What to Expect: Maryland

  • 02/10/2015 2:11 pm in

Indiana returns to the road on Wednesday night for a meeting with No. 19 Maryland at the XFinity Center in College Park. The Terrapins are 19-5 overall, 7-4 in the Big Ten and 5-0 in conference play at home.

The game will be broadcast on BTN at 9 p.m. ET:

There’s good and bad when you examine Indiana’s performances on the road in Big Ten play.

First, the good: The Hoosiers own a pair of Big Ten road wins over Illinois and Nebraska and those two clubs are 9-0 at home in league play against the rest of the conference.

And the bad: IU’s four road losses have come by an average of 15.5 points and the Hoosiers have dropped three straight away from Assembly Hall.

Indiana will look to reverse recent misfortunes and attempt to become the first Big Ten road team to win at Maryland this season on Wednesday. It won’t be easy, though, as the Terps will clearly have revenge on their mind following an 89-70 drubbing in Assembly Hall back on Jan. 22.

A LOOK AT THE TERPS

Maryland is just 2-2 since its trip to Bloomington with blowout road losses to Ohio State and Iowa along with narrow home wins over Northwestern and Penn State.

Coming into the first meeting at Assembly Hall, Maryland looked as if it had emerged as the primary threat to challenge Wisconsin for the Big Ten title, but the Terps now sit in a four-way tie for second place in the league standings. The Terps continue to be led by standout freshman guard Melo Trimble, but he’s struggled in conference play. Through the first 11 league games, Trimble is shooting just 34.8 percent on 2s and 35.1 percent on 3s.

Here’s Trimble’s shot chart to-date for Big Ten games only, per Shot Analytics:

trimbleshot

Trimble is coming off a 20-point performance at Iowa and if he did hit a freshman wall of some kind, perhaps that game will help lead him through it. He does have help in the form of junior wing Jake Layman and senior guard Dez Wells, both of whom can be nightmare matchup problems.

Wells is a physical specimen at 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds who has a 27.7 percent assist rate in conference play and also gets to the line (55.5 percent free throw rate). He’s making 50 percent of his 3s in conference play, but just 37.5 percent of his 2s.

Layman, who has captured Big Ten player of the week honors twice this season, is 6-foot-9 and can play both inside and outside. He’s struggled offensively in Maryland’s last four games with just 32 points, but is an excellent defensive rebounder (23.2 DR%) and is making close to 49 percent of his 2s in conference games.

Maryland has mixed up starting lineups throughout the season with Trimble, Wells and Layman as the only three to start each Big Ten game. The rest of the perimeter rotation includes guards Richaud Pack and Dion Wiley along with forward Jared Nickens, who is a 3-point specialist.

Pack is a poor offensive option who is making 71 percent of his free throws, 26.2 percent of his 2s and just 30.8 percent from distance in Big Ten games. Freshman guard Dion Wiley has cooled off in recent weeks as he’s made just 3 of the 12 3s he’s attempted since the IU game. Nickens has cooled off recently as well after he knocked down four triples in Bloomington. Over Maryland’s last four, he’s connected on just 4 of his 12 attempts from distance.

Damonte Dodd, a 6-foot-11, 245 pound sophomore, wasn’t much of a factor in the first game and hasn’t played more than 15 minutes in a game in nearly a month. It will be interesting to see if Mark Turgeon tries to get Dodd going inside against an IU team that has struggled to defend the paint.

If that doesn’t happen, a trio of other frontcourt options are available in Jon Graham, Evan Smotrycz and Michal Cekovsky. Graham, who transferred from Penn State, is the team’s best offensive rebounder (OR% of 14) in conference play, but isn’t much of an offensive threat. Senior Evan Smotrycz continues to struggle offensively, but is still hovering around the 20 minutes per game mark in Big Ten play. He’s shooting just 25 percent on 3s and 41.4 percent on 2s over his last 11. Cekovsky, who is 7-foot-1 and 235 pounds, played 10 minutes at Iowa, but may be more of a last resort in this game as Maryland must focus on guarding IU on the perimeter.

