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Maryland vs. Michigan preview: Terps try to pick up the pieces against Wolverines

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The Terps try to halt their first two-game losing streak in two years.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Maryland men's basketball team is back on friendly terrain on Sunday, and at a helpful time. The Terps have lost two games in a row for the first time since 2014, and they'll try to rebound from a humiliating loss at Minnesota on Thursday by beating Michigan in a matinee at Xfinity Center. The Terps and Wolverines will tip at 1 p.m. EST on CBS.

Michigan beat Maryland on Jan. 12 in Ann Arbor. It was one of the worst games of Melo Trimble's career, and it started what's become an unusually arid spell for Maryland's star sophomore. There's no better time to break that trend than now for Trimble, who probably won't have to worry about going head-to-head with Michigan guard Caris LeVert, who's injured.

Michigan Wolverines (19-8, 9-5 Big Ten)

The coach

John Beilein is 478-293 in a 24-year head coaching career, which also includes tenures at Canisius, Richmond and West Virginia. Since taking over the Wolverines in 2007, he's 185-118.

Players to know

Derrick Walton, junior, guard, 6'0, No. 10. Walton is an important man for Michigan, especially with LeVert likely not in the lineup. He's not big, but he's quick and athletic, and he averages a well-rounded 12 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists per contest. He's shooting 43 percent from deep and has been this team's best player for the last month.

Zak Irvin, junior, guard, 6'6, No. 21. Irvin is exceptionally athletic. He had a season-high 22 points the last time these teams played, and he'll continue to be a handful for whichever Terrapins Mark Turgeon deploys to guard him – probably Rasheed Sulaimon with a dose of Jake Layman. He's neither a great nor terrible shooter, but he can get toward the basket and do real damage.

Duncan Robinson, sophomore, guard/forward, 6'8, No. 22. Robinson plays a couple of different roles for the Wolverines, but maybe the most important is 3-point marksman. He shoots a robust 47 percent on triples (and takes a lot of them) and presents obvious perimeter defense challenges for the Terps.

Mark Donnal, sophomore, forward, 6'9, No. 34. The Wolverines are a somewhat guard-centric team, but Donnal is a legitimate threat inside. He's a good offensive rebounder and shoots 60 percent on his 2-point shots, and he averages 7 points and 4 rebounds.

Strengths

Shooting and scoring. The Wolverines are a well-oiled offensive machine. They are in the top 20 nationally in adjusted efficiency, and they score 76 points per game despite Beilein's snail-paced style that holds down their possession count. They're in the top 10 in effective field goal percentage and are, just generally, really hard to defend.

Ball security. Maryland won't get many takeaways here, not that it ever does. The Wolverines allow fewer steals per possession than any team in college basketball and only turn the ball over on 14 percent of their possessions – a top-10 figure.

Weaknesses

Offensive rebounding. Michigan doesn't recoup many of its missed shots. The Wolverines are 318th nationally in offensive rebound rate, getting back less than 25 percent of the looks they don't make.

Getting to the line. The Wolverines don't draw a whole lot of fouls. They get to the line at the 328th-most frequent rate of any team in America, which is a shame, because they make a solid 74 percent of the foul shots they actually get to take.

Predictions

KenPom: Maryland, 74-66. Terps have a 78 percent chance to win.

Alex: I struggle with this one, because Maryland's clearly a bit of a mess right now and just lost to Minnesota. Melo Trimble isn't himself, and the Terps aren't a good team at this exact moment. They're not themselves. And yet, this is still Maryland at home, and the Terps losing once after a 27-game home win streak doesn't change how generally great they've been at Xfinity Center. So, with reservations:

Maryland 79, Michigan 76.