COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WDVM) – The highly anticipated 2021-22 Maryland men’s basketball team was introduced to the media on Tuesday, with some key new faces and returning ones too.
“We have really good guard play which I think is very important. We’re bigger and stronger and faster and then probably the most important thing to me is these guys really like each other,” Maryland men’s basketball head coach Mark Turgeon said. “So we have good talent, maybe not the best talent in the country but we’re not far off. We’ve had a great summer, a great fall and so far practices have been good.”
Tuesday provided the first look at new transfers graduate student guard Fatts Russell from Rhode Island, junior center Qudus Wahab from Georgetown and guard Ian Martinez from Utah.
“On the court, we click all the time, even off the court, we’re just the best of friends,” Russell said. “You know I have been a part of a group like this in a long time. We all genuinely care and like each other, so that plays a big part in our chemistry on the court.”
Notable players that return for Maryland include: senior guard Eric Ayala, juniors forward Donta Scott and guard Hakim Hart. Last season, Maryland struggled in Big Ten play in a season impacted by COVID-19 but managed to make the postseason and win a game in the round of 64 of the NCAA tournament. The Terps were eliminated in the round of 32 by Alabama. On paper, the Terps are expected to be better this season.
“People counted us out a lot last year,” Ayala told WDVM. “I wouldn’t say it humbles you but I’d say it puts you in that mindset that like we can’t really pay attention to outside noise and you know now people that we could be really good and you know we gotta go out there and prove it. We can’t just sit here and talk about how good we’re gonna be and talk about how good we’re gonna be and I can’t sit here and say you know I want to win so badly, I gotta go out there and we gotta win them games actually.”
The season will tip off for the Terps in early November.