After snapping its three-game losing streak, IU now looks to build on its first Big Ten conference win and start a winning streak Tuesday at Maryland.
This will only be IU’s second game outside of the state of Indiana and its second road game of the season.
Maryland has won two of its three conference games so far this season and is 14-2. The Terrapins’ only two losses have been at home against Pittsburgh and Nebraska.
In IU’s win against Illinois on Saturday, the Hoosier defense was strong in the first half but struggled to contain the Fighting Illini in the second half. The Hoosiers know what they have to do to come out with a win against the Terrapins.
“Building upon what we did last game,” sophomore forward Juwan Morgan said. “On the defensive end, having the talk go to an extremely high level, staying connected on everything we do and executing our coverages.”
Junior guard Melo Trimble has always been a prolific scorer in his career for Maryland, and this season he’s averaging 17.5 points per game and 2.9 assists per game. Trimble is a volume shooter. He takes an average of 11.6 shots per game while shooting 46.5 percent from the field.
Shutting Trimble down will be a key for IU, especially because Maryland has moved away from using him at point guard in certain lineups.
“I think when they go a little bit smaller, it allows him to play off the ball more, so he tries to get lost in the game where you can forget about him,” junior guard Rob Johnson said of Trimble. “I think we’re going to have to do a good job of not doing that.”
IU’s coaching staff has focused on the fact that Trimble’s scoring ability allows for his teammates to get open shots.
“When they go small, they play him off the ball and run some action, staggers and hand-off action,” IU assistant coach Chuck Martin said. “He’s been really good in the sense that he’s matured. You can tell he’s trying to get everyone else involved. He’s trying to bring the young guys along because they’re really talented, but still they’re freshmen.”
Three other Terrapins are averaging in double figures. Freshman forward Justin Jackson is averaging 10.8 points per game, freshman forward Anthony Cowan is averaging 10.4 points per game, and junior forward Michal Cekovsky is averaging 10 points per game.
“I think the best they do is that their spacing is tremendous,” Martin said. “They get you to move from side to side. They specifically know who they want to attack and when they want to attack them. I think more than anything they never compromise their spacing.”
For many key IU contributors, this will be their first major road test of the season in a hostile environment. Some of the older players, especially senior forward Collin Hartman, have pulled them aside and told them what they need to do.
“You can’t go in there scared,” Morgan said. “You have to be in there ready to play on demand. Your name can get called at any time, and you have to know exactly what you are doing when you get in there.”
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