Nebraska Cornhuskers @ #9 Maryland Terrapins Preview
Date: Tuesday, February 11th
Time: 7:30 pm CST/8:30 pm EST
Location: Xfinity Arena, College Park, Maryland
2019-20 Record: 19-4 (9-3, 1st in standings)
Head Coach: Mark Turgeon 9th season (199-96 record, 68-36 Big Ten)
How To Watch: BTN
The Terps got off to a rocky start this season, but are sure firing on all cylinders now. After a non-conference schedule almost as weak as their football team’s defensive line, the Terps only managed notable wins over the Marquette Golden Eagles and Notre Dame Fighting Irish while dropping their road game at the Seton Hall Pirates. Early conference road losses at Penn State, Iowa, and Wisconsin set the Terps back at first, but they’ve been on a roll now with 6 straight wins and sit alone in first place in the conference after a 9 point road win at Illinois Friday night.
Maryland suffered a big roster blow long-term over the break when they lost the Mitchell twins, two high profile freshman. However, it seems to be addition by subtraction in the short term as the team has done better offensively since the transfers. Maryland is currently 8th overall in KenPom, and ranks 32nd in adjusted offense. They average 71.1 points per game, although shooting percentages lag a bit at 31.9% from three and 41.5% from the floor. However, they make up for their offensive shortcomings big time in defense. They are 5th in adjusted KenPom defense, and rank 5th in scoring defense in the conference, averaging 61.9 points per game. They rank 4th in conference for field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to 38.3% on average.
Guard Anthony Cowan Jr. leads the team in points, assists, and steals. He’s scoring 16.4 points per game, 4.4 assists per game, and 1 steal. Forward Jalen Smith is second in scoring with 15 points, while leading the team in rebounds (10.1 per game), and in blocks (2.4 per game). After Cowan and Smith, Aaron Wiggins is the only other player averaging double figures at 10.6 points per game, while ranking second in rebounding on the team with 5.4 boards a game.
There’s no way this game isn’t ugly to watch for Huskers fans I expect. I’ll actually be at it, and I’m starting to expect I’ll call it quits and head back into the district to go to bed sometime in the second half. Let’s just hope the Huskers keep it closer than Iowa given the slightly less powerful offense the Terps are fielding I suppose.
Terps 85-Huskers 62
Haanif Cheatham and Dachon Burke Jr. are both likely out for this game. Cheatham left the Iowa game with a bruised calf and only participated in free throw shooting near the end of practice while engaging in light jogging off the court otherwise. He will fly with the team tonight and receive on-going medical attention, but is seemingly a game-time decision. Burke has the flu and is bed-ridden. It appears he is unlikely to travel with the team.