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Maryland-Purdue Preview: 5 things you need to know


Maryland-Purdue Preview: 5 things you need to know

Maryland gets another chance at a Top 25 victory on Saturday when Purdue comes to College Park.

Here are 5 things you need to know.

1) Really big team

Maryland is typically the team that walks into a given arena being physically larger, forced to adjust to quicker, smaller lineups that the opposition throws out there. That will not be the case against Purdue.

The obvious reason for that is the pair of seven-footers that the Boilermakers have -- A.J. Hammons and Isaac Haas. In last year’s game, the two were not game-changers offensively, but helped Purdue to a +7 mark on the boards.

But it isn’t contained to just the center position. Caleb Swanigan is a 6-9, five-star power forward as a freshman. Vince Edwards is 6-8 at the small forward spot. Even Rapheal Davis is 6-6 as a shooting guard.

This could actually be an opportunity for Maryland to show off its versatility and flip the size idea on its head.

2) Another grind-it-out game?

KenPom ranks Purdue 8th in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency, that being not only a product of their enormous size inside but also because of Davis on the perimeter, the Big Ten’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year.

Maryland has proven that they can win defensive battles, as we saw against Nebraska and Northwestern. Granted, this is an elite defensive team and a Top 25 team on top of that.

The key on Saturday? Hitting shots. If you can shoot over the top of all of that size, there is not going to be much that the Boilermakers can do.


3) A more familiar stat line

Mark Turgeon has talked about the lack of foul calls Melo Trimble has been getting for the duration of Big Ten play. Against Nebraska, we finally saw the kind of state line that we were so accustomed to last season.

Trimble scored 20 points against the Cornhuskers on just seven shots from the floor, supplemented by 3-of-5 shooting from three-point range and 7-of-9 shooting from the foul line.

If Trimble gets calls and to the line consistently on Saturday, that could force the Purdue bigs into foul trouble and help to open up some chances inside.

4) The Layman X-Factor

Jake Layman will go a long way toward determining whether Maryland is Sweet 16 good or national title contender good. His game has evolved since his freshman season to the point where he is the team’s best perimeter defender and its (not so) secret offensive weapon.

He has become such an impact player defensively that you tend to forget that he is capable of being the team’s leading scorer on a given night -- but he is. He did a terrific job on Nebraska’s Shavon Shields to take him out of that game and hold the fort while Maryland fought back.

His shooting is what will be key on Saturday, though. As mentioned above, if the Terrapins are hitting shots they will be in business. A Princeton version of Layman would be helpful for Maryland on Saturday.

5) Showing them something

Maryland’s win over Iowa silenced a lot of national critics who (rightfully) wondered if the Terrapins could beat an elite team. Prior to beating the Hawkeyes, they had no signature wins and were 1-3 against RPI Top 50 teams.

Saturday is a chance to pull even against the RPI Top 50 and do it at home, too, where they seem to play best. Remember, Maryland has to go on the road and play this Boilermaker team again. That game is going to be even tougher. You’ve got to win the one on your home floor to hedge against any potential road letdown.

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Palmer's big 2nd half lifts Huskers past Maryland

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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.


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.


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

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Maryland overwhelmed by Penn State in close loss


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.


"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.


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."


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.