I'm not one to put a lot of stock in preseason polls. In fact, were I the King of All Things College Basketball, I would decree that no poll should be taken and released until teams have played at least five games. That way, the initial poll would be at least partly based on the actual performances on the court, and the not the reputation of the program, or Rivals ranking of the recruits.
But the world doesn't work that way and every year before a game is played, the AP and ESPN/USA Today release the "Top 25" ranked teams in college basketball. This year, a year after Maryland went 13-3 in the ACC, 24-9 overall and came within a buzzer-beater from the Sweet 16, the Terps received Zero votes in the AP preseason polls and 2 votes in the ESPN/USA Today poll, aka the Coaches Poll. It's not just that the Terps aren't ranked, not one AP voter thought enough of Gary William's program to give the Terps a single vote. Somehow Wofford, ODU, Utah State, and Ohio University received votes, but none for the Terps.
And so now I'm mad. And I'm guessing this is great for our program because Gary Williams will get mad, feel disrespected, and use this slight to fuel his team's performance. Which is all a very good thing for Terps fans, because no one is better than Gary as an underdog.
But what I'm annoyed about is that, really, how much does this program have to do to get a little respect? Sure, Maryland lost 3 senior starters in Grevis Vasquez, Landon Milbourne, and Eric Hayes, but do the voters think that the program has brought no one who's worth a lick in to replace them?
Just having Jordan Williams and Sean Mosley the starting lineup around three other decent players should get ONE voter to throw Maryland a bone. Hell, Duke or UNC could graduate every one of it starters and get ranked 15th in the preseason poll just because voters think, "those guys always bring in the best recruits."
But Maryland? Well, truth be told, Gary doesn't bring in the best recruits. He brings in good players, and sometimes he brings in great players. But give the man his due already. Maryland runs a quality basketball program. Even when we've complained in recent years that they aren't "good enough," the worst Maryland has ever done under Gary in the last 15-17 years is be "one the bubble." They are NEVER horrible, and they are often good. Just based on the fact that last year, Gary pulled off 13-3 in the ACC should be good enough for someone to give him the benefit of the doubt.
But no. No one thinks Maryland is any good, not even a top 50 team. Oh, how Gary and the Terps will love proving them wrong.