clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Minnesota Basketball: Previewing Maryland

New, 3 comments

Gophers looking for an improbable second straight road win

Iowa v Maryland Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

After getting blown out in historic fashion at home by Purdue, suffering their third loss in a row, going on the road and beating a capable Penn State team seemed like a pipe dream for the shorthanded Gophers.

However, behind an uncharacteristic 53% shooting day from the field, and connecting on 10 of their 17 three-point attempts, Minnesota dumped the Nittany Lions in overtime by a whopping 11-point margin. Granted, it’s hard to shoot that well and lose, and the Gophers nearly did it, but conference road wins are hard to come by, so they’ll take it.

Was it a randomly good shooting night? Probably. But Jamir Harris made the most of his first career start, scoring 16 points and stretching the defense. If the Gophers want to salvage the season, players like Harris will have to step up.

The Gophers now head to College Park, where they meet another team decimated by injuries, the Maryland Terrapins. This is the second of a three-game stretch in a six-day period for Minnesota.

Essentials:

Who are the Gophers playing?

Maryland Terrapins (14-6, 3-4)

What time are they playing?

Thurs., Jan. 18 @ 7:30 p.m. CT

Where are they playing?

Xfinity Center

Can I watch the game on TV?

Yes, FS1.

Can I listen to the game on the radio?

Yes, 100.3 KFAN.

Tell me more about the opponent:

Maryland has had two big losses this year in Justin Jackson and Ivan Bender, both of whom are out for the season. That was a huge blow to a team that hoped to compete atop the Big Ten. They still have sophomore phenoms Anthony Cowan and Kevin Huerter, who are averaging in double figures and stuffing the stat sheet with rebounds and steals.

Huerter is lethal from the three-point line, and could make it a long night for the Gophers if he’s left open, so it will be important to close out on him if possible. Cowan leads the team in points, assists and steals and regularly puts up 20 or more points. He’ll be a tough out.

However, the Terps have been hit and miss in conference play, and there is a reason they’re 3-4 in the conference — their depth drops off considerably after Cowan and Huerter. Angolan freshman Bruno Fernando has been inconsistent, and no one has really risen to the occasion to replace the injured starters.

Prediction

The Terrapins are 3-4 in conference play, having beaten Iowa, Illinois and Penn State. Their losses have come to some of the best teams in the B1G, including Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. Long story short, they’re beating the bottom half and losing to the top half. What are the Gophers?

KenPom likes the Terps in this one, predicting a seven-point win, 79-72. I think the Gophers come back to earth in this one, and lose by 10.