As we enter the fall season and college football gets underway, college basketball is right around the corner. As always, to prepare you for the season, Land-Grant Holy Land will be publishing Big Ten Team Previews and Ohio State Basketball Player Previews, starting now with the Team Previews.
Team: Maryland Terrapins
Head coach: Kevin Willard, second season, 22-13
2022-23 record: 22-13 (11-9)
All-time record against Ohio State: 10-10
Returners: Jahmir Young, Donta Scott, Julian Reese, Noah Batchelor, Jahari Long, Caelum Swanton-Rodger
Departures: Hakim Hart to Villanova, Ike Cornish to Ohio, Arnaud Revaz to Weber State, Pavlo Dziuba to High Point, Ian Martinez to Utah State, Don Carey, Patrick Emilien
Newcomers: DeShawn Harris Smith, Jamie Kaiser, Jahathan Lamothe, Braden Pierce, Chance Stephens, Jordan Geronimo, Mady Traoré
Maryland is bringing back one of the best players in the conference at the most important position, and that is a great place to start when talking about the 2023 Terrapins.
Jahmir Young returns to College Park after a solid first season with Maryland. Young averaged 15.8 points per game, 4.6 rebounds per game, and 3.1 assists per game. He made the Conference USA team three times at Charlotte and made the 2022-23 All-Big Ten team. With him having a second season at Maryland and playing under Kevin Willard, he will look to not only be one of the top guards in the conference but also one of the top guards in the country.
The loss of Hakim Hart, Don Carey, and Ian Martinez is not small, and their shooting will need to be replaced somewhere, but returning Young, Donta Scott, and Julian Reese as a core three is important and will help coach Willard as he looks to get his talented recruiting class involved as well.
Reese was able to cement himself as one of the top big men in the conference towards the end of the last season, and Scott will look to bounce back after a rough season last year in College Park.
A big reason why Maryland will or will not take the next step as a team is its freshman class. Harris-Smith and Kaiser are top-tier prospects that have Big Ten All-Freshman talent. If they can step in and be productive on day one, which they should be, there is no reason to think this team is not top-five in the conference.
Maryland is very clearly in the second tier of Big Ten teams this season. Tier one is Michigan State and Purdue. Nobody will really argue that. After that, however, is pretty wide open, and Maryland has the talent to be as good as third.
As mentioned in the outlook, Young is as good as any point guard in the league. Donta Scott is a talented forward who will be looking to get back to form after a rough season in 2022-23, and Julian Reese is becoming one of the top big men in the country after a breakout year last season.
With DeShawn Harris-Smith and Jamie Kaiser coming in looking to make immediate impacts as freshmen, this Terrapin squad has a ton of potential. Donta Scott is the X-factor for the team because he was great in 2021-22, and with a lot of preseason hype for him coming into last year, he was not able to live up to that hype and struggled. If he can get back to his 2021-22 self, he is a legitimate second option on this Terrapin squad and can take some of the heavy lifting off of Jahmir Young.