Maryland Basketball Climbs Again in Latest AP Rankings

Another week remaining undefeated meant another rise in the rankings for Maryland basketball.

Maryland moved from 22nd to 13th on Monday, the highest ranking since the end of the 2019-20 season. Maryland did so after handily defeating Louisville in a 25-point win on Tuesday night in what will officially be the last game in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The win evened Maryland’s all-time record in the event to 12-12, including its second win and its first road win as a Big Ten member. The 25-point win also marked the largest in Maryland’s history in the challenge, eclipsing a 23-point win over Penn State back in 2010.

Maryland then notched its second win of the week after defeating then-16th-ranked Illinois, 71-66, to move to 8-0 on the season for the seventh time in program history. While Maryland remains one of 15 unbeaten teams across college basketball, Friday night also gave the players and head coach Kevin Willard a chance to feed off an electric crowd for the first time this season.

“I thought the crowd was off the charts, the student section was off the charts. I thought that was a big difference for us,” Willard said postgame. Maryland has fed off its balanced scoring among its starters through the first seven games, but Friday was highlighted by the three-point show thanks to Jahmir Young and Hakim Hart. Young’s final three with 14 seconds remaining sealed the win for Maryland, sending the Xfinity Center into a frenzy and filling the arena with celebration.

“That’s why Jahmir came here. He wanted to play the highest level of basketball at a big-time program. That’s why he’s here,” Willard said. “I think he walked out and this is the first time this is what he’s signed up for. He wanted the big-time moment, the big-time crowd.”

“The play had originally broke down, but coaches told me to come back and get the ball instead of a pick-and-roll at the top of the key. [Terrance] Shannon had way under and it’s just normal when he goes under to raise up and shoot and I know a three, it’d be a two possession game so I just needed the shot,” Young said of his game-clinching bucket. “I practice that shot, coach believes in me.” It marks the first career highlight for the former DeMatha guard, who admitted the moment provided a sense of relief in front of an erupting Maryland crowd.

Willard will look for a similar atmosphere when Maryland returns to Xfinity to host UCLA on December 14.

“I want to get this program back to a championship level. To get it back to a championship level, you need a building like that everywhere and if you look at Kansas as Kentucky, those type of programs, which I think this program is on that level, they have a crowd like that every night. If we can get that every night, you’re gonna win more games than you’re gonna lose.”

Maryland returns to action on the road Tuesday night against Wisconsin then will travel to Brooklyn to face Tennessee.

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