Maryland faces Hawaii for a chance to advance to the Sweet 16 on Sunday. One former Terp, though, has already seen this Rainbow Warriors team three times and beaten them twice.
Nick Faust, who transferred out of Maryland after the 2013-14 season, played this season at Long Beach State, making Hawaii an in-conference foe.
Over those three games, he averaged 21.3 points per game while shooting 52 percent from the floor. It was highlighted by his monster first performance against the Rainbow Warriors when he posted 28 points and 14 rebounds.
Interestingly enough, Hawaii has only lost five games this season. Two of those losses came to Long Beach State. How?
One common thread is rebounding. The 49ers were +19 on the glass in their first win and +6 in their second. But the most obvious is what they were able to do to disrupt Hawaii star center Stefan Jankovic.
Over the course of the season, Jankovic has been the team's leading scorer at 15.7 points per game. In three games against against the 49ers (during which the Rainbow Warriors have gone 1-2), he is averaging just 8.3.
Part of that is probably a credit to the team's ability to go small. Long Beach State runs three guards and two undersized forwards, 6-8 Gabe Levin and 6-8 Mason Riggins, in their starting lineup. That allows them to match up, though they have still been able to win the battle on the boards.
That will be the biggest question for Maryland on Sunday. Can Robert Carter, Jr., Diamond Stone, and Damonte Dodd handle the inside-out action they'll have to face against a player like Jankovic? There were some issues doing that against South Dakota State.
Also? In each of those games versus Long Beach State, Jankovic had four fouls. If Nick Faust's team taught us anything, it seems to be one of the keys to victory.