Maryland-Tulsa preview: Searching for a convincing victory

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland faces a struggling Tulsa team -- can the Terps finally put it together against a lesser opponent?

Maryland's had more than a week off since their embarrassing loss to Boston University, and return to the hardcourt to face an easier opponent in Tulsa. This will be the Terps' penultimate non-conference game, as they face off against NC Central two days later. It looks like Maryland will have Seth Allen back as well, although it's unlikely he'll play much of a role as he comes back from injury. The Tulsa game will tip-off Sunday at 7 p.m. ET and will be on ESPNU.

Players to know

James Woodard, sophomore, 6'3". The team's leading scorer, Woodard plays the most minutes on the team and takes a good amount of shots, shooting better from three (40%) than two (39.1%) while taking about an even shot load from each. Most impressive is his rebounding ability -- he leads the team there, too, and is the best defensive rebounder on the squad. He holds on to the ball fairly well, but doesn't pass it much.

Rashad Smith, sophomore, 6'7". Their best offensive player who plays regular minutes, Smith is second on the team in both scoring and rebounding. His two-point shooting is much better than Woodard's (52.8%), and he's very active on the offensive boards. For a bigger player, he's surprisingly good with the ball, leading the team's core players in turnover rate (giving the way the ball on just 8.2% of his possessions) and fouls drawn (5.9 per 40 minutes), although he's shooting just 55.2% from the line.

Shaquille Harrison, sophomore, 6'3". Harrison's essentially the point guard of the team, leading the Golden Hurricane in assists and steals. Like Smith, he gets to the line often. Like Smith, he doesn't shoot very well when he gets there (60.7%).

Patrick Swilling, senior, 6'3". Swilling actually takes the most shots on the team, but he's simply not a very good shooter, hitting 40.6% of two point shots and 32.8% of his 67 three point attempts. He's been a pretty large offensive detriment this season -- he takes a ton of shots (without hitting many), turns the ball over often, doesn't pass the ball, doesn't get to the line (and misses his free throws when he gets there) and is the worst offensive rebounder on the team. So it's safe to say Maryland wants Tulsa to run the offense through Swilling.

Rashad Ray, sophomore, 5'11". Ray is Harrison's backup, and he's second on the team in assist rate and steals. He turns the ball over a ton and shoots poorly, but he's a solid distributor.

Tim Peete, senior, 6'4". Peete isn't used often (he plays about a third of the team's minutes and takes just 12.5% of Tulsa's shots while he's on the floor), but he's been their most efficient offensive weapon this season. He's shooting 66.7% on 21 shots from two-point range, but that may just be a fluke -- last season he shot 37% from two.

Strengths

They get to the line a lot, rarely turn the ball over and rarely get shots blocked.

Weaknesses

When they do get to the line, they can't make their shots (62.4%), they foul even more than they're fouled and they don't have any presence on the offensive boards.

Predictions

KenPom: Maryland 79-68, 84% chance of Maryland winning.

Our prediction: If Tulsa hits their free throws, Maryland could be in trouble. If Tulsa doesn't, it should be a (cup)cakewalk. This is a worse team than Florida Atlantic, but this Terrapin squad has shown anything can happen. Maryland 73, Tulsa 67.

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