The Maryland men's basketball team is ranked No. 3 in the season's opening Coaches Poll, released Thursday.
Kentucky, after going 38-1 a season ago, is tied for No. 1 despite losing almost its entire rotation and replacing it with a new crop of blue-chip freshmen. The Wildcats are tied with North Carolina – a Maryland opponent at the start of December– and then come the Terps themselves. Maryland got five preseason votes for first place, compared to 11 for Kentucky and 12 for North Carolina.
The Big Ten has four other teams ranked: No. 13 Michigan State, No. 15 Indiana, No. 17 Wisconsin and No. 24 Purdue. The Terps play each of those teams on the road and have a few home-and-homes, setting up an hugely challenging conference schedule.
No league has more ranked teams than the Big Ten, and Maryland is emerging as the league's consensus favorite. In addition, Maryland guard Melo Trimble was picked Wednesday as the conference's preseason player of the year.
It's probably worth noting that Maryland started at the same spot in 2001-02, and things worked out OK that year.
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