Maryland Terrapins (4-2 2-2 ATS) at Indiana Hoosiers (3-3 1-3 ATS) Assembly Hall, Bloomington, IN 7:30 PM EST Tuesday December 1, 2009 on ESPN
by Jason Green of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Terrapins -4.5 / Hoosiers +4.5
In a big early season non-conference game tonight in the ACC/Big 10 Challenge the Indiana Hoosiers host the Maryland Terrapins. Neither of these teams is ranked in the top 25, but each has a legit chance to make it to the Big Dance.
The Terrapins began the season 4-0, but they did not play very strong teams and they have lost their last 2 games against the solid teams of Cincinnati and Wisconsin. The Hoosiers won their last game, but lost their previous 3 games.
In their last game the Terrapins lost to Wisconsin 78-69 in the Maui Invitational. In that game the Terrapins did not play good perimeter defense, as they allowed the Badgers to shoot 45% from beyond the 3-point arc. It also did not help that the Terps only shot 17 free throws in the game and only shot a FT% of 58.8%. The Terps also lost the battle of the glass getting out-rebounded by 7 boards. In the game Maryland was favored by 2 points so they did not cover and the posted total of 126 was surpassed.
The Hoosiers beat up on Northwestern State 90-72 in their last game. Indiana played solid defense in the game and got the free throw line 44 times. However, they played a pretty sloppy game committing 18 turnovers. Northwestern State never led in the game and they only shot 40.4% from the field. The Hoosiers were favored by 12.5 points so they covered the spread.
Both of these teams are perimeter oriented, so the team that can shoot the rock from the outside has a great chance to win this game.
Indiana is led by guards Maurice Creek (16.3 ppg) and Verdell Jones III (12.3 ppg) and both have to score tonight, as the Hoosiers only have 3 players that average in double figures.
Creek is a solid freshman that is hitting on 47% of his 3-pt bombs and if he lights it up from downtown tonight Indiana has a good chance to win.
The Hoosiers have been killed on the boards this season and even though the Terps do not have a very strong rebounding team Indiana has to hit the glass hard tonight.
Christian Watford is the only real legit rebounder the Hoosiers have (7.3 rpg) and he is averaging 12 ppg. He has to rebound well tonight and give the Hoosiers some points in the paint so the Terps do not stack the perimeter on defense.
Maryland also has a solid backcourt with the guard trio of Sean Mosley (13.2 ppg), Eric Hayes (11.5 ppg), and Greivis Vasquez (11.2 ppg).
Maryland’s leading scorer F Landon Milbourne (13.7 ppg) may have a big game tonight since the Hoosiers lack much inside presence.
Jordan Williams (7.2 ppg 7.7 rpg) is the Terps leading rebounder and he will be counted on to control the glass tonight.
The Terrapins play great team defense, as they are only allowing opponents score an average of 57.7 points per game. They will have to play good D tonight, especially on the perimeter.
Things do not get any easier for the Hoosiers after this game, as their next 2 games are against Pittsburgh and Kentucky.
Even though the Hoosies are in a rebuilding year and are only 3-3 the Terrapins can’t look past them to their next game where they face #3 Villanova.
Guard play is vital for both teams in this game and the Hoosiers have to hold onto the rock tonight, which is something they did not do in their last game committing 18 turnovers.
Jason’s Pick: Even though Maryland has lost 2 games in a row they have a stronger team than Indiana. Their solid D will win this game and they will win the battle of the boards tonight. Look for Maryland to win a low scoring defensive game, as they will snap their 2 game losing streak, send the Hoosiers to a sub-.500 record, and give the ACC some bragging rights winning this ACC/Big 10 Challenge game. Take the Terps to cover the spread tonight.