If you guys don't already, you should follow Jason McIntyre aka The Big Lead on Twitter. A really great sports blogger who generally has really good, interesting stuff. Anyway, today he posted his super-early preseason college basketball ranking for next year, and low and behold, our Maryland Terrapins weigh in at...drum roll please...
13. Maryland (17-15, NIT) - This is extremely optimistic, but the Terps return a ton, and I’m expecting big leaps for Len and Howard.
Now I fancy myself as a pretty huge optimist when it comes to Maryland sports, and even I didn't think we would be that high. I was pretty excited when ESPN had us in the honorable mentions of their first rankings. But #13? It both makes me really excited and kinda chuckle too myself because it's a tad far fetched.
Here is where I poke some holes in Mr. Lead. First off, he says we made the NIT last year which we all know isn't true. Secondly he mentions Len and Howard as the lynch pins for success, which most of us here would definitely disagree with. I see Len improving but in past posts McIntyre thinks he has the potential for a 20-10 season. That's...maybe...just a little optimistic. 12-9? 14-10? Sure I buy it, but 20-10 is borderline historic and Unibrow territory.
Then there is Howard. This is where I start to think that he hasn't watched a TON of Terps games this season. I really don't think Howard is primed for a big leap, not because I think he is a bad player, but for the simple fact of his serious injury and the likely lack of NEED for him to rush back and be a major player.
If MVPe is anything more than a really good backup to Stogs, Faust, Allen, Jr., what have you, and Len is going 20-10, we should start booking hotels in Atlanta now because that plus a junior Stogs, a more developed Faust, a wealth of big body bangers in the post, and much better shooting (I'm looking at you Jake, Seth, and Sam) is a pretty freaking good team. #13 in the country? I don't know. But certainly the potential for something special.