College Basketball Pick
Indiana already won the Big Ten regular season outright, but a win over preseason favorite Maryland would be the cherry on top. Not to mention, a win over the Terrapins would greatly help the Hoosiers’ chances of getting a better seed come Tourney time.
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The Terrapins have had some issues as of late and a road trip to Assembly Hall likely won’t help matters, considering Indiana hasn’t lost there all Conference season. As for the Terps, they have lost two straight on the road, one coming at lowly Minnesota. Indiana has carved through the Conference at home, but haven’t hosted Michigan State or Maryland yet. We’ll get to see just good the Hoosiers are at home in this Game.
Not many expected Indiana to be in this situation, especially after losing James Blackmon Jr. for the season. Instead of crumbling, the Hoosiers have gone the opposite way and came out of nowhere to win the Big Ten. Their defense has improved in Conference play, while their offense has remained one of the best in the nation, led by point guard Yogi Ferrell. And the difference between these teams as of late has been the play of their point guards.
Ferrell has played his way into contention for Big Ten Player of the Year, now averaging 17.1 points and 5.5 assists per Game. However, it’s been a different story for Melo Trimble. After making his name as a freshman, Trimble has fallen off in his second year, almost worse in every statistical category. None more than shooting where he is at just 33% from 3, an 8% drop from last season. And it’s not like he’s been finding his shot. Before Thursday’s Game, Trimble was just 14-of-60 from the field in his last six Games. For one of the leading candidates for the Wooden Award before the season, that’s not good enough and it has led to bad losses for his team.
If Trimble doesn’t improve quick, the Terrapins could be in for an early exit from the postseason. For this Game, Trimble needs to find his form or there may be no way to beat Indiana at Assembly Hall. The play of Robert Carter has fallen off a lot as well in Conference play and he’s only averaging 12.5 points per Game now. With Trimble struggling, the role players need to step up. Diamond Stone has been great at times as has Rasheed Sulaimon, but both are largely inconsistent. Jake LAyman is merely the fifth option on the offensive end and can’t be relied upon each Game.
It’s likely Maryland will look to use Stone early on in order to get their post Game working. Indiana doesn’t have great size and Thomas Bryant is not known for his defense. The Hoosiers also have the bench advantage, which seems to be the case in every Game. Maryland often doesn’t get much from its bench, while Indiana brings in Max Bielfeldt and OG Anunoby, who can both be difference makers in their own right. Troy Williams has also been playing fantastic for Indiana, now at 12.6 points per Game, reaching 15 in three of the last Four Games.
Combining Maryland’s struggles and Indiana’s home dominance, it’s hard to see the Terps coming out with a win. However, it’d be a surprise if the Hoosiers blow them out. Despite some bad losses, Maryland tends to stick in Games, no matter how poorly they are playing.
Predicted Scoreusing full season data Indiana 80-75
Predicted Scoreusing last 7 Games only Indiana 82-71