ACC-Big Ten Challenge: Indiana Hoosiers v. Maryland Terrapins (preview).

Maryland Terrapins
Current record: 4-2
Current RPI: 70
Current Sagarin:  57
Current Pomeroy: 57
2008-09 record: 18-12 (7-9 ACC, lost to Memphis in second round of NCAA Tournament)
2008-09 RPI: 55
2008-09 Sagarin: 46
2008-09 Pomeroy: 54
Pomeroy scouting report
Series: IU leads 5-1
TV:7:30 p.m., ESPN2
Blog: Testudo Times

The Terrapins and the Hoosiers met on April 1, 2002 at the Georgia Dome to decide the NCAA Championship and while some programs have fallen further than others since then(ahem), both programs still are trying to recapture the magic.  As I mentioned yesterday, Indiana and Maryland met in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge in 2002-03 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, and IU won in overtime in a game most remembered for Steve Blake's potential game-winning shot that went in but was ruled, after replay review, to have been released just after the buzzer at the end of regulation.

Maryland was ranked in the top 25 before a rough trip to Maui.  Much like the Hoosiers last season, Maryland beat Chaminade but lost to two major programs: 69-57 to Cincinnati and 78-69 to Wisconsin.  As Testudo Times (see link above) notes, IU is better than any team that Maryland has defeated and is worse than any team that has defeated Maryland, so the Terps will know more about where they stand after tomorrow. 

As is typical, Maryland has played very well defensively this season.  Its adjusted defensive efficiency of .86 points per possession is good enough for #21 in the nation, and for as far back as Ken Pomeroy keeps track, sound defense has been a constant for Maryland, with offensive production the variable that determines whether the Terps will have a good season or an ordinary one.  Particularly chilling are Maryland's turnover percentage (28.2%, #8) and steal percentage (16.4, #7).  Of course, those numbers were higher against the dregs of the Maryland schedule, but given IU's struggles with turnovers, this is a concern.  On the other hand, Maryland's overall offensive efficiency ranks them below the median, #182 in Division I.  Still, Maryland's offense has been much more productive than IU's.

Here are the Terps' stats:


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Landon Milbourne 6 29.0 5.7 10.2 55.7 0.5 0.8 60.0 1.8 2.3 78.6 1.5 2.3 3.8 0.3 1.5 0.8 1.0 2.5 13.7
Sean Mosley 6 29.8 4.8 7.8 61.7 0.5 1.0 50.0 3.0 4.0 75.0 1.2 3.5 4.7 3.8 1.3 1.8 0.3 1.7 13.2
Eric Hayes 6 29.2 4.0 7.5 53.3 2.2 4.5 48.1 1.3 1.5 88.9 0.0 3.0 3.0 2.7 1.3 1.5 0.8 1.7 11.5
Greivis Vasquez 6 30.5 3.8 11.7 32.9 1.0 3.8 26.1 2.5 3.0 83.3 0.7 3.5 4.2 5.3 3.2 2.0 0.5 2.0 11.2
James Padgett 6 18.5 3.5 6.8 51.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 2.0 25.0 2.7 2.8 5.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.7 1.7 7.5
Jordan Williams 6 22.5 2.8 6.3 44.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.5 3.3 45.0 2.5 5.2 7.7 0.0 0.5 0.8 0.8 2.8 7.2
Cliff Tucker 6 17.2 2.3 4.3 53.8 0.3 1.5 22.2 0.7 1.0 66.7 0.5 1.5 2.0 1.0 1.0 0.8 0.3 1.3 5.7
Adrian Bowie 6 15.3 1.3 4.3 30.8 0.2 2.0 8.3 0.3 0.8 40.0 0.0 0.8 0.8 2.5 1.0 1.5 0.2 1.2 3.2
David Pearman 4 2.5 0.5 1.3 40.0 0.0 0.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.0 1.0
Steve Goins 2 2.0 0.5 1.0 50.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.0 0.5 0.0 0.5 0.5 0.0 0.5 1.0
Jin Soo Choi 4 6.8 0.0 1.5 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.0 0.5 0.5 100.0 0.5 1.3 1.8 0.5 0.0 0.5 0.3 1.0 0.5
Ersin Levent 4 1.8 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.5 50.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3


As you can see, the Terps present a faily balanced scoring attack, with four players averaging between 11-14 points per game.  Senior Landon Milbourne, a 6-7 forward, leads the way with 13.7 points per game and he shoots 55 percent from the field.  Sophomore guard Sean Mosley, in a significantly increased role compared to last season, is averaging 13.2 points per game and shooting a remarkable 61 percent from the field and 50 percent from three point range (the latter on only 6 attempts, however).  Eric Hayes, a 6-4 senior guard, averages 11.5 points per game and is shooting 53 percent from the field and 48 percent from three point range.  Grevis Vasquez, a 6-6 senior guard, is the fourth of Maryland's double figure scorers, plus leads the team with 5.3 assists per game.  With his size, Vasquez will present an interesting matchup for Jeremiah Rivers on both ends of the court.  Finally, note that the three Maryland guards who play the most all are comfortably in the black on assist-turnover ratio. 

Looking at individual scoring stats, plus the Terps' excellent offensive and defensive turnover numberrs, it's difficult to imagine how Maryland's offense could have such middling overall efficiency.   As the Pomeroy scouting report reveals, the Terps do not rebound particularly well, particularly on the offensive end, don't get to the line very often, and shoot free throws nearly as poorly as IU does. 

Unquestionably, IU must play its best game of the season to have any chance for victory.  While Maryland, per the early season computer ratings, is not as good as Mississippi, the Terps are far better than any other team IU has played, including Boston U. and George Mason, teams that defeated IU in Puerto Rico.  It seems inevitable that IU will turn the ball over against Maryland.  Even normally sure-handed Wisconsin turned the ball over on 23 percent of its possession in a win against the Terps.   It seems to me that IU's best chance depends upon exploiting Maryland's rebounding weakness, continiuing to shoot well from three point range, and trying to force the Terps into enough turnovers to balance out that factor.  Really, nothing that IU has done this year provides much hope for victory, other than the belief that this team has enough talent to improve as the season progresses.  Tonight would be a good night to show such improvement.

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