Coming off of a 73-67 victory Tuesday night against Delaware, Maryland now must travel to Annapolis to take on Navy in the 2018 Veterans Classic.
Evidence of Maryland’s young roster was very prominent in their season-opening victory against the Blue Hens. Maryland had been up 17 points at halftime before only leading by three points with under a minute left.
As seen in past seasons, it will take some time for Maryland to get it all together so almost blowing a 17-point lead is nothing new for Mark Turgeon’s squad.
Something these Maryland freshmen don’t lack is talent and that was evident in their season opener, having combined for 35 of Maryland’s 73 points against Delaware.
Freshman forward Jalen Smith led all Maryland scorers with 19 points while fellow forward Bruno Fernando dropped 15 points before fouling out in the second half.
Freshmen guards Aaron Wiggins and Eric Ayala also added seven and six points, respectively, to that total.
Junior guard Anthony Cowan Jr. also scored 15 points for Maryland but was unhappy with his shooting performance against Delaware. Cowan shot 4-14 and 0-5 from behind the arc and he knows he needs to shoot better if Maryland wants to succeed this year.
Smith and Fernando looked dominant against Delaware’s frontcourt and they need to have another big night if they want to have another win against Navy Friday night.
Navy (0-1) is coming off a 44-67 loss against Old Dominion in their season opener and they are looking to have the energy of a sold-out crowd to help them get past Maryland.
The Midshipmen are returning two starters from last year’s team that ended third in the Patriot League, their highest finish since 2009. Navy is currently predicted to finish eighth in the Patriot League after losing over 50 percent of their scoring from last season.
You can expect Smith and Fernando to make a strong impact against Navy, as the Midshipmen’s tallest player is only 6-9 while Smith and Fernando both stand at 6-10.
Maryland will also need a stronger shooting performance Cowan, their offensive catalyst if they want to see less offensive struggles against Navy.
Maryland takes on Navy in Annapolis 8:30 p.m. Friday night after the conclusion of Providence vs. Wichita State.
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