Feature Photo Courtesy of UMterps.com
Since 1998, the Maryland Terrapins men’s basketball team has punched its ticket to the NCAA tournament 12 times. The Terps made it to the second round on each trip during this span. But in the past six trips, dating back to 2004, Maryland has failed to win its second round game and reach the Sweet 16.
After defeating No. 12 seed South Dakota State 79-74 on Friday in the round of 64, the Terps will take on a potential cinderella team Sunday: the No. 13 seeded Hawaii Rainbow Warriors.
Time and TV info: Sunday March 20, 2016 – approximately 7:10 p.m. EST on TBS
Maryland players to watch:
Forward Jake Layman
Before the tournament began, head coach Mark Turgeon said that Layman is playing like he doesn’t want his career to end. On Friday, Turgeon appeared to be right. Layman carried the Terps to their victory over the Jackrabbits as he tied his career high, leading the team in scoring with 27 points. Against the Jackrabbits, Layman made 5/8 threes. In the past eight games, Layman is shooting 61.5 percent from three (24/39 shots). The Warriors put a lot of pressure on three point shooters, so Layman may need to drive and get to the foul line more against the Rainbow Warriors for the Terps to have success on the offensive end.
Guard Jared Nickens
After making 39 percent of his shots from three point range last season, this season Nickens’ mark from downtown has dropped to 35.7 percent. But Nickens showed up on Friday, and along with Layman, helped the Terps to a first round win. He made 4-of-8 shots, all of which were three point attempts, and scored 14 points. If Nickens can continue his success from deep against Hawaii’s stingy perimeter defense on Sunday, it will give the Terps a tremendous advantage over the Rainbow Warriors.
Hawaii players to watch:
Forward Stefan Jankovic
Jankovic is a 6’11 Serbian forward. He grew up in Canada and played high school basketball in Ontario, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. He also played his freshman season at Missouri before transferring to Hawaii. The first NBA player that comes to mind when I see Jankovic play is Kristaps Porzingis. Despite his height, Jankovic can drive down the line and take outside jumpers. He’s also a solid defender. The Terps will have their hands full with Jankovic on Sunday. If they can get him in foul trouble, it will make things a lot easier for the No. 5 seed.
- 24.6 minutes per game
- 15.7 points per game (55.7 percent field goal shooter, 38.5 percent three point shooter, 77.5 percent free throw shooter)
- 6.6 rebounds per game
- 1.2 assists per game
- 1.2 blocks per game
Guard Roderick Bobbitt
Against California in the first round, Bobbitt stuffed the stat sheet with 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists. This season, he has been the Rainbow Warriors’ primary distributor and perimeter defender. He leads the team with 5.4 assists per game and 2.1 steals per game. He could be yet another tough matchup for struggling Maryland point guard Melo Trimble.
- 34.2 minutes per game
- 13.4 points per game (39 percent field goal shooter, 33.7 percent three point shooter, 80.1% free throw shooter)
- 5.4 assists per game
- 4.3 rebounds per game
- 2.1 steals per game
Maryland vs. Hawaii history: Maryland is 2-0 all-time against Hawaii.
Hawaii NCAA tournament history: This is the fifth trip to the NCAA tournament for the Rainbow Warriors (1972, 1994, 2001, 2002, 2016). Their 77-66 victory over California in the first round was the first NCAA tournament win in program history.
Prediction: Hawaii will step up their defense on Layman and Trimble. Look for forward Robert Carter Jr. and guard Rasheed Sulaimon to take advantage of this and lead the Terps in scoring. Jared Nickens hits three triples off the bench. Terps win 75-68 and advance to their first Sweet 16 since 2003.
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