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Way-too-early 2015-16 Big Ten basketball rankings

1. Maryland Terrapins

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Finishing second in the conference in your first year, take a bow Maryland. The question is, can they top it in 2015-16? Two words, one answer — Diamond Stone.

Landing the prized top 5 recruit makes the Terps an instant contender, but then you add in a returning first-team All-Big Ten player in Melo Trimble and you have the inside out punch to really scare teams. Add in a returning Jake Layman sliding over to the 4 spot and you have a lineup that can compete with and scare most in the B1G.

One of the most intriguing prospects is the potential for a bigger role for 6-6 wing player Jared Nickens, who played 19.3 minutes per game last season and averaged 6.1 points per game. He’ll need to vastly improve his 37.8 percent shooting from the field, but he’s got some exciting tools to work with.

In a year where there will be more change than things staying the same, Maryland has the best of both worlds in players coming back and new players coming in. As long as the chemistry is there, look for the Terps to be on top of the Big Ten world next season.

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Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball

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