Maryland Terps

Quick Links

Maryland-Michigan Preview: 5 things you need to know

turgeonmelo.png

Maryland-Michigan Preview: 5 things you need to know

Maryland welcomes Michigan to College Park on Sunday at a critical juncture in the 2015-16 season. After losing two straight, including a bad loss to Minnesota, the Terrapins need a victory before they enter the stretch run of the regular season.

Here are 5 things you need to know.

1) The worst stretch of the season

Losing at home in Big Ten play for the first time since joining the conference was tough, but Thursday’s loss to a Minnesota team that had previously not won a Big Ten game was inexplicable for the nation’s once-No. 2 team.

Damonte Dodd said the plane ride home was hard. Rasheed Sulaimon is confident that the team is trying to get back to normal. Mark Turgeon said he just wants his team back to playing basketball because they love the game.

There is a mental hurdle to get over when trying to return to full normalcy. It’s tough that the first real, extended adversity of the season comes in February. The good news? It’s not single-elimination time yet.

2) Getting Melo back on track

Point guard Melo Trimble steers the ship for Maryland. But in the past two games, Trimble has gone 4-of-25 from the floor and in the past four games he has nearly twice as many turnovers (13) as made field goals (7).

There may be lingering effects of an injury still, but some of the mistakes he has made down the stretch of the past two games have been simply uncharacteristic decision-making errors, like trying to force a pass into a closed window, losing control of his dribble, or taking inefficient jump shots.

Turgeon and senior guard Rasheed Sulaimon both said they have spoken with the sophomore in hopes of helping him to turn it around. Maryland’s offensive success is tied directly to Trimble because so many possessions start with the ball in his hands.

MORE TERPS: HOW TURGEON AND SULAIMON ARE TRYING TO HELP TRIMBLE

3) What Diamond’s return means

Diamond Stone’s suspension was not the reason they lost to Minnesota, but there’s a chance that if Stone had played the Terrapins would not have lost to the Gophers.

Remember, Maryland’s offense had been struggling even with Stone, so once he was taken out of the rotation it cut the post options in half and forced Dodd into 32 minutes. The junior shot blocker filled in with a valiant effort, but he cannot be expected to provide everything Stone does offensively.

When Stone is on the floor, either in the starting lineup or off the bench, he can be trusted to get the ball in the post and go to work one-on-one or be used in the pick-and-roll with Trimble. That can change the dynamic of the offense as a whole.

4) Anything from the bench?

Maryland’s bench has combined to score six total points in the last two games. If this team wants to make a deep run in March, they will either need production from those currently on the bench, or find a way to rearrange the units so that scoring is more spread out.

Lineups with Carter and Stone on the floor at the same time mean a lot of offensive weapons with only one ball to go around. Lineups with Dodd and Cekovsky don’t give Trimble a consistent pick-and-roll or pick-and-pop option. What would be the solution?

Maryland needs more from the bench on the perimeter, too. Jaylen Brantley is capable of scoring the ball, as is Jared Nickens. Brantley is sometimes tentative, though, and Nickens has never fully broken out of the slump he slipped into earlier this season.

Somehow, the Terrapins will need an answer.

5) Second time around

Maryland has already lost to Michigan once, a game on the road that marked the Terrapins’ first Big Ten loss of the season. The Wolverines exploited what has been one of Maryland’s biggest weaknesses at different points this season -- perimeter defense.

Michigan rained 12 threes on Maryland, led by 5-of-9 shooting from Duncan Robinson. The first 10 minutes of Sunday’s game will be telling. If the Wolverines are hot from the perimeter like Minnesota was, it will be a long afternoon for Maryland because this Wolverine team is far more skilled than the young Gophers.

Quick Links

Palmer's big 2nd half lifts Huskers past Maryland

fernando_maryland.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Palmer's big 2nd half lifts Huskers past Maryland

LINCOLN, Neb. -- James Palmer Jr. scored 24 of his 26 points in the second half, Isaiah Roby had all 11 of his after half, and Nebraska held off Maryland 70-66 on Tuesday night.

