Maryland Basketball: Quinnipiac Game Preview

Maryland Basketball – Terps vs. Quinnipiac
TV schedule: Tuesday, November 7, 7:00 pm ET.

Network: BTN+

Arena: Xfinity Center in College Park, Maryland

 

The 2021 -2022 edition of Maryland Basketball opens in College Park tonight, as the Terrapins face-off with Quinnipiac University in a non-conference matchup. This will be the first meeting between the two schools.

The #21 Terp’s bring a new look this season, as they have some new faces, as well as some familiar faces. Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon hopes to lead the Terps to another post-season appearance with a team that has the experience, depth, and talented freshmen and has a chance to make some noise come March.

Returning to the lead Terp’s are last year’s leading scorer Senior Eric Ayala, Junior Donta Scott and Junior Hakim Hart who comes back to College Park experienced, battle-tested in Big 10 play, and ready to make their mark on the Terp’s this season.

The Terp’s hit the transfer portal and are excited for the new kids on the block as 5’11 Grad PG Fatts Russell (Rhode Island) and 6-10 Junior Center Qudus Wahab. (Georgetown) headline an impressive list of transfers for the Terp’s, as both Russell and Wahab have high expectations coming into the season. 6-6 Grad Guard Xavier Green (Old Dominion), 6-8 Sophomore Forward Pavlo Dziuba (Arizona State), and 6-6 Sophomore Guard Ian Martinez (Utah) join Russell and Wahab in transfers to College Park as they will provide some much-added depth.

Maryland also welcomes an impressive 2021 Freshmen class this year, these talented freshmen 6-9 Julian Reece from (Baltimore, MD), 6-8 Guard James Graham (Milwaukee, WI), and 6-6 Guard Ike Cornish (Baltimore, MD) will be asked to play some important minutes for the Terp’s this upcoming season and provide some much-needed depth and to gain some valuable experience, as well as getting a taste of playing in the toughest conference in the Country.

Quinnipiac Head Coach Baker Dunleavy looks to start off their 2021 campaign by winning their first game of the season on the road against the Terps. Last year Bobcat team ranked No. 8 nationally in defensive field goal percentage last season, as opponents shot just 39.0% from the field and as a team, they also grabbed 28.32 defensive rebounds per game in 2020-21, which ranked best in the MAAC and No. 17 nationally.

The Bobcats from the Mid American Athletic Conference (MAAC)  are led by a couple of outstanding fifth-year graduate students and preseason 2nd team all-conference picks in 6-9 Forward Kevin Marfo and 6-6 Forward Jacob Rigoni. Marfo is returning to the Bobcats after playing the 2021 – 2021 season at Texas AM. In 2019 – 2020 he averaged 10.2 ppg and led the nation in rebounding (13.3 RPG), while recording 17 double-doubles that season, grabbing 10+ rebounds in 29 of the 30 games he played in. Rigoni led Quinnipiac in both scoring (11.8 PPG) and rebounding (6.3 RPG) last season and was only the 17th player in school history to score 1000 career points.

The Terp’s recently had a tune-up game or exhibition, as they defeated Fayetteville State 89-40 in College Park. There is no question that Quinnipiac should present more of a challenge for the Terp’s, but when all is said and done Maryland should have no problem in winning their first game of the season. There are a couple of things I would like to see during this game.

First, I want to see Maryland get hot right of the gate and I know this is only the second game and I expected some rust the other night, which there was as the Terp’s really got it going in the second half. If you are a Terp fan, you know Maryland’s history of slow starts sometimes comes back to bite them in the butt.

Second, I expect to see the Maryland defense suffocate, stifle, and basically shut down the Bobcats. I think this year’s Maryland team will go as far as the defense is going to take them. Maryland held Fayetteville State to just 25% shooting the other night, that is a solid defensive performance. In a tough and talented Big 10 conference, rebounding and defense will be key to who will come out on top in conference play this year.