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Maryland basketball vs. Penn State preview: Terps look to bounce back from 3rd loss

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The Terps are taking on the Nittany Lions at 6 p.m. on BTN.

NCAA Basketball: Rutgers at Penn State Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland basketball goes on the road Tuesday looking to get back into the win column following its loss to Purdue. The Terps will be in State College to play Penn State, a team that’s looked better this season than last, but still has dropped five of its last six games.

Penn State made one trip to College Park last year. That was when Diamond Stone went off for 39 points in a thrilling comeback win for the Terps. The Nittany Lions are a bit better this season thanks to contributions from a trio of freshmen, but outside of two close losses to Indiana, they’re still looking for something resembling a marquee win. Tuesday’s game takes place at 6 p.m. Tom Werme and Bob Wenzel have the call on BTN.

Penn State Nittany Lions (12-12, 4-7 Big Ten)

2015-16 record: 16-16

Head coach: Pat Chambers, who is 84-103 at Penn State after coming over from Boston University.

KenPom ranking: 93 (Maryland is 35)

Players to watch

Shep Garner, guard, junior, 6’2/187, No. 33. Garner’s numbers are slightly down from his sophomore season, but he’s still providing valuable production. He’s only fourth on the team in percentage of possessions used, but leads the team with 13 points per game on 40 percent shooting.

Lamar Stevens, forward, freshman, 6’7/218, No. 11. Stevens is the most efficient of Penn State’s freshman trio. He’s averaging 11 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, and averages the highest percentage of possessions used on the team.

Mike Watkins, forward, freshman, 6’9/246, No. 24. Watkins, PSU’s top rebounder, grabs 7.9 boards per game. He has the team’s highest offensive rating on KenPom, and averages 9.5 points on 56 percent shooting.

Strengths

Defense. Penn State has the country’s No. 41 defense, according to KenPom’s adjusted efficiency. Their opponents have the No. 91 shooting percentage in the country, and they block the 37th-most shots out of any team in Division I.

Weaknesses

Shooting. Penn State has the 290th-best effective shooting percentage in the country, and the 325th two-point shooting percentage.

Rebounding. The Nittany Lions have the No. 261 offensive rebounding percentage in the country, and are No. 230 on the other side of the ball. 6’10 Julian Moore, their tallest rotation player, only plays 15 minutes per game. Their next tallest player is the 6’9 Watkins.

Predictions

KenPom’s prediction: Maryland 73, Penn State 70. Terps have a 60 percent chance of winning.

Ryan’s prediction: Maryland 79, Penn State 65.