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Maryland men’s basketball at Northwestern preview

The Terps look for a second consecutive road win.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 14 Maryland at Illinois Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After a crucial 76-67 victory at No. 10 Illinois, Maryland men’s basketball will look to complete a perfect road trip when it takes on Northwestern Wednesday,

The Terps’ victory against the Illini was close throughout, but Maryland’s two stars — Jahmir Young and Julian Reese — ultimately carried the team down the stretch. Young finished the night with 28 points and eight assists, while Reese added 20 points and 11 rebounds.

The Terps’ game against the Wildcats will begin at 9 p.m. ET Wednesday and air on Big Ten Network.

Northwestern Wildcats (12-4, 3-2 Big Ten)

2022-23 record: 22-12, 12-8 Big Ten

Head coach Chris Collins has spearheaded Northwestern for the last decade. Last season, Collins was named Big Ten Coach of the Year following the Wildcats’ second NCAA Tournament appearance in program history (2017).

Collins and the Wildcats have found similar success this year, and shocked the country on Dec. 1 with a 92-88 overtime win over then-No. 1 Purdue. Recently, Northwestern defeated Michigan State and Penn State, but fell to No. 15 Wisconsin on Saturday.

Players to know

Boo Buie, graduate guard, 6-foot-2, No. 0 — An All-Big Ten first team selection last year, Buie has been a staple in the Wildcats offense during his five years in Evanston. He’s having perhaps his best season this year, though, averaging a team-high 18.3 points and 4.9 assists per game.

Brooks Barnhizer, junior guard, 6-foot-6, No. 13 — Alongside Buie, Barnhizer is the second half of a dynamic offensive duo. He ranks second on the team with 13.8 points per game, and leads the Wildcats with 6.9 rebounds per game. Last season, Barnhizer averaged 7.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.

Ty Berry, senior guard, 6-foot-3, No. 3 — Berry is one of the best 3-point shooters in the conference, shooting 44.7% from beyond the arc on 5.3 attempts per game. He’s also second on the team in total steals (27) and third in points per game (11.7).

Strength

Turnovers. Northwestern has been one of the best teams in the conference at forcing turnovers. The Wildcats rank second in the Big Ten in turnover margin (4.38) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.72).

Weakness

Rebounding. The Wildcats struggle to rebound, ranking last in the Big Ten with 30.4 combined team rebounds per game, and are one of just four teams in the conference to have a negative rebounding margin (-2.4).

Three things to watch

1. Another big game for Reese? With Northwestern’s top rebounder standing at 6-foot-6, Reese could be in for another big game following his double-double at Illinois. Northwestern also lacks viable paint protection, ranking 11th in the Big Ten in blocked shots per game (3.19).

2. Bench production. Over the last four games, Maryland’s bench has struggled to support its starters, averaging just 6.5 points per game over that span. If Reese or Young have an off night, someone will need to step up.

3. Another road win? After their win over Illinois, the Terps stay on the road, where they’ve accumulated a 4-12 record over the last two seasons. A win against Northwestern would move Maryland to 3-3 on the road this year, perhaps signaling an end to its road struggles.