Palmer and Roby combined for 35 of the Cornhuskers' 40 second-half points, and they secured their first 20-win season since 2008. They won a sixth straight conference game for the first time in 20 years.

Palmer scored 15 straight points for the Huskers (20-8, 11-4 Big Ten) over a 10-minute span that ended when Roby hit one of two free throws with 2:57 left for a 64-59 lead. Roby had a double-double, with 10 rebounds, and he also blocked three shots.

The Terps (17-11, 6-9) had a chance to take the lead with a minute to play, but Glynn Watson Jr. blocked Anthony Cowan Jr.'s 3-point try, Evan Taylor came up with the loose ball and got it to Watson.

Watson missed a 3-pointer coming out of a timeout, and Roby got the rebound and was immediately fouled. He made both free throws for a 66-63 lead. Kevin Huerter's layin cut it to one point before Watson made two free throws.

Huerter went to the line with 2.8 seconds left, and after making the first free throw he intentionally missed the second. Palmer got the rebound, was fouled and put the game away with two free throws.

Bruno Fernando led the Terps with 21 points and nine rebounds. Huerter added 12 points and Darryl Morsell had 11.

BIG PICTURE

Maryland: The Terps' fading NCAA Tournament hopes might have been dashed with their seventh straight road loss.

Nebraska: The Huskers are resting firmly on the NCAA bubble and absolutely needed this win. They got it, thanks to Palmer and Roby's efforts in the second half.

UP NEXT

Maryland hosts Rutgers on Saturday. It's the teams' only meeting this season.

Nebraska visits Illinois. The Huskers beat the Illini 64-63 in Lincoln on Jan. 15.

RELATED: DMV College Basketball Power Rankings: Missed opportunities

Quick Links

Maryland overwhelmed by Penn State in close loss

bruno_fernando_usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Maryland overwhelmed by Penn State in close loss

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Lamar Stevens feels like he's playing his most consistent basketball right now, a bad omen for upcoming opponents considering Penn State expects its hybrid forward to do a little bit of everything.

Just like he did on Wednesday.

Stevens scored 25 points on 10-of-12 shooting with 14 in the second half to lift Penn State over Maryland 74-70.

RELATED: UPDATED DMV POWER RANKINGS

"Lamar really stepped up for us," Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. "We needed every one of those points that he had tonight."

Tony Carr added 16 points, Josh Reaves scored 14, and Mike Watkins added 11 for the Nittany Lions (17-9, 7-6 Big Ten Conference), who equaled their previous best mark for conference victories under Chambers.

"The best teams always find ways to win," Stevens said. "We locked down when we had to, got huge stops, huge rebounds and I think that's a huge step for this team."

With Maryland (16-10, 5-8) up 20-14 midway through the first half, Stevens nailed his first of two 3-pointers to spark a quick 9-0 run that helped Penn State take control.

He rolled layups off his fingers and sank midrange jumpers on multiple back-to-back possessions in the second half, where he scored 11 of his team's first 20 points.

"He made some incredible, incredible shots," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. "He was terrific, he was so efficient."

Stevens added four rebounds, two assists and was 3-for-4 on free throws with all three makes coming in the final 5:48 as Maryland threatened.

MORE TERPS: MARYLAND STILL CONSIDERED BY MANY BRACKETOLOGISTS

Anthony Cowan Jr. led Maryland with 15 points while Kevin Huerter and Bruno Fernando added 13 apiece.

Darryl Morsell had 10 points for the Terrapins, who cut a 10-point deficit with 8:11 to play to just three with 1:13 left.

"I didn't think we competed in the first half defensively," Turgeon said. "I thought in the second half, we were really trying hard."

BIG PICTURE

Maryland: The Terrapins' disappointing season continues and they have dropped to 7-7 since stalwart forward Justin Jackson's season was ended by a torn shoulder ligament in late December. Although they shot better than their season average, the Terrapins were badly outplayed in the paint, getting outscored 32-22 and outrebounded 27-23.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions are playing an exciting brand of basketball as of late. They have a combined 22 dunks over their last three home games and opponents are finding it hard to play fast against a team that thrives on speed.