A victory over the Big Ten’s last-place team, Minnesota, might not seem like a big deal. But for Maryland, it would be a significant achievement.
With a 6-0 mark at home and an 0-5 record on the road in the Big Ten, the Terrapins (15-7, 6-5) are stuck in neutral as they strive for differentiation in a league where the gravitational pull seems to be toward .500.
After winning three straight home games, a victory Saturday over Minnesota (7-14, 1-10) in Minneapolis would represent a hurdle finally cleared for first-year coach Kevin Willard and the Terps.
“We have to put together 40 minutes on the road,” Willard said. “We’ve got to bring our defensive intensity. It’s got to travel with us. I don’t think it has.”
At home, the Terps have beaten conference foes by an average of 11 points per game. On the road, they’ve lost to Big Ten opponents by an average of 14.2 points per game.
Maryland has marched to the beat of Jahmir Young. In the Big Ten wins, the point guard has averaged 23.3 points per game on 45.8 percent shooting. In the Big Ten losses, Young has averaged 13 points on 36.2 percent marksmanship.
In a 66-55 win over Indiana on Tuesday, Young led the Terps with 20 points while Donta Scott added 19.
Mired in a six-game losing streak, Minnesota suffered its most decisive defeat this year, 90-55, Wednesday at Rutgers.
Joshua Ola-Joseph led the Golden Gophers with 17 points and eight rebounds, both career highs. Ta’Lon Cooper had 12 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.
Minnesota was without top scorer and rebounder Dawson Garcia (foot) for the third straight game. The Golden Gophers missed the presence of the 6-foot-11 Garcia against Rutgers as they were outscored in the paint 46-26.
Garcia was “close” to returning against Rutgers, according to Minnesota coach Ben Johnson.
“Win or lose, we can’t let that dictate how we go about our business,” Johnson said. “We have to find a better way to respond come Saturday against Maryland.”
–Field Level Media