Maryland Terrapins Preview
Date: Sunday, January 1st - 11:00 am - College Park, Maryland - Xfinity Center
2015-16 Record: 27-9 (12-6 Big Ten)
2016-17 Record: 13-1 (1-0 Big Ten)
Head Coach: Mark Turgeon (6th year)
Nebraska heads into the second game of Big Ten play to take on perennial power Maryland. The Terps are a little shorter this year due to one guy heading to the NBA and two others with injuries. Yet, they only have one loss so far this season and should contend well in the conference.
The season so far has been good to Maryland but they have yet to really play anyone of challenge. Their big non conference wins were against a 10-3 Oklahoma State and 12-1 Kansas State. Both of which they one by only a single point. Their lone loss was to a decent Pittsburgh team in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge back in November.
They started the conference slate this season with a 84-59 domination over Illinois on December 27th. Maryland started the night hot and took advantage of Illinois defensive deficiencies and pressed hard defensively throughout the game.
They are lead again by junior guard Melo Trimble for the second year in a row. He is currently averaging 18.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, and 2.9 apg. Just like a year ago, Melo is leading this team with the from all angles of the court and can hurt teams inside and out. The Huskers will need to plug him up if they want to stay in this game. Plug him up, and early.
Anthony Cowan is the other guard which Nebraska could have problems with. The Huskers will have to watch the pick and roll with these two as they have become a one-two punch offensively. Cowan is averaging 10.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, and 3.9 apg.
Maryland is without big man Diamond Stone who wrecked havoc on teams last year as he declared for the NBA early. They did have backups but both Michal Cekovsky and Damonte Dodd are both out with injuries and will not be playing against the Huskers. This has made Maryland rely on some of their smaller forwards to play the paint more.
Forward Justin Jackson has been a huge help with the lack of height this year. Even when the Terps were healthy down below he was a huge contributor. The 6’7” Freshman is averaging 10.9 ppg, and 5.9 rpg. Expect to see him crash the boards a lot on Sunday.
As one can see, Maryland is relying upon the small ball to win games this year. Without true big men they are more susceptible in the paint than they would normally be can be exposed if they are caught flat footed. Guys like Ed Morrow, Isiah Roby, or Jeriah Horne could take advantage of this but they will need to come out aggresive and not let up on the gas.
Maryland is not the team they were last year but still have the athletes to threaten any team. If Nebraska comes in with the intensity they did against Indiana then the could pull off this upset.