Maryland Basketball Opens Big 10 Season Against Penn State

Maryland basketball starts their Big 10 season tomorrow against Penn State, and they are looking at one of the best starts they have had in years. The Terrapins are 11-1, while the Nittany Lions have a record of 9-4 going into tomorrow night’s game. Maryland is number 4 in the AP coaches poll after beating Marshall easily on Sunday completing pre-season play. The opening Big 10 game takes place tomorrow night.

According to the Inquisitr, University of Maryland got the chance to match up with old school rival Georgetown this season, beating the Hoyas. The two schools want to match up annually from now on, as it is a great rivalry for both schools. This year, the Terps were on fire, and walked away with the win.

The Testudo Times reports that Penn State is one of the worst basketball teams in the Big 10, so it should be a nice start for the Terps. The Terps beat Penn State twice last year, but that team’s lead scorer, D.J. Newbill, has moved on from the Nittany Lions, leaving a hole, and the team is still adjusting. Alex Kirschner of Testudo Times says that Penn State’s strength is their two-point shots.

“Interior defense and shot blocking. The Lions only allow opponents to shoot 42 percent on 2-point shots, which is the 27th-best figure in the country. They block 14.2 percent of all opposing shots, which is 29th, buoyed by 7’1 center Jordan Dickerson, whose 12.5 percent block rate is 13th-best in the nation. Maryland’s 61 percent 2-point shooting is the second-highest rate in the land and probably the Terps’ best strength. Given that, Penn State’s inside defending is the biggest reason to think the Nittany Lions might be able to stay close against them.”

The Washington Post is calling this Maryland team “the comeback kids.” At the end of the season last year, Coach Mark Turgeon feared that Jake Layman and Melo Trimble considered leaving, but both returned, and Turgeon was thrilled.

“In the end, they got right information and realized the best thing for him to do was come back,” Turgeon said. “My whole thing with Jake was, I want him to make the right decision. I would’ve felt bad if the decision was wrong.”

The coach and Terps fans agree that the school is building something great this year.

“I was relieved as much as anything,” Turgeon said. “I thought we were building something that had a chance to do something special.”

The Baltimore Sun mentioned that though the game against Marshall Sunday was a good one, the Terps made an impression with their 20-point win. Tomorrow’s game against Penn State will certainly rock the xfinity Center, as the game is sold out, and Maryland fans are ready. Coach Turgeon says that the team is ready too.

“I think they’re ready for it. Our guys like to be challenged,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “They’ll be excited for it. The building will have a different buzz in it. We’ve just got to be a little bit tougher. When you get into league play, you’ve got to be physically and mentally tough, that’s where we’ve got to improve the most.”

Do you think that the University of Maryland will come out on top in the Big 10 this year?

[Photo courtesy of Patrick Smith/Getty Images]