Checking In With Maryland and Rutgers

Mitchell Layton

Next year the Big Ten expands to 14(!) teams. We'll be keeping tabs on the two newcomers throughout the season.

The "ten" part of the Big Ten moniker has long been untruthful ('sup Penn State), and starting this offseason, the conference we love will bulge to 14 teams with the additions of Maryland and Rutgers. Throughout the season, we here at BT Powerhouse will be posting updates on how the two newbies to be are doing in their last seasons in the ACC and AAC respectively. So in the spirit of, uh, the opposite of manifest destiny, let's head east and see what the Terrapins and Scarlet Knights have been up to so far.

Maryland

The Terps sit at 10-5 on the season, and 2-0 in the ACC, after trouncing North Carolina Central University and Georgia Tech last week. Maryland's key games this season include a heartbreaking one-point loss to UConn to start the season, a 16 point beatdown at the hands of Ohio State in the ACC/B1G Challenge, and a Paradise Jam tournament championship win over Providence. Their top three scorers are Dez Wells, Jake Layman, and a name you may be familiar with in Ann Arbor, Evan Smotrycz. None of these three are seniors, in fact, only one player on the entire roster is in his last year of eligibility (and he only averages three minutes per game); so Maryland is set up for a nice debut in the B1G next year. The Terps start their ACC schedule in earnest this week with road trips to Pitt and Florida State and if they can win both, they'll be sitting atop the ACC after four games*. With only one game each against the top two teams in the conference, Duke and Syracuse, the Terps should be heading back to the NCAA Tournament this year for the first time since 2010.

*Note - Maryland got smashed against Pitt 79-59 after this article was written, but not published.

Rutgers

New York's B1G team has stumbled out to a 7-8 record, 1-1 in the AAC, after beating Temple and losing a close game to #14 (#12 after the new rankings were released today, BEATING RUTGERS HAS JUICE) Louisville last week. The Scarlet Knights have struggled to find consistency all season, having already had a four game losing streak followed by a three game winning streak, and losing to Fairleigh Dickinson while almost beating Louisville. The top three players for the Knights are juniors Myles Mack, Kadeem Jack, and senior Wally Judge (transfer from Kansas State). Rutgers only has one game this week, at Cincinnati, and needs the extra practice time to figure out which way this season is going to go. The fertile recruiting ground of New York City is just across the river, and with those B1G bucks coming their way Rutgers shouldn't stay down for long. An NCAA bid seems out of the question for the Knights this year, but a solid showing in conference could land them an invite to the NIT.

We here at BT Powerhouse promise to keep you abreast of all pertinent Maryland and Rutgers information moving forward, but for more in-depth coverage check out our friends over at Testudo Times and On the Banks.

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