Maryland loses star guard Melo Trimble, but a trio of talented sophomores should lead the Terps back to the NCAA Tournament. Anthony Cowan, Kevin Huerter, and Justin Jackson will establish themselves as household names on the national stage.
Maryland had a strong 2016-17 season, where they fluctuated in and out of the top 25 before falling to Xavier in the NCAA tournament. While some fans may be disappointed with the early postseason exit, it is important to remember how much talent the Terps lost from the year before.
The Terps lost four starters from their 2015-16 team: Jake Layman, Rasheed Sulaimon, Robert Carter, and Diamond Stone. Stone and Layman were both selected in the NBA Draft, Carter played overseas, and Sulaimon played in the D-League.
After losing this much talent, it is remarkable that Maryland had such a successful season. Their accomplishments are even more impressive when you consider that these future pros were mostly replaced by freshmen.
These freshman, Kevin Huerter, Anthony Cowan, and Justin Jackson, quickly adapted to the college level and provided Maryland with invaluable production. The fact that Maryland performed so well with such a young roster bodes well for the next few seasons, especially when you consider that these freshmen were not seen as elite recruits.
Cowan, Huerter, and Jackson all were ranked between 60 and 90 in the 247 composite ranking. This was not a typical Duke or Kentucky recruiting class where multiple top ten freshmen lead the team. Maryland struck gold in what should have been a rebuilding season.
The three freshmen gained experience playing in high leverage situations which will further their development. They are poised for break-out seasons where they will become household names in the Big Ten and on the national stage.
Here is a breakdown on what to expect from Jackson, Cowan, and Huerter this season.