After their less than stellar showing against the Rogers State Hillcats, the Cowboys look to come out stronger and take care of the Maryland Terrapins. The Terrapins are the toughest non-conference opponent left on the Pokes’ schedule. The Pokes will continue to try and keep up the blistering scoring pace (98.9 ppg - 2nd best in the nation), while improving the defense that struggled against the Hillcats. The Terps are a 3 point favorite on their home court tonight.
Here are the quick hits for tonight's match-up against the Maryland Terrapins.
RV/#22 Terrapins (7-1, 4-1 Home) vs. Cowboys (6-1, 0-0 Away)
Time: 8:00 p.m. CST
Location: College Park, MD
TV: Big Ten Network
Stream: BTN 2 Go (requires provider login)
Live Stats: okstate.statbroadcast.com
The Maryland Terrapins are coming off a 27 win season in which they advanced to the Sweet 16. The Terps have a solid backcourt, headlined by junior Melo Trimble. However, they are young, starting three freshmen this season. They’ve looked solid this so far this year, but have been inconsistent, winning close games against weaker opponents such as Richmond and Towson.
Maryland comes into tonight’s matchup fresh off their first loss of the season at home vs. the Pittsburgh Panthers. Poor shooting (34.4% from the field, 27.8% from 3) and turnovers were the issues for the Terrapins against Pitt. Maryland is currently ranked 22nd in the Coaches Poll, and they received votes in the AP Poll. The Fighting Turtles are also looking to rebound after their loss, and they figure the Pokes are as good a team as any to start another winning streak. This will be the last big test of the non-conference for the Terps, as they face Howard, Saint Peter’s, Jacksonville State, and Charlotte before starting Big 10 conference play. I didn’t think it was possible, but I found a team that has just as much of a garbage home schedule as we do. Here’s how the two teams match up statistically.
The two teams actually have a common opponent in this young season - the Georgetown Hoyas. If you remember, this is the team that the Pokes defeated by 27 to take home third place in the Maui Invitational. Maryland