Maryland Terrapins vs. Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers Pick & Prediction NOVEMBER 7th 2023


Maryland is not going to sneak up on anybody this season.

A year ago, the Terrapins tied for fifth in the Big Ten Conference after being ranked 10th in the preseason poll. Maryland then earned a No. 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament and fell 73-51 to top-seeded Alabama in the second round.

This year, the Terps placed third in the preseason poll behind Purdue and Michigan State, and they will look to extend their winning streak in home openers to 47 games on Tuesday when they face Mount Saint Mary’s in College Park, Md., in the season opener for both teams.

The Mountaineers finished 13-20 overall and 8-12 in their debut in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference a year ago. They ended conference play on a 5-2 run, including a win in the conference tournament. This year’s preseason poll has them seventh in the 11-team MAAC.

Mount Saint Mary’s is led by senior guard Dakota Leffew, who was named to the Preseason All-MAAC First Team. Leffew is the Mountaineers’ top returning scorer after averaging 13.1 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 2022-23.

“He was a second option last year. Now, we’ve got to transition to first,” Mount Saint Mary’s coach Dan Engelstad told the Frederick News-Post. “With that, we had him really try to improve his game and put a lot of work into getting him to be more of a three-way player, be a better finisher around the basket. He has the athletic tools.”

In addition to a group of talented newcomers, Maryland coach Kevin Willard has a trio of veteran players to rely on — two fifth-year seniors in point guard Jahmir Young and small forward Donta Scott and junior power forward Julian Reese. The trio combined to average 38.5 points and 17.8 rebounds per game last season.

Among the newcomers is 6-foot-5 point guard DeShawn Harris-Smith, who finished second in Big Ten preseason voting for Freshman of the Year and was called “the best freshman I’ve ever had” by Willard.

“He’s the most competitive person I’ve been around,” Willard told the Baltimore Sun. “He doesn’t want to lose, he brings it every day and it’s a rarity in today’s kids.”

Maryland went 22-13 during the 2022-23 campaign, posting an 11-9 mark in conference play.

–Field Level Media

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