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Maryland men’s basketball vs. Fairleigh Dickinson: preview, how to watch & more

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The Terps are back in action after finals.

Lila Bromberg | Testudo Times

Finals week is done and Maryland men’s basketball is back in the Xfinity Center for the first time in eight days against Fairleigh Dickinson on Thursday.

Maryland is nearing the end of the easiest portion of its schedule, and this marks game four of a five game home-stand to end the calendar year. Last time out, the Terps struggled in the first 10 minutes against Division III Catholic University before eventually pulling away.

Fairleigh Dickinson is on a five-game losing streak and has already been blown out by Penn State and Rutgers this season. Maryland has never lost to the Knights, and this matchup shouldn’t change that.

The Terps should be back at full health.

Maryland has missed two of its biggest contributors for the last two games, but both Justin Jackson and Bruno Fernando should be back for this game. Jackson was battling an illness then shoulder soreness, while Fernando has been battling an ankle sprain sustained against Ohio. After Catholic, head coach Mark Turgeon said both could have played if necessary, but it wasn’t.

The Terps were also without Dion Wiley against Catholic in a sick scratch on gameday. Jared Nickens and Joshua Tomaic stepped up and added 21 combined points off the bench, and Maryland was fine.

Now Mark Turgeon gets two more games before the new year with his team at full health. This gameplay and practice time is crucial to Maryland getting its offense running at its full potential.

Maryland should still cruise to another victory.

Fairleigh Dickinson is one of the few teams in the country that turns the ball over at a higher rate than the Terps, with the Knights ranking one spot behind Maryland at 335th, per Kenpom.

The Knights have five players that average at least nine points a game, and are led by a trio of upperclassmen in Darian Anderson, Mike Holloway and Darnell Edge that combine to average a shade over 39 points a night; Fairleigh Dickinson averages 74.3 for reference. Height should be an issue, though: Malik Miller is the Knights’ tallest player at just 6’9 and only plays about six minutes a game.

Maryland still has to get a handle on its turnover problem ahead of conference play—you can’t survive through March turning it over 23.8 percent of the time—but this shouldn’t be much of a thriller. Turgeon is two wins from 400 for his career, and this should get him a step closer.

The numbers

Maryland: 10-3, 1-1 Big Ten

Fairleigh Dickinson: 3-7

All-time series: Maryland leads 6-0 (last meeting in 2005)

How to watch and listen

Thursday, Dec. 21, 7 p.m. ET, Xfinity Center, College Park

TV: ESPNU (Dave Leno, Tim Welsh)

Streaming: WatchESPN

Radio: 105.7 FM (Balt.) / 980 AM (DC), Sirus 134 / XM 381, TuneIn Radio App (Johnny Holliday, Chris Knoche, Walt Williams); WMUC Sports