Maryland travels to Columbus on Sunday to face an Ohio State team that they have seen once already this season.
Here are 5 things you need to know about the 1 p.m. matchup.
1) Diamond Stone will start
Maryland freshman Diamond Stone was a starter against Iowa for the first (intentional) time in Big Ten play against Iowa. Mark Turgeon said on Saturday that he has done enough to keep himself in that role.
To be honest, Stone struggled to begin the game against the Hawkeyes and many of the reasons Turgeon had moved Stone to the sixth man role showed up again. Iowa pushed the ball inside to center Adam Woodbury and he scored five points in four minutes. Stone got into foul trouble.
But, now, Turgeon says the only way for Stone to get better is by going through those experiences. He’s probably right. Teams need to shift into another gear at the end of the January and the best players need to be on the floor more consistently.
He is averaging 13 points and five rebounds in just 20 minutes per game. If his minutes get bumped up and he maintains that efficiency, we might be talking about not only the conference’s Freshman of the Year, but an All-Big Ten selection.
2) Second time around
It is never easy to play a team a second time around. You can ask Maryland about facing Northwestern again. Sure, Maryland put 100 points on the Buckeyes in their first matchup, but much of the issue on the Ohio State side was effort.
Back on their home floor and with that previous matchup in mind, effort shouldn’t be an issue.
So now Maryland has to look at the talent on the roster. JaQuan Lyle has been coming off the bench of late for the Buckeyes and is down numerically by a significant clip since the Maryland game. Instead, the scoring has been concentrated in the frontcourt.
3) Still able to win without “Scoring Melo”
Maryland has shown this season that, because of their balance, they can win games without Melo Trimble being hot or in a scoring mindset. That’s a major positive and a reason to believe that the Terrapins’ ceiling is as high or higher than anyone else in the country’s.
Offensively, their starting five is as good as any other. Part of that is because of the evolution of Trimble’s game. If he is not scoring, this season he has grown as a passer to facilitate the offense for others.
Rasheed Sulaimon, Jake Layman, Robert Carter, Jr., and Diamond Stone have all shown that on a given night they can be the featured scorer and that makes this team overwhelming difficult to guard if they are clicking.
4) Need to continue the defensive effort
An immense amount of credit goes to Layman and Carter for setting the tone defensively against Iowa star Jarrod Uthoff the last time out. They do not win that game is Uthoff even has a decent game. The two combined to more or less shut him down.
But that cannot be a one-time thing.
Defense is where Maryland is the weakest, if you were to point out a soft spot on this team. It especially tends to show itself against versatile, smaller teams like Iowa. But have they now turned a corner? If the effort like against the Hawkeyes persists, they may have.
5) A tough schedule spot
Maryland’s win over Iowa was crucial from a resume-building perspective because the Terrapins do not have all that many chances to grab quality victories. That also means that there are plenty of pitfalls remaining, including against Ohio State on Sunday.
A win is not a signature win. But a loss to the No. 69 KenPom team -- a streaky team that has played well at different times this year, but poorly in others -- starts to shift the conversation about Maryland back in the other direction.
That direction is more about the Terrapins as a No. 4 or No. 5 seed instead of somewhere No. 1 to No. 3.
It is a difficult spot to be in because losing possible quality wins creates the narrative that you cannot win quality games. But losing games in which you are favored means you cannot win games you are “supposed” to win. So just go undefeated, right?