The Associated Press released its preseason top 25 poll with the 2018-19 college basketball season just two weeks away. While Maryland men’s basketball won’t start the season with a ranking next to its name, the Terps aren’t far from the conversation, garnering the 31st-most votes in the nation.
After missing the postseason last year but bringing in a six-man recruiting class ranked seventh in the country, Maryland earned 28 points in the poll. The Terps start the year ranked between two other Big Ten schools, with Nebraska earning the 30th-most votes (35) and Wisconsin earning the 32nd-most (24).
Just three Big Ten teams will open the season ranked—No. 10 Michigan State, No. 19 Michigan and No. 24 Purdue—and another four received votes. In addition to the previously mentioned trio, Indiana received the 27th-most points (98) after landing five-star Romeo Langford.
The Terps’ highest-ranked opponent of the season is, unsurprisingly, Virginia. The Cavaliers check in at No. 5 after finishing ACC play undefeated last season. Two other Maryland non-conference opponents received votes as well. Loyola-Chicago landed right outside the top 25, with the 26th-most points (162) after its Cinderella run to the Final Four, and Marshall snuck onto the end of the list with one vote.
Head coach Mark Turgeon enters the season with a freshman-laden team, led by junior point guard Anthony Cowan Jr. and sophomore center Bruno Fernando. This ranking is also right around where the Terps clocked in on KenPom, where they open at No. 30.
The season’s fast approaching, as the Terps have just Maryland Madness on Friday and an exhibition against Lynn University on Oct. 30 left before the season starts. Maryland won its secret scrimmage against George Mason last Saturday after jumping out early, according to a source.
The 2018-19 season officially gets underway on Nov. 6, when Delaware comes to the Xfinity Center.