Ten Maryland basketball-related guesses for the coming season.
1. Greivis Vasquez will record another triple-double.
Who knows when. But there’s a decent chance it happens.
2. A freshman will start the opener and the finale.
The first part is elementary. By the end of the season, it’ll make a lot of sense.
3. Both Landon Milbourne and Eric Hayes will score their 1,000th career points.
Both arer within 350 points of the milestone. Barring injury, it’ll happen.
4. Six Terps will record 20-point nights.
Vasquez, Hayes, Milbourne, Sean Mosley, Cliff Tucker and Adrian Bowie will all have monster games in the scoring column at some stage.
5. Maryland will have a winning record in the ACC.
It’s happened only once in the last six years. But the Terps should be a bit better than last year’s 9-7 – though much better than 10-6 might be a stretch.
6. The Terps will beat one of the top two seeds in the final ACC standings – and lose to one of the bottom two.
There’s only so much separating top from bottom, and this team isn’t going to overpower too many teams in the league. There will be an off night somewhere. If history holds, it’ll be at Virginia.
7. Vasquez will leave as the No. 2 scorer in school history.
Juan Dixon is probably out of reach without an extremely deep NCAA tournament run. Vasquez needs 625 points to tie Len Bias. The senior had 613 points a season ago.
8. Maryland will go undefeated in home nonconference games.
OK, there won’t be an Ohio or American or Morgan State debacle this year like the past two seasons. Of course, there aren’t many NCAA tournament contenders that will pay a visit to Comcast. Fairfield – next Tuesday – remains the best bet to pull a surprise.
9. Cliff Tucker will have one of his best days on Feb. 6.
Why? Because that’s when North Carolina comes to town, and no one thrives against the Tar Heels like Tucker. Well, maybe Vasquez. In any case, Tucker reached double figures twice after Thanksgiving last year. Both were against Carolina.
10. Maryland will make the NCAA tournament – but might not avoid the annual bubble talk.
The Terps live on the bubble – and it’s been that way six seasons running. There might some bubble concerns come Feb. 1, but by the start of March they should be somewhat safely into the 65-team field.
– Patrick Stevens