Maryland Madness Preview

The first East Coast tournament of the year is upon us, and nearly the entire region decided to show up.  The University of Maryland will be hosting the Maryland Madness tournament on Sunday September 25th.  UMD, JMU, Towson, UVA, and PSU will all be in attendance.  Last season the East Coast teams surprised everyone at Nationals with strong showings from the respective participants, with JMU, Towson, and PSU all making it to the Elite Eight and JMU making it to the Final Four.  There were a lot of shakeups in these rosters though between last season and this one which leaves a lot of questions going into the event.  Let’s give a brief rundown of the team’s in attendance.


  • Players to Watch:
    • Trent Shaffer
    • Evan Eschenburg
    • Nick Spear
  • Most Anticipated Match:
    • Towson – This is without question the biggest rivalry in the East Coast.  They are historically the two strongest teams, and also carry a strong disdain for each other.  It’s everything you love to see in collegiate sports. 
  • Overall Expectations:
    • For JMU the plan is simple, be the better team and go 3-0.  The program always has and will continue to be a ‘win now’ group.  When you have last season’s league MVP on your roster in Evan Eschenburg there’s no reason not to go for gold.


  • Players to Watch:
    • Garrett Abbott
    • Nate Urlock
    • Kyle Strong
  • Most Anticipated Match:
    • JMU – Same as above, not much else needs to be said.
  • Overall Expectations:
    • Towson lost some very talented players from last year’s team and replacing the likes of Hunter Friedman, Jake Friedman, and Griffin Bass won’t be easy.  Still, they return everyone else for the Fall and that should be enough to put on a strong showing.  They’ve had a knack for finding hidden gems in the past, and it’ll be fun to see what new rookies come to the forefront this season.


  • Players to Watch:
    • Cloud Tapia-Manon
    • Alfredo Jimenez
    • Marty Gold
  • Most Anticipated Match:
    • JMU – JMU knocked PSU out of Nationals last season, and they will be looking for a redemption win.
  • Overall Expectations:
    • Last year’s team has remained largely intact and has 9 returning players.  This year’s team we have been told has already filled those spots with new players bringing a ton of natural talent to the sport.  This pairs well to go with veteran players who will look to showcase major improvements since last season.  They bring a lot of swagger to the court and have always felt they can compete with anyone.  To quote Mason Blanchard, “PSU is THAT team this year, WE ARE hungrier and more energized than ever and can’t wait to set the tone for the entire NCDA.”


  • Players to Watch:
    • Adam Butz
    • Zach Demos
    • Connor Engel
  • Most Anticipated Match:
    • PSU – PSU has had Maryland’s number over the past few seasons, however with a strong cast of returning players, this home tournament is a good opportunity for an early season upset.
  • Overall Expectations:
    • This team feels they have the potential to win all of their games, but it will certainly be an uphill battle.  Towson and PSU will provide tough early tests for the Terps, but if UMD plays to their strengths they could cause some concerns for their opponents.  UVA is a team that did not make many tournament appearances last season and they will look to capitalize on that lack of experience.


  • Players to Watch:
    • Nick Wells
    • Alex Zuch
    • Clay McComb
  • Most Anticipated Matchup:
    • UMD – Last year’s team lacked numbers to come to many events but they see this Maryland game as an opportunity to climb the rankings.  
  • Overall Expectations:
    • They bring a healthy mix of returners and newcomers.  They lost one of their best players in Jake Korman, but have returned and added throwers of similar caliber.  The lack of tournaments last year will have them trying to find their footing early on, but they want to prove to the rest of the league they are a team to be feared.

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