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Michigan State Basketball: Maryland Preview

College Gameday comes to East Lansing as MSU takes on the Maryland Terrapins

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Game Info

Opponent: Maryland

Location: East Lansing, MI

Time: 6:30pm EST

Channel: ESPN

KenPom Line: MSU -3

Scouting report

  • First off, Maryland has a ton of weapons on offense. They have six players shooting 35% or better from 3 along with six players shooting 55% or better from 2. They have a high turnover rate but MSU doesn't force turnovers (2nd to last nationally) so it'll be interesting to see if Maryland tries to force things or if they're just careless at times.
  • 6'3" Melo Trimble was preseason POY for good reason but right now the Terrapins most dangerous player might be 6'11" Diamond Stone who has been beasting in B1G player with an 128.2 ORtg with an enormous 31.8% usage which leads the conference. He's drawing a tremendous 9.3 fouls per 40 minutes and knocking down FT's at better than 80%.
  • Trimble is still going to be a big threat as Tum Tum Nairn is out which puts MSU at a disadvantage on the defensive end at the PG position. Trimble is assisting a lot more this year while getting to the line less and shooting worse (but still fine at 35%) from 3. He was stifled during Maryland's loss at Michigan but outside of that he's been very consistent.
  • Maryland got two high impact transfers this year in Rasheed Sulaimon and Robert Carter. Of the two, Carter scares me more as he's a 6'9" power forward who can shoot 3's as he's hitting 35% on the year and 50% (8-16) in B1G play. Sulaimon is more of a role player in the offense than Maryland's Big 3 of Stone, Carter, and Trimble.
  • 6'9" Jake Layman and 6'7" Jared Nickens are the other two heavy rotation players and both are pretty low usage (especially Nickens) who are both capable outside shooters. Nickens has shot over 5 times as many 3's as he has 2's so he's pretty limited outside of that but he's someone you have to keep a defender on. Layman is quite a bit like Sam Dekker from last year in that they're both 6'9", capable of playing both forward spots, and shot over 60% on 2PA's. Dekker was a bit higher usage than Layman but they have a similar style.
  • Maryland also has a couple capable backup bigs in 6'11" Damonte Dodd and 7'1" Michal Cekovsky who are both a bit foul and turnover prone but shoot over 60% from the field.

Four Factors

MSU on Offense

MSU on Defense

Things to watch for

  • How healthy is Matt Costello? He rolled his ankle badly against Nebraska on Wednesday and on Thursday Izzo said that if they had a game that night, that Costello wouldn't be playing. He's going up against one of the best centers in the league in Stone who's been really coming into his own as of late. Schilling and Davis are good centers too but it's hard to match Costello's experience that allows him to avoid fouling significantly better than the other two.
  • Can the shooters shoot? Since Bryn Forbes lit up Penn State on 6-8 shooting from 3, he's been pretty awful shooting just 3-15 in MSU's last 3 games. Matt McQuaid likewise is 0-5 from deep in his last four games and 2-12 in his last eight. Those are crucial points that could've been had especially when MSU lost two games by one point. While Forbes has become a significantly better defender since last year, he and McQuaid are not particularly good defenders and their value on the floor largely comes from their ability to knock down open 3's.
Bottom Line

MSU is reeling and Maryland just has too much offensive firepower against a Spartan squad that hasn't found the balance between olé defense and fouling too much.

Maryland 75 - MSU 69