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Big Ten men’s basketball preview: Maryland Terrapins

How do the new look Terrapins matchup against the conference?

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 12 Big Ten Tournament - Maryland v Michigan Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Maryland Terrapins

Head coach: Mark Turgeon (eighth season)
2020-21 record: 17-14 (9-11)
Season finish: NCAA Tournament round of 32

What comes back

Maryland has a different dynamic coming back to the team this season, but still an extremely talented one. Returning to the court will be key guys like Hakim Hart, Donta Scott and maybe one of the best players in the conference, Eric Ayala. James Graham III and Marcus Dockery are returning as well.

The Terrapins are also bringing in one of the top transfer classes in the country, adding star scorer Fatts Russell from Rhode Island and big man Qudus Wahab from Georgetown. Other guys that have been added to the roster that will help their rotation and depth are Simon Wright from Elon, Pavlo Dziuba from Arizona State, Ian Martinez from Utah and Xavier Green from Old Dominion.

The main guys they will look to start from this group are Russell and Wahab, as they will likely be in the starting lineup alongside Hakim Hart, Donta Scott and Eric Ayala, but all of these transfers will find a role in the rotation and look to produce for Turgeon and company.

What was lost

Maryland lost two main players from their lineup and arguably their two best, and both came fairly unexpected. Aaron Wiggins stayed in the draft after some people predicted he would return to College Park for one more season, and Darryl Morsell surprisingly announced he was entering the transfer portal and would be heading to Marquette.

Chol Marial is also leaving the program and will be heading to Oregon State, and big man Jairus Hamilton is heading to Western Kentucky. Marial and Hamilton were projected to have big roles on the team, but losing Morsell is key to the defensive structure of the team as he is one of the best defenders in college basketball.

Against Ohio State in the Chris Holtmann era

In the team’s history, the Buckeyes and Terrapins are even 8-8 against one another. For obvious reasons, they did not play a lot until Maryland joined the Big Ten, with the two programs seeing each other just four times total prior to 2013.

Since Chris Holtmann joined the Buckeyes over the past four seasons, they have faced six times and similar to the all-time series, the two teams are 3-3 against each other. The Buckeyes have won the last two meetings, besting Maryland 79-72 and 73-65 — once in College Park and once in Columbus. Ohio State won the first meeting between the two teams in the Holtmann era, 91-69.

Season prediction

Similar to Iowa, Maryland will be a pretty big question mark coming into this next season. However, unlike Iowa, they have one of the best transfer classes coming in and will be able to utilize that talent immediately. You can never predict how a team might mesh when a lot of the players are new, but the talent that Maryland is bringing into the fold is undeniable, and should be able to help Turgeon and the Terrapins pick up right where they have left off.

The returning guys like Ayala, Scott and Hart, who were all starters at times for the Terrapins last season, will be all key factors this season in keeping this team at the top of the conference. They are likely in the second tier in the Big Ten with Michigan State, Illinois and Ohio State, but not quite on the level of Michigan and Purdue in the first tier.