As every fan of the Maryland is aware of by now, 5 Star Center Derik Queen committed to Terrapins last week.

Obviously that’s encouraging.

You add the perceived difference making talent.
Maybe someone stepped up with NIL assistance.
The players on the roster that can return (the ones you want to return); get a jolt of encouragement knowing a significant reinforcement is on the way.
The program and it’s followers got a few days to think of brighter days ahead.
Any additional recruiting or soon-to-be portal targets might find MD that much more enticing with Queen on-board.

Players on MD’s current roster, who could be back in 2024-25:

Guards: Harris-Smith, Long, Lamothe, Stephens
Wings: Kaiser, Geronimo, Batchelor
Bigs: Reese, Swanton-Rodger, Traore, Pierce
Incoming Commits: Queen (Center), Palmer (Combo Guard)

That’s the 13 allowed scholarships.

I hadn’t realized until recently that Geronimo, and Long could return; but apparently they both have that eligibility. We will see if they decide to utilize it.
Maybe this ends up being a poor assumption; but I’m currently going with the thought that Harris-Smith, Kaiser, and Lamothe will return.
Reese could go play professionally somewhere, but he isn’t going to the NBA after this season. Will someone offer him a bunch of NIL money that is hard to turn down? Maybe.
However, if he has remaining NBA aspirations, I’d think returning to MD and being slotted in as the 4 / PF next to a true 5 like Queen is appealing.

Stephens was a portal addition for this year, who missed the season with injury.
Batchelor, and Swanton-Rodger will be entering their Jr. seasons without having played a whole lot yet.
Swanton-Rodger’s minutes won’t go up with Queen on the roster.
My guess is that only one of Swanton-Rodger, Traore, and Pierce return, with Traore probably being the desired piece of that trio.

Conservatively, I think there will be 3 scholarships available.

At the BSL Board, we’ve been talking about some possible Portal additions.

BSL Terps Analyst Zack Kiesel says in that thread, “The guard names I’m seeing tossed around the most are Rodney Rice (Virginia Tech), Malik Mack (Harvard), Erik Reynolds II (Saint Joseph’s), and Dug McDaniel (Michigan). Rice is very likely to come here given that he’s already left the Hokies and has a close relationship with Mike Jones. McDaniel may depend on whether or not Michigan fires Juwan Howard.”

If the Freshman (Harris-Smith, Kaiser, Lamothe) take a leap before their Sophomore seasons, Reese returns, and Coach Willard adds two of the guards above; Maryland should be well positioned for a fun ’24-’25 season. If Reese bolts, and you fail to add multiple impact guys in the portal; it could be another tough year.

About Yesterday

Yesterday MD left Rutgers with a 17 point win, having held the Scarlet Knights to 46 points.
With the win, MD improved to 15-13 overall, and 7-10 in Big Ten play.

MD hasn’t been able to shoot all year; but their defensive effort has never waivered.
Yesterday they held Rutgers to 37% (17 of 46) from the floor.
The Terps dominated on the boards (42-29), with Geronimo having 11 himself.
MD got to the line 24 times, and for them; they had a good shooting afternoon from outside, as the Terps knocked down six 3’s.

A very solid win for MD.

Remaining Hope To Dance?

So, you’re telling me there’s a chance?

Yes, despite being 3 games under .500 in league play, and currently 10th overall in the Big Ten standings; there is still a path for MD to get to the NCAA Tournament.

The three remaining regular season games are:

vs. Northwestern 2/28

vs. Indiana 3/3

@ Penn State 3/10

According to ESPN’s Analytics, MD has a 64.7% chance of beating Northwestern, a 83.3% chance of beating Indiana, and a 54.4% chance of winning at Penn State.

Should MD win those three games, MD would be 18-13 overall, and 10-10 in Big Ten play entering the Big Ten Tournament.
At that point, you could picture Maryland (currently 44th overall in the Pomeroy Rankings) being on the right side of the NCAAT bubble with just one win in the BTT.

(Should MD not win out to end the regular season, MD would need a deep run in the BTT to have any chance.)

If MD hears their name called on Selection Sunday (March 17th); I don’t care if the Terps are in the First Four as one the four lowest seeded at-large teams.
It’s understood that just getting to an NCAA Tournament is not an accomplishment for the University of Maryland.
It’s understood that just getting to the dance would not satiate the thirst of MD fans who yearn to see the Terps playing deep into March.
However, given the lows of this season, it would be a welcomed turn-around.
Couple that with the optimism of Queen’s addition; and the vibes of the program can start to rise.

Chris Stoner
Chris Stoner


Chris Stoner founded Baltimore Sports and Life in 2009. He has appeared as a radio guest with 1090 WBAL, 105.7 The Fan, CBS 1300, Q1370, WOYK 1350, WKAV 1400, and WNST 1570. He has also been interviewed by The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore Business Journal, and PressBox (TV). As Owner, his responsibilities include serving as the Managing Editor, Publicist, & Sales Director.