By Don Markus
The Baltimore Sun
3:45 PM EDT, June 2, 2014
Maryland has pulled out of the Jimmy V Classic against Villanova on Dec. 8 because of "scheduling issues," according to a news release from ESPN. The Terps, who were replaced by Illinois, will take part in the event in 2016.
Not playing Villanova takes a major opportunity at a Top 50 win off the table for the Terps, who are scheduled to play Virginia in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge at Comcast Center the week before and also have possible matchups against Iowa State and Arizona State at the CBE Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City.
In a text message to The Sun, coach Mark Turgeon said that he is "not sure" which team will replace the Wildcats in the schedule.
Given the fact that the Terps will have six newcomers this season, including five freshmen, it seems possible that Turgeon might have started to think he had overscheduled a tad in the early part of the schedule.
Two years ago, with a team built around sophomore center Alex Len, a four-player recruiting class and transfer Dez Wells, Turgeon purposely scheduled a soft non-conference schedule. The only loss came against then No. 3 Kentucky in the season opener at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but the lack of competition played into Maryland being unprepared once the ACC season began.
Last season, with a more experienced team that added Michigan transfer Evan Smotrycz but had lost Len to the NBA, Turgeon put together a tougher schedule. Aside from winning the Paradise Jam tournament in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Terps suffered unexpected losses at home to Boston University and Oregon State and went into the ACC with little margin for error.
Turgeon texted that the schedue should be finished "soon."
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