Maryland Basketball Game by Game preview 2014-2015

With the Maryland basketball season here, The Left Bench staff sat down to preview the entire season.

Kofie Yeboah, Michael Stern, Justin Meyer, Kyle Stackpole, Liam Beatus and Robbie Greenspan break it down.

While reading remember the following…

1. Games in Bold are home games

2. Games with ** are played on Neutral Court as a part of the College Basketball Experience (CBE)

Here is the season breakdown

Wagner at Maryland

Friday Nov. 14

By Michael Stern

Analysis: The first game of the basketball season for Maryland won’t be close, but it will still be exciting. In the exhibitions, defensive play often looked sloppy, so this will be the first time Terps fans get to see a potentially clean performance. Expect Wagner to come out firing with senior guard and three-point marksman (40% last season) Marcus Burton as their top scorer, but the Terps should handle the Northeast Conference opponent handedly.

Prediction: Maryland 80, Wagner 56

Record: 1-0 

Central Connecticut State at Maryland

Monday, Nov. 17

By Kyle Stackpole

Analysis: After opening the season against Wagner, the Terps square off with a team that finished in the middle of the Northeast conference standings a year ago. But the Blue Devils will play without their leading returning scorer, senior guard Kyle Vinales. Vinales, who averaged at least 17 points in his first seasons, was suspended indefinitely after he was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and third degree assault. Without Vinals, the Blud Devils don’t stand much of a chance. I expect the Terps to cruise in their second nonconference bout.

Prediction: Maryland 78, Central Connecticut State 54

Record:  2-0

Fordham at Maryland

Thursday, Nov. 20 

By Justin Meyer

Analysis: In Maryland’s third game of the season, they’ll welcome the Fordham Rams to the Xfinity Center. Fordham returns two of their standout guards from last year, Jon Severe and Mandell Thomas, who averaged 17.3 and 11.9 points per game respectively. However, this is a team that finished last in all the major defense categories in the A-10 a year ago. Even if Severe puts up 20, it isn’t going to be enough when their defense can’t stop the Terps from scoring at all.

Prediction: Maryland 90, Fordham 72

Record: 3-0

 

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Arizona State vs. Maryland**

Monday, Nov. 24

By Liam Beatus

Analysis: On Monday, November 24th during the CBE Hall of Fame Classic in St. Louis, Missouri, the Maryland Terrapins play the Arizona State Sun Devils. Arizona State finished 21-12 overall (10-8 in the PAC-12), and there is a wide consensus that this year’s team is not as good as the previous year. The Sun Devils lost Jahii Carson to the NBA draft and graduated key seniors Jordan Bachynski and Jermaine Marshall. In a tough PAC-12 division, they are predicted to be near the bottom of the division. The Terrapins have a strong freshman class and strong transfers for the 2014 season. Led by senior Dez Wells, the Terrapins should be able to win this game at Kansas City. However, these two teams rarely play each other, and the lack of familiarity could be a problem. With Maryland also still fitting the new pieces to the puzzle, this game is a toss-up and could go either way. I’m sticking with the Terps.

Prediction: Maryland 73, Arizona State 69

Record:  4-0

 

By: Robbie Greenspan

 

Iowa State vs. Maryland**

Tuesday November 25

 

By Robbie Greenspan

 

Analysis: Iowa State has been incredibly successful at bringing in impact transfers that immediately contribute. Royce White, Will Clyburn, and last year DeAndre Kane. Kane provided immediate results, averaging 17.1 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 5.9 assists. Not bad for someone new to the system. This year, Iowa State will be counting on transfers Bryce Dejean-Jones and Jameel McKay to replicate the success of Kane and reigning Big 12 Player of the Year Melvin Eji, who graduated in the spring. Luckily for the Cyclones, they don’t have to just lean on their transfers; Iowa State brings back star forward Georges Niang, the favorite for Big 12 Player of the Year. Niang averaged almost 17 points a game last season, before breaking his foot in the NCAA Tournament. Now that he is healthy, the Cyclones look to be an extremely formidable team. If Maryland ends up playing them, the Terrapins will have to try to shut off the 6-foot-8 Niang, and force someone else to beat them. This looks especially daunting, as the man most likely assigned to the task will be Michal Cekovsky, the 7-foot freshman. Even if Cekovsky has the muscle to bruise with Niang, Niang’s experience will prove to be too difficult of a matchup. I think the Cyclones pound it inside to Niang all game, and expose the Terrapins’ front-court problems.

