(Photo Credit: Washington Times)
After the loss to #2 Michigan on Sunday, IU embarks on another road trip to face Maryland on Friday. The Terrapins currently sit at 12-3 and have had an up-and-down season thus far. At times, the squad hasn’t quite played up to its potential and has yet to hit its stride. Similarly, Maryland played a relatively weak non-conference schedule. Their only two non-conference quality opponents were #4 Virginia and Seton Hall, both of which were losses. As a result, it’s difficult to determine exactly how good Maryland really is this season. They have the talent; but when it comes to game action, they often under-perform, even in victories.
Maryland coach Mark Turgeon is perpetually on the hot seat and needs to put together a feeder signature victory to keep hope alive (and keep his job). The team snatched a victory from #24 Nebraska last week in a game that the Cornhuskers more so lost than Maryland won. Nonetheless, Maryland is motivated to string some Ws together and take down another quality opponent. It will be a short week for Maryland, as they face Minnesota on Tuesday before welcoming IU Friday night.
On the Indiana side, defeating Maryland would be another resume booster and, more importantly, prove that the Hoosiers can secure a quality victory on the road (which has seemed to escape them for most of the season).
Another week in the Big Ten, another intriguing match up.
Meet the Terrapins
- Kevin Huerter – 6’7” / 190 lbs / Guard – Clifton Park, NY. – Drafted by the Atlanta Hawks with the 19th overall pick. Averaged 14.8 points, 5 rebounds, and 3.4 assists last season for the Terrapins. He also was an elite three-point shooter, averaging 41.7%.
- Justin Jackson – 6’7” / 225 lbs / Forward – Toronto, Ontario, Canada. – Jackson was another substantial loss from last season’s team. He averaged 9.8 points and was the team’s leading rebounder with 8.1 boards per game. Jackson was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the draft. He currently plays in the G League.
- Jared Nickens – 6’7” / 205 lbs / Guard-Forward – Monmouth Junction, NJ. – – Averaged 5.1 points and shot 41.3% from three.
- Sean Obi – 6’9” / 250 lbs / Center – Kaduna, Nigeria.
- Bruno Fernando – 6’10” / 240 lbs / Forward / Sophomore – Luanda, Angola. – Fernando is one of the most efficient players from the nation. He averages 14.5 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game. His also shoots an impressive 67.8% from the field.
- Jalen Smith – 6’10” / 215 lbs / Forward / Freshman – Baltimore, MD. – Averages 12.4 points and 6.9 rebounds.
- Aaron Wiggins – 6’6” / 200 lbs / Guard / Freshman – Greensboro, NC. – Wiggins is a great three-point shooter at 40.0% and he is also the team’s best free throw shooter at 93.8%. He also contributes 9.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.
- Eric Ayala – 6’5” / 205 lbs / Guard / Freshman – Wilmington, DE. – He is the team’s best three-point shooter and 46.9%. Averages 9.2 points, 2.9 assists, and 2.5 rebounds per game.
- Anthony Cowan Jr. – 6’0” / 170 lbs / Guard / Junior – Bowie, MD. – Cowan is always a primary focus of the Maryland offense. He averages 16.5 points, 4.3 assists, and 3.8 rebounds per game. He also takes about 6 three-pointers per game, shooting 34.1% from deep. Because the ball is often in his hands, he also leads the team with 2.8 turnovers per game.
- Darryl Morsell – 6’5” / 200 lbs / Guard / Sophomore – Baltimore, MD. – Averages 9.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game.
- Serrel Smith – 6’4” / 170 lbs / Guard / Freshman – St. Petersburg, FL. – Plays about 13.6 minutes per game, averaging 4.2 points.
- Ricky Lindo Jr. – 6’8” / 200 lbs / Forward / Freshman – Washington, DC.
- Ivan Bender – 6’9” / 228 lbs / Forward / Senior – Caplina, Bosnia & Herzegovina.
- Joshua Tomaic – 6’9” / 235 lbs / Forward / RS Sophomore – Ranzarote, Spain.
- Reese Mona – 6’2” / 180 lbs / Guard / Sophomore – La Plata, MD.
Mark Turgeon’s squads are always offensively minded and this year’s team is no different. Maryland relies heavily on the Terrapin triumvirate of Anthony Cowan Jr, Bruno Fernando, and Jalen Smith. These three players will dictate the entire game. They are the team’s primary scorers and primary rebounders. Expect IU to focus on slowing down Cowan, who typically controls the offense and is the main distributor.
Maryland is an extremely young team. According to the KenPom metric, Maryland ranks 349th out of 353 in team experience/age (averaging .69 years of experience). As often happens with young teams, the Maryland coaching staff keeps a relatively small rotation. Maryland primarily plays six, all of whom average over 25 minutes per game. Then, there are two players who only average 11.5 minutes and 13.6 minutes per game. As a result, depth can be a problem. Look for the Hoosiers to try to force the Terrapins into foul trouble and force Turgeon to turn to the less experienced players.
Here are a few important Maryland metrics to keep in mind:
- Adjusted offensive efficiency: 28th
- Adjusted defensive efficiency: 45th
- Adjusted tempo: 195th
- Average possession length: 17.8 seconds (282nd)
- Three-point shooting: 34.6%
- Opponent’s three-point shooting: 33%
- Shooting inside the arc: 55.8%
Maryland is currently ranked #28 in KenPom, just one spot behind Indiana.
Rob Phinisee is still in concussion protocol. The severity of his injury is currently unknown, but coach Archie Miller indicated that the team will be without him “for a while.”
Similarly, Race Thompson is also still out with a concussion.
IU is also without Jerome Hunter, who is still recovering from surgery to treat a leg injury.
What to Watch for
- Rebounding! – This one statistic could very well dictate the outcome of the game. Maryland is one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the nation, currently ranked 15th. In comparison, let’s just say offensive rebounding is not one of IU’s strong suits. In fact, the Hoosiers currently rank 219th in offensive rebounding percentage. This is one of the clear categories where Maryland has a distinct advantage. Indiana will need to limit Maryland’s second chance opportunities if they want to win the game.
- Maryland Bench Scoring – As previously mentioned, Maryland is not a particularly deep team. Similarly, they do not have a player who averages more than 16.5 points per game. In order for the team to succeed, they need several players to contribute offensively. Against Rutgers, Maryland’s bench posted its season-high point total of 21. Yet, this production has been an anomaly throughout the year. If Maryland is going to make a push in the Big Ten, they will need routine production from the bench.
- Hoosier Road Victories – So far this season, IU has only one victory on the road: Penn State. All of their other road appearances resulted in losses (Arkansas, Duke, and Michigan). It is imperative that Indiana breakthrough and secure another road victory. For the postseason resume, a victory in College Park would go a long way.
- Out of the Gates – IU needs to have a strong start to the game. Against Michigan, the Hoosiers seemed sluggish in the first half and the team found it difficult to catch up. This has been a common theme for many of the IU games. This is not surprising considering several of the team’s key players are extremely young but, as the conference season progresses, the level of competition makes it difficult to overcome slow starts.
How to Watch
|Date||Friday, January 11th|
|Time||7:00 PM EST|