Maryland men’s basketball seemed as if it would be left without an opponent for nine days after COVID-19 issues within Nebraska’s program led to a cancellation of Saturday’s matchup.
Instead, Coach Turgeon and his staff acted quickly to add Division II Wingate. The matchup with the Bulldogs acts as a perfect bridge between Maryland’s last Big Ten game and its next one at Michigan on January 19 without potentially damaging the Terps’ résumé.
Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon said that with the team sitting at No. 35 in the NET and No. 5 in SOS, they didn't want to hurt those rankings by playing a sub-200 Division I team.— Wes Brown (@W_Brown21) January 14, 2021
Playing D-II Wingate allows for the Terps to avoid 9 days off and not mess with their resume.
In its last time out, Maryland shocked 12th-ranked Illinois in a 66-63 road victory. Without starting point guard Eric Ayala, the masked Darryl Morsell stepped up with 19 points in 36 minutes. Donta Scott (16 points) and Aaron Wiggins (12 points) also had impactful performances for Maryland. The win marked the Terps’ second road win over a KenPom top-10 opponent.
Wingate, a member of the South Atlantic Conference, sits at 6-3 overall with their whole schedule consisting of conference play. Currently sitting at fifth in the 13-team conference, the meeting will be considered an exhibition for the Bulldogs even though it is a regular season contest for the Terrapins.
Redshirt junior guard Jarren Cottingham has led the way for Wingate, averaging 19.1 points per game. Fellow redshirt junior guard Francis Sio is not far behind with 17.2 points per contest.
This is Maryland’s first non-Division I opponent since defeating D-III Catholic University in December 2017. The game is set to tip off at 12 p.m. and will air on Big Ten Network Plus.
Maryland: 7-6 (2-5 Big Ten)
Wingate: 6-3 (6-3 Southern Atlantic)
All-Time Series: 0-0
How to watch and listen
Friday, Jan. 15, 12 p.m. (EST), Xfinity Center, College Park, MD
TV: BTN Plus (Brendan Hartlove, Ben Curtis)
Radio: 1300 AM (Baltimore) / 980 AM (Washington, D.C.), One Maryland App, Sirius XM 383 (Johnny Holliday, Walt Williams and Chris Knoche)
Stream: BTN Plus