Five questions that loom large for Maryland basketball this offseason.
Maryland basketball is entering into a rebuilding phase without their two star players from the last two seasons, Anthony Cowan Jr. and Jalen Smith. Their roster took major hits with the departures of Ricky Lindo Jr., Serrell Smith Jr., and Joshua Tomaic. One would hope that multiple departures like that in one offseason doesn’t become constant. Mark Turgeon’s job security would most likely be in jeopardy if this becomes a trend.
As the roster is currently constructed, it looks like Darryl Morsell could be the Terps leader in 2020. He no doubt has proven that through his ability to rally his teammates in high-pressure situations, his defense and scoring ability. The good thing for the Terps is that they do have upperclassmen leadership to fall back on. Morsell, Aaron Wiggins and Eric Ayala are key returning starters from last year who contributed mightily to the Terps Big Ten Championship season.
No. 5 How much regression will Maryland basketball experience?
Maryland basketball will have some work to do as they look to remain atop the Big Ten standings. When they joined the Big Ten in 2014, they finished second in the conference coming over from the ACC. They adjusted well to their new environment back then and they’re going to have to do the same in their seventh season as a member of the Big Ten.
Some teams in the conference have changed for the better in the offseason. Nebraska for example picked up Trey McGowens from Pitt and Kobe King from Wisconsin. Kobe Webster is a guy coming over from Western Illinois who averaged 17 points, and nearly four assists and rebounds last season. These are guys who will bring instant offense to the Cornhuskers who were dead last in the Big Ten.
Michigan is reloading in Juwan Howard’s second season as head coach. They have three strong transfers in Chaundee Brown (Wake Forest), Nojel Eastern (Purdue), and Mike Smith (Columbia). Smith is the only transfer that is immediately eligible at the moment. The Wolverines also have the best 2020 recruiting class in the conference headlined by four-star DeMatha Catholic High School Center Hunter Dickinson out of Maryland. Rutgers and Iowa are also teams that Maryland will have to look out for.
Realistically, A lot of things will have to go their way in order for them to compete at a high level in the Big Ten. The Terps need to have another solid nonconference start leading up to the conference schedule. Winning their Maryland Showcase is an absolute must. They won the Orlando Invitational and that set the tone for their success the rest of the season.