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Hoosiers take on Maryland for Big Ten road matchup


Senior forward Juwan Morgan dunks the ball against University of Louisville on Dec. 8 at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Morgan scored 15 out of the 68 points scored by IU. Anna Tiplick Buy Photos

As IU Coach Archie Miller walked to the podium after IU’s 74-63 loss at No. 2 Michigan on Sunday, his face wore a clear look of disdain.

A slow start had doomed the Hoosiers despite a promising second half in which they outscored the Wolverines 34-30.

Freshman guard Romeo Langford and senior forward Juwan Morgan toiled through foul trouble in the first half, leaving a smorgasbord of role players to take on the pestering Michigan defense.

Friday night the Hoosiers have their lone chance this week to right ship against Maryland in College Park.

“Disappointed in the way that we played at Michigan,” Miller said. “There were some things that clearly stood out on film that we didn't get done on either end of the floor, and we went sort of hard back to work on that. Had a few good days of preparation and practice and getting ready to play against a really talented, big Maryland team that's playing very well right now."

The Terrapins enter Friday’s contest at 13-3 and 4-1 in the Big Ten.

Most striking is Maryland’s ability to rebound. The Terps currently sit second in the conference with 40.2 rebounds per game while sophomore forward Bruno Fernando sits third individually with 10.1 boards per contest.

“It's one of their greatest strengths is their ability to offensive rebound and their ability to keep you off the glass,” Miller said.

Offensively, the Terps boast a prolific 3-point shooting attack centered on junior guard Anthony Cowan and freshman guards Eric Ayala and Aaron Wiggins. Ayala leads the group with a 48-percent conversion rate while Wiggins and Cowan shoot at a 40.8 and 35.4 percent clip, respectively.

Things remain clouded on the IU side of things as injuries continue to pile up. Miller said Thursday he expects both freshman guard Rob Phinisee and freshman forward Jake Forrester will be unavailable against Maryland.

Miller also said he’s optimistic De’Ron Davis will play Friday night after sitting out against Michigan due to a nagging ankle injury.

With a plethora of banged up Hoosiers, Miller anticipates larger roles for redshirt senior forward Evan Fitzner and sophomore forward Clifton Moore.

“I'm hopeful he'll be available to play on Friday,” Miller said of Davis. “But if he can't, Cliff Moore has got to get in there and Fitzner has got to give us more right now, and we have to find ways to get those guys more involved early in the game.”

Friday night’s game also marks the second of six games IU will play on the road between Jan. 6 and Feb. 2.

Conversely, Maryland plays four of their next six games at home, beginning with IU.

Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Xfinity Center.

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