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Maryland vs. Princeton preview: Terps meet Tigers in Baltimore

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The Terps play a semi-home game against potentially frustrating Princeton at Royal Farms Arena.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time since Maryland defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes on the other side of the ACC-Big Ten challenge in 1999, the Terrapins will return to Baltimore to play at Royal Farms Arena. At No. 6 in the nation, Maryland will return to Charm City to face Princeton on Saturday night at Royal Farms Arena.

The Tigers will be the best remaining team the Terrapins face before they conclude their non-conference schedule against Marshall after Christmas. The game is set to tip at 7 p.m. on the Big Ten Network and BTN2Go.

Princeton Tigers (6-2)

The coach

Mitch Henderson holds a 74-46 at Princeton over his four years coaching at Princeton and split four games in two CBI appearances. As a player he won three Ivy League Championships at Princeton from 1994-98 and was named to the All-Ivy League second team in his final season. He was a part of the 1996 Princeton team that upset the defending champion UCLA Bruins as a No. 14 seed in the first round of the NCAA tournament. He was also drafted 815th overall in the 1994 MLB draft by the New York Yankees as a pitcher.

Players to know

Henry Caruso, junior, guard, 6'4, No. 21. Caruso was a bit of a late bloomer, bursting onto the scene in January last season, being named Ivy League Player of the Week, and was given the starting role over the last seven games of the season. He now carries the load offensively, averaging 17 points per game, and scores efficiently at 55.4 percent from the field. He's also leading the team in rebounds at 7.9. He's put up three 20-point performances already this year, but the team relies seemingly too much on his scoring. The Tigers' pair of losses were games in which Caruso shot sub-50 percent from the field.

Spencer Weisz, junior, forward, 6'4, No. 10. Princeton's starting lineup isn't exactly towering, but it's versatile. Weisz is listed as a forward yet leads the Tigers in assists, suggesting he plays more of a guard's role. He's been a consistent starter since his freshman year, when he won four Ivy League Freshman of the Week honors. A slight dilemma for combo-forward is that he'll be five inches on the shorter side of Maryland's small forward Jake Layman.

Devin Cannaday, freshman, guard, 6'1, No. 3. The McDonald's All-American nominee comes off the bench, but is the team's third best scorer, tallying 10 points per game in 19.7 minutes. He's shooting 40.6 percent on 32 attempts from three-point range and has hit all 17 of his free throw attempts this season. In high school, Cannady drew interest from Indiana, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Purdue.

Strength

Defense, especially on 3-point attempts. While their schedule has been weak, the Tigers hold the No. 73-ranked adjusted defense per KenPom, which is better than eight of 14 Big Ten teams. They're holding opponents to right about 40 percent from the field and give up very few 3-point attempts in the first place. A good way for Princeton to stay within range against the Terrapins is to keep the No. 45 long-range shooting team in the nation off the arc.

Weaknesses

Height. Though the names tend to suggest otherwise, height differential will be glaring as the Tigers stand on average 3.3 inches shorter than the average Terrapin. 6'11 center Pete Miller is the only Princeton player taller than Jared Nickens who plays more than 10 minutes per game.

Getting to and converting at the free throw line. The Tigers get to the stripe at the 171st-best (worst?) rate in the country, and things don't improve once they get to the line, where they're shooting just 66.9 percent. Through 10 games, Melo Trimble has made more attempts than Princeton's leading two takers had in seven games.

Predictions

KenPom's prediction: Maryland, 77-66. Terps have an 86 percent chance to win.

Matt's prediction: Maryland, 72-56.