A LOOK AT THE NUMBERS

021015md

Maryland came to Assembly Hall less than a month ago with the Big Ten’s best defense. That defense has fallen off considerably in recent weeks as only Penn State has managed less than 1.04 points per possession over the last four against the Terps.

Furthermore, Maryland’s offense is third worst in the conference right now at just .98 points per possession and as UMHoops.com points out, the free throw line is pivotal to its success. When Maryland posts a free throw rate (FTA/FGA) of better than 40 percent, it is 7-0 in conference play, but is 0-4 otherwise.

Indiana won the first game comfortably because of ridiculous 3-point shooting, but Maryland scored it well enough to win (1.09). At home, the Terps should be much better prepared to not allow an offensive explosion from the Hoosiers.

WHAT IT COMES DOWN TO

Of IU’s seven remaining games, the Pomeroy ratings list this game as the least likely to produce a win for the Hoosiers. The prediction there is a 78-72 win for Maryland and just a 29 percent chance of Indiana escaping with a win. Sagarin’s model likes Maryland by 5 and Vegas line opened with Indiana as a 4.5 point underdog.

Like Indiana, Maryland, at 7-4 in league play, is actually being outscored in conference games because of some lopsided road games. But the Terps have protected their home court all season, save from a loss to Virginia back in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.

There’s been no middle ground with Indiana on the road this season. The Hoosiers have either won very close games (twice) or lost by double digits (four times). Coming off a deflating loss at Iowa, Maryland will be looking not only to get back on track, but for revenge after its loss in Bloomington.

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  • Hoosierkamp

    I didnt think we could win this game… but looking more at it…. spread isnt that bad and we match up OK here if we keep them small. Feeling optimistic about a win. Yogi needs to frustrate Melo again….. and Rob needs to do a good job on him when Yogi isn’t.

    Dez and Layman are going to hurt us… we just need to hurt them more…. Go Hoosiers

  • CreamandCrimson

    I don’t expect a victory tomorrow night but it would be really nice (and pretty important for the confidence of this squad) to be competitive on the road. Maryland has struggled since we demolished them but they are still winning at home and their recent form isn’t something I’m counting on continuing.

    -We did a really nice job of keeping them off the free throw line in Bloomington, that needs to continue on Wednesday.
    -They are much bigger than us (surprise, surprise) but we turned their size into a mismatch in our favor during our first meeting. You would certainly assume that Mark Turgeon has some different things to throw at us, are we ready to deal with that?
    -Yogi hammered Melo Trimble (and Trimble hasn’t really looked the same since) and he’s continued to play really well since. He’ll have to handily win that matchup again.
    -Troy hasn’t had a good game on the road in quite a while, he has to turn that around tomorrow night.

    Losing at Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin is completely understandable…I didn’t expect to win at those places and I don’t expect to win tomorrow night. I do expect for us to start showing some life on the road…if we get blown out in College Park (following the 3 prior road blowouts), why would we keep assuming we “should” win in Evanston or Piscataway?

  • iubase

    I like our chances. With JBJ back and HMP playing some solid minutes the core group should be solid and keep a frenetic pace. The michigan win was critical. I hope we don’t have a let down. I know Yogi had a great game last time and they will certainly be honed in on him. Look for Troy and JBJ to have a great game with Yogi as facilitator. IU 81-78

  • Trevor Howenstine

    The schedule says the game is tomorrow night? This article says it’s tonight? Which is it? (I assume the schedule is correct?)

  • Hoosier Hall

    Every time I look at our rebounding numbers I smile a bit. I know our defense is sub-par (to say the least) but we are undersized yet we are in the top tier of the Big 10 conference in both offensive and defensive rebounding. That says something right there. I’m going to be optimistic and predict a 76 – 70 Indiana victory.

  • Ms hoosier

    I do like the way we match up with the Terps I’m hoping this don’t turn out to be a payback game. Hope the Hoosiers come to play 40 minutes and steal one on the road. Go Hoosiers!!!

