Baltimore Sun reporters Jeff Barker and Don Markus and editor Matt Bracken weigh in on the three biggest topics of the past week in
Who will be Maryland's quarterback next season -- or at least who will be in the mix?
Jeff Barker: Coaches won't discuss this yet -- they've been asked. They typically don't like looking that far ahead. They've got their hands full finding enough healthy bodies at the position to make it through the rest of this season.
But reporters have no such limitations. We'll talk about pretty much anything.
So here are my early rankings. The quarterback competition will be affected by how quickly -- and how well -- some of these guys can come back from injuries. That's something you can't always predict.
Ricardo Young. Most Maryland fans haven’t seen him, but I wouldn’t underestimate his chances of becoming a significant player. Young originally committed to
Caleb Rowe. The freshman only played one complete game before tearing his ACL, but his potential is obvious if you watch him throw. Teammates call him a "gunslinger."
Shane Cockerille. Is the current Gilman player Maryland's quarterback of the future? Like many schools, Maryland likes to redshirt its first-year quarterbacks. The team didn't have that luxury this season with all the injuries. "[The Maryland coaches] just like me as a tough kid that's mobile, can run the ball and throw," Cockerille said.
Devin Burns: The former receiver volunteered to play quarterback after Brown was injured in training camp. Does he remain at the position? We will see.
What impact should Dez Wells regaining his eligibility have on the rest of Maryland's starting lineup and rotation?
Don Markus: I expect Wells to be in the starting lineup Friday night against
With Wells in the lineup, presumably at shooting guard but also at small forward, that might give
Given the hoopla surrounding the game in Brooklyn -- heck, Turgeon referenced the fact that the Terps might get a little starry-eyed just seeing
Figure on Allen getting a pretty good run in the backcourt, with freshman Charles Mitchell (15 rebounds in the exhibition game) probably getting the first call off the bench up front. I know that fellow freshmen Shaquille Cleare and Jake Layman played a little nervously in the exhibition game, but Turgeon said at the news conference to announce Wells regained his eligibility that he expected both of the two top recruits to show better in Brooklyn than they did in College Park. I also think transfer Logan Aronhalt, a fifth-year grad student who played at Albany, will get some minutes, especially if he comes out and hits a couple of 3s.
A lot of Turgeon's confidence in using some of his younger guys -- and some of his older guys -- stems from the fact that Wells is considered the glue, without ever having played a game for the Terps. He is their best offensive player, maybe their best defensive player and a leader. But he is only a sophomore who as a freshman wasn't expected to do for Xavier what he is expected to do for Maryland, which means there might be some growing into the role.
What does the national media think of this Maryland basketball team?
Matt Bracken: The consensus among most college basketball writers before Dez Wells was cleared by the
Gary Parrish wonders if Kentucky "might be an upset candidate," but the CBSSports.com writer ultimately goes with the Wildcats.
To be clear, I'm still picking UK. But if there's a good time to catch
ESPN.com's Eamonn Brennan notes that tonight presents a big opportunity for Maryland for RPI purposes.
Yes, the Cats are super talented. Shocker, I know. They are also -- much more so than last year, and more so than usual under Calipari, which is saying something -- incredibly young. They haven't had time to jell together; they won't be the same team tonight as in March, that's for sure. That's also good news for Maryland, which got hyper-athletic Xavier transfer Dez Wells eligible just this week, a huge boost to a young but promising team highlighted by sophomore guard Nick Faust, center Alex Len and freshman forward Shaquille Cleare.
Finally, in a mailbag for
Now that Wells is cleared to play, Maryland has a great shot to finish as high as fourth in the ACC. And at this point, I would expect that Maryland fields an NCAA tournament team. That's how big of a difference Wells makes.