There are four days until the start of the 2019-20 season for No. 7 Maryland men’s basketball.
Our player preview series is over, which means it’s time to turn to the schedule. The Terps will have a daunting slate come Big Ten play, but the nonconference opponents may not be as tall a task to overcome. Cody and Sean broke down the teams Maryland could play at the Orlando Invitational.
I’ll be looking at the best players that Maryland will face when it heads to that tournament over Thanksgiving.
Markus Howard, Guard, No. 0: Marquette
While Maryland is on the other side of the bracket, if it advances far into the Orlando Invitational, there’s a good chance it will matchup against Marquette and Markus Howard —one of the best players in all of college basketball.
When it comes to scoring, there are few in the country who do it better than Howard. The star guard out of New Jersey can beat teams in many ways, but he is especially lethal from beyond the arc. Howard shot a strong 40.3 percent on three-pointers last season.
However, it’s not just three point shooting that Howard excels at. He is also a strong finisher around the rim and gets to the free throw line often, where he converted 89 percent of his attempts last season. In a game against Creighton that went to overtime last year, Howard put up a whopping 53 points.
Howard is extremely decorated as well, he was named the Big East Player of the Year last season and was also a consensus second team All-American. The guard will be entering his senior season and he has a lot to prove to NBA scouts this season. With the subtraction of the Hauser brothers, it will be all up to Howard to lead the way for the Golden Eagles.
Bryce Aiken, Guard, No. 11: Harvard
Regardless of whether the Terps win or lose against Temple in the opener of the tournament, there’s a strong chance they see Harvard in its next game. While they may not seem like the toughest opponent, the Crimson are a well oiled machine, led by their star player Bryce Aiken.
Aiken is viewed as one of the best guards in the country and has a similar skillset to Howard of Marquette — he can flat out score. Aiken gets his points in a variety of ways, including three-pointers, which he shot at a 39.8% clip last season, and from the free throw line where he made 85.5% of his attempts a season ago. Aiken scored over 30 points four times last season, with his best performance coming against Columbia in three overtimes, in which he scored 44 points.
He was an unanimous selection to last season’s All-Ivy League team and averaged 22.2 points per game for the Crimson. Harvard has a really solid squad, which has a great chance to make the big dance come March, but how far it makes it will likely depend on how well Aiken plays.
Quinton Rose, Guard, No. 1: Temple
The last player previewed is one Maryland is guaranteed to play, and that is Quinton Rose of Temple. The Terps will face Temple in the first round of the Orlando Invitational and they’ll have their hands full with Rose.
Rose is an explosive guard who averaged 16.6 points per game last season for the Owls. He is not the best three point shooter, only shooting 27.5% from beyond the arc last season, but he gets his buckets around the rim and in the mid range.
Rose is also known for his strong defense. The senior guard averaged 2.2 steals per game last season. Rose was named to the second team All-AAC team last year and is expected to be one of the best players in the conference in 2019-20. Maryland will need to shut down Rose in this game in order to get some much needed non conference wins in the Orlando Invitational.
The Orlando Invitational is loaded with other talent, especially some strong under the radar players.
Savion Flagg, Guard, No. 1: Texas A&M
2018-19 Stats: 13.9 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 2.3 apg
Nick Rakocevic, Forward, No. 31: USC
2018-19 Stats: 14.7 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.4 bpg
Kellan Grady, Guard, No. 31: Davidson
2018-19 Stats: 17.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.9 apg
Jon Axel Gudmundsson, Guard, No. 3: Davidson
2018-19 Stats: 16.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 4.8 apg