Between the plethora of Ralph Friedgen posts and the steady stream of Mike Leach stories, it would be pretty easy to imagine that the University of Maryland had turned into a football school.
Yeah, sorry about that. Had to say it.
We know this is basketball territory through and through, and the only thing that has allowed all the upheaval to take center stage is the lengthy break the Terrapins' basketball team is currently enjoying. But that break temporarily ends tomorrow, with Gary Williams' bunch returning to action against the New Jersey Institute of Technology Highlanders.
A few interesting tidbits about NJIT: they joined Division I four years ago. In their first season, they were winless. In their second, they were 1-30. And last year, they were a comparatively respectable 10-21, with 7 of those 10 wins coming against Division I opponents. Progress.
Of course, no one's going to be scolding you if you don't happen to be afraid of the Highlanders. KenPom thinks they're one of the worst teams in the country, even worse than still-winless UNC-Greensboro. They have two victories on the season, neither coming over a Division I opponent (they defeated NYU-Poly and St. Joseph's (NY)). The tallest player on the team is 6-8 - and he only plays 10 minutes per game.
And sadly, I feel the news to break it to you right here: this game will not be televised. I'll search for a stream, but your best bet is likely to be TerpsTV, Maryland's own streaming service, if you're willing to plunk down eight bucks for the whitewash.
It's easy to discount this game as just another cupcake, but it holds its own sort of importance. No, I don't think this will be a game where you're particularly worried about Maryland's performances or even where you can truly learn anything, unless Jordan Williams breaks a backboard or drops 45 again. Heck, I'm not even taking the time to look up the roster or leading scorers right now. If NJIT sticks around, Maryland has some problems.
No, this game will be important because it might be the first we see of any lineup changes in Gary Williams' starting five. We thought they were coming before, but none did. Then Maryland lost a disappointing game to Boston College at home, with little more offensively than Jordan Williams, and the same questions popped up. Gary Williams has had a full ten days to think over any starting lineup changes, and I'm thinking there's a decent chance he pulls the trigger on one.
The big storylines: could Terrell Stoglin finally overtake Cliff Tucker in the starting lineup? Maybe a surprise and he replaces Adrian Bowie or Sean Mosley? Could Pe'Shon Howard fight his way? More importantly, will anyone?
Other than that, this should be a one-sided affair, one likely devoid of any lessons (or at least positive ones). Still, for all of you that've been clamoring for basketball news, I imagine this is a welcome bit of it.