- The Washington Times - Monday, November 16, 2020

When the Maryland men’s basketball season begins Nov. 25 against Old Dominion, it will be without fans in attendance at Xfinity Center, the program announced. The Terrapins rolled out their nonconference schedule Monday, with six home games and one road matchup against Clemson in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge next month.

While the Big Ten has yet to release conference schedules, Maryland will prepare for the nonconference contests it does have — spacing the seven games out between Nov. 25 and Dec. 22. After opening with the Monarchs, a pair of in-state programs visit Xfinity Center.

The Terrapins play Navy on Nov. 27 and Mount St. Mary’s on Nov. 29. They played both schools in 2018, defeating the Midshipmen 78-57 in Annapolis and the Mount at home, 92-77.

From there, Maryland welcomes Monmouth on Dec. 1 and George Mason on Dec. 4, before heading into the Big Ten/ACC Challenge against Clemson — its lone road trip during nonconference play. Coach Mark Turgeon’s team rounds out the nonconference slate against La Salle on Dec. 22.

The matchup with the Tigers might be the team’s biggest test early in the 2020-21 campaign as it tests the water of what life will be like without guard Anthony Cowan and forward Jalen Smith. The Terrapins have plenty of returners, such as Aaron Wiggins, Darryl Morsell and Eric Ayala, but they’ll need to incorporate several new faces into the mix.

Forwards Galin Smith and Jairus Hamilton will be key pieces in the frontcourt after transferring from Alabama and Boston College, respectively. And in the backcourt, freshmen Marcus Dockery and Aquan Smart will provide depth for Wiggins and Ayala.

According to BartTorvik.com, a basketball analytics website, Maryland is projected as the 72nd best team in the country — the second-lowest ranked team in the Big Ten. Much of that is down to the losses of Cowan and Smith — the team’s two leading scorers last year — from the nucleus of a team that won a share of the Big Ten regular season title.

While there will be no fans at Xfinity Center to start the season, the team is “hopeful that we may be able welcome some fans to XFINITY Center as the season progresses and health conditions permit,” a release said.


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