Prediction– Iowa State 78, Maryland 70

Record:  4-1 

 

Alabama vs. University of Maryland**

Tuesday November 25

By Robbie Greenspan

 

Analysis: Unfortunately for Alabama basketball, Amari Cooper will not be leading their team to the postseason. Unlike the football team, Alabama basketball has struggled mightily recently, making only 2 NCAA Tournaments in the last 14 years. Luckily for the Crimson Tide, they play in the SEC, which appears to be in a down year this season. Kentucky will be great, and Florida will remain a very good team, but there appears to be a significant drop-off after those two teams. Alabama has excellent depth at every position, which should help make up for the loss of top scorer Trevor Releford. Alabama is predicted to finish 10 in the SEC by opposing coaches, and needs a postseason bid to save coach Anthony Grant’s job. The Crimson Tide are not nearly as talented as the Terrapins, and the result should reflect that. The Terrapins’ defense should stifle the Crimson Tide’s offense, which was ranked 259th in the nation in points per game last season.

Prediction– Alabama 52, Maryland 73

Record:  From the tournament this matchup is not likely so we will not add this game to the record.

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Monmouth at Maryland

Friday, Nov. 28

By Kofie Yeboah

Analysis: The Maryland Terrapins host Monmouth. The Hawks, of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MEAC), went 5-15 in their own conference, and just 11-21 overall. Maryland should expect to beat the Hawks rather handily. Expect the Terps to play everyone on their bench in this blowout victory. This means Varun Ram chants are very likely.

Prediction: Maryland 83 Monmouth 59

Record:  5-1 

How hot is Mark Turgeon’s Seat

VMI at Maryland

Sunday, Nov. 28 

By Michael Stern

Analysis: VMI finished second in the Big South, North division last year with a record of 22-13. This season marks their first year back in the Southern Conference. They will have to get over the losses of D.J. Covington and Rodney Glasgow, who had 40% of their offense and 50% of their rebounding last year. This game has the potential to start off close, especially if QJ Peterson can continue to score 20 points per game, but I expect Maryland to win in a high scoring matchup.

Score: Maryland 86, VMI 76

Record:   6-1

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No. 9 Virginia at Maryland

Wednesday, Dec. 3

By Kyle Stackpole

Analysis: The students rushed the court after the Terps upset then-No. 5 Virginia in their final home game in the ACC. However, Virginia only lost two of the nine players who played in that game, and the Cavaliers begin the season as a top-10 squad. While the Terps brought in a few talented freshman guards, I think Malcolm Brogdon and London Perrantes prove too much for the youngsters.

Prediction: Maryland 55, Virginia 67

Record:  6-2

 

 

Winthrop at Maryland

Saturday, December 6

By Justin Meyer

Analysis: This Winthrop team is one that is expected to finish near the top of the Big South this year. Head coach Pat Kelsey is well respected and considered a rising star in college basketball coaching. The Eagles return four starters from last year’s squad, including the scoring trio of Keon Moore, Keon Johnson and Andre Smith. However, assuming Maryland can cover the three-point line, their size and athleticism should lift them over Winthrop.

Prediction: Maryland 84, Winthrop 69

Record:  7-2

 

USC State at Maryland

Saturday Dec. 13

By Robbie Greenspan

Analysis: Picked to finish 12th in the 13 team Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), South Carolina State shouldn’t pose much of a threat for the Terrapins. The Bulldogs return three starters from last year’s team, but lose their two leading scorers, Matthew Hezekiah and Adama Adams. USC State does return leading rebounder Darryl Palmer, who averaged an impressive seven rebounds per game last season. The Bulldogs bring in six new players, which hope to improve last year’s disappointing 9-20 record. USC State does not have the size or the talent to beat the Terrapins. As long as Maryland limits turnovers, this game should not be close.

Prediction: Maryland 89, USC State 50

Record:  8-2

Check out more College Basketball stories here! 

