Maryland men earning Top 5 buzz in early 2015-16 projections

Don Markus, The Sun's Terps beat writer, talks about what Melo Trimble's decision to stay in school means for the University of Maryland men's basketball team. (Baltimore Sun)

A few of these lists use the term "way-too-early." Another calls it "ridiculously early."

And considering that players from Duke are still plucking the confetti out of their hair, those are accurate statements.


But as sure as you'll hear "One Shining Moment" at the end of championship Monday, it's tradition to wake up the next morning to national analysts projecting the following year's Top 25.

This year, they're seemingly all bullish on Maryland.

The Terps lose Dez Wells, who truly played the best basketball of his career in the second half of his senior year. But with Melo Trimble coming back for his sophomore season and Robert Carter Jr. and Diamond Stone joining the frontcourt, Maryland will be entering 2015-16 with lofty expectations.

Here's where the Terps land on a few of those "way-too-early" and "ridiculously early" Top 25 lists:

** Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News has Maryland as his No. 3 team in the country heading into next year, behind only Virginia and Arizona.

"The addition of elite center recruit Diamond Stone gives the Terps a chance to be much more physical and less dependent on perimeter shots," DeCourty writes. He goes on to say that, "In only their second year in the league, the Terps will be clear Big Ten favorites."

** Rob Dauster of NBC Sports is also placing Maryland at No. 3, behind North Carolina and Iowa State on his list.

"Getting Trimble to announce that he will be coming back to school is huge, as would the return of [junior forward Jake] Layman, because the Terps are going to have plenty of firepower up front. Georgia Tech transfer Carter and top ten recruit Stone will headline one of the better front lines in the Big Ten."

** Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com is ranking the Terps at No. 4, behind Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky.

"Maryland has, in the past month, received news that Melo Trimble will return for his sophomore season, and that Diamond Stone will enroll in College Park," Parrish writes. "So Mark Turgeon is on a roll. He'll have a Final Four-caliber roster."

** Eamonn Brennan of ESPN.com puts Maryland at No. 5, behind Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina and Iowa State.

He writes: "Turgeon has a few rotation roles to fill around the margins, but that core four [Trimble, Stone, Layman and freshman wing Jared Nickens] is more than enough to slot the Terps as the preseason Big Ten favorite."


Recommended on Baltimore Sun