The Maryland men’s basketball team started off Big Ten play with a narrow win over Penn State. On Saturday, the Terrapins dominated Northwestern 72-69.
Guard Melo Trimble led the way for Maryland with 24 points and to go along with eight assists and eight rebounds. Trimble continued his reign as one of the top point guards that the Big Ten has to offer.
Guard Rasheed Sulaimon added 16 points while dishing out six assists and grabbing six rebounds. This performance came just three days after Sulaimon didn’t hit a single shot against the Nittany Lions.
Saturday’s game was another example of just how special this Maryland backcourt can be. Both showed their ability to score as well as their ability to facilitate.
Center Diamond Stone had himself quite a week as he was named Big Ten Player and Freshman of the Week honors. Stone posted a 39-point, 12-rebound performance against Penn State in an inspiring comeback win.
As a team, Northwestern is shooting 37.6 percent this season, which is good for sixth in the Big Ten. The Terps were able to hold the Wildcats to only two successful attempts (2-of-20) from beyond the arc on Saturday.
However, Maryland is one of the better teams in the conference in defending the three-point shot. Opponents are shooting just 30.4 percent against the Terps.
Aside from Kansas and Oklahoma, Maryland appears to be one of the most complete teams in the nation. While there’s still plenty of season left to be played, Trimble and company look like a fundamentally sound group.
Getting To Know Rutgers
- Rutgers has put the scandal of the Mike Rice era behind them. Former Washington Wizards coach Eddie Jordan is in his third season with the team. Jordan has accumulated a 28-52 record as the boss of the Scarlet Knights, and helped usher the team into the Big Ten beginning last season. During the 2014-15 season, Rutgers went 10-22 with only one win during Big Ten play. The team had to replace the one-two punch of Myles Mack and Kadeem Jack, which accounted for 26.4 points-per-game and 10.4 rebounds-per-game. The Scarlet Knights currently own a 6-9 record, which features losses to Creighton, Clemson, Seton Hall, and St. John’s in non-conference play.
- Rutgers’ most recent game against Wisconsin saw a change in Jordan’s starting lineup. Leading scorer Corey Sanders came off the bench for the Scarlet Knights, which arguably had to do with the fact that they were facing a veteran team in the Badgers. Sanders had one of his worst games of the season as he only scored two points (1-of-8) in 23 minutes. While Jordan could use the same strategy against another veteran group in Maryland, it wouldn’t be a huge shock if Sanders was back in the starting lineup. Sanders is certainly the top playmaker for Rutgers and it’s easy to see why. The Florida native isn’t all about scoring as he is a very gifted passer. His ability to drive to the basket frees up space for some of the Scarlet Knight shooters. In 10 games this season, Sanders has dished out four or more assists. Sanders is also a pure scorer that possesses an above-average jump shot. Whether he steps back or it’s in transition, he can make shots from everywhere around the perimeter. His ability to drive to the basket is also one of the most valuable parts of his offensive game.
- The Scarlet Knights don’t exactly have a huge stable of bigs. While he may not be a huge offensive threat, center Greg Lewis is the only true post presence. Lewis is an effective rebounder (5.5 per game) and also blocks 1.1 shots per contest. While his field goal percentage may not be spectacular, this is a guy who can space the floor and shoot when he’s open. Lewis is a big body that Carter and Stone will have to deal with quite a bit on Wednesday in order to be successful. This is definitely one of the smaller teams that the Terps will face during the 2015-16 season.