Hey folks, welcome back to another opponent Q&A. Today we have David Tucker from SB Nation site Testudo Times. David gives us some insight into the #3/4 team in the nation.
Like Nebraska, Maryland is another school that is new to the Big Ten. How has the transition been for basketball and is there any regrets leaving the ACC?
I think the basketball transition has been pretty smooth. There are definitely times when fans, myself included, miss the ACC, but the ACC basketball most of us loved died when the conference added Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech. The success Maryland saw last year in their first B1G season certainly helped and I think the Terps have an opportunity to build some nice rivalries within the conference.
Last year was a pretty good year finishing only behind Wisconsin in the conference and making it to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. What were the expectations of the team coming into this year?
Coming into this season, Maryland had expectations that were as high as they’ve been since the 2001-2002 season, when Maryland won the National title. The Terps had a perfect storm of returning talent and new talent that led many to believe they were could be title contender this season. With Melo Trimble and Jake Layman both deciding to return for their sophomore and senior year, respectively, the addition of transfer Rasheed Sulaimon, Georgia Tech transfer Robert Carter Jr. becoming eligible and 5-star center Diamond Stone committing, Maryland had its best roster in over a decade.
The season has been fairly successful so far with the only losses to North Carolina, Michigan, and Michigan State. What are some of the things that you would attribute this success to?
There are a lot of things that you can attribute to Maryland’s success. Chief among them is Melo Trimble. The preseason Big Ten Player of the Year has been great for the Terps so far this season. Maryland has has an extremely talented front court, led by Robert Carter and Diamond Stone, who both present match-up nightmares for opposing teams. Finally, senior Jake Layman has become an even more well rounded player this season, especially on the defensive end. Put all of that together and you get a Maryland team that has played pretty well for most of the season.
Who are some of the players that Nebraska fans should keep their eye on Wednesday night?
Melo Trimble is someone you should always look out for. He can do just about anything, especially when he’s making shots from beyond the arc. Jake Layman has been playing very well lately and Rasheed Sulaimon can always explode for 20 points on any given night. Freshman center Diamond Stone and junior forward Robert Carter two others to watch as both are both capable of putting up a double-double.
Okay, last question. What will happen in Lincoln and what will the final score be?
No road game is easy, except maybe against Rutgers, but I think Maryland wins this one by about 10. The Terps are always going to get a team’s best shot and I think you’ll see that from Nebraska on Wednesday. But ultimately, I think Maryland’s talent overcomes those efforts.