Maryland to make Barclays Center return next year?

Jason Szenes

It looks like Mark Turgeon and the Maryland Terrapins enjoyed their early-season trip to the Barclays Center this year. So much so, in fact, that they're looking to head back again next season.

At least so claims New York Nets CEO Brett Yormark on Boomer Esiason's radio show. With a hat tip to Jersey Terp in the FanPosts, have a listen to Yormark's remarks here:

And Boomer, I've gotta talk about some things other than Brooklyn Nets basketball. We're getting close to bringing Maryland back here again, which we're very excited about. And they're having a good season...

And then he's cut off by a joke from Boomer's co-host. But Yormark did this last year, too, dropping hints that Maryland would be playing in Barclays - and, lo(h) and behold, he was right. It sounds like things are still in the discussion phase and not finalized, but "getting close" sounds good to me.

Whatever it is, it won't be an actual tournament, like this year's Barclays trip (technically) was. You only get one of those a year, and Maryland's is already used up by the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands. It's much more likely to be a one-off game, or part of a larger collection of games that just so happen to be played in the same place. (Think the Champions Classic that was played at the Georgia Dome.) Whatever it is, it's virtually certain that the Terps will be facing a premier opponent - it's just not logical otherwise, on either the Nets' part or on Maryland's.

Good thing, too. The Terps' out of conference scheduling this year was woeful, and they paid the price for it: not only is it hurting their tournament hopes, but it also perhaps made things more difficult for them once the ACC season rolled around, as their youngsters hadn't yet been seriously tested. The Paradise Jam will at least offer high-major competition like Providence and Vanderbilt, plus bubblers Northern Iowa and LaSalle (which is better than nothing, I suppose), and given how deep the Big Ten is these days, they should draw a decent opponent in the B1G-ACC Challenge. (Illinois or Minnesota, perhaps?) But that bunch could still be a lot better, with room for one or preferably even two big names still there. Fire up a home-and-home with a solid program, throw in a neutral site game, and I'm sold.

(And that's without even getting started on Georgetown, which is probably still a few years away. Although ... the timing here is very coincidental, no? That said, if that game's ever being played, it'll be local in some way. Defeats the purpose, to some extent, by taking it up to NYC.)

First school that came to my mind? UConn, for some reason. What's your guess/wishlist?

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