Maryland will participate in the CBE Classic, beginning Monday evening and concluding on Tuesday. The tournament coincides with the CBE Hall of Fame induction, which occurred Sunday evening, and included former Maryland head coach Gary Williams’ induction. Maryland’s current team was able to attend the ceremony, honoring the coach whose name is etched on their home court.
This year's event will feature four undefeated teams, all of which are ranked in the top 70 of Kenpom's latest rankings. On the surface, Iowa State jumps out as the obvious favorite, but the Cyclones have struggled a little in the early going this season. While they're ranked 13th in both national polls, Kenpom actually ranks ISU one spot below Maryland. So if the Terrapins could defeat Arizona State on Monday and Iowa State handles Alabama, the Terps could have an interesting match up against a great team.
Regardless of who Maryland plays Tuesday, it will be a quality opponent on their NCAA Tournament resume. Even if they leave Kansas City with a 1-1 record, that loss will be to a (current) top 70 team on a neutral court. And if Maryland ended up winning the CBE Classic, they'd have two quality victories on their resume and have the potential to only lose once during the non-conference portion of their schedule.
Here's a quick breakdown of the other teams participating in this year's CBE Hall of Fame Classic:
The Sun Devils are a very solid Pac-12 team and will definitely provide Maryland with their best competition to date. Here is our full preview of them.
Kenpom ranking: 67th
AP/Coaches Poll ranking: n/a
Leading scorer: Shaquielle McKissic, 6'5" - 10.3 ppg
Leading rebounder: Eric Jacobsen, 6'10" - 9 rpg
Assist leader: Chance Murray, 6'2", 2.7 apg
What they're good at: Defense. They're the #3 team nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency
What they struggle with: Turnovers. They're currently turning the ball over on 25.1% of their offensive possessions.
Alabama is a solid team. They'll face off against Iowa State Monday evening. They're led by Levi Randolph who is by far their best player, leading the team in scoring, rebounding and assists so far this season. The Crimson Tide have struggled a little in the early going, including just a six point win at home against Western Carolina.
Kenpom ranking: 58th
AP/Coaches Poll ranking: n/a
Leading scorer: Levi Randolph, 6'5". 19 ppg
Leading rebounder: Levi Randolph, 7.7 rpg
Assist leader: Levi Randolph, 3.0 apg
What they're good at: Shooting around the rim. Their 2-point shooting percentage ranks 13th nationally
What they struggle with: Allowing offensive rebounds
If Maryland beat Arizona State, they'd likely take on Iowa State. They're a very good team but have struggled a little bit in the early going, only defeating Oakland by 11 at home. They responded in their next game by beating a solid Georgia State team by 23, so perhaps it was early season jitters. They're led by Georges Niang, who is just a double-double beast that Maryland would potentially have trouble stopping. If they faced Iowa State, they'd likely have to win a shootout.
Kenpom ranking: 27th (one spot below Maryland)
AP/Coaches Poll ranking: 13th in both polls
Leading scorer: Georges Niang, 6'8" - 20 ppg
Leading rebounder: Georges Niang - 10 rpg
Assist leader: Monte Morris, 6'2", 6 apg
What they're good at: A lot of things. They're extremely efficient on offense (11th nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency), only turn the ball over on 13% of their offensive possessions, which ranks 9th nationally, and they block a lot of shots.
What they struggle with: Defense. They're allowing other teams to shoot very effectively and don't force a lot of turnovers.
T.V. Schedule and bracket, via CBEClassic.com:
|Championship Rounds at Sprint Center - Kansas City MO (All times ET)|
|24-Nov||Arizona State vs. Maryland||7:00 PM||Sprint Center - KC, MO||ESPNU|
|24-Nov||Alabama vs. Iowa State||9:30 PM**||Sprint Center - KC, MO||ESPN2|
|25-Nov||Consolation Game||7:00 PM||Sprint Center - KC, MO||ESPN3|
|25-Nov||Championship Game||9:30 PM**||Sprint Center - KC, MO||ESPNU|