The No. 3-ranked Maryland men's basketball team has its only exhibition game of the season on Friday night, a 7:30 p.m. tuneup against Southern New Hampshire at Xfinity Center. The game can be streamed at BTN Plus.
The Penmen come to College Park from the Division II Northeast-10 conference, which they came just short of winning last fall. They ultimately lost to Florida Southern in the NCAA Division II Elite Eight at the end of March. They didn't play any major competition last season, so the trip to a Big Ten venue should be fun (and will definitely be lucrative) for the Southern New Hampshire athletic department.
SNHU will have a hard time even staying within a two-to-one points ratio of Maryland, but that isn't really the point here. Maryland has a valuable chance to experiment with four new rotation players and get a meaningless dry run of things before the season heats up in a week. Maryland's first real game is next Friday against Mount Saint Mary's, and then a competitive Georgetown team visits town on Nov. 17.
There's also this, via Andrew Emmer in the comments: Maryland assistant Bino Ranson played for the Penmen, graduating in the class of 1999. He had almost 2,000 points and 600 assists, in fact.
Southern New Hampshire Penmen
Players to know
Rodney Sanders, senior, 6'3 guard/forward. Sanders led the Penmen with a 17.1-point scoring average last season on 40 percent shooting from the field. He also averaged 5 rebounds per contest, second on the roster to departed forward Elijah Bonsignore. He also led the team in assists (2.9) and steals (1.5) as well as minutes played (33.7), so we'll go ahead assume he's the guy for head coach Stan Spirou.
B.J. Cardarelli, senior, 6'8 forward. Cardarelli averaged 10 points and 5 rebounds for the Penmen last year. He shot 40 percent on 3-pointers, so maybe he'll be fun for Robert Carter or Jake Layman to chase around.
Devin Gilligan, junior, 6'5 forward. We'll see if any of Maryland's defenders find themselves on an island with this Amherst, N.H., product. He shot 44 percent on threes last year and averaged 10 and 6 for the Penmen.
Perimeter defending. The Penmen allowed opponents to knock down only 32.3 percent of their 3-point shots last season, which seems excellent.
Free throws. SNHU made 15 foul shots per game last season out of 20 attempts. That's pretty effective.
Can they handle the big atmosphere? A pivotal question facing any ascendant program. The Penmen played in front of an average home crowd of 486 people last year. There will be at least triple that many patrons on hand to watch them play on Friday.
Length. The Penmen don't have anybody taller than 6'8 on their roster. That's one inch taller than Maryland shooting guard Jared Nickens.
KenPom’s prediction: Nope.
Alex's prediction: Maryland, 101-47.