The Maryland Matchup: An Analysis of What’s Up Next for the Terps Hoops

By Zachary Wilson

MOUNT ST. MARY’S

When- Sunday, November 29th at College Park

Record last year- 11-21, 7th in the Northeast Conference

KenPom Ranking- #253

Breakdown- Headlined by Senior Guard Jalen Gibbs, the Mountaineers are a smaller type of team, who have no true center-their tallest forwards are both 6’9.” Last year they ranked among the worst in shooting percentage, totalling a measly 46% from 2 and they hardly reached 30% from deep. This led to a truly horrific 64.2 points per game, which puts them at 327th of 353 in all of college basketball. There aren’t many guarantees in college basketball, but, if played correctly, this should be a stress free win for UMD.

TOWSON UNIVERSITY

When- Tuesday, December 1st at College Park

Record last year- 19-13, 3rd in the Colonial Athletic Association

KenPom Ranking- #221

Breakdown- Towson are experiencing trouble this year as two of their top 3 leading scorers from the 2019-20 season left as graduates. Since those two players left, Towson’s points per game fell a whopping 9.6 points, from 70.6 to 61.0. They have yet to win this year, 0-2 at the time of this article, and they only play Maryland due to Covid complications which saw Monmouth University cancelling their prior scheduled game against UMD. While their duo guards Zane Martin and Nicholas Timberlake average strong numbers per game (15.5 ppg each), there just is not that high of a chance that Maryland drops this one at home if they can maintain their usual defensive prowess.

GEORGE MASON

When- Friday, December 4th at College Park

Record last year- 17-15, 12th in the Atlantic 10 Conference

KenPom Ranking- #113

Breakdown- With a mostly returning roster, George Mason will be the most experienced group the Terps have played so far. They are a highly guard focused team that will test Maryland’s ability to defend beyond the arc. That being said, they’ve also been top 50 in blocks per game over the past two years and seem to be keeping that trend going into the current season. Definitely a scrappy and strong leadered team down in DC that won’t give Maryland such an easy out for the typically weaker early schedule.

CLEMSON

When- Wednesday, December 9th at Littlejohn Coliseum

Record last year- 16-15, 9th in the Atlantic Coast Conference

KenPom Ranking- #29

Breakdown- Maryland’s portion of the Big Ten/ACC challenge will be no slouch, as Clemson comes out ranked above Maryland in the KenPom power rankings. Clemson is by far the hardest opponent UMD will have faced this year thus far, and as such will prove to be quite the challenge. In their first two games, both against opponents in power five conferences, the Tigers have won by an average of 11 points behind their star senior forward Aamir Simms who has averaged 14 points a game so far. Although many write them off as a football school, Clemson’s head coach Brad Brownell has certainly trained a roster that can hang with any university, and they should be respected as such. If we see Maryland continue with their sloppy first half play, it could cost them dearly here in their first road game of the year.

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