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Nebrasketball: Maryland Preview

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Nebraska basketball is on the road. Can they get a tough road win?

NCAA Basketball: Seton Hall at Maryland Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland Terrapins Preview

Date: January 2nd, 2019

Time: 5:30pm CST

TV: BTN

Location: College Park, MD

2017-18 Record: 19-13 (8-10 Big Ten Conference)

2018-19 Record: 9-3 (1-1 Big Ten Conference)

Coach: Mark Turgeon (8th Season)

Previous Season

Maryland saw itself fighting it’s way around the middle of the Big Ten last season. The loss of all star players like Melo Trimble and Damonte Dodd had the Terps at a little bit of a talent disadvantage for the first time in a few years.

It was also the Big Ten that did them in. That is, a Big Ten that was in the middle of a down year. They started out well at 13-3 until a series of close losses mixed in with a few blowouts pushed them farther away from anything close to a successful season. They ended the year with a loss to Wisconsin in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. the CBI invited the Terps to play in the post season tournament but declined the invite.

Current Season

Maryland is currently sitting at 9-3 with losses to #4 Virginia in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, Purdue, and mutual opponent Seton Hall. They were ranked as high as #23 before dropping out in mid December.

They are lead by junior Anthony Cowan Jr. The 6’0” guard is averaging 16.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game. He was a preseason all Big Ten selection this year and was a third team All Big 10 along with being an All Big Ten Defense pick last season. He is a small but major threat on both sides of the ball and will give the Huskers problems. If Nebraska gets too aggressive and fouls him, he will make them pay on the free throw line making nearly 85% of them on the year.

Bruno Fernando is their big man in the paint standing at 6’10”. When I talk about Nebraska needing to get ready for Big Ten play, this is who I am talking about. Bruno averages 14.5 points and a whopping 9.6 rebounds per game. He earned all Big Ten Freshman honors last year and declared for the NBA draft but decided to come back to Maryland. He is going to push Nebraska under the basket and it would be beneficial if Issac Roby was healthy enough to help out when he is on the court.

Also of note is freshman Jalen Smith. He is another 6’10” forward who averages 11.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. He was one of the top recruits in the country when Maryland picked him up. A former five star recruit and McDonalds All American Jalen picked the Terps over the likes of Virginia, Villanova, and Marquette. Expect him to take full advantage of his size and cause problems for the Huskers as the game goes on.

Prediction

Right now Vegas has Maryland winning this game. It’s home for them and they have done “well enough” to merit a close eye by the polls. Honestly, this will be a big test for the Huskers as Maryland’s size advantage and athleticism could put Nebraska in a spot like they were when they played against Texas Tech. While Tech is a better team than Maryland the Terps can still create matchup problems that could expose Nebraska’s weaknesses.

Isaiah Roby is back as of Monday from a groin injury that kept him out of the win Saturday against Southwest Minnesota State and Nebraska will need every bit of him in this game. Nebraska will need to play hard in the paint to keep this game in their possession and Roby will be one of the keys to that. If he or any other forward has a bad game then I could see it getting out of hand for the Big Red fairly quickly.

This game is a tough one for me to put my finger on. As of this moment I am going to go with the home team in a win that could in all honesty go either way.

University of Maryland 67 University of Nebraska 61