#3 Purdue (22-3, Big10 12-3) vs Maryland (17-8, Big10 8-6)
Thursday, January 16th - 6:30 EST
College Park, Maryland, XFINITY Center
|Center||10||Julian Reese||So||6'9"||230||Baltimore, MD|
|Forward||24||Donta Scott||Sr||6'8"||230||Philadelphia, PA|
|Wing||13||Hakim Hart||Sr||6'8"||205||Philadelphia, PA|
|Guard||0||Donald Carey||Sr||6'5"||187||Upper Marlboro, MD||Siena/Georgetown|
|Point Guard||1||Jahmir Young||Sr||6'1"||185||Upper Marlboro, MD||Charlotte|
|Guard||23||Ian Martinez||Jr||6'3"||185||Heredia, Costa Rica||Utah|
|Forward||15||Patrick Emilien||Sr||6'7"||210||Ontario, Canada||Western Michigan|
Maryland on Offense
Maryland’s offense has improved since the last time Purdue saw the Terps, but remain a slightly-above-average shooting team while further climbing up in adjusted efficiency; their rating of 113.3 is good enough to be 39th in college basketball. Just as Drew mentioned in prior to the previous meeting, they play slightly slower-paced ball than most of the country with an adjusted tempo of 65.5 (281st) with an average possession length of 18.9 seconds per, ranking near the bottom (362nd) with the national average being 17.6 seconds.
Their three point percentage has somehow dropped from 30.9 to 30.4 since the last Boilers-Terps game, putting them at 336th in the country. However, they’re pretty darn good from inside the arc, jumping from an already impressive 53.6% to a current 53.9% which puts them at 47th in collegiate hoops. Maryland’s effective FG% is a slightly above average 50.7, and they don’t turn the ball over often (ranked 62nd nationally at 16.6%) and are a better offensive rebounding team than they’d look on paper, but that’s more difficult when the other team has a 7’4” center.
As they showed against the Boilermakers in Mackey Arena last month, the Terrapins have some guards and forwards with good touch on their mid-range jumpers, particularly those from Jahmir Young. Young also provides the threat of being a good lane driver who can pass well in small spaces, so should he cause some Boilers to over-engage as he drives, he’s good at dumping it off to an just-barely-open Julian Reese for an easy layup or dunk. Reese himself has a really nice jump hook from a similar range as Zach Edey’s breand-and-butter shot, just don’t expect to see much of it when Edey is on the court. Limiting the connection between those two is of paramount importance for Matt Painter’s team.
Maryland on Defense
The previous match-up was one of the first ones that highlighted Purdue’s tendency to go into panic mode when faced with full-court pressure. Not every team is great at the press, and a lot of that is going to be reliant of Maryland making shots to force a baseline inbound pass, but the thing with the last game was that Purdue started off with a huge lead, Maryland crawled back in, and started hitting a lot of their shots early on in the second half. They ended up winning the turnover battle handily (15-9 with seven steals) to manufacture a down-to-the-wire ballgame out of what was once a 16-point deficit.
Statistically, they’re quite good defensively. Since the Boilers hosted them in January, they’ve improved in most major defensive categories and boast an adjusted efficiency of 94.9, ranked 30th up from the previous rating of 95.5 (37th). Only twice this season have they given up more than 79 points: losses to Michigan and Iowa in which both victors scored 81. They typically keep games against stiffer competition in the 60’s and low 70’s.
They very seldom give up open looks and force teams to take heavily contested shots while creating turnovers and being one of the better blocking teams in conference. They allow an effective FG% of 46.8 (34th) with 57th-ranked 3PA of 31.7%, a 45th-ranked 2PA of 46.5%, all while forcing a non-steal turnover percentage of 10.4 (54th). They’re pests on defense and are good at interrupting the offensive rhythm of teams that base their identity on setting up from the top of the key.
Expect a good bit of that aforementioned full-court press in an attempt to throw Purdue off their rhythm and to force a lot of ball movement with significantly less time left on the shot clock than Purdue is used to having when everything is going swimmingly for the Boilermakers. Purdue is very capable of shooting lights out against against any team, but if things don’t fall exactly the way the Boilers want in terms of pace and setting up their offense, Matt Painter will need his team with two freshman guards to keep their composure in order to secure a tough road win.
They do give up a lot of offensive rebounds, which will always be a worse problem when facing a guy with Edey’s stature, so they’re going to have to force some of those well-guarded shots with Boilers slightly out of position near the rim to limit second chance points.
X-Factor - Turnovers
We saw in the last meeting that the big reason Maryland was able to overcome a huge early deficit was by simply applying more pressure, challenging Purdue to make tough shots, and creating turnovers against a team forced to play in a manner they weren’t used to. I personally think the Boilermakers had to have made that priority one in practice after recent events, and that consequently they will take care of the ball a bit better than in the two recent losses, but if Maryland dominates the turnover battle again, it has the potential to be a long night for Purdue (mostly down the stretch).
Draft Kings Odds
*Draft King Odds courtesy of Gabi
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details
Over/Under (total points)
Maryland - 67
Purdue - 68
Maryland - 65
Purdue - 70
My prediction is based off the fact that Purdue’s top weakness of going full-on panic mode when they don’t get to set up in typical offensive style has been pointed out...but also the assumption that this specific weakness has to be at the top of Matt Painter’s to-do list as of late. This one’s going to be another nail-biter, but unfortunately I will say that if one team starts to run away with the game late, it’s likely not going to be Purdue.