Basketball Tip-Off: Maryland vs Wagner

11/14/2014 4:07:13 PM The Maryland Men's Basketbal season begins in earnest tonight against Wagner.  My feeling as we begin the season are not particularly strong.  This team has many question marks and all of them need to be answered in the affirmative if Maryland is going to have a good year.

The biggest ones are:
1.  Is Melo Trimble able to lead the offense?  Early signs are very encouraging but we need to temper these against the reality that Melo is a freshman.  He looks the part, has a good handle, and is the unquestioned floor general; but when happens when the bullets start flying for real.  I'm hopeful but concerned

2.  Is Jake Layman ready to take control of his talents?  Layman needs to be the second option on offense.  What's more, he needs to diversify his game.  He can't camp out at the three point line and expect to be sucessful.  He needs to get to the rack, absorb contact and score.  His defense and rebounding needs to improve as well.  Layman is talented enough to take these steps.  If he can't, we won't win consistently.

3.  Can we get production out the 5-spot?  Mikael Cekovsky is oozing with talent but judging by his position on the depth chart and what I've heard from practice, he's not quite ready.  That leaves Damonte Dodd and Jonathan Graham to roam the paint.  Neither have a track record of performing at the highest levels of the college basketball.  How far Maryland can get with reliable contributions from their bigs will be limited at best.

All of these questions can have positive outcomes.  It's hard to imagine they all come through.  If I had to wager, I'd say we make the Tournament if at least of these come in. Otherwise, we are in the NIT or worse.

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