BTN analyst places Maryland basketball in ‘work to do’ tier in 2024-25

While college basketball coaches around the country scour the remaining available players to finalize their 2024-25 rosters with the NBA Draft deadline now in the rear view mirror, Maryland basketball found itself on the cusp of where it wants to get back to in the latest preseason picks.

BTN analyst Andy Katz listed Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Purdue, Rutgers, and UCLA as his six contenders to win the revamped Big Ten while Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Oregon, Wisconsin were named in the mix for an NCAA Tournament appearance. As for Maryland? Katz placed the Terps among six Big Ten teams with “work to do” alongside Penn State, USC, Minnesota, Iowa and Washington heading into 2024-25

The selection came on the same day that ESPN included Maryland among the five teams ‘next in line’ in their preseason top 25 rankings, while the Terps remain included in FOX’s preseason rankings after checking in at 20th in last week’s rankings.

While head coach Kevin Willard still has one available scholarship to work with ahead of the 2024-25 season, it’s a disappointing outlook for a Maryland team who turned to the transfer portal to restock its roster after a lackluster year two. As Maryland checks in with the 27th-best transfer class this offseason according to On3, Willard signed Ja’Kobi Gillespie and Selton Miguel to round out his new-look backcourt while former DeMatha and Virginia Tech guard Rodney Rice arrives where he can play either the point or off-ball. In addition to signing five-star center Derik Queen, Maryland returns Julian Reese, who was recently selected as the 22nd-best forward this season, in the frontcourt to give the Terps a proven piece inside. Maryland also returns Deshawn Harris-Smith, Braden Pierce, Jordan Geronimo and Chance Stephens while former UMass and Georgia Tech forward Tafara Gapare will look to carve out a role in the frontcourt.

Maryland will need its new pieces to perform as advertised as the program looks to avoid missing the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last four years. Maryland was among the ‘last four byes’ alongside Rutgers, USC and Illinois while drawing an 11-seed vs. St. John’s in the South region as one of eleven Big Ten teams in Joe Lunardi’s updated preseason bracketology.

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