The Maryland men’s basketball team rose from No. 15 to No. 9 in the Associated Press poll released Feb. 3 after a 1-0 week.
Baylor (19-1) remains No. 1, followed by Gonzaga (23-1), Kansas (18-3), San Diego State (23-0) and Louisville (19-3). Maryland is the highest-ranked Big Ten team, followed by Michigan State (No. 16), Iowa (No. 17), Illinois (No. 20) and Penn State (No. 22).
The Terps defeated Iowa, 82-72, Jan. 31 behind senior guard Anthony Cowan Jr.’s career-high 31 points and sophomore center Jalen Smith’s 18 points and 14 rebounds. They also held the Hawkeyes to 36.2 percent shooting as Big Ten Player of the Year candidate Luka Garza battled foul trouble all night.
Up next, Maryland (17-4 overall, 7-3 Big Ten) faces Rutgers Feb. 4 and Illinois Feb. 7.
The Scarlet Knights spent two weeks in the top 25 poll but received just 12 votes this week. They’re led by sophomore guard Ron Harper Jr. (11.6 points, 5.8 rebounds). Rutgers is 12th in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency, per KenPom.
The Terps narrowly defeated the Illini at Xfinity Center in December, but did so thanks to a 30-footer by Cowan in the waning moments. Illinois is led by sophomore guard Ayo Dosunmu (15.8 points, 3.4 assists) and freshman center Kofi Cockburn (14.0 points, 9.2 rebounds).
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