Maryland faces Marshall in the team’s final non-conference game of the regular season on Sunday afternoon in College Park.
Here are 5 things you need to know about the matchup.
1) Jaylen Brantley faces former team after breakout game
For the well-traveled Jaylen Brantley, last week’s game against Princeton was a reassuring one. Surrounded by talented players, he is still finding the right times to take it upon himself to score. He did so with 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the floor, including 2-of-3 from three-point range.
Now he faces the team with which he signed coming out of high school, Marshall, though he sat out his one season with the team as a non-qualifier before eventually transferring to junior college.
Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon still wants to develop depth in his backcourt and this is the final chance to do that before conference play. Does Brantley get a chance to step up in a game of personal importance?
2) Coming off another long break
It took time for Maryland to hit its stride against Princeton after going a week without playing a game. A 16-2 run near the end of the first half eventually helped them to seize control and win that game.
Now that eight days have passed without a game, how will the Terrapins come out?
Turgeon has had a tendency to not push all of his chips into the middle of the table right away, meaning that the 1-3-1 is a comeback tool instead of a first-attack tactic. There is sometimes a lack of intensity that ends up getting fine-tuned. Which will we see early on Sunday?
3) Diamond Stone really settling into his role
It’s not always easy to get a five-star freshman to buy into a role off the bench, but Diamond Stone seems to be doing it an excelling in the process.
Turgeon was faced with a simple fact -- Stone and Robert Carter, Jr. have too many overlapping skills and are not good complementary parts. The same goes for Damonte Dodd and Michal Cekovsky. So Stone was paired with Cekovsky off the bench and Carter with Dodd in the starting lineup and Maryland has not looked back.
Stone is an offensive spark off the bench whose defensive deficiencies can more easily be masked on the second unit. The entire Maryland machine now works better after that one move.
4) Exploiting the defense?
Marshall ranks 265th in the nation in defensive efficiency, giving up 1.06 points per possession. Maryland ranks third in the nation in effective field goal percentage at 61.3 percent. That means that the Terrapins will have the opportunity to turn up the heat early on the offensive end.
A strong start on that end of the floor sets a tone. Marshall is not a big team, which means players like Stone and Carter can get involved early and either get to the free throw line or convert. That, then, opens up the perimeter.
5) But in the same way, they’re not a big team
There is another side to the team size coin. Maryland has had trouble with smaller teams so far this season because they are difficult to chase around with the overall team size the Terrapins feature.
Maryland will have to have a good advantage on the boards to counter the Thundering Herd and that 1-3-1 is always in their back pocket if they choose to use it.