The Maryland men's basketball team is projected to tie for fifth place in the Big Ten men's basketball preseason media poll released Tuesday.
The Terps finished third in the Big Ten last season and have placed in the top three of the conference in all three of their Big Ten seasons. However, Maryland lost in the second round of the Big Ten tournament last year and has never qualified for the tournament's title game.
The Terps return three starters from last season — sophomores Justin Jackson, Kevin Huerter and Anthony Cowan — but they'll lose guard Melo Trimble, who led the team in scoring in his three seasons in College Park. The Upper Marlboro native averaged a career-high 16.8 points per game last season and landed on the All-Big Ten first team.
Freshmen Bruno Fernando and Darryl Morsell should play significant roles right away, while center Michal Cekovsky will likely bolster Maryland's frontcourt.
Michigan State, Purdue, Minnesota and Northwestern are ranked ahead of coach Mark Turgeon's squad, while Michigan is tied with the Terps. Maryland finished behind Purdue and Wisconsin last season. The Badgers are projected to place seventh this year.
Fernando received a vote for Big Ten Freshman of the Year, but no Terps were projected to make the conference's first-team.