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Maryland vs. UMES preview: Terps return home to face Eastern Shore

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The Terps have their easiest on-paper game of the season on Saturday.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Maryland men's basketball team is back in action against Maryland Eastern Shore at Xfinity Center on Saturday afternoon, looking at probably its easiest game of the season. The Hawks are ranked No. 322 in the country under Ken Pomeroy's model and are 1-8 through nine games. They're by far the lowest-ranked team on Maryland's schedule, and anything less than a 25-point rout would be rather discouraging on the Terps' part.

The game tips at 4:15 p.m EST and can be viewed on the Big Ten Network or at BTN2Go.

Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks (1-8)

The coach

Bobby Collins, 19-23 at UMES, 84-80 for his career. Coached Hampton from 2002-2006.

Players to know

Devin Martin, senior, guard, 6'4, No. 4. The Hawks' leading scorer at 14.4 points per game, leading assister at 2.3 per game and third-leading rebounder at 4.1 per game. Martin is very much the guy in this operation.

Dominique Elliott, senior, forward, 6'8, No. 32. Elliott, another veteran, averages 11 and 6 out of the UMES frontcourt. He's the Hawks' best rebounder and in a tie as their biggest rotation player. If the Hawks are going to compete with Maryland, they'll do it with Elliott as a small-ball center.

Bakari Copeland, junior, forward, 6'6, No. 21. He averages 8 points, 4 rebounds and an assist per game, making him the next-most rounded-out player the Hawks have. He'll line up across from Jake Layman or Rasheed Sulaimon.

Strengths

Forcing turnovers. Sort of, anyway. The Hawks take the ball away on 19.4 percent of their defensive possessions, which is a little better than the 18.7 percent national average. This is sort of grasping at straws, because forcing steals against non-majors at a rate less than a percentage point about the national average tells us little.

Weaknesses

Offense. This is a bad scoring team. The Hawks average 59.1 points per game, No. 344 in America. Their adjusted efficiency is 0.954 points per possession, which is terrible. They turn the ball over on a full quarter, basically, of their possessions. There's no reason to think they'll be able to score points against Maryland's defense.

Defense. There's also no reason to think they'll be able to stop Maryland's offense. The Hawks foul all the time, surrendering free throws more frequently than all but two dozen teams in the whole country. They give up 76.9 points per night, which is No. 275 nationally, and their efficiency numbers are grim. This is not a competitive team.

Predictions

KenPom's prediction: Maryland, 85-59. Terps have 99 percent chance to win.

Alex's prediction: Maryland, 102-62.