Oklahoma State vs. Maryland

Sunday, December 21 

By Kofie Yeboah 

Analysis: Oklahoma State may have lost Marcus Smart and Markel Brown to the draft, but the Cowboys will not be a pushover. Led by returners Lebryan Nash and sharpshooter Phil Forte III, the Cowboys will be expected to get some help from four-star forward recruit Joe Burton. Depending on how Burton does in the earlier games, his role in this game may have a bigger impact than expected. While the game is at Stillwater, the Maryland Terrapins have a lot of perimeter weapons, and I don’t think Oklahoma State has the depth to guard them all.

Prediction: Oklahoma State 69, Maryland 75

Record:  9-2

How hot is Mark Turgeon’s Seat

Oakland at Maryland

Saturday, December 27 

By Michael Stern

Analysis: Oakland did not do themselves any favors with their nonconference schedule, as Maryland is just one of six Power 5 schools they will face. Last year they were young and just awful, but this year Oakland has some experience. Cory Petros, a 6-10 center, could give Maryland some trouble down low, especially since Maryland doesn’t really have a true big man since Cerkovsky has no post moves to speak of. I think this is the game Oakland is looking at as a possible marquee win… but I don’t think it happens.

Score: Maryland 74, Oakland 60

Record:  10-2

No. 18 Michigan State vs. Maryland

Tuesday, Dec. 30

By Kyle Stackpole

 Analysis: The Terps begin their inaugural Big Ten season with a trip to East Lansing, Michigan. The Spartans lost their top two scorers from last season in Gary Harris and Adreian Payne, but head coach Tom Izzo has a knack for squeezing the utmost production out of his team. Though I believe the Terps will keep the contest close, the Spartans’ crowd and forward Branden Dawson will spoil the Terps’ welcome to a new conference.

 

Prediction: Michigan State 76, Maryland 68

Record:  10-3 (0-1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minnesota at Maryland

Saturday Jan. 3

By Justin Meyer

Analysis: In Maryland’s first home Big Ten game ever, the Terps will host the Golden Gophers of Minnesota. Minnesota returns one of the best players in the Big Ten, Andre Hollins, who will do a lot of damage to opposing defenses this season. The Gophers will continue to have a strong presence inside, with the combination of Elliott Eliason and Maurice Walker. I expect Minnesota to pound Maryland inside and to dominate the glass, but Maryland will likely have the advantage in shooting. Last year, Minnesota went just 3-7 away from home. These are two pretty evenly matched teams, but I will give the nod to the Terps simply because of the location of the game.

Prediction: Maryland 67, Minnesota 63

Record:  11-3 (1-1)

 

 

 

Illinois vs. Maryland

Wednesday, January 7

By Liam Beatus

Analysis: On Wednesday January 7th, the Maryland Terrapins travel to Champaign Illinois, to play the Fighting Illini. This will be Maryland’s first road game in the Big 10 Conference. The University of Illinois finished 8th in the BIG 10 conference at 7-11 (20-15 overall) and are lead by Rayvonte Rice, who averaged 16 points per game last season. Illinois returns 11 members from last year’s strong defensive squad. This experience puts them at a huge advantage in the division and against the Terrapins, who have several new members to their team. The University of Illinois beat the Maryland Terrapins in a key early division game.

Prediction: Illinois 72, Maryland 64

Record:  11-4 (1-2)

 

Purdue vs. Maryland

Saturday, Jan. 10

By Robbie Greenspan

Analysis: After losing Terone Johnson and Ronnie Johnson, their top two scorers last year, the bulk of Purdue’s scoring will fall on junior A.J. Hammons. Hammons was known for his defense rather than his offense last year, averaging a whopping 3.1 blocks per game, and was named to the Big Ten Conference All-Defensive Team. He averaged just under 11 points per game last year, while pulling down 7.4 rebounds per game. Freshman center Isaac Haas will be expected to contribute right away. With only one senior on the roster, the Boilermakers are incredibly young. They are a year away from really competing in the Big Ten, while the Terrapins seem poised to be competitive this year. Maryland should win this one comfortably, and leave Indiana with the W.

