Date: Tuesday, January 11th, 2018
Time: 6:00pm CST
Location: Lincoln, NE
Coach: Mark Turgeon
2016-17 Record: 24-9 (12-6 Big Ten)
2017-18 Record: 17-10 (6-8 Big Ten)
Wow, it’s hard to write about the previous season so late into this one. At this point, it’s almost a lifetime away...
While not ending the season ranked, the Maryland Terrapins had a fairly decent season. They started out fairly strong and even made it into the top 25 for a bit in January and February before falling out and not making it back in.
The Maryland/Nebraska game last year was actually one of the better wins the Huskers had. The Terps were 13-1 going into the game and before being beat by the Huskers 67-65. However, that was about it in terms of highlights for the Big Red.
Maryland ended the season tied for #2 in the conference and earned the #3 seed in the tournament. There they were knocked out by Cinderella Northwestern in the quarterfinals. An at large bid and #6 seed to the NCAA Tournament was their prize for the season. However, they ran up against a surging Xavier and were defeated 76-65. That Xavier team eventually made it all the way to the Elite Eight.
The Terps are struggling a bit this year. The loss of all Big Ten point guard Melo Trimble to the NBA has had it affect on the team. They’re also lacking much in terms if size in the paint, unlike past seasons. Much of this is from injuries that have plagued the team all season. Especially with their 4 and 5 guys. It actually took a mid season adjustment where they’re starting four guards for any real progress to happen. That and the implementation of motion offense has also helped them in the second half of the season.
They are lead by Sophomore guard Anthony Cowan. He is averaging 16.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg, and 5.0 apg. He is shooting 42% from the floor and is inching close to 40% form beyond the arch at 38.9%. Cowan will be a threat but Nebraska’s guards should match up well against him.
Another sophomore is Kevin Huerter. The guard is averaging 14.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg, and 3.5 apg. He is coming off a big win against Northwestern at home where he had 22 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds.
As for a big man, they got back Michal Cekovsky for the win against Northwestern. He was previously out at for three games with a bruised left heel. While he is averaging 7 points and 3.3 rebounds per game he will be a factor when it comes to the Huskers as we are not excelling well in offensive rebounds this season.
Maryland has only won one Big Ten road game this year; to Illinois back in early December. They have talent, though it has been depleted due to injuries and non-consistent playing time. Their new offense and somewhat productive starting four guard set seems to be working for them. The recent losses to Indiana, #6 Michigan State, and Penn State may look bad at first glance but they were actually closer in those game that one might think.
They also are finally healthy under the basket so their offensive philosophy might change back to a basic set against Nebraska. It will really determine how the game goes early on for them. Like Nebraska, they tend to hit dry spells in shooting. However, they are usually in the second half when Nebraska seems to come out of its shell and score.
I believe Maryland will play better ball than people think in Lincoln. Though the crowd and energy the Huskers have right now will rise the home team to the win in the end.
University of Nebraska 78 University of Maryland 75