After their latest signing, the Maryland Terrapins are looking to not only match last year's success but break new ground in the NCAA tournament. Last season the Terrapins went 27-9 and made it all the way to the Sweet 16 after defeating No. 12 South Dakota State and No. 13 Hawaii before falling to No. 1 Kansas.
The star lineup soon disintegrated with four starters departing during the offseason, but the coaching staff for Maryland's basketball program salvaged the leftovers into a new force to be reckoned with after a strong recruitment season. Joshua Tomaic, the towering 6-foot-9 inch power forward from Spain, is the newest recruitment and a terrifying one at that.
The stretch four is just as strong in the paint as he is on the perimeter, both offensively and defensively. His fluid ball moves and smooth shooting stroke outweigh the gaps in his game on the boards. He may not be a starter from day one, but he can easily develop into a superstar in the near future. He is also the first person to join a Division 1 basketball program that was born in the Canary Islands.
Tomaic stands as the fifth recruitment for Maryland, thus giving them a full roster after a myriad of offseason moves. He joins four-star guards Anthony Cowan and Kevin Huerter alongside four-star forward Justin Jackson and three-star forward Micah Thomas.
Maryland skipped rebuild mode and is ready for the next season to begin as soon as possible. They are set to face Richmond in the Barclay's Center Classic this November. Jeff Eisenberg from Yahoo.com ranks Maryland in the top 25 overall.
The acquisition of the recruits helps this team recover from the loss of the four starters last season, but Trimble's decision to stay keeps them above water in the realm of serious contenders. While he struggled last season with injuries making his numbers drop sightly across the board, this season is for him to help develop the new recruits and make an even farther push in the tournament while possibly earning himself the Naismith Player of the Year award, something he was favored to win last season.
Most experts place this squad in the top 20 in power rankings simply with Melo Trimble's return, but now with Jackson and Tomaic officially joining the Terrapins, their rise in the power rankings turns them into serious contenders.
It has been a whirlwind trip for Maryland basketball in the past couple of weeks as they turned the program from afterthoughts into NCAA tournament shoe-ins. The question remains if they can improve on their fantastic season the year prior.
All eyes are on Mark Turgeon's squad and what Melo Trimble can do with the new and possibly improved team this upcoming season.