Advertisement
Terps

After Kevin Willard’s 5-0 start with Maryland men’s basketball, Terps ranked No. 23 in AP Poll

On the back of Maryland men’s basketball’s first 5-0 start since 2019, the Terps have vaulted into the latest Associated Press Top 25 Poll at No. 23 in the nation for the first time since the 2021-22 preseason.

It’s a reward for the promising start to coach Kevin Willard’s tenure in College Park, which featured two lopsided victories in the 2022 Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament in Uncasville, Connecticut, over the weekend.

Advertisement

In its first major tests, Maryland steamrollered Saint Louis and Miami (Fla.) to win the nonconference tournament. Forward Donta Scott, who made the all-tournament team, has led the Terps through five games with 16.8 points.

Last season, Maryland suffered a loss to George Mason at Xfinity Center in the fourth game of the season, beginning a spiral that concluded with coach Mark Turgeon stepping away from his post eight games into his 11th season. The Terps had opened the year at No. 21 nationally and rose to No. 20 in the first AP Poll of the year before falling out of the rankings altogether on their way to their first losing season since 1992-93. The season before, the Terps lost to Clemson in their fifth game, and they were unranked for the entire season.

Advertisement

In the rankings from KenPom, which uses advanced metrics to measure teams, Maryland slots in at No. 22. Saint Louis and Miami rank Nos. 43 and 44, respectively, after they were handled by the Terps.

Maryland has received boosts from Scott, forward Julian Reese inside (13.2 points, 7.6 rebounds), senior Hakim Hart (12.4 points, 42.9% 3-point percentage) on the exterior, as well as transfer Jahmir Young (12.2 points).

The expectations heading into this season were high internally, with Willard saying in his media news conference that his goal each year is to win a Big Ten Conference championship and a national title. “No other expectation is allowed in this program,” Willard said, before noting that the realistic chances of doing so some years are higher than others.

But externally, Maryland was chosen to finish 10th in the preseason Big Ten media poll. Now, they’re one of six Big Ten teams ranked in the latest AP poll — the most of any conference — with a matchup against Coppin State on Friday.

Coppin State at Maryland

Friday, 4 p.m.

TV: BTN+

Radio: 105.7 FM


Advertisement