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Let the Madness Begin

Nick Faust averaged 8.9 points and four rebounds per game as a freshman last season.

The college basketball season is much closer than you may think.

Maryland Madness is just 17 days away, and the event will start at 7 p.m. this year, with doors opening at 6 p.m., the school announced Tuesday.

This year's Madness should prove to be particularly memorable, as eight new Terps will be introduced: Seth Allen, Logan Aronhalt, Shaquille Cleare, Jake Layman, Conner Lipinski, Charles Mitchell, Evan Smotrycz and Dez Wells. Smotrycz will not be able to play this year due to NCAA transfer rules, while Wells' status for this season remains in question as the NCAA reviews an appeal from Maryland for the former Xavier guard to play this season.

A number of top-flight, 2013 recruits should also be in the building. Philadelphia guard Rysheed Jordan and local product Roddy Peters are likely to be in attendance, while Andrew and Aaron Harrison, who have whittled down their list to Kentucky, Maryland and long-shot SMU, are possible attendees.

The annual event, which was started by former coach Lefty Drisell 41 years ago, will feature a student dunk contest, a performance by the Maryland Gymkana Troupe and the unveiling of the team’s brand new Under Armour uniforms. A few surprises -- rumors have swirled about a possible musical act -- are also to be expected, the school said.

ESPNU, anchored by former Terp Len Elmore, will provide partial coverage of the event. No tickets are required and admission is free for fans. Seating is first-come, first-served.

The Terps, who return Pe'Shon Howard, Nick Faust, Alex Len and James Padgett, went 17-15 last season in coach Mark Turgeon's first year at the helm.

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