There was a disturbance in the Terpsosphere yesterday when renowned sports blog The Big Lead ranked Maryland No. 13 on its 2012-13 top 25. That’s pretty high for a team that didn’t come close to dancing this year and isn’t bringing in a Kentucky-like crop either.
The Big Lead’s out on a limb too. Here’s where five other ridiculously early top-25 rankings have Maryland:
Beyond the Bets: No. 20 (based on future odds)
Andy Katz: “on the cusp” (26-40)
College Hotline: not ranked in the top 25
CBS New York: not ranked in the top 35
College Basketball Talk: not ranked in the top 39
So which is it, No. 13 or not on the radar? Probably somewhere in between, actually. Here’s Maryland Sports Correspondent Andy Peden’s take:
It’s just so tough to make a guess right now. There’s always the possibility of someone transferring or heading to play pro ball in Europe. I think four recruits are cin for next year with Damonte Dodd possibly headed to prep school or redshirting. Sam Cassell Jr. is still up in the air, but we’ll know in the next few weeks.
With that said, they only lose Sean Mosley but will have a question mark at PG with Pe’Shon Howard. He didn’t play much last year and now has a major injury to recover from. I do think that Terrell Stoglin will continue to mature as a player and expect him to round out his game. I expect a big step up from Nick Faust and Alex Len. Faust really played well late in the year and could be the best player on the team next year. Len obviously needs time to get acclimated to the U.S. and to get stronger.
The good thing for him is next year the Terps are going to have a lot of beef down low. Len shouldn’t have to bang around that much with the physically stronger guys, because the Terps will have James Padgett and Ashton Pankey back along with Shaquille Cleare and Chalres Mitchell. Cleare is a monster already and Mitchell is no slouch. Mark Turgeon will have a lot of flexibility with five big bodies, and no one player will be overly relied upon.
As for the other pieces, I’m hopeful to see Mychal Parker continue to improve and both Seth Allen and Jake Layman add depth to the guard and wing positions. this past year where Turge had basically seven players (not counting Howard), he will have 10 or 11 that can play.
As for an early predication, I think the Terps can be top-four in the ACC and eventually be a top-25 team. Based on what we know right now, they should be back in the Dance.