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Maryland-South Dakota State Preview: 5 things you need to know


Maryland-South Dakota State Preview: 5 things you need to know

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Maryland faces South Dakota State on Friday afternoon in Spokane with hopes of advancing to the second round of the 2016 NCAA tournament.

Twelve-seeds won two of their three games on the tournament’s first day, with only Indiana taking care of business against Chattanooga.

Here are 5 things you need to know.

1) Not too bad being away from home

Part of the deal when it comes to being a No. 5 seed is the lack of geographical preference when it comes to location. Maryland underperformed in the regular season, so they were sent out to Spokane. Mark Turgeon has said all week that it could end up being a blessing.

Players seemed loose at Thursday’s open practice. Talking to players like Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon, the focus seems to be on not falling into the 5/12 trap and they seem to be itching to just play basketball, coming up on five days since the bracket was revealed.

A small but vocal group of Maryland fans watched the open practice on Thursday. The number of fans on Maryland’s side will likely be small on Friday because of the distance, but the long travel doesn’t seem to have affected energy or morale of the team.

2) Need Melo in a groove

Melo Trimble appeared to have emerged from his slump before making just two of his 15 shots from the floor against Michigan State in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament. If he hits maybe even five of those 15, Maryland probably wins that game.

“I always think if we were all on, including myself,” Trimble told CSN, “we would have won by at least 10 points.”

Most of his shots in that game were not bad shots. It seemed just to be a bad shooting night in close proximity to a mental slump a few games prior. But they will need him to be solid -- not necessarily dominant, but solid -- to be in control against South Dakota State.

SDSU head coach Scott Nagy admitted Thursday that his team can’t guard Trimble one-on-one, especially with the ball-screen actions Maryland uses. But the three-point shot has to be a threat or else the Jackrabbits can cheat under screens and he becomes less effective.


3) The battle of the freshmen

Turgeon made sure to remind everyone about how talented his freshman Diamond Stone is after heaping praise of South Dakota State’s Mike Daum earlier this week. That could be the one-on-one matchup that defines Friday’s game.

Daum is a strong low-post scorer who leads the Jackrabbits with 15.2 points per game. He can also stretch it out toward the perimeter, hitting 45 percent from three -- though on less than two attempts per game.

Stone has shown stretches of dominance, including a 39-point outburst against Penn State that carried Maryland to victory in late December and set a school freshman scoring record in the process.

How much of a factor is Daum’s ability to stretch the floor? Can Stone dominate him on one end of the floor to wear him down on the other? That could be the story. Read more on it here.

4) Rebounding the basketball

As much as the talk has been about South Dakota State’s ability to stretch the floor, the numbers don’t show they are a dominant outside-shooting team. The one metric that should raise a concern for Maryland is SDSU’s rebound rate.

The Jackrabbits rank 34th in the country when measuring the number of rebounds they grab as a percentage of total rebounds. For as big as the Terrapins are, that has been a consistent struggle for them.

Maryland is 20-3 when it outrebounds its opponent. It is 4-5 when it does not.

The Jackrabbits will bring a “gang mentality” when it comes to rebounding, their coach says, because of their inability to match up size-wise man for man. That means the guards will be involved on the SDSU side and more will fall on Trimble, Sulaimon, and Jared Nickens to chip in with a few boards (or more) apiece.

5) Can’t look ahead

Maryland admitted to looking ahead in the bracket last season. They narrowly escaped 13-seed Valparaiso and were overmatched against West Virginia, where they were eliminated.

The way this bracket is set up, there is a reasonable path to the Final Four for Maryland and it could include on Sunday a California team that lost it top scorer and assist man to injury while an assistant was fired this week amid sexual harassment allegations.

That is a team in turmoil that is certainly beatable and it would lock up a place in the Sweet 16. But you’ve got to get to Sunday first and you do that by beating South Dakota State.

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Big Ten season comes to a close for Maryland in final seconds of second round


Big Ten season comes to a close for Maryland in final seconds of second round

NEW YORK -- After struggling with injuries and poor play most of the season, Wisconsin is peaking at the right time.

Brevin Pritzl broke a tie with a foul-line jumper with 28 seconds left and Khalil Iverson secured the win with a steal in the waning seconds, leading Wisconsin past Maryland 59-54 on Thursday in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament.


