2024-25 Big Ten offseason at a glance: Maryland Terrapins

  • 05/28/2024 7:38 am in

Welcome to “Big Ten offseason at a glance,” a team-by-team look at the conference at the start of the summer. We’ll examine roster movement for each Big Ten roster and give an early outlook for each Big Ten program for the 2024-25 season.

Previously: Penn State, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Oregon, Washington

Today: Maryland (16-17 overall in 2023-24, 7-13 in Big Ten play)

Maryland was picked to finish near the top of the Big Ten last season but had a losing record and missed the postseason altogether. Kevin Willard, who reached the NCAA tournament in year one with the Terps, enters his third season in College Park.

Maryland roster movement

Players returning with eligibility remaining: DeShawn Harris-Smith, Julian Reese, Jordan Geronimo, Jahari Long (unknown if he’ll return for a fifth year), Chance Stephens, Braden Pierce

Players departing due to exhausted eligibility: Donta Scott, Jahmir Young

Players who departed via the transfer portal: Mady Traore (Frank Phillips College), Caelum Swanton-Rodger (to Old Dominion), Jaime Kaiser Jr. (to Butler), Jahnathan Lamothe (to North Carolina A&T), Noah Batchelor (to Buffalo)

Players arriving via the transfer portal: Ja’Kobi Gillespie (from Belmont), Selton Miguel (from South Florida), Rodney Rice (from Virginia Tech), Tafara Gapare (from Georgia Tech)

Players arriving via high school: Derik Queen (247Composite top 15), Malachi Palmer

Maryland lost an All-Big Ten performer in Young and five transfers but added four players from the portal and a McDonald’s All-American in Queen. The Terps currently have one scholarship open for the 2024-25 season.

What to like about Maryland

The Terps had a few wins this spring. Julian Reese’s return and Queen’s commitment were positive developments. Maryland beat out Indiana in an intense recruiting battle for the five-star big man from Montverde Academy.

Maryland also retained Harris-Smith, who struggled as a freshman but still has the potential to be an impact guard in the Big Ten. Willard also did very well in the portal with the additions of Gillespie and Miguel, who are both likely starters. Gillespie averaged 17.2 points, 4.2 assists and 3.8 rebounds while shooting 56.1 percent from the field last season at Belmont. Miguel, meanwhile, was a 39 percent 3-point shooter last season who averaged close to 15 points at South Florida.

The three-guard lineup of Gillespie, Miguel and Harris-Smith, paired with Reese and Queen in the frontcourt, should give Maryland a formidable starting five.

What to question with Maryland

There’s no way to characterize Maryland’s 2023-24 season other than as a disaster. The Terps were an abysmal shooting team, which was the major reason the program didn’t sniff the tournament despite having a top-15 defense nationally.

Maryland lost its best player in Young and needs Gillespie to be a plug-and-play replacement. Gillespie was highly efficient at Belmont and will need that to continue in the Big Ten.

A lot is riding on Miguel and Rice’s shooting from the perimeter and the duo of Reese and Queen’s fitting together nicely in the frontcourt.

Maryland’s outlook for the 2024-25 season

Here’s Maryland’s Big Ten schedule for next season:

Home: Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Rutgers, UCLA, USC, Wisconsin
Away: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Oregon, Penn State, Purdue, Washington
Home/Away: Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State

Maryland has the talent to be an NCAA tournament team if its shooting can make significant strides. Last season, the Terps shot 28.9 percent on 3s, which ranked 347th nationally. Things weren’t great inside the arc, either, as Maryland made just 48.8 percent of its 2s, good for 247th in the country.

Gillespie was one of the better transfer portal adds in the conference and Queen is one of the top incoming freshmen. He should be an instant impact scorer and rebounder and will be one of the league’s best passing big men. Maryland will be better than last season, but Willard needs to safely make the tournament to avoid hot-seat talk in just his third season.

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