  • VAHoosier

    I’ll be there – sitting mid-court, but pretty far up. I don’t feel very optimistic about a win, but it’s just my nature to guard against disappointment. If we can contain the dribble without fouling, control the defensive boards, and shoot reasonably well, we may be in good shape. Oh, and if we don’t get jobbed by the B1G officials, which is always a big if… I was surprised to see how evenly we match up by the numbers; if we play focused and with intensity, we could steal this one.

  • SCHoosier

    Coming off their recent performances, MD is gonna be fired up. They have the size to really hurt us in t he paint and I think we can all agree that the Hoosiers are not likely to make 15 three’s again in this rematch. Turtles by 8-12.

  • Ms hoosier

    Got to agree with Hoosier hall on the rebounding got to give CTC some credit the way he has this team rebounding we were terrible to start the season in rebounding

  • John D Murphy

    We send everyone to the boards instead of getting back. This hasn’t hurt our transition D as much as I would have expected. Although I think it really hurt against OSU. I’m a little scared that we give up too many in transition against Iowa.

  • Watch your tongue Ms hoosier… A lot of guys on here are not willing to give Crean credit for anything, much less and improvement in rebounding.. I’m sure they’ll position it as ,’the teams we’ve played are just not good rebounding teams”…

  • Ms hoosier

    I don’t aways agree with CTC but I like to give credit when it is due

  • SCHoosier

    I’m not talking rebounds I’m talking about them scoring against us in the paint..just as we did against Um first half Sunday. IU has been vulnerable in the paint all season.

  • sd chuck

    We really need TW’s high energy game around the rim, the whole team feeds off of it. If Yogi can HMP involved around the rim also then the shooters should be open. Yogi is the perfect guard for this offense, lets hope he makes the right decisions. Defense, well hopefully we can come up with some stops in the last 5 minutes.

  • HoosierFanaticFromUSI

    This is off topic, but does anyone know anywhere online that you can get one of the IU basketball schedules with all of their heads on it? I have one for the last several seasons, and I want to continue that but don’t want to drive to Bloomington just to get one.

  • Khoosier3

    The only time it is understandable to lose @Purdue is when Sampson leaves the program in shambles. We are exempt from this circumstance after year 2 in rebuilding… In my book, it is never understandable to lose to those @&$?!&$@ up North in that Trashy Nasty Smelling town…

  • MillaRed

    You are 100% responsible for the outcome of this game.

  • Terry Arney

    I got one from the Hoosier athletic homepage’s store

  • I do not agree with everything CTC does either.. But I do not get on here and ‘blast’ him.. at least none of his ‘head scratchers’, have peaked my emotions to that level yet. I do like the guy and have my concerns. It’s just some of the unfounded criticism a person reads on here is really unfair, IMO.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    my guess is they’re going to start out red hot, and we just can’t afford yet another slow start. i’ll be happy if we can avoid a turnover in the first 5 possessions. now for some friendly advice…

    TW, please slow it down a little! play with composure and let the game come to you. and for goodness sake, stop taking 19′ jumpers until next year! HP, stop trying to block every dang shot! stay on your feet, and get in position for the rebound instead!

    if those guys happen to read this, i think we may have a chance tonight.

  • mdtreat

    Yes Iowa is very good in transition, and Fran focuses on coaching the transition a lot, but so does CTC so hopefully he can prepare for and mitigate some of that. We beat Iowa at home last year when, IMO, they had a better team and we had a worse team.

  • CvilleIU

    I’ll be there too, sitting closer, but off to the side above the IU bench. Same thoughts as you, hopeful for the right mix of refs, good shooting, and defensive boards…hoping IU can steal this one!

  • A loss wouldn’t be terrible, and a win would be exceptional. I wonder if that’s how the kids feel… If so, then we lose by double digits again. If they go in and compete with the same fire as the first game, then they can scratch out a win. Should be interesting, as usual…