On November 25, the Maryland Terrapins will be the sole Big Ten team to compete in the 2016 Barclays Center Classic in Brooklyn, N.Y. The team announced via their website on Tuesday that the Terps will travel to the Barclay's Center to face the Richmond Spiders of the Atlantic-10.
The four team tournament also includes the ACC's Boston College going up against the Big 12's Kansas State and on November 26, the winners of their respective matchups will play in the championship, while the losers will meet in the consolation game. Looking at the field, the Terps should be the best team in the tournament, but the Spiders should provide a decent non-conference test early in the season for a Maryland team that has lost four starters.
Inaugurated in 2012, the Barclays Classic is an annual early season tournament and this fall's competition will be its fifth edition. Maryland has some recent history playing in the Barclays Center as they faced Kentucky in the tournament's first year and then Connecticut the following season in a game that was not a part of the Barclays Classic. The Terps lost in a three-point nail biter to a Kentucky team that eventually went on to lose to Robert Morris in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament. In 2013, Maryland fell to eventual national champions Connecticut Huskies by one point in Brooklyn.
More recently though, Maryland has had success in early season tournaments. The Terps took home the crown in last season's Cancun Challenge, the 2014 CBE Hall of Fame Classic, and the 2013 Paradise Jam Tournament. This year, head coach Mark Turgeon and company look to bring their early tournament success to the Barclays Classic in order to break the Big Ten's drought in the competition. The last three tournaments have featured a team from the Big Ten and each year the conference has come up just short with Penn State and Rutgers losing in the championship game in 2013 and 2014 respectively and Nebraska finishing in third last season.
Of the four squads in this year's upcoming tourney, Maryland is the only one to have reached the NCAA Tournament last season and with star point guard Melo Trimble set to return and lead a group of promising and talented pieces, the Terps seem to be at least a Top 25 squad. Richmond is coming off of a .500 season, but the Spiders return two of its top three scorers in T.J. Cline and ShawnDre' Jones and could compete for a top spot in the A-10. Boston College finished dead last in the ACC last season with a 7-25 overall record and a goose egg in the win column versus conference opponents. The Eagles have lost two of their top three scorers and look to be headed for last place in the conference once again. Bruce Weber's Kansas State Wildcats finished 17-16 with a poor record in Big 12 play and are projected to be one of the bottom dwellers in the conference this season too.
Overall, the Terps are 25-15 against the Spiders. But the Spiders and Terps are not familiar foes as they have not played each other in over 30 years, a game in the 1982 NIT which ended in a 66-50 Maryland win.