Maryland defeated Northwestern 72-59 in Evanston at the start of the new year. Now, the Wildcats will look to return the favor in College Park.
Melo Trimble had 24 points, eight rebounds and eight assists back on January 2nd. He had an outstanding game against Wisconsin but has failed to find that form in the games since. Diamond Stone took only four shots, made all four and finished with 10 points. He should put up some bigger numbers today.
Rasheed Sulaimon had 16 points, six boards and six assists in his last time out against the Wildcats while Robert Carter Jr. went only 3-12 from the field. Since Carter Jr. is now becoming more and more of an integral part of this offense, I think Maryland will look to establish him early to get his confidence going. That was what happened against Ohio State and the result was a blowout win.
Trimble doesn't have to do it all like he did against Northwestern in Evanston, but he can't be non-existent. He can't wait until the second half of the game to score his first points. Maryland is at their best when they play inside-out and Melo is slashing to the rim and attacking the basket.
Northwestern out-rebounded Maryland in their first meeting. The Wildcats are a scrappy team, and they don't back down. They lost to UNC by 11 and Maryland by 13. However, Northwestern lost to Penn State last Saturday at home. Maryland moved past their loss to Michigan by blasting Ohio State. Will the Wildcats be able to summon up a good effort against a great Maryland team in one of the toughest road atmospheres in the country? This game could turn into a rout quickly depending on the answer.
Bryant McIntosh is the straw that stirs the drink for Northwestern on offense. He averages almost 16 points a game, but his assists are even more impressive. He averages just over seven assists a game and has three games this season where he has recorded 10 or more assists. To put that in perspective, no Wildcat player EVER has had more than one such game in a single season before.
Maryland played stingy defense against the Wildcats and will have to again. The Terps also did a fairly good job of protecting the ball, turning it over only 11 times. The keys for this game are the same as when these two teams met in Evanston. The Terps need to play solid defense, protect the ball and feed the ball inside early on offense.
If Maryland can put that same game-plan into action today, they should have another comfortable double-digit win against Northwestern.
Rankings and records:
Northwestern (15-4, 3-3) is unranked
Maryland (16-2, 5-1) is ranked No. 7 in the country.
Line: Maryland opened as a 12-point favorite.
How to witness
Date, time and location:
January 19th at 8:00 p.m.
College Park: Xfinity Center.
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: Terrapin Sports Radio Network - Johnny Holliday (Play-by-Play), Chris Knoche (Analyst), Walt Williams (Sideline); Flagships - WJZ-FM (105.7) / WJZ-AM (1300) / ESPN 980 (D.C.) Sirius 135, XM 196, WMUC Sports
Online streaming: BTN2Go