After an up-and-down performance against Monmouth that saw Maryland's strong defensive play continue but their offensive rhythm flustered without shooting guard Dez Wells, the Terps play game two of their six-game homestand Sunday. Maryland hosts VMI at 6 p.m. ET, and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3.
VMI is the lowest-rated team on No. 26 Maryland's schedule via the current KenPom rankings, slotting in at No. 300. For comparison's sake, Central Connecticut State is No. 294 and Wagner is No. 268. The Keydets are 2-3 this season, with a narrow 66-65 win over No. 332 The Citadel and a 124-42 victory over D-II Johnson (Tenn.). Their losses: 92-86 at No. 155 Army, 110-93 vs. No. 237 UNC Wilmington and 103-72 vs. No. 25 West Virginia.
VMI was once a notable player on the mid-major scene, with a four-year stretch from 2006-10 wherein they were the top scoring team in the country. The Keydets had some winning seasons in that stretch, but they have not made the NCAA Tournament since 1977. VMI has been coached by Duggar Baucom since 2005-06. The North Carolina native has a 142-143 career record with the school.
Players to know
QJ Peterson, sophomore, 6'0. Peterson is averaging 20.6 points per game, and he's the only one on the team averaging double digits. He takes more than 15 shots per game and is a good shooter, with a 47.6/43.5/82.4 split on two-point, three-point and free throw shooting percentages. The problem? He's averaging 5.2 turnovers per game, and is a suspect ball-handler at best for someone running an offense.
Craig Hinton, sophomore, 6'7. Hinton is averaging 9.3 points and 4.3 rebounds in 12.5 minutes per game, so your guess is as good as ours as to why he hasn't played more. He's made five of nine three-point attempts so far this season, is rebounding at a high rate and rarely turns the ball over (at least compared to Peterson).
Phillip Anglade, junior, 6'5. Hinton is VMI's tallest player, but Anglade is their biggest inside presence. He's shooting 66.7% on two-point attempts so far this season, with 7.0 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. He'll likely be dealing with players half a foot taller than him in this game, however.
Three-point shooting. VMI may not be quite as high-flying as they were five years ago, but they still take a high volume of three pointers -- 159 compared to 180 two-point attempts. The Keydets are making 40.9% of their shots beyond the arc and will test Maryland's perimeter defense.
Free-throw shooting. VMI has not gotten to the free throw line very often this year, but they've taken advantage of the opportunities they've been given. They're making 78.8% of their free throw attempts this season, as they shoot well from basically everywhere.
Defense. VMI is giving up 82.4 points per game (342th in the country out of 351 schools). Opponents connect on 59.8% of two-point shots, and the Keydets don't force enough turnovers (or win enough rebounding battles) to overcome that difference.
Ball-handling. VMI turns the ball over on 28.2 percent of their offensive possessions (349th in the nation). That's absolutely dreadful. Get some steals, Melo.
KenPom’s prediction: Maryland, 90-67. 97% chance Maryland wins.
Our prediction: Maryland, 94-72.