Prediction: Purdue 62, Maryland 74

Record:  12-4 (2-2)

 

 

Rutgers at Maryland

Wednesday, Jan. 14

By Kofie Yeboah 

Analysis: Expected to finish near the bottom of the Big Ten, Rutgers should not pose much of a challenge to Maryland. Maybe once Maryland plays Rutgers, Rutgers will realize that an evenly matched two sport rivalry in the Big Ten is going to be very difficult to establish. Not just with Maryland, but anyone. Maryland handles their business here.

Prediction: Maryland 69, Rutgers 55

Record:  13-4 (3-2)

 

 

Michigan State at Maryland

Saturday, Jan. 17

By Michael Stern

 Analysis: Michigan State at home… one of the best home games on Maryland’s schedule. The atmosphere will be rocking, and by this time Maryland should know if they are legitimate contenders or not. Michigan State won the Big 10 tournament last year, but they lost their top two scorers in Adreian Payne and Gary Harris. Even with those losses, Michigan State will be contenders this year with the return of Branden Dawson, and a decent (not great) recruiting class. I have Michigan State winning this in a very close match.

Score: Michigan State 64, Maryland 60

Record:  13-5 (3-3)

 

 

Indiana vs. Maryland

Thursday, Jan. 22 

By Kyle Stackpole

Analysis: The point-guard matchup may decide this contest. For Indiana, sophomore Yogi Ferrell runs the offense but often calls on himself for scoring production — he averaged 17.3 ppg last season. Meanwhile, the Terps will likely call on freshman and McDonald’s All-American Melo Trimble to facilitate. Ferrell likely outduels Trimble, but I think the Terps leave Bloomington, Indiana, with a close victory.

Prediction: Indiana 70, Maryland 75

Record:  14-5 (4-3)

 

 

Northwestern at Maryland

Sunday, Jan. 25

By Justin Meyer

Analysis: This Northwestern team is not one that many expect to finish highly in the Big Ten. However, they still might have the ability to get an upset or two against teams such as Maryland. JerShon Cobb returns along with Tre Demps and Dave Sobolewski to form a decent overall backcourt. Northwestern’s issue has never been defending, it has always been scoring. Maryland fans will soon learn that when you play Northwestern, you have to be prepared for them to pass around the arc until there’s 15 seconds left on the shot clock every single possession, without fail. The problem for the Wildcats will be that Maryland’s length will get into those passing lanes and cause some turnovers. Once the Terps get into transition, it’ll be over for Northwestern.

Prediction: Maryland 71, Northwestern 58

Record:  15-5 (5-3)

 

Ohio State vs. Maryland

Thursday, January 29th

By Liam Beatus

Analysis: The Buckeyes start the season as the 20th ranked team in the country, according the Associated Press Rankings. Maryland and Ohio State have two of the best recruiting classes in the nation. The Buckeyes have the coaching advantage, however, led by Thad Matta and his six Big 10 Conferences titles. In a premier freshman guard matchup, Maryland’s Melo Trimble vs. Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell, the Buckeyes beat the Terrapins.

Prediction: Ohio State 80, Maryland 70

Record:  15-6 (5-4)

 

 

Penn State at Maryland

Wednesday, Feb. 4

By Robbie Greenspan

 

Analysis: With the best recruiting class in program history coming in next year, Penn State’s basketball team is hoping to build some momentum for when they arrive. The Nittany Lions return their leader and top scorer, senior D.J. Newbill, and bring back their top rebounder, senior Ross Travis. Coach Patrick Chambers has harped on the “process,” and seems to believe this team is ready to return to the NCAA Tournament for just the fourth time in the past 18 years. However, this Penn State team just doesn’t have the talent to compete with the Big Ten’s upper tier. They return only two players who averaged over 10 points a game, while the Terrapins return four. I see the Terrapins running away with this game by spreading the ball around and letting their superior depth frustrate Penn State.

Prediction: Maryland 75, Penn State 60

Record:  16-6 (6-4)

 

 

Indiana at Maryland

Wednesday, Feb. 11

By Kofie Yeboah

Analysis: The Hoosiers lost Noah Vonleh to the draft. They also lost their second leading scorer in Will Sheehey, And they have three players suspended from the team to start the season. This isn’t the Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo and Christian Watford led Hoosiers. This team is led by fiery guard Yogi Ferrell. I will be looking forward to how Ferrell’s supporting cast develops by this time, because a Ferrell-led one man team will be easier for the Terrapins to defend.

