state brought in the only five-star talent, in Jaren Jackson, and Purdue led the league with five additions. It seems that most teams are holding on to the bulk of their young rosters, so how they have matured will be seen this season.
Maturity will especially be the question with Mark Turgeon and his team. Coming off a third NCAA Tournament appearance, in which the Terrapins got bounced early, Maryland returns everyone except Jaylen Brantley, LG Gill, and Melo Trimble.
The core youth from Maryland’s season last year returns, as Anthony Cowan, Kevin Huerter and Justin Jackson now have key experience under their belts. Their growth is yet to be seen, so that is presumably why Maryland was left out of this top-25.
Turgeon did a solid job recruiting with those departures opening up scholarships for him to fill. As for true freshmen, Darryl Morsell and Bruno Fernando will attempt to provide depth in the front and backcourts. Morsell will back up Anthony Cowan, who will assume the point guard role after Trimble’s departure.
A new trend continues coming into this season, as the team welcome a new graduate transfer in Sean Obi. The former Duke Blue Devil struggled to see the floor after injuries and transfer rules forced him to the sidelines. Obi transferred to Duke after a spectacular freshman season at Rice. He averaged 11.4 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, earning him a spot on the Conference USA All-freshman team.
The Big Ten and Maryland seem to have a cloudy season ahead. Many teams can see themselves doing very well or very poorly, and only time and games will give pollsters a better outlook.