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Maryland-Southern New Hampshire Preview: 5 things to know

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Maryland-Southern New Hampshire Preview: 5 things to know

COLLEGE PARK -- After much offseason hype, the No. 3 Maryland Terrapins will take the court Friday night for the first time in live action against another opponent when Division II Southern New Hampshire comes to XFINITY Center in College Park.

Here are 5 things you need to know to preview the matchup.

1) “Work in progress”

Maryland’s core of players had a disjointed summer, with players like Melo Trimble, Rasheed Sulaimon, and Diamond Stone being fully available to practice together at varying times because of academic loose-end-tying or Team USA commitments.

So head coach Mark Turgeon says that, though he doesn’t want to make excuses, his team is trying to catch up fully from a chemistry standpoint and a rotation standpoint because they did not have the full summer together.

We’ll see some of that hashing out of details in Friday’s exhibition.

2) Bino Ranson’s connection

Maryland assistant coach Bino Ranson graduated from Southern New Hampshire in 1999 after a decorated playing career at the school. He graduated as the school’s seventh-leading scorer, fifth-leading assister, and third-most prolific shooter from three-point range.

He has been invaluable to Maryland during Turgeon’s tenure, especially as a recruiter. Turgeon talked for an extended time Thursday singing his praises.

MORE TERPS: OFFSEASON OF HYPE TURNS INTO SEASON OF WORK

3) Facing a smaller team

Like most Division II teams when compared to Division I teams (especially Power 5 schools), Southern New Hampshire will run small lineups. The team’s tallest player is 6-8 senior BJ Cardarelli and they list only one player as a center.

For Maryland, that means either challenging themselves by running bigger lineups and forcing players like Robert Carter to defend smaller players or go small and see what types of lineups come from that.

Southern New Hampshire spaces the floor and shoots the ball from the perimeter, so Maryland knows what is coming.

Versatility will be one of Maryland’s biggest strengths this season, with the variety of ball handlers and ability to shift forwards and centers are to play either really big or really fast.

4) Experimentation?

With that versatility comes the need to make decisions. How will the guard lineups be shuffled? Melo Trimble, Rasheed Sulaimon, and Jaylen Brantley are all capable ball handlers.

Frontcourt? Is Diamond Stone a starter right now? More on that below. Damonte Dodd, Michal Cekovsky, Jake Layman, and Robert Carter will be moved around at the four and five spots, or the three when it comes to Layman and possibly Carter.

5) Diamond’s big jump

Turgeon said that five-star freshman Diamond Stone has taken a big step forward over the past two weeks. He came to college as a standout offensive player, but it was the defensive end of the floor where he needed the most work.

It’s still not clear if he’ll begin the season in the starting lineup or if junior Damonte Dodd will start at that position, but we could start to get an indication of what Turgeon is thinking with Friday’s exhibition.

In my opinion, bringing him off the bench -- at least early in the season -- could benefit him. His offense would solidify the second unit and he could shift to power forward if he wanted alongside a player like Michal Cekovsky.

Second-unit power forwards would help him get his feet wet defensively and he could have his way with them on the other end of the floor. 

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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.

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

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Maryland overwhelmed by Penn State in close loss

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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.