Maryland basketball receives votes in AP poll following Nebraska letdown

After picking up one point in last week’s top 25, Maryland basketball is still on the cusp of jumping back in following the updated AP top 25.

Maryland picked up 14 points and is unofficially ranked at 28th in Monday’s updated AP poll, one week after drawing just one point. Maryland also fell three spots to 24th in the latest NET rankings and four spots to 18th in the updated KenPom rankings. Maryland will look to bounce back against Minnesota and Nebraska at home this week with a chance of sliding back into the top 25 for the first time since mid-December.

Maryland had a chance to climb likely back into the top 20 following last Thursday’s upset over Purdue, who fell to fifth after ending their two-game slide with a near 30-point win over Ohio State on Sunday. Instead, the Terps found themselves on the outside looking in once again following Sunday night’s disappointing road loss to Nebraska. Maryland clawed back from an early nine-point deficit and held an eight-point lead in the second half, but watched it slip away as they were outscored 16-8 over the final 7:10 of regulation. “I love Jahmir’s shot at the end of regulation, but, you know, give them credit,” Willard said postgame. “I knew this was gonna be a tough one no matter what.”

Maryland took a three-point lead in overtime after Hakim Hart flushed in a thundering dunk, but a 7-0 run over the ensuing two minutes would prove too much. Maryland had a chance to retake the lead with under a minute left, but an errant pass from Hakim Hart led to a fastbreak layup for Seth Hoiberg would seal the Terrapins’ fate.

“I still don’t know what happened at the end of overtime only down one, but I have to go back and watch that. I just thought, again, the way we came out offensively on the road, it’s just killing us.”

While Donta Scott opened the game with a triple and ended it with a layup, the veteran forward was nearly nonexistent on the offensive end of the floor after shooting just 2-of-16 from the field—his worst shooting percentage in a game at Maryland where he’s made at least one field goal. Jahmir Young and Hakim Hart didn’t fare much better, combining to shoot just 11-for-29 from the field, though Hart’s four triples lifted the offense in timely possessions during the second half.

In the end, Maryland fell to 2-7 on the road after suffering a Quad 2 loss, drawing valid questions as to just how good this Terrapin team can be outside of Xfinity. But with a return game against Minnesota this week, head coach Kevin Willard is focused on getting his team rest. “For a guy like Jahmir and Donta and those guys that they’re logging a lot of minutes right now, I think emotionally, I gotta get them recharged because those guys have been great but we struggled. Those three really struggled tonight.”

Though the Gophers have dropped two more since the 35-point loss to Maryland roughly three weeks ago, they got a boost on Saturday when star forward Dawson Garcia returned and dropped 23 points and seven rebounds in 31 minutes against Penn State. Willard knows a second win won’t be a cakewalk even in Xfinity. “We gotta get back to campus tomorrow and get back at practice a little bit. Get ready for a Minnesota team that has Garcia back.”

Tipoff is set for 7 PM on Wednesday.

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