Maryland is a geographically volatile basketball team. When the Terrapins are in College Park, they are virtually unbeatable; however, when they leave the state of Maryland, any team in the nation has a shot at knocking them off. Their 16-1 home and 2-9 road records should reasonably reflect the point above.
In short, no team in the Big Ten is more challenging to beat on their home floor than Maryland, at least as far as winning percentage is concerned. Unfortunately for Maryland, this game takes place on a neutral site, complicating its chances against an Indiana team with more experience winning away from home (5-7) this season.
Still, Maryland has a lot of talent and experience; four of its top five scorers are seniors. The Terrapins’ best player, Jahmir Young, is as fast and shifty as any guard in the nation, utilizing a tremendous change of pace and a quick first step to catch defenders flat-footed.
As a matter of fact, Young torched Indiana in their first meeting with the Hoosiers, posting 20 points, while co-star Donta Scott finished with 19. Indiana had no answer for those two the first time around.
However, things are different now than they were five weeks ago. Indiana has won six of its past nine games, with All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis playing out of his mind; he has averaged 23 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, and two blocks since the Maryland game. No one has posted similar stats during that stretch.
Aiding TJD in offensive output recently has been freshman combo guard Jalen Hood-Schifino, who has come into his own in the second half of the Big Ten regular season. Hood-Schifino dropped an absurd 35 points at Purdue just two weeks ago. The moment is no longer too big for the star freshman.
Maryland does rank better than Indiana in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency margin, but don’t let that scare you off the Hoosiers; they have been a hotter team, as Maryland has only won three of its past six games. Further, two of those wins came against Minnesota, the league’s worst team.
Maryland and Indiana are pretty even when it comes to two-point shooting percentage, rebounding rate, and many other statistics, but the one area that the Hoosiers have a significant advantage is three-point shooting; they shoot the ball substantially better from deep (37.6%, 22nd in the nation) than Maryland (32.9%, 233rd.)
While the Hoosiers are surely devastated by Xavier Johnson being ruled out for the remainder of the season, they still have more than enough talent to get by the Terrapins. Maryland’s play quality drops substantially away from College Park, and this time, the Hoosiers should be able to contain Young at least a bit better.
Additionally, don’t expect Maryland to shoot 17 more free throws than the Hoosiers in this game; it should be a much more reasonable foul ratio on a neutral floor. Indiana held the Terrapins to just 34% shooting from the field and 23% from behind the arc. Defensively, the Hoosiers have visibly taken a colossal leap since that game, so roll with them here.