The annual list of 'secret scrimmages' for college basketball teams has been released by ESPN, and the big matchup to note, or in reality not to note as the event is not accessible to the public, is a preseason top-ten battle between third-ranked Maryland and ninth-ranked Villanova.
Sophomore Melo Trimble decided to stay a Terrapin one more season this past off-season, and he leads this new-look team for coach Mark Turgeon.
While without the second-option of Dez Wells in 2015-16 after Wells left for the NBA and was picked up by the Oklahoma City Thunder (and was recently waived), Marlyand has a whole new crew of talent featuring top freshman commit Diamond Stone and former-Duke standout Rasheed Sulaimon.
Villanova enters the game with a talented freshman of their own, point guard Jalen Brunson, the Preseason Rookie of the Year of the Big East.
Brunson will team up with co-conference Player of the Year Ryan Arcidiacono, a senior combo guard with immense talent and intangibles for coach Jay Wright. Junior Josh Hart is projected to play a third significant backcourt role for the frequent three-guard Wildcats.
This scrimmage, among many others around the country, will be conducted in private, and is not to be talked about by coaches until after the fact.
Multiple anonymous coaches weighed in on the benefits of these friendly matchups, in which score is not kept, naming the main benefits of a real opponent the players are not used to competing against in the off-season and preseason and providing coaches and players alike with a reality check of where their ability and skill are at.
"Equal to greater talent can bring real facts," stated one of the coaches. "It can make you rethink your approach."
Another noted that "playing against a new opponent forces you to adjust to a different speed, strength and intensity."
The scrimmage is set to be played on October 31st; coaches can not discuss it until the scrimmage is over and still cannot announce the scheduling any similar games to be played in the future.