Prediction: Maryland 74, Indiana 69

Record:  17-6 (7-4)

 

Penn State vs. Maryland

Saturday, Feb. 14

By Kyle Stackpole

Analysis: It might be Valentine’s Day, but they’ll be no affection between the Terps and the Nittany Lions. After the pregame scuffle on the gridiron, Penn State will look to avenge their 20-19 loss on the hardwood. Without Penn State guard Tim Frazier (graduated), who did a little bit of everything last season, I expect the Terps to send some more tough love to the Nittany Lions

Prediction: Penn State 62, Maryland 69

Record:  18-6 (8-4)

 

 

Nebraska at Maryland

Saturday, Feb. 19

By Justin Meyer

Analysis: The biggest surprise from the Big Ten a year ago looks to be back and even stronger this year. The Cornhuskers return practically everybody from last season, including Terran Petteway, who will be one of, if not the best player in the Big Ten this year. He led the Big Ten in scoring as a sophomore, scoring 18.1 points per game. Nebraska will likely finish in the top six of the Big Ten and will make for a tough opponent for the Terps. Petteway is going to have a field day in this game and lead the Cornhuskers to a victory in College Park.

Prediction: Maryland 64, Nebraska 71

Record:  18-7 (8-5)

 

 

Wisconsin at Maryland

Tuesday February 24th

By Liam Beatus

 

Analysis: Wisconsin is ranked third in the AP Preseason poll, and is widely considered the best team in the Big Ten. With 4 returning seniors, including Frank Kaminsky and junior Sam Dekker, Wisconsin is a leg up on the competition. This Wisconsin team also carries the experience of last year’s Final Four run. The Terrapins will need strong performances by Dez Wells and Melo Trimble in order to win this game. The Terrapins find a way to upset the Badgers at home in a wild game, and will be a big reason as to why the Terps make the playoffs this March.

Prediction: Maryland 66, Wisconsin 64

Record:  19-7 (9-5)

 

Michigan vs. Maryland

Saturday, Feb. 28 

By Robbie Greenspan

 

Analysis: For maybe the first time in Michigan’s history, their basketball team is more feared than the football team. That’s what happens after a two year run to the National Championship followed by the Elite Eight. While the Wolverines no longer have stars Trey Burke or Nik Stauskas, they are still ranked 24 in the preseason, and are considered a major contender for the Big Ten title. Junior Caris Levert, along with Wisonsin’s Frank Kaminsky, is considered a preseason favorite for Big Ten Player of the Year, and Levert could even challenge for National Player of the Year. Michigan is extremely talented and deep, and expects to make another run in the NCAA Tournament. While Maryland will be clicking at this point in the year, it won’t be enough against one of the best teams in the Big Ten, and perhaps the nation.

Prediction: Michigan 78, Maryland 68

Record:  19-8 (9-6)

 

Rutgers vs. Maryland

Tuesday, Mar. 3 

By Michael Stern

Analysis: Nothing really goes Rutgers’s way in this matchup. Their top player, Myles Mack, will just be a nuisance because of his speed and quick hands, but because of his lack of size he will not be much of a factor. Rutgers is known for their upsets, but I just do not see how Rutgers can compete with Maryland. The only way this upset occurs, especially with the Scarlet Knights at home, is if there are injury problems or a huge slump for Maryland.

Prediction: Maryland 76, Rutgers 68

Record:  20-8 (10-6)

Maryland at Nebraska

Sunday , Mar. 8

By Kofie Yeboah and Justin Meyer

Analysis:  As said before, the dominance of Terran Petteway should be too much for the Terps to handle and the change of venue to Nebraska will not help the Terps at all. The Terps will look better than their first appearance against the Cornhuskers, but it will not be enough.

Nebraska 77,  Maryland 63

Record:  20-9 (10-7)

Quality Wins: at Oklahoma State, Wisconsin, Indiana (home and away)

 

 

 

Games in Bold are home games

Games with ** are played on Neutral Court as a part of the College Basketball Experience (CBE)

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