Maryland Vs. Northwestern Preview


Jan 22, 2015; Bloomington, IN, USA; Maryland Terrapins guard Melo Trimble (2) drives to the basket against Indiana Hoosiers forward Troy Williams (5) at Assembly Hall. Indiana defeats Maryland 89-70. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Teams: #13 Maryland Terrapins (17-3, 5-2 Big Ten) and Northwestern Wildcats (10-9, 1-5 Big Ten)

The Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

The Location: Xfinity Center, College Park, Md.

TV/Radio: BTN/BTN2Go, 105.7 (FM)

The Coaches: Mark Turgeon and Chris Collins

The Backstory

Maryland hadn’t faced a ton of adversity this season, but Indiana gave the Terps a battle from the opening tip. Indiana forward Collin Hartman burned Maryland from beyond the arc and the Terps really were behind the eight ball for the entire game. As a whole, the Hoosiers torched the Terps from the perimeter as they connected on 68.2 percent of their shots from three-point range. Guard Yogi Ferrell hit seven threes and the Maryland defense just had no answer for him. The smaller lineup combinations that Indiana went with seemed to have Maryland in disarray on the defensive end for a good amount of the contest.

The Terps really shot the ball pretty well against the Hoosiers. Maryland shot 50.9 percent from the floor, including 50 percent (10-of-20) from beyond the three-point line. Freshman Jared Nickens had a strong game in which he connected on four shots from beyond the arc. However, guard Dez Wells had his fair share of struggles as he only connected on three of his 10 shot attempts. Maryland also struggled to get to the free throw line and didn’t have a ton of success when they did get there.

The Terps haven’t lost back-to-back games this season, so a hiccup isn’t something we’ve been accustomed to seeing. Both Big Ten losses came in tough road environments.

Northwestern comes into Sunday night’s game having lost their last five Big Ten contests. Since getting blown out by Wisconsin on Jan. 4, the Wildcats have played better as they’ve only lost their last four games by an average of four points. This is a team that lives and dies on the perimeter.

Guards Tre Demps and Bryant McIntosh combine to take 22.1 shots-per-game. Demps is a guy that loves to shoot the three, despite only connecting on 29.5 percent of such shots. Down low, the Wildcats have Romanian center Alex Olah, whom will pose an interesting matchup with Maryland center Damonte Dodd. Olah is pretty athletic for a big man and is capable of posting a double-double on any night. The Wildcats big man thrives on the pick-and-roll from time-to-time, so that’s definitely something for Maryland’s defenders to keep an eye on.

Key matchup for the night: Dez Wells vs. Tre Demps

Wells had a lackluster performance against Indiana on Thursday and definitely is in need of a bounce-back game. Demps poses a significant challenge as he is a guy that likes to shoot the jump shot from anywhere on the court. Wells usually guards the opposing team’s top offensive threat, so we’ll likely see these two pitted against each other several times on Sunday evening. Wells needs to be aggressive on both ends of the floor and that could go a long way in helping Maryland to a win.

Maryland will win if…

The Terps will win if they’re able to have more success in getting to the free-throw line with more regularity. Maryland only had 12 attempts from the charity stripe and only connected on six of them. One of the biggest strengths of guard Melo Trimble’s game is his ability to draw contact and get to the line. For a team that shoots 74.8 percent from the free-throw line, Maryland needs to utilize that strength against a lesser Northwestern squad.


Maryland should rebound from a tough loss against Indiana. The Terps just have too much talent to drop this one to a struggling Northwestern team. Maryland gets the win 72-57.