Brad Davison and Iverson each made two free throws in the final nine seconds, and the ninth-seeded Badgers (15-17) advanced to the quarterfinals against top-seeded Michigan on Friday at Madison Square Garden after winning for the fifth time in seven games.

"It's a credit to these guys to my right and also the guys back in the locker room, how they've grown over the last month," Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said. "It has been fun to watch and hopefully we've got a lot more basketball yet to play."

The win wasn't pretty, but the Badgers made all the key plays down the stretch and eight-seeded Maryland (19-13) didn't.

The biggest plays were offensive rebounds by Iverson and Ethan Happ after Pritzl and Davison missed 3-point shots with the game tied at 53.

After the second miss with 40.3 seconds to go, Wisconsin called timeout and Pritzl got the game-winner 12 seconds later.

"I think, especially at the end of this game, the possessions are magnified," Davison said. "When you do things right those final possessions, you can really turn things around."

Maryland had a chance to tie the game when Kevin Huerter was fouled by Happ with 9.2 seconds to go, but he missed the first of two free throws and the Terps came up short for the seventh time in 11 games.

"I feel like we were fighting uphill all night," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. "We had the lead 24-23. It's the one time we had the lead. We tied it a bunch of times. It really came down to two things. We fouled too much and we couldn't get a rebound when we needed a rebound."


Happ had 14 points and seven rebounds for Wisconsin, which lost to Michigan State 68-63 less than a week ago. Davison finished with 13 points while Iverson had 11 and six rebounds and Pritzl 10 points. The Badgers, who lost starting point guard D'Mitrik Trice and reserve Kobe King to injuries in December, won despite shooting 36 percent.

"I personally figure we just have to string together an entire game for 40 minutes and just staying toe to toe with them like we did last game," Iverson said. "I know we'll be ready for them."

Huerter had 20 points to lead Maryland. Anthony Cowan Jr. added 16 points and Bruno Fernando had 12 points and nine rebounds.

Wisconsin never trailed in the second half, but it never led by more than three points in the final 11:40 until the closing seconds.

Pritzl's jumper broke a 53-all tie. Huerter then missed the first free throw and made the second. Maryland fouled Davison on the inbounds pass and he made both shots with 8.5 seconds to go for a 57-54 lead.

Wisconsin fouled Cowan rather than let him attempt a game-tying 3-pointer. Since it was a nonshooting foul, the Terps had to inbound with 5 seconds to go and Iverson stole Dion Wiley's pass and then closed the game with two free throws.

"He has evolved into our defensive end stopped," Gard said. "For him to come in and make a play like that at the end to seal it was great."


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Cowan, Fernando, Huerter receive All-Big Ten honors


Cowan, Fernando, Huerter receive All-Big Ten honors

In a roller-coaster season for the Maryland Terrapins, there have been three points of consistency on their roster: Anthony Cowan Jr., Kevin Huerter, and Bruno Fernando.

On Monday, the Big Ten awarded them each their first conference recognition.


Sophomore guard, Cowan was named the All-Big Ten Third Team and the All-Defensive Team. The 6-0 guard finished 10th in the Big Ten in scoring with 15.7 points per game. He also was third in assists (5.2) and steals (1.5). He was a nightmare to defend, filling right into the role that Melo Trimble left vacated this year. Both recognitions were from the Big Ten coaches and media.

Freshman forward, Fernando was selected for the Big Ten All-Freshman Team. Leading all freshmen with 6.4 rebounds and averaging 10.2 points a game, he instantly had an impact on the Terps. From Angola, the 6-10 forward capped his season with 21 points against Iowa on Jan. 7. In his first year, he went from a bench player to a starter, to Sportscenter. It was the first time ever a Terp has been named to the All-Freshman Team 

Huerter was named a Big Ten Honorable Mention by the coaches and media. Stepping into a new role in the 2017-18 season, Huerter struggled but still managed to be highly productive. With the ball in his hands more he shot 42.1 percent from deep and made 72 three-point baskets on the season. Already through two seasons, he is 12th on Maryland’s all-time three-point list.  He also scored 14.6 points a game.