Maryland basketball hasn’t played a single true away game this season. That changes Saturday against Michigan.
The Terps are following up their collapse against Nebraska with a trip to Ann Arbor to face the Wolverines at 3:15 on ESPN2. Jason Benetti and Sean Farnham have the call.
Maryland couldn’t put together a full game against Nebraska, going scoreless in the last six minutes to give up a double-digit lead. The Terps looked great in their Big Ten opener against Illinois, turning a 16-point halftime lead into a 25-point victory. They’ll need to look more like the latter team to beat a Michigan squad that’s soldiered through a tough schedule so far.
Michigan Wolverines (11-4, 1-1 Big Ten)
2015-16 record: 23-13
Head coach: John Beilein. He’s 200-127 at Michigan and 493-302 in his career.
KenPom ranking: 33 (Maryland is 61)
Players to watch
Zak Irvin, guard, senior, 6’6/215, No. 21. Irvin’s come into his own as a senior, racking up 4.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists to go along with 14 points per game.
Derrick Walton, guard, senior, 6’1/190, No. 10. Walton is taking slightly more shots this year, and has produced at a higher rate. He’s averaging 12.5 points per game, and shoots almost as well from beyond the three-point line (40 percent) as from inside (47 percent). He’s also an ace from the free-throw line, shooting 92 percent.
Mortiz Wagner, forward, sophomore, 6’11/240, No. 13. Wagner is Michigan’s best inside scoring threat, and has the team’s best offensive rating (128) on KenPom. He shoots 69 percent from inside and 48 percent from deep, and should be a handful for Ivan Bender or L.G. Gill.
Shooting. Michigan is the 29th-best shooting team in the country by effective shooting percentage (55 percent). The Wolverines have five rotation players who average more than 50 percent two-shooting from the field, and also are the fifth-best free throw shooting team in the country.
Not turning it over. Michigan is the fifth-best team in the country in avoiding turnovers, coming in only turning the ball over on 14.2 percent of possessions. The Wolverines only let up steals on six percent of all possessions, which is 10th in the nation.
Getting to the foul line. The Wolverines rank 299th in free throw attempts per field goal attempts. They shoot well when they get there, but it doesn’t happen as much as it should.
Perimeter defense. Michigan is 320th in the country in opponents’ three-point percentage. The Wolverines let opponents shoot 40 percent from deep. Will Kevin Huerter follow up his career-high 26 points against Nebraska with another good shooting effort?
KenPom’s prediction: Michigan 68, Maryland 62. Terps have a 27 percent chance of winning.
Ryan’s prediction: Michigan 70, Maryland 65.