Maryland basketball’s made a point of playing close games this season, but the Terps broke that habit Wednesday against Howard. Center Michal Cekovsky had 16 points in 18 minutes while Melo Trimble finished third on the team in scoring, a rare occurrence.
Fans could be in for a similar game on Saturday when the Terps take on the Saint Peter’s Peacocks at noon on BTN. This is one of the middle legs in Maryland’s last stretch of nonconference play. Here’s what that looks like:
Until the Terps play Illinois on Dec. 27, there might not be too much to talk about.
Saint Peter’s Peacocks (4-4)
2015-16 record: 14-16
Head coach: John Dunne
All-time record vs. Maryland: 0-1
Players to watch
Quadir Welton, F/C, senior, 6’8/230, No. 35. Welton’s been the Peacocks’ best offensive player and it hasn’t been close. He’s averaging 16 points per game on 55 percent shooting, and hasn’t attempted a three all season. Cekovsky and Ivan Bender are going to have their hands full with him.
Nick Griffin, G, junior, 6’2/176, No. 0. He’s scored almost all of his 10 points per game from beyond the three-point arc. Griffin attempts five three-pointers a game to only two two-pointers, and is shooting 44 percent from deep.
Trevis Wyche, G, senior, 6’1/175, No. 3. At 10.1 points per game, he’s the Peacocks’ third-leading scorer, though he does so as a much less efficient rate than the other two players mentioned here. Wyche shoots 34 percent compared to Griffin’s 49.
Defensive rebounding. Saint Peter’s is ninth in the country in opponents’ offensive rebounding percentage at 22 percent. It’ll be interesting to see how this shakes out against Maryland, as the Peacocks’ tallest player is 6’8. Maryland has a 7’1 center in Cekovsky to deal with that.
Getting to the free-throw line. They rank 13th in free throw attempts per field goal attempt, meaning they at least get to the line often. They only shoot 69 percent when they get there, though.
Scoring. Saint Peter’s shoots 46 percent from two and 34 percent from three, and that 69 percent from the line gives them an effective field goal percentage of 48 percent, good for 250th in the country. Not great.
Interior defense. Opponents are shooting 57 percent from inside the arc against the Peacocks, which ranks 319th in the country. Cekovsky could have another field day on Saturday.
KenPom’s prediction: Maryland 71, Saint Peter’s 59. Terps have an 86 percent chance of winning.
Ryan’s prediction: Maryland wins, 78-61.