If the players' personalities are any bit as they display on social media, we're in for an entertaining Saturday night for Magic Maryland Madness this weekend.
Since the Maryland men's team arrived back on campus this summer, they've taken Instagram and Snapchat to another level, filled with vivacious hip-hop moves in the locker room. With Jared Nickens' leg moves, Jaylen Brantley's twerking, and whatever Damonte Dodd's move is called where he skips and moves his hands around (video below), the hype for this year's annual team dance is off the charts.
Last season's routine was strong, but there's plenty of room for improvement this time around.
It's preseason, but the battle for a spot in March's tournament starts now. This dance routine is key to the start of another successful year.
With a few standouts graduating the Terps have a lot of... shoes to fill. Here's who needs to be replaced and some predictions as to how they'll do it:
Maryland graduated one of it's unquestioned leaders; a hustler on the basketball court, and the center of attention on the dance floor. There's a reason Graham was granted the honor to lead the peak of the v-formation last season. His enthusiasm was matched by none.
He sweeps the floor and raises the roof swiftly and with power guiding, the rest of the team to a successful two minute dance. Who will replace him? There are two leaders at the forefront.
Jared Nickens - Snapchat: jnickkk
Nickens impressed as a freshman last year. Shooting 39 percent from deep, he was the offensive spark off the bench. Though a 15-point explosion last season against Iowa State appeared to be his breakout performance, it pales in comparison to his "Carlton" from last year's Madness.
He stared into the camera after that one. He knew what he did; he put himself on the map, eyeing for Grahams spot. This wasn't all we've seen from Nickens: He's put together an impressive resume.
Here he tags his biggest competition.
Jaylen Brantley - Snapchat: jaybrant2
Brantley, the No. 17 junior college transfer according to the 247Sports Composite, took Maryland social media by storm this summer making his debut in a rendition of "I'm Angry" co-starring for Nickens and Melo Trimble.
I'm Angry !! Lmao fooling around with the fellas. @Jaybrant2 @_STAYMELO @TheRturnOf35 pic.twitter.com/DaawxSqcMX— Jared Nickens (@HeatCheck_11) July 28, 2015
He wasted no time making his presence known in the locker room. It's unclear if Mark Turgeon was aware of his hip-shaking prowess prior to his commitment or if 247Sports will adjust its ranking accordingly, but one thing's for sure: Nickens had better watch out. His front-and-center spot isn't guaranteed.
Damonte Dodd - Snapchat: marylandbound42
Dodd's poised to become a huge contributor this season as the potential starting center in a crowded frontcourt. He played an important role on the Terps' 40th-ranked defense by Ken Pomeroy's adjusted points per possession. What he brings to the dance floor is less clear, but it's certainly something.
Michal Cekovsky - Snapchat: cekoslav
Cekovsky could see an uptick in minutes during the regular season as the third at-or-near-7-footer in a stacked Terrapins lineup. His playing time decreased as the season wore on last year, but he looked promising early posting, four multiple-block games. Here's to hoping another year in America and another season in the locker room will get "Ceko" more comfortably in rhythm on stage, however.
Coaches Mark Turgeon and Brenda Frese
Was there a more swagalicious performance in all of college sports last year than the two Big Ten coaches of the year-to-be mom-and-dad-style dancing it to Bobby Shmurda? It's going to be tough for the duet to outdo their coaching performances from last season, but even tougher to get College Park on its feet like they did in 2014.