Two weeks ago, Maryland was on the edge of being ranked for the first time since the preseason. They had just come off of a dominant victory against Illinois and needed one more win against Nebraska to reach the Top 25.
Unfortunately, the Terps suffered a heartbreaking 67-65 defeat at the hands of Nebraska and fell back down the NCAA totem pole. Maryland bounced back and went on to win their next three games, two of which were on the road, and once again found themselves in the Top 25 conversation.
On Monday the Associated Press released their weekly rankings. Maryland received 121 votes and the #25 spot. The Terps also find themselves at the top of the Big 10 after their win against Illinois and Michigan State’s loss to Ohio State.
Things are looking good for this young Maryland team. After their underwhelming 2015-16 season, Maryland lost four of its five starters and replaced them with freshmen recruits. In the past, coach Mark Turgeon has been able to bring in some veteran transfer players to help improve the team, but this year he stuck with his recruits.
While junior Melo Trimble is still the undisputed leader, newcomers like Anthony Cowan, Justin Jackson, and Kevin Huerter have been the key to success for this Maryland team. The freshman have shown a lot of poise in close games that goes beyond just being smart with the ball. Cowan, Jackson, and Huerter all have the ability to take the game-winning shot or sink the clutch free throws.
The Terps’ new ranking will be immediately tested as they prepare to play three of their next four games on the road. The first will be against Iowa this Thursday.