Maryland Basketball Slowly Creeping Back Into National Consciousness

Astute poster apoc987 already commented on this on in a FanPost, but I figured I'd bump it up for all of those that don't really venture into that territory (if you don't, you should).

Maryland, having won 4 straight, 3 straight in the ACC, and 6 of their last 7, is finally re-entering the national discussion. After receiving 22 votes in the AP poll, they've gotten some more credit from some of the national bigwigs.

First up is everyone's favorite statistical site, KenPom. Pomeroy has Maryland as the 8th best team in the country right now, and predicts a final record of 21-9 and 11-5 in the ACC. Can't complain about that at all. In fact, three of the four remaining losses he calls for are predicted at a one score differential - basically a crapshoot. Is Maryland that good? Probably not. But I won't argue with the figures.

As a way to temper that, I'll point to Jerry Palm's CollegeRPI, an inherently flawed yet ridiculously important formula. He's sticking Maryland at 54th right now - significantly lower than KenPom. Just to keep you on your toes.

It's not just computers, though: the human elements are starting to come around on Maryland, too. Jay Bilas said Gary Williams deserves credit (this'll be touched on in the MM too) for coaching up this squad, and then went on a SportsNation chat and talked about the Terps some more. 

Maryland has really good guards, and they can really get after you. But, the big guys are doing a better job, too. Maryland is showing real toughness, and that is straight from Gary Williams, in my judgment. Maryland is very efficient on the offensive end, and the Terps do not turn the ball over too much. If Maryland rebounds and does not allow second shots, I like their chances against anyone in the ACC.

They were mentioned in two more questions, too. Was Scott Ven Pelt running this thing?

Finally, Maryland checked in at 25th in the ESPN CBB Power Rankings, and as high as 18th on individual ballots (Fraschilla's, of course, and Katz's). That's a precursor the less risk-taking and well-informed AP poll, generally, and if Maryland is able to win their next two, they should be ranked in every poll conceivable.

That said, they're not in every poll conceivable yet. Luke Winn, my favorite columnist in the biz (and not just because he linked to us once, though that factors in), still doesn't have Maryland in his top 32. Nor does Gary Parrish. And neither does FoxSports.

Not everyone has hopped on the Terp Train yet. Just something to keep in mind.

Of course, some would rather Maryland stay under the radar, because this team seems to lose as soon as they get ranked. I'm not sure if that's selective memory or not (Maryland lost two games after they checked into the polls at #21, the only time they've been ranked this year), but if this team is ever going to be successful, they'll have to learn how to play when they're in the spotlight. Might as well get some practice in it now.

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