Maryland Basketball 2016-’17 Preview

An argument can be made that the most talented group of players departed College Park in the off-season, in the history of the storied program. Two seniors, a junior and a freshman moving on to the professional ranks.

Maryland will be led by the one player who did NOT go pro. Guard Melo Trimble returning for his junior season, after flirting with the NBA for the second year running. Freshman big man Diamond Stone was a first round pick of the Los Angeles Clippers, while Jake Layman went in the second round to the Orlando Magic, who immediately traded him to the Portland Trail Blazers. Forward Robert Carter would have been a second round pick as well, but opted for a free agency try out with the Golden State Warriors. Carter struggled in the Vegas Summer League and ultimately signed with a pro team in Italy. Guard Rasheed Sulaimon was a free agent with the Chicago Bulls in the summer league, but signed with the Charlotte Hornets. Despite a solid preseason, Sulaimon will begin his rookie season with the Greensboro Swarm of the NBA’s D-League.

Despite the attrition from last season’s tournament team, head coach Mark Turgeon has a full compliment of 13 scholarship players, for the first time in his tenure at Maryland. The Terrapins lost the aforementioned players (4) to the pros, bringing in a solid recruiting class of five players and a senior transfer.

RETURNING DEPTH

POINT-
Melo Trimble (JR) 6’3″ 185
Jaylen Brantley (JR) 5’11” 170

WING-
Jared Nickens (JR) 6’7″ 205
Dion Wiley (SO) 6’4″ 210

POST-
Damonte Dodd (SR) 6’11” 250
Michal Cekovsky (JR) 7’1″ 250
Ivan Bender (SO) 6’9″ 235

12TH RANKED RECRUITING CLASS

PG Anthony Cowan- (6’0″ 170) 4-star One of top-50 players in the country and the best from the DMV, Cowan is the designated successor to Trimble and will spell Melo this season, while also letting him get minutes at the two guard spot.

SG Kevin Huerter- (6’7″ 190) 4-star Top 40 player nationally, was New York’s “Mr. Basketball”. Gained invaluable international experience on the Gold Medal winning USA FIBA U-18 championship team, with Turgeon as an assistant coach. Will compete with Wiley for minutes at shooting guard.

SF Justin Jackson- (6’7″ 225) 4-star The “big fish” in a solid, all-around class. Played for powerhouse Findlay Prep in Henderson, NV. Originally from Ontario, will push Nickens for minutes at small forward and potentially some stretch four as well, when Turgeon goes small.

SF Micah Thomas- (6’7″ 195) 3-star Mr. Basketball as a junior his final year playing in his native Tennessee, Thomas spent his senior season with Huntington Prep in West Virginia. Shot 41% from beyond the arc and is a match-up nightmare with a 7’1″ wingspan.

PF Joshua Tomaic- (6’9″ 220) International player. Turgeon uncovers a gem overseas every year and Tomaic is the 2016 edition. Averaged 19 points and a dozen rebounds playing for the national team in the Canary Islands. Fluent in four languages, versatile athlete also played tennis and swam in high school.

PF L.G. Gill- (6’8″ 230) Graduate transfer from Duquesne. Averaged 10.1 points and 6.5 rebounds and has stretch four skills with 53 three pointers. Could start at power forward.

NOTE: Turgeon put a top priority on an elite post player for the Class of 2018 and already has his man. 4-star Bruno Fernando has verbally committed to the Terrapins, the 6’10” 225 Florida native is a consensus top-5 center nationally.

MIDNIGHT MADNESS

TERRAPINS RANKED IN AP TOP-25

The Terrapins open play with an exhibition game (2 PM) on Saturday vs. Catawba at the XFINITY Center. The opener is Friday night the 11th, also at home against American University. Things ramp up quickly, with the marquee game of November coming the 15th, against Georgetown at the Verizon Center. Immediately following Thanksgiving, the Terrapins will play in the Barclays Classic in Brooklyn, then host Pittsburgh in the ACC/Big 10 challenge. Conference play tips off on the 27th of December, vs. Illinois in College Park.

Cover Photo Courtesy @TerrapinHoops

2016-’17 ROSTER

32 Kent Auslander G 6-6 200 So. Herndon, Va. (Herndon HS)
13 Ivan Bender F 6-9 235 So. Capljina,Bosnia & Herzegovina
1 Jaylen Brantley G 5-11 170 Jr. Springfield, Mass. (Odessa (Tex.) CC)
15 Michal Cekovsky F 7-1 250 Jr. Kosice, Slovakia (Canarias Academy)
0 Anthony Cowan G 6-0 170 Fr. Bowie, Md. (St. John’s College HS)
35 Damonte Dodd F 6-11 250 Sr. Centreville, Md. (Massanutten Military)
10 L.G. Gill F 6-8 230 Sr. Chesterfield, Va. (Duquesne)
4 Kevin Huerter G 6-7 190 Fr. Clifton Park, N.Y. (Shenendehowa Central)
21 Justin Jackson F 6-7 225 Fr. East York, Ontario, Canada (Hill Academy)
11 Jared Nickens G/F 6-7 205 Jr. Monmouth Junction, N.J. (Westtown School)
24 Andrew Terrell G 5-10 190 So. Indianapolis, Ind. (Brebeuf Jesuit HS)
23 Micah Thomas F 6-7 195 Fr. Memphis, Tenn. (Huntington Prep)
33 Joshua Tomaic F 6-9 220 Fr. Lanzarote, Canary Islands (Canarias Academy)
2 Melo Trimble G 6-3 185 Jr. Upper Marlboro, Md. (Bishop O’Connell)
20 Travis Valmon G 6-1 175 Fr. Rockville, Md. (Georgetown Prep)
5 Dion Wiley G 6-4 210 RSo. Oxon Hill, Md. (Potomac)

TURGEON GETS 4-YEAR EXTENSION