Maryland basketball starts its season on Nov. 6 against Delaware, a date that’s creeping ever closer. We’ll get our first look at the Terps on Oct. 30 in an exhibition against Lynn College.
This weekend gave us one useful data point while we wait to see what this team looks like on the court. Ken Pomeroy’s preseason analytics rankings are out, and Maryland comes in at No. 30.
That’s nine spots better than where the Terps finished in KenPom’s rankings last year, and is their best preseason placement since the start of the 2015-16 season, when they were at No. 23. That particular ranking inspired a negative reaction to Pomeroy’s stats among Maryland fans, as the Terps were a top-five team in most human-generated polls. (I don’t imagine Pomeroy’s numbers placing the Terps at No. 30 entering a season with six freshmen and only two scholarship upperclassmen will provide anything close to the same level of outrage, but let me know in the comments if I’m wrong.)
Kansas has the No. 1 spot in Pomeroy’s preseason rankings, followed by Duke, North Carolina, Virginia and Villanova. His numbers have five Big Ten teams ahead of Maryland: Michigan State at 13, Purdue at 18, Wisconsin at 20, Michigan at 24 and Indiana at 28.
We’ll use Pomeroy’s rankings on this website fairly often. They’re a great way to dive deep into what a team does well in a sport that features wildly different levels of competition. Pomeroy’s numbers, especially the preseason editions, are a tool. They’re not the only thing we’ll use to evaluate performance and make predictions. But when applied the right way, they can help us gain a deeper understanding of college basketball, at Maryland and elsewhere.
In other news
Maryland football lost to Iowa, 23-0. It was a painful display from the Terps’ offense, as has been the case in each of the team’s three losses. It was even worse than that 23-point margin would seem to indicate though Iowa deserves credit for being good.
Maryland field hockey beat Northwestern on Friday, but lost at Virginia to close its regular season yesterday.
Women’s soccer season is over, and the Terps went out with a loss.
Speaking of analytics, Bill Connelly’s S&P+ rankings have Maryland as the No. 63 team in the nation after the loss to Iowa, eight spots lower than last week.
Other notable rankings:
Ohio State: 8
Penn State: 10
Michigan State: 42
Purdue’s upset of Ohio State was also a bunch of fun to watch, at least when I wasn’t openly bawling my eyes out at the story of Tyler Trent: