Pregame: Indiana Hoosiers vs. Maryland Terrapins

Indiana Hoosiers (11-5) vs. Maryland Terrapins (14-2)
January 10, 2017
ESPN
Preview
Indiana has had a disappointing start to their Big Ten season as they are just 1-2 in conference play. Meanwhile, Maryland has started the season strong and is 2-1 in conference play. Interestingly enough both of these teams have lost to Nebraska in conference play. Indiana earned their first Big Ten win with an easy win over Illinois on Saturday. Maryland is coming off of a win in Ann Arbor against Michigan and sit at 14-2 on the year.
Match-Up to Watch
Robert Johnson has steadily become one of Indiana’s most consistent players and is having a break out year. On the other hand, Maryland’s Melo Trimble has been their star player three years now. With Johnson being one of the best defenders on the perimeter and best scorers at the guard position for the Hoosiers, look for him to contend with Trimble for the spotlight in this Super Tuesday matchup on ESPN.
X-Factor for Indiana
If you happened to watch the last game for the Hoosiers, perhaps you noticed how in control they were from the start of the game. They played relaxed and were not forcing things. They only committed 12 turnovers, which was a major key considering they average 16 a game in conference play. With this game being their first road test in the Big Ten, controlling the ball and time of possession is going to be the difference for the Hoosiers. One big question that looms over Hoosier nation prior to this game is, which Indiana team will show up to play? The past few weeks have been rough and discouraging for Hoosier fans to watch, but IU seemed to have things back on track in Saturdays contest against Illinois. Yet, if Indiana gets off to a slow start which really has been their achilles heel then they may be in for a very long night.
X-Factor for Maryland
Just like most Big Ten games, this one will be close until the very end. With homecourt being in Maryland’s favor they must convert on their free throw opportunities. Every point is crucial when you’re in the Big Ten. The Terrapins shoot only 62.5% from the foul line in conference play. This could become a factor late in the game as they hit the bonus and double bonus. Also, the Terrapins are getting nearly 12 offensive rebounds a game which is another big thing in conference play. The ability to get second chance points is critical in keeping the momentum in your favor at home and keeping the fans into the game.
Key Stat
In both of IU’s conference losses they have shot below their season average (40%) from behind the 3-point line. In their solo win, they shot 52%. Indiana loves the three ball and if it isn’t their night shooting from deep they seem to have trouble finding other ways to score. If they do get things to go their way in the first few minutes and jump out to an early lead they may be able to take the home court advantage out of the XFINITY Center and leave College Park with a 2-2 record and come back home to play a Rutgers team who is 0-4 in conference play (0-3 on the road) and 1-5 on the road against power 5 conference opponents this season
Prediction
Hoosiers get to .500 in the Big Ten in a close battle in College Park. Indiana 78 | Maryland 69

Jacob Lautenschlager
Indiana University | 2020

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