Big Ten Preview: Maryland Terrapins

Mark Turgeon has certainly had his plate full this offseason. After signing off on the transfers of almost half of his rotation players, he is now welcoming his first top 10 recruiting class to College Park, and preparing them to be ready to contribute to a team competing for the first time in the Big Ten. After a disappointing season that saw the Terps fall well short of their tournament expectations, many attributed the failure to a lack of team identity. The roster was littered with capable shooters, but many of them lacked the consistency and cohesiveness required to regularly keep the team in games. There was also size in the frontcourt, but they lacked the depth to compete on the glass for all 40 minutes.

Turgeon’s incoming recruits specifically address these deficiencies in team personnel. Michal Cekovsky (PF), transfer Robert Carter (PF), and Trayvon Reed (C) will add depth to a front line already consisting of Smotrycz, Graham, and Dodd, while the additions of Nickens (F/G), Trimble (G), and Wiley (G) shows that Turgeon is committed to upgrading a backcourt that has, for years, not performed to expectations. Below, I take a look at the Terps’ best new additions and biggest voids to fill in the upcoming season.

 

Key Losses

-Charles Mitchell, F (6.5 PPG, 6.3 RPG, .5 BPG)

Mitchell was a tenacious rebounder for the Terrapins, giving Turgeon energy and efficiency off of the bench. Although his per-game stats don’t exactly jump off of the screen, his per-36 numbers (12.5 PPG, 12.1 RPG, 1.0 BPG) reveal just how valuable his play was to the team. Mitchell will be lacing up for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets next year.

-Seth Allen, G (13.4 PPG, 3.0 APG, 2.0 RPG)

Allen’s transfer to Virginia Tech poses the most serious threat to Maryland’s success in its inaugural Big Ten season. Allen was terrific from beyond the arc last season shooting at a 38% clip, but his ability to run the offense and keep the ball moving was critical to a Terps squad who finished the season tied for 231st in turnovers per game. Look for the incoming freshmen guards to step up production in Allen’s place.

Key Additions

-Michal Cekovsky, C

The 7’ footer from Slovakia has a diverse skillset and stands to add some much needed versatility to the Terrapins’ offense. Cekovsky has the ability to stretch defenses out to the three point line while also posing a threat in the post, and his court vision will allow wings slashing through the paint to pick up some easy buckets.

-Melo Trimble, G

Trimble, the best high schooler in Maryland and ranking 7th nationally at his position, is the lead candidate to step up in the absence of Allen. Trimble’s jump shot is lights out, and he is effective playing off the ball by getting to the spots he wants. His main weakness is that he is not a true point guard, but he is a skilled passer and dribbler who is nonetheless expected to be productive while making the complete transition to floor general.

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