Inside Maryland

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MARYLAND ROSTER

No.) Player (Ht., Wt.) Pos. Yr.

1) Landon Milbourne (6-7, 205) senior forward — Steady as ever, the Georgia native again will be thrust into a role as a frontcourt anchor.

5) Eric Hayes (6-4, 180) senior guard — He struggled with a turf toe injury before practice began but is ready to contribute more in his final season.

11) Jin Soo Choi (6-8, 185) sophomore forward — He packed on some muscle in Paul Ricci’s offseason training program and could help off the bench.

14) Sean Mosley (6-4, 210) sophomore guard — The tough Baltimore native could emerge as a more pivotal scorer in his second season.

15) Ersin Levent (6-7, 185) sophomore forward — The walk-on from Landon School provides a versatile practice option for a thin frontcourt.

20) Jordan Williams (6-10, 260) freshman forward — He will have a place on this height-starved team, but there could be an adjustment period for the big man.

21) Greivis Vasquez (6-6, 200) senior guard — The Venezuelan is back after an NBA dalliance and is the linchpin for how far the Terps can travel into March.

22) Adrian Bowie (6-2, 190) junior guard — Maintaining strong play deeper into the season is a priority for the athletic, left-handed slasher.

23) David Pearman (6-6, 200) junior guard/forward — The Howard County native has played 17 minutes in 11 career games.

24) Cliff Tucker (6-6, 205) junior guard/forward — The swingman is in superb shape and finally could secure a larger role.

25) Steve Goins (6-10, 245) sophomore center — If the seldom-used big man is healthy, he could provide a significant lift, even for a few minutes a night.

33) Dino Gregory (6-7, 230) junior forward — Availability is an issue for this potential starter, who was suspended for the exhibition game for violating team rules.

35) James Padgett (6-8, 225) freshman forward — The newcomer from Brooklyn quickly should find a rotation place as a consistent, defense-oriented bruiser.

REASONS TO HOPE

General (Greivis) principles - The Terps have the best backcourt option (if not the top player) in the league in guard Greivis Vasquez. The senior can single-handedly keep Maryland in games, and he reduced his proclivity for turnovers last season. Having the best player on the floor never hurts.

Milbourne supremacy - Is he a three? Is he a four? Does it really matter? The biggest question about senior Landon Milbourne’s final season is whether he’ll have the stamina to hold up deep into February and March. His effort was never a question, and after a year of plugging in the paint, he’ll be better prepared for the rigors of league play.

The sweetness of Sugar Sean - The biggest pending leap for anyone on the roster might come from sophomore Sean Mosley, whose offensive assertiveness could change the scoring distribution of the backcourt. After deferring to veterans last season, the second-leading scorer in Maryland high school history is a breakout candidate.

Gary the Maximizer - The Terps are coming off a season in which they clearly maximized the talent on their roster. That credit goes to the players as well as coach Gary Williams, who thrived in last winter’s maelstrom and delivered a 20-win team by Selection Sunday. If he matches that performance, the Terps have a chance for big things.

REASONS TO WORRY

Dino’s destiny - Forward Dino Gregory missed the Terps’ exhibition game because of a nebulous “violation of team rules,” and the athletic department cited federal privacy guidelines to buttress its no comment. The junior’s long-term status remains unresolved, and his absence shreds Maryland’s frontcourt depth.

Freshmen are freshmen - Regardless of Gregory’s situation, freshmen James Padgett and Jordan Williams were going to be counted upon to bolster Maryland’s frontcourt. Sometimes newcomers pan out quickly. Sometimes they take time to adjust to college. Sometimes they fizzle. There’s no telling how helpful Padgett and Williams will be this season.

The RPI battle - Certainly, Villanova will be good this season. And there could be two quality opponents at the Maui Invitational. There’s also a lot of nonconference flotsam and jetsam from the bottom 150 of last year’s RPI, meaning there might not be an out-of-league boost.

Living up to last year - Under incredible scrutiny and during a wildly fluctuating season, the Terps scratched out an NCAA invite last March. For as determined as that group was, it can’t be easy to maintain a solid performance in a crucible in consecutive seasons. It would be best for this outfit to avoid those circuslike conditions this time around.

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