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Local hoops teams bypassed in preseason coaches poll

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Local hoops teams bypassed in preseason coaches poll

Plenty of promise exists up and down the Maryland's rosters and few will be stunned if the programs ends up ranked at some point this season. Just not yet.

Neither the Terps or Georgetown Hoyas picked up any votes in the just released USA Today preseason coaches poll. Hardly a stunner considering the youth on both rosters, though the ACC and Big East schools were picked to finish in the top of half of their respective conferences.

Indiana, led by sophomore sensation Cody Zeller, tops the initial poll, receiving 21 of a possible 31 first place votes. Up next, Bluegrass state stalwarts Louisville and Kentucky, each receiving five first place votes, followed by Ohio State, Michigan, North Carolina State, Kansas, Syracuse, Duke and Florida. Georgetown opens the season against the Gators on an aircraft carrier parked in Jacksonville.

While no DMV program ranked among the top 25, Virginia Commonwealth, gearing up for its first season in the Atlantic 10, finished second among the "others receiving votes" folk. Colonial Athletic Association favorite Drexel received two votes.

The ACC voters slotted Maryland sixth among the 12 conference teams. Georgetown finished fifth within the Big East.

Four ACC programs rank among the top 25, including North Carolina (11) and Florida State (tied for 24). Notre Dame (23) joins Louisville and Syracuse among Big East schools in the top 25.

And no, neither Maryland coach Mark Turgeon or Georgetown's John Thompson III are among the 31 voting coaches. Coppin State's Fang Mitchell is among the group filling out a ballot.

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Iowa's Fran McCaffery blows up at refs following loss to Terps

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USA Today Sports

Iowa's Fran McCaffery blows up at refs following loss to Terps

The No. 25 Maryland Terrapins blew a 15-point lead on Thursday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa, but managed to stave off a furious comeback to defeat the Iowa Hawkeyes, 84-76.

The Terrapins (17-2, 5-1) led by as many as 13 points in the second half, but 13-3 run got the Hawkeyes (11-9, 3-4) back into the game with nine minutes remaining. But Fran McCaffery's team turned the ball over two and committed three fouls in the final 50 seconds which allowed the Terps to hang on for the victory.

But the final foul, the one Ryan Kriener committed on Terps' freshman Anthony Cowan, did not sit well with McCaffery. Immediate following the final buzzer, the fiery head coach got right into the face of the referees and nearly missed the handshake line.

McCaffery has a somewhat lengthy history as it pertains to tempers flaring up. In January 2015, he got into a tiff with ESPN's Dan Dakich over several incidents involving then center Adam Woodbury. Last March, he erupted at reporters following a loss to Illinois, telling them on multiple occasions during a press conference that "It's none of your business."

In December, he refused to shake hands with the North Dakota players and coaches because he disagreed with them trying to score in the final seconds of a game that was out of reach.

The foul on Kreiner was questionable, but considering it was a two-possession game with 21 seconds left, it's hard to argue that the foul call was the defining moment in the game. Melo Trimble led all scorers with 20 points and the freshman triumvirate of Justin Jackson, Kevin Huerter and Anthony Cowan combined for 32 points, 18 rebounds and 14 assists.

Big man Damonte Dodd also finished with 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting.

The Terrapins return to action on Tuesday, Jan. 24 when they host Rutgers at Xfinity Center in College Park, Md.

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Terps back in AP Top 25 as Big Ten sees major shake up

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USA Today Sports

Terps back in AP Top 25 as Big Ten sees major shake up

The Maryland Terrapins began the 2016-17 college basketball season as the No. 25 team in the country according the Associated Press Top 25 poll. But after a dicey season-opening win against American, the Terps fell from the rankings and had not cracked the top 25 since.

But thanks to a 75-72 victory over Indiana and a 62-56 victory on the road against Illinois, Maryland is back in the rankings as the No. 25 team in the country.

While the Terps sit at the bottom of the AP Top 25 poll, they currently sit at the top of the Big Ten rankings with a 4-1 record.

Wisconsin, the only other Big Ten team ranked in the AP Top 25 (No. 17) sits in second with a 3-1 conference record. Northwestern, a team that has never reached the NCAA Tournament, sits tied for third at 4-2 along with Michigan State.

Purdue and Indiana, two teams that spent much of the early season ranked in the poll, are now unranked with 3-2 and 2-3 records respectively.

The Terps continue to get major production from their trio of freshman Kevin Huerter, Justin Jackson and Anthony Cowan. The three combined for 37 of the Terps' 72 points against the Hoosiers and 27 of the Terps' 62 points against the Illini. Melo Trimble, who was named to the midseason Wooden Award Watch List, led the way with 18 points against the Hoosiers and 12 points against the Illini. 

The Terps travel to Iowa to take on the Hawkeyes on Thursday, Jan. 19 at 7:00 p.m.

ASSOCIATED PRESS TOP 25 RANKINGS

1. Villanova (28): 17-1, 3
2. Kansas (32): 16-1, 2
3. UCLA (3): 18-1, 4
4. Gonzaga 2): 17-0, 5
5. Kentucky: 15-2, 6
6. Baylor: 16-1, 1
7. West Virginia: 15-2, 10
8. Creighton: 17-1, 8
9. North Carolina: 16-3, 11
10. Florida State: 16-2, 9
11. Oregon: 16-2, 13
12. Louisville: 15-3, 14
13. Butler: 15-3, 12
14. Arizona: 16-2, 16
15. Notre Dame: 16-2, 20
16. Virginia: 13-3, 19
17. Wisconsin: 14-3, 18
18. Duke: 14-4, 7
19. Florida: 14-3, 23
20. Cincinnati: 15-2, 22
21. Purdue: 14-4, 17
22. Xavier: 13-4, 15
23. Saint Mary's: 15-2, 21
24. South Carolina: 14-3, NR
25. Maryland: 16-2, NR