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Maryland vs. Marshall preview: Terps close out 2015 non-conference slate with Thundering Herd

The Big Ten is just around the corner, but Maryland has a quick bit of business to take care of first.

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The Maryland men's basketball plays its final non-conference game of 2015 on Sunday, when the Marshall Thundering Herd visits Xfinity Center for a 4 p.m. EST tip. You can watch the game on the Big Ten Network or stream it at BTN2Go, as the Terps try to close the first part of their season without a major hiccup of any kind.

The Herd doesn't pose any real threat to Maryland. Marshall is 4-8 and hasn't been especially competitive in its games against power-conference opposition. Its most impressive showings have been 10-point losses to Tennessee and Akron and an 18-point loss to West Virginia.

The coach

Dan D'Antoni, in his second year. He is 15-29 in 44 games.

Players to know

James Kelly, senior, forward, 6'7, No. 24. Kelly is the Herd's Mr. Everything, leading the team with 17.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. He's smaller than Maryland's Robert Carter Jr., Diamond Stone, Damonte Dodd and Michal Cekovsky, but he clearly has game. He's shooting a stunning 69 percent on 2-pointers but is a hilariously bad 9 of 49 on 3-pointers, so Maryland's best outcome is to force him to the perimeter and let him take bad shots.

Ryan Taylor, junior, forward, 6'5, No. 25. Taylor is next up behind Kelly in both points and rebounds, averaging a 15-6 line and chipping in 3 assists per game. He's also a pretty efficient scorer inside – 60 percent on twos – and also not a good 3-point shooter, yet he tries to do that, too.

Stevie Browning, junior, guard, 6'3, No. 2. Browning can't shoot. He's just a 23 percent 3-point gunner and is sitting sub-50 percent inside the arc, too. He does average 5 assists and 4 rebounds from the Herd backcourt, so he could be a challenge in spurts for Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon.

Austin Loop, junior, guard, 6'4, No. 35. Loop is the most efficient scorer D'Antoni has at his disposal. He's shooting a robust 40 of 90 (44.4 percent) on triples, and those are basically the only shots he takes. (He's only shot 12 times from inside the 3-point line all season.) Expect Loop to spot up, catch the ball and fire it.


Inside scoring. The Herd are shooting 55.3 percent on 2-pointers, which is No. 26 nationally. (Maryland is No. 1 at 61.8 percent.) Kelly and Taylor are particularly good around the hoop and could present a guarding challenge for Maryland's cavalry of bigs.


Perimeter shooting. This team is egregious at shooting 3-pointers. The team is clicking at 29 percent from distance, which is No. 319 in the sport.

Perimeter defense. The story doesn't get much better on the other end of the floor, where teams are scoring the Herd on threes to the tune of 39.3 percent. That means that basically everyone who shoots threes against Marshall is the equivalent to Melo Trimble on long-range shots.


KenPom's prediction: Maryland, 92-70. Terps have a 96 percent chance to win.

Alex's prediction: 85-65.