The season is only four games young, but Maryland men’s basketball desperately needs to take care of business throughout the rest of its nonconference schedule.
The Terps have a 1-3 record, and it has not been pretty. Maryland has gone from preseason No. 23 in the KenPom.com ratings all the way down to No. 56. The Terps beat Mount St. Mary’s by 15 to start the season, though Tuesday will mark two weeks since its only win. The Terps suffered back-to-back three-point losses to mid-major competition – Davidson and UAB – at the Asheville Championship, then lost 57-40 in an abysmal offensive performance at Villanova last Friday.
On-court details aside, Maryland’s loss at Villanova will stand as just a quadrant one road loss all season long. Time will tell, though, just how bad the neutral-court losses are to Davidson and UAB; Davidson is No. 129 and UAB is No. 93 in KenPom as of Monday night. UAB and Davidson will likely be either quadrant two or quadrant three losses – a distinct difference – on the Terps’ final resume; quad two neutral-site games are against opponents ranked 51 through 100 in the NET, while quad three neutral-site games are against opponents ranked 101 through 200.
Regardless, resume talk means little in November. The bottom line is that the Terps need to start stacking wins, and Tuesday night against UMBC is a great place to start.
Here’s what you need to know about how to watch, follow and listen to Friday’s game.
Tip: 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at the XFINITY Center in College Park, Maryland
TV: Big Ten Network – Jason Horowitz (play-by-play), Christy Winters-Scott (analyst)
Radio: Maryland Sports Network: One Maryland App, WJZ-FM 105.7 (Baltimore), The TEAM 980 AM (D.C.), Sirius XM Channel 372 – Johnny Holliday (play-by-play), Chris Knoche (analyst), Walt Williams (analyst), Tom Marchitto (engineer)
Live Stats: Link
Betting Line: Maryland -19, O/U 142.5 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
UMBC comes into Tuesday’s contest with the better record, sitting at 3-2 through its first five games. The Retrievers, led by head coach Jim Ferry, are 2-2 against Division I competition, losing by one at Louisville in its season-opener and losing 65-59 at Marist in its second game. UMBC is riding a three-game win streak, beating USCAA Penn State York by 19, Sacred Heart by five and Loyola Maryland by 15. The Retrievers are the No. 254 team in KenPom and No. 311 in BartTorvik.com’s rankings.
The Retrievers play at an incredibly fast pace, ranking second in the country in adjusted tempo while having the fastest offensive average possession length (13.2 seconds) in the country, per KenPom. UMBC has four players averaging double figures, led by 6-foot-8 center Khydarius Smith (16 points per game) and guard Dion Brown (14.2 points per game).
Maryland is 15-0 all-time against UMBC, most recently beating the Retrievers, 80-64, on Dec. 29, 2022.
The Terps’ offensive struggles this season have been well-documented – and far from pretty. Maryland is shooting 21.6% from deep, the seventh-worst mark in the entire country. The Terps are also shooting just 47.2% from two-point range, the 242nd-best rate in the country, per KenPom. Julian Reese is the only Terp who averages at least 10 minutes per game that is shooting at least 40% from the field; Reese has made 51.4% of his attempts, about 12% fewer than his 63.2% clip from a year ago.
Throw UMBC’s hot streak and Maryland’s struggles out the window. Tuesday represents a game for Maryland against an in-state, less-talented team. The Terps should coast to a win in the first of three straight games against sub-top 150 competition.