Maryland Power Rankings Week 1 (11-15-17)
1. Maryland (2-0 Best Win: Stony Brook) – While it is clear that other teams in the state captured more impressive and higher profile victories the first few days of the season I feel like I have to put the terps at number one because they are the only team in the state that right now is sitting at 2-0. They were away from home opening night as they played Stony Brook up in the NYC area, and then they downed fellow instate rival UMES by 49 in College Park two days later in the home opener. Justin Jackson had 11 points and a career high 14 rebounds in the game against Stony Brook, and Maryland enjoyed a 51-0 bench points differential against the Hawks on Sunday.
2. Navy (1-1 Best Win: Pitt) – The mids move up three spots from the preseason rankings thanks to an opening night victory over Pitt at home in the Veterans Classic. This is Navy’s first win over an ACC team since 1971. Bryce Dullin and Shawn Anderson lead the way for the academy with a combined 33 points and 17 rebounds. They lost their second game on the season in Coral Gables Florida to a strong Miami team 89-55.
3. Morgan State (1-1 Best Win: South Florida) – I was disappointed to not only see Morgan State lose their opening game at Binghamton, but lose it by the margin they did because I think this was a solid winnable game for them. That being said it is difficult to come back on the road when you give up a 20-2 run out of halftime. Now that we have gotten the negatives out of the way lets focus on the positives for the bears of which there are plenty so far. They make the biggest jump out of any team in the power rankings going from number 7 in the state in the preseason to number 3 right now. This is due to going on the road and beating an American Athletic Conference team. Morgan was actually lead in scoring not by the usual standout big men duo of Tiwian Kendley and Phillip Car, but instead by Freshman LaPri McCray-Pace who hit three 3-pointers and scored 15 points.
4. Loyola (0-2 Best Win: N/A) – Loyola at two different times in the final 30 seconds was one shot away from sealing their biggest win in program history as they nearly beat number 19 Northwestern on the road at All State Arena in Rosemont Illinois. I was at this game, and it was heartbreaking to come away with the defeat, but overall a huge encouraging sign as it shows this team is built for success with senior leadership of Andre Walker and Cam Gregory, and strong underclassmen play. Andrew Kostecka poured in 18 for the hounds on a number of threes. Loyola also lost their second game of the season Tuesday night at former MAAC opponent Fairfield at Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard.
5. Mount Saint Mary’s (0-2 Best Win: N/A) – The mount’s schedule has been tough so far, so it’s no surprise they are winless right now as going into Marquette and Notre Dame and coming out with wins are few and far between for teams. Junior Robinson keeps doing Junior Robinson things as he was not at all fazed by the bright lights of the Big East. He went toe to toe with Marquette guard Andrew Rowsey. Robinson had 20 points and 6 assist while Rowsey had 23 and 5. The mount had a lot of trouble containing Bonzie Colson. A great sign for the mountaineers is they received 4 votes in the associated press top 25 poll.
6. Towson (1-1 Best Win: Frostburg State) – Towson traveled to Old Dominion on Friday and battled a monarch team that will finish towards the top of the CUSA well. The tigers ultimately fell 57-54, but it was an encouraging sign as Towson lead ODU in rebounding free throw percentage, and three point percentage. Mike Morsell and Zane Martin had 37. Towson blew out a Maryland non division one team Frostburg State at SECU arena Tuesday night. Up next is a rivalry game at Loyola. This game is big for both teams, and it means more this year with both programs trending upwards. Whoever leaves Reitz Arena Saturday night on top will have a nice resume boosting win.
7. UMBC (0-2 Best Win: N/A) – UMBC falls from 3rd to 7th after losing two games they were not expected to win. It is a good thing for Maryland college basketball in general that there are so many good teams that this kind of fall in the rankings happens. It makes ranking the teams a difficult task to do. The retrievers were actually leading the mustangs at halftime in Dallas by seven points. Jairus Lyles had 24 at SMU and 31 at number three ranked Arizona. He is on pace for an America East all first team selection if not player of the year. In the SMU game retrievers had the advantage 7-0 in transition points. It is an excellent sign that UMBC was playing tough with the hosts of the battle for Atlantis as they are hosting the mainland tournament when they welcome Chicago State, Presbyterian and Nichols State. They should be the favorites to win the four team tournament.
8. UMES (1-1 Best Win: Valley Forge)– Cameron Bacote had a double-double in his first colligate game with 28 points and 11 assists. Fellow freshman Sean Hoggs had 23 points on 7-8 shooting from downtown. The hawks beat Valley Forge 95-69. The hawks were the on the opposite side of the equation as they got blown out by fellow Maryland team UMD on Sunday. Bacote Matched his exact same number 28 and 11 at Maryland which is very impressive for a freshman. It is hard to tell where this team is at right now given they dominated a non division one team at home and then lost to Maryland from the Big Ten on the road by a large margin. I have a feeling we won’t have a good idea of how the shore will be till late November when they play teams of similar caliber to them.
9. Coppin State (0-2 Best Win: N/A) – There are not a lot of positives for the eagles to take away from their first two games at Oregon and East Carolina. 26 combined turnovers is a glaring number that will have to be fixed moving forward. Things do not get any easier as Cincinnati is next on the schedule.