What: Maryland hosts 6-11 IUPUI in the Terps' last non-conference game of the season.
When and Where: 3:00 in the Comcast Center, College Park, Md.
Where to Watch: ESPN3.
Line: None yet
Notes / Storylines
Last non-conference game. From here, Maryland goes right into ACC season, where the team will truly be tested. The Terps have looked quite good through their first 12 games of the season, and are currently on an 11-game winning streak. IUPUI are not expected to get in the way of that,
Rumored lineup change. Mark Turgeon is expected to make a change to the starting lineup, saying the change was brought on by play in practice, not necessarily from the Delaware State game. Either way, the most likely candidate in looks to be Charles Mitchell, who was named conference freshman of the week after scoring 19 points with 14 rebounds in his last game out.
More on Mitchell. He currently leads the conference in rebounding percentage, and is averaging 6.4 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. He grabs 26.9% of opponents' missed shots while on the floor, and an astounding 18.6% of the Terps' - both conference highs, and the latter is good for sixth in the nation.
Alex Len. Len, by the way, is right behind Mitchell in offensive rebounding percentage at 15.6%, but is coming off a lackluster game against the Hornets. In just 17 minutes of play, he scored six points with two rebounds and had four fouls - enough to get Turgeon to call his play in the game "lethargic."
James Padgett. Padgett looks to be the most likely man out of the starting lineup, as Mitchell is just three minutes per game behind him in playing time as is. The senior has not done a whole lot to impress this season, and his averages have actually dropped pretty much across the board (while his shooting has improved). At 7.4 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, it's nothing to complain about from your fourth option on the court, but having Mitchell start might be preferable.
Point Guards. Some have said the lineup change could be Seth Allen in place of Pe'Shon Howard, but that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Howard, while only averaging 3.2 points per game, is exactly what you want out of a point guard on this team - a high assist-to-turnover ratio (3.2, a conference-high). Howard also ranks first in the conference in assists (both total and per game) and assist percentage. Allen, on the other hand, is exactly what you want in a bench player - he's electric, can score in a flash, and can hit consistently from deep.
The Opponent (An Overview)
IUPUI is 6-11, with a 1-3 record in the Summit League. Two of those six victories came against non-Division I opposition, and their best wins have come against two MAC teams - Bowling Green and Ball State. They've played only one major conference team this season - Michigan, to whom they lost 91-54. The Jaguars have also suffered blowouts against some mid-major contenders, including Butler, Western Kentucky, and Oakland (their most recent game).
With Ian Chiles, their third-leading scorer last year, injured, the Jaguars have less depth than they would like. Greg Rice starts at point guard, and the 5'11" junior is averaging 7.1 points and 3.1 assists per game (seventh in the conference) while shooting 45.5% from three. At shooting guard, John Hart has taken on the scoring load, averaging 14.7 per game (sixth in the conference). He leads the conference in field goals made and is second in three pointers made, but also is tops in turnovers committed.
At small forward will be sophomore Lyonell Gaines, averaging 6.1 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. Nearly half of those rebounds are offensive, and he leads the Summit League in offensive rebound percentage. Gaines has started at power forward occasionally, with senior guard Sean Esposito (4.9 points per game) making it a three-guard set, but expect junior power forward Donovan Gibbs, averaging 9.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, to start.
Mitchell Patton, a 6'9" junior, is one of the bright spots on the team, averaging 13.7 points and 5.4 rebounds. He's shooting an impressive 59.3% from the floor, and is making 74.4% of his free throws.
IUPUI has two shooters that come off the bench - guards Jordan Shanklin and P.J. Hubert. Shanklin is averaging 8.0 points per game and has shot 47.5% from deep, while Hubert is averaging 5.4 points per game and shooting 40% from three.
Expected Starting Fives:
|Pe`Shon Howard (Jr., 6-2)||Greg Rice (Jr., 5-11)|
|Dez Wells (So., 6-5)||John Hart (Sr., 6-2)|
|Nick Faust (So., 6-6)||Lyonell Gaines (So., 6-6)|
|Charles Mitchell (Fr., 6-8)||Donovan Gibbs (Jr., 6-7)|
|Alex Len (So., 7-1)||Mitchell Patton (Jr., 6-9)|
Matchup to Watch:
Len vs. Patton. After a down game for the Ukrainian, the Terps will be hoping for a return to form before ACC play. With skilled opposition in Patton, it could make for an interesting match-up.
Maryland 88, IUPUI 62. The Terps continue to fire on all cylinders, Mitchell and Len both record double-doubles, and Seth Allen scores 15.