Maryland men’s basketball preview

Terrapins at a glance

What we know: There is no shortage of excitement in the nine-man rotation. Dez Wells is a high-flying dunker with perimeter skills. Coach Mark Turgeon has raved about Alex Len’s newfound bulk and square-up game, while Nick Faust has flashed an improved jumper. The four-man recruiting class of Seth Allen, Jake Layman, Shaquille Cleare and Charles Mitchell will provide depth and energy, likely off the bench.

What we don’t know: For all the preseason hype, Turgeon’s roster will still feature four freshmen and three sophomores, many of whom have little experience in the rigors of the ACC. How they hold up and overcome adversity during an admittedly soft non-conference schedule could say plenty about their potential, though having Len step up as a go-to scorer in a full season would work wonders for the offense.

Prediction: With Wells officially on board, Maryland becomes a bona fide NCAA tournament contender who could make some noise in the ACC and deep into March Madness. His addition gives the freshmen time to grow before conference play. If they do, especially Mitchell and Cleare in the post, then the Terps could be a dangerously deep team come 2013.

— Alex Prewitt

# Name Yr. P Ht.
0 Charles Mitchell Fr. F 6-8
1 Evan Smotrycz Jr. F 6-9
2 Logan Aronhalt Sr. G 6-3
4 Seth Allen Fr. G 6-1
5 Nick Faust So. G 6-6
10 Jake Layman Fr. G-F 6-8
11 Varun Ram So. G 5-9
12 Conner Lipinski Fr. G 5-10
15 Spencer Barks So. F 6-9
21 Pe’Shon Howard Jr. G 6-3
23 John Auslander Jr. F 6-7
24 Jacob Susskind So. G 6-5
25 Alex Len So. C 7-1
32 Dez Wells So. G-F 6-5
35 James Padgett Sr. F 6-8
44 Shaquille Cleare Fr. C 6-9
9 Kentucky* 8:30
12 Morehead State 8
16 LIU-Brooklyn 7
20 Lafayette 8
24 Georgia Southern 7
27 at Northwestern 9:15
2 George Mason** 2:30
5 UMES 7
8 South Carolina State 2
12 Monmouth 8
21 Stony Brook 8
29 Delaware State 12:30
5 Virginia Tech noon
9 Florida State 8
13 at Miami 8
16 N.C. State 7
19 at North Carolina noon
22 Boston College 9
26 at Duke 1
30 at Florida State 8
2 Wake Forest 2
7 at Virginia Tech 9
10 Virginia 1
16 Duke 6
19 at Boston College 9
23 Clemson noon
27 at Georgia Tech 8
2 at Wake Forest noon
6 North Carolina 7
10 at Virginia 6
14-17 ACC tournament TBD

*In Brooklyn, N.Y.

**BB&T Classic at Verizon Center.


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