With the college basketball season quickly approaching and Maryland’s season opener against Mount St. Mary’s a little more than a week away, it’s time to revisit the current state of the team and some storylines entering the 2023-24 season.  

Preseason Award Watchlists 

For starters, a couple of Terps were recently named to preseason award watchlists, which should have fans excited about the potential for this year’s roster. 

Earlier this week, Jahmir Young was named to the watchlist for the Bob Cousy Award, which is given to the nation’s top point guard each season. He’s one of just 20 college guards named to the list. Young becomes the fourth Maryland guard to be named to the preseason watchlist, joining former Terps Greivis Vasquez, Melo Trimble, and Anthony Cowan Jr. Vasquez is the only one of the bunch to win the award, taking it in 2010. 

The 20-person watchlist will be reduced to 10 in late January, and the final five will be announced in late February. The winner gets picked in March. 

Later in the week, Terps power forward Julian Reese was also named to a preseason watchlist for his respective position. Reese was named to the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year watchlist on Thursday and is one of only two Big Ten power forwards to make the 20-man list. 

While none won the award at season’s end, several other Maryland power forwards have recently made this renowned preseason watchlist, including Donta Scott, Jalen Smith, and Jake Layman. 

Reese was Maryland’s second-leading scorer last season while also averaging a team-high 7.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. As an All-Big Ten honorable mention, Reese also led the Terps with seven double-doubles last season. 

The whittling down of the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year watchlist follows the same timeline as the Bob Cousy Award. 

While not an award given by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame like the former two, the Top 20 College Basketball Freshman in America are ranked by The Athletic each season. And guess who has a freshman on the list? Maryland guard DeShawn Harris-Smith is No. 11 on the list and sets up for a big year in College Park.  

A former four-star prospect, Harris-Smith already showed his skills in Maryland’s trip overseas to Italy in August, where he averaged 9.7 points and 7.3 rebounds per game while also leading the Terps in assists. 

Recruiting Update 

The big recruiting elephant in the room is five-star center Derik Queen, who has narrowed his choices down to Houston, Indiana, Kansas, and Maryland. It was reported that Queen would announce his commitment on Oct. 27, but he has since refuted that report on his X account and will presumably take some more time to decide. 

But the Terps sit in great shape here and it’s widely believed that this is really a two-horse race between Maryland and Indiana. 

Queen would be the biggest recruiting splash so far in the Kevin Willard era. He officially visited College Park on Oct. 1 and Oct. 20, and the Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) blue-chipper has strong ties to Maryland’s coaching staff and certain players on the roster such as Julian Reese and Noah Batchelor.  

While Willard and his staff brought in one of the nation’s top recruiting classes in 2023, the Terps are still looking for their first commit for 2024. Landing Queen would be a monster start to the class and could open up the floodgates for a big haul this year. 

With the coaching staff currently putting all its eggs in the Queen basket, things are relatively quiet elsewhere on the 2024 recruiting front. Regardless of how the Queen situation plays out, I’d expect the 2024 class to start filling out as the season gets underway and recruits can come see games at Xfinity Center. If Queen does commit, this could end up being one of the best recruiting classes Maryland has seen in some time. 

Upcoming Schedule 

The Terps open the 2023-24 season on Nov. 7 when they host Mount St. Mary’s at Xfinity Center. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. 

Maryland will then head down to Asheville, N.C., for the Asheville Championship Tournament, which also features UAB, Davidson, and Clemson. 

After a trip down south, the Terps come back north to play Villanova in Philadelphia on Nov. 17, before returning home to play UMBC in College Park on Nov. 21. 

That will bring us to Thanksgiving and we’ll be able to assess then just how thankful we are this season.  

Pat Donohue
Pat Donohue

Terps Analyst

Pat has been covering sports in the DMV area since 2012. He is a former Washington Redskins beat reporter for PressBoxDC.com and has been covering University of Maryland football and basketball recruiting and daily beats for Rivals.com’s Terrapin Sports Report since 2013. Pat graduated from College Park with his master’s degree in journalism and has received bylines in publications such as USA TODAY Sports, The Philadelphia Inquirer, SB Nation, and Yahoo! Sports. A Philadelphia native, Pat enjoys fishing, golfing, and playing fantasy sports when he’s not covering or watching a game.

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