The Mark Turgeon era started on the right foot on Sunday night when the Terps pulled out a 71-62 win over visiting UNC-Wilmington.
And while the season is just about as young as it can get, here are some thoughts to ponder after Maryland's season opener.
When Terrell Stoglin struggles, the team will struggle. Of course, that's not unique to any teams with one clear star player. But the Terps are clearly at a huge disadvantage if and when Stoglin's shot isn't falling. He finished 6-for-16 last night and the Terps won one of their non-conference shoo-ins by single digits.
The Terps will play a lot of low-scoring games this year. That shouldn't be a surprise, considering Maryland has seven healthy scholarship players. You don't push the tempo when you have razor-thin depth on the bench. The return of Pe'Shon Howard and Alex Len will be hugely important heading into the ACC season.
Walk-ons will play. It's scary, but necessary. John Auslander will be called upon to give Berend Weijs, Ashton Pankey and James Padgett a breather, and Arnold Richmond may pop in at moments to spell Stoglin and Nick Faust.
The bigs are capable... and need to stay out of foul trouble. With the aforementioned three scholarship big men rotating in and out of games, all three will need to stay out of foul trouble. Last night, Weijs committed four fouls in 11 minutes, prompting Padgett and Pankey to play 31 and 32 minutes, respectively. Can't keep that going in a 30-game season. On the bright side, getting a combined 25 points and 15 rebounds on 11-for-17 shooting is huge. These guys need to put together 20 points and 10 rebounds every night.
Nick Faust is going to grow up this year. He sort of has to. We're going to see Faust progress from wide-eyed kid to dependable ACC starter before the year's over. Point guard isn't his natural position, which will be awkward at first and probably result in some frustrating turnovers. That'll help him tremendously in the long run. And in a year where it's going to be a struggle to stay above .500, you've got nothing to lose by playing Faust a lot.
James Padgett and Nick Faust will be frustrating from the free throw line. The two were 5-for-12 from the charity stripe last night. Expect more of that going forward. Padgett is a career 46 percent free throw shooter, and that aspect was one of Faust's obvious weaknesses in high school.
It's going to be a long year. But it's going to be a fun year. Of course, if you're only happy when your team has a winning record, it might not be fun for you. If you're willing to let go of expectations this year and just prepare for the future, the season will be a lot more tolerable. The Terps aren't going to be sweating out Selection Sunday, but that doesn't mean this team won't be a lot better in March than they are in November.