After a little less than a month off, Big Ten play resumes this weekend and for the No. 15 Maryland Terrapins, a date with Indiana looms. Here are three things to watch for as the Terps look to get back on track in the conference.
How do the Terps contain Trayce Jackson-Davis
Indiana is one of the deeper teams in the league, using a consistent 10 man rotation. Offensively, they are a balanced group with four players averaging double figures. But freshman forward Trayce Jackson-Davis is the player that makes the Hoosiers excel. Jackson-Davis is averaging over 15 points per game and can score in a variety of ways. Play behind him, and the lefty can back opponents down using his height and strength. He can also face up and attack opponents off the dribble.
On Saturday, the Terps will be faced with a difficult decision as to who guards the Indiana native. Jalen Smith seems like the best option but he may be needed to guard the Hoosiers center, Joey Brunk. It’s likely a combination of Darryl Morsell, Donta Scott and Ricky Lindo will spend time on Jackson-Davis.
To slow down Indiana, Maryland should look at what Arkansas did in its 71-64 victory over the Hoosiers last Sunday. In the second half, Arkansas fronted Jackson-Davis in the post and brought help in from the weak side, sagging off of non-shooters. This disrupted Indiana’s rhythm as Jackson-Davis was held to four points in the second half while his team’s lead slipped away.
What can Chol Marial bring to this contest?
The story of Maryland’s win over Bryant last Sunday was the debut of center Chol Marial. The freshman feasted on the inferior Bulldogs and showed he could stick on a college court. Indiana possesses a much tougher interior with a +9.9 rebound differential. Marial will have to show he can withstand the physicality of Brunk. The Hoosiers could also play smaller, with Jackson-Davis or Justin Smith at center, in which case Marial would have a tough time defending those faster forwards.
If Indiana stays with a bigger lineup. Marial’s shot blocking could be a huge asset. But the chess match between Archie Miller and Mark Turgeon could phase Marial out of the game.
Which team brings their outside shooting game?
Three point shooting has kept both the Terps and Hoosiers from reaching their full potential on offense. Both teams shoot 31 percent from deep, which ranks in the bottom half of the conference.
Indiana has found consistent shooting from Devonte Green, but role players like Armaan Franklin, Al Durham and Rob Phinisee have struggled to hit outside shots, which inhibits the spacing of the Hoosier’s offense.
Similarly, the Terps have received strong outside shooting from Anthony Cowan but the sophomore trio of Jalen Smith, Aaron Wiggins and Eric Ayala have not found their stroke, all shooting under 31 percent from three.
It seems obvious, but the team that can make more three-pointers Saturday, will likely be the team that wins the contest. If one of the aforementioned role players heats up, it could push his respective team over the top.
Tip-off is scheduled for noon eastern time on Saturday and can be watched on Fox.
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