Just two flecks of confetti into Villanova’s reign as NCAA National Champions and the way too early rankings began.
Many Maryland fans had already started looking forward to next season before March Madness had tipped off. Injuries and underperformance crushed Maryland, and the Terrapins found themselves on the outside looking in by early February.
Still, hope springs eternal, and building for 2018-2019 has replaced hope for 2017-2018. With a consensus top-15 recruiting class and a veteran roster, the 2018-2019 Terrapins look like a force to be reckoned with. Indeed, the way too early rankings agree with the sentiment with the Terps solidly among the final third of the top-25 in most mainstream rankings.
It is worth noting that these rankings were compiled before Bruno Fernando declared for the draft. It is likely that without Fernando, the Terrapins would not be included among top-25 teams. Similarly, KenPom had Maryland ranked #11 until Justin Jackson declared for the draft and then dropped them to #18 after Jackson was out of the picture.
That said, losing Fernando might be an even bigger blow to the Terps’ future than losing Jackson. Without Fernando Maryland Maryland will have a gaping hole at the center position, while Maryland is strongest on the wings. One can safely assume the Coach Mark Turgeon will remain active in recruiting big men during the spring and summer.
Indeed, Turgeon has been active on the recruiting trail, almost acknowledging that his roster is not yet complete. Turgeon secured three-star combo-guard Serrel Smith’s commitment to Maryland, which bumped the 2018 class into the top-10. While Smith does not play in the front court, it does show that Turgeon is working hard to fill out Maryland’s roster. Moreover, the Terps have been linked with 6”10 Old Dominion graduate transfer Trey Porter and sharpshooter Parker Stewart who is transferring away from Pittsburgh after coach Kevin Stallings was fired.
There are many updates to come before the season tips off, but the way too early rankings and aggressive recruiting give Terps fans reason for optimism as the offseason arrives.
|ESPN (Myron Medcalf)
|Yahoo! (Jerry Eisenberg)
|NBC (Rob Dauster)
|CBS (Gary Parrish)
|Bleacher Report (Kerry Miller)
|SB Nation (Mike Rutherford)
|The Athletic (Sam Vecenie)
|Sporting News (Ryan Fagan)
|Sports Illustrated (Molly Geary)
|USA Today (Scott Gleason)
|Washington Post (Patrick Stevens)
|FanSided – Busting Brackets (Tristan Freeman)