Maryland basketball preview: Can the Terps make a deep run?


Erich Miller

The 2018 Maryland basketball team

by Erich Miller, Reporter

I predict that the Maryland Terrapin Basketball Team will have a successful season even with the incoming freshman.

Predicted Statistics

Record: 25-7

Big Ten: 2nd

Tournament: Sweet 16

Incoming Freshmen

The Maryland Terrapins basketball season began on November 6 against the Delaware Blue Hens. A lot is expected from the Terps, who are led by Junior Anthony Cowan. The Terrapins have also added their best recruiting class of all time, including, five-star recruit Jalen Smith. The freshman class has high hopes, and I’m not the only one expecting a good season from the Terrapins this year,

Can they exceed expectations? I believe if the talent came to fruition they could make an even deeper run then the sweet 16.

The Terps top recruit, Jalen Smith local kid from Baltimore Maryland is the third highest recruit they’ve had since the recruiting system came out in 1988. The system shows the top 300 players ranked across the U.S.

Jalen Smith is ranked the #10 recruit in the country and fans expect a lot, but some people don’t remember that there are also five other incoming freshman. He will be a force in the paint, being able to score down low. He also poses as a threat behind the 3-point line. He is currently the Terps number one draft prospect. In high school, Jalen averaged 25 points and 12 rebounds, destroying his competition.

Small Forward Aaron Wiggins, the Terrapins fifth best recruit in the last 10 years, also has high expectations. He may not need to be the star this year. Wiggins is a great perimeter shooter and will help replace Kevin Huerter who left for the NBA last season. He shot 43% from three in high school.

Eric Ayala is the second point guard on the team. He is expected to help out Anthony Cowan in sharing the responsibilities of point guard. Last year, Cowan led the Big Ten with 37 minutes per game, which is unreasonable for any player. The average player plays 20 minutes per game. Ayala will be a player to rely on in the future and will be a relief to Cowan.

Serrel Smith, a pure shooter, may not be as reliable this year and will take time to develop but this year he will have his shining moment when he gets hot from the three point line. He’s a good shooter and creates his own shot but he’s not as strong when it’s a catch and shoot situation. He must get better at that skill to be reliable in the future.

Ricky Lindo, a forward, is stepping into a bigger role in his first year then he probably expected. After Jalen Smith and Bruno Fernando, the front-court is weak with Joshua Tomaic and Ivan Bender. Lindo can help make a presence if one of the two big men aren’t on the floor. Lindo will play anĀ  important role if this Maryland team wants to be successful.

Trace Ramsey, a three-star recruit, is expected to be red-shirted (no minutes during games but is on the team) this season. He will be a strong addition to the team next year.

The Returning Players

The big three players that are coming back are junior guard Anthony Cowan, sophomore center Bruno Fernando, and sophomore shooting guard Darryl Morsell. Cowan is expected to lead the offense this season and be the leader of this team. Cowan will be the most disciplined player on this team. Bruno Fernando is expected to be the best player on this team if he can stay out of foul trouble. Last year he averaged 10.8 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game. Those numbers are have a high chance to increase as his role will get larger and larger as the season goes on. Darryl Morsell has fixed his jumpshot this offseason, after only shooting 12% from three last year. His improvement will determine how far this team goes

Final Thoughts

The sweet 16 is a reach goal for these young Terps who missed the tournament last season. If Turgeon can coach this team correctly and the incoming freshman can make an impact, these Terrapins can maybe even go further than the sweet 16. If the chemistry is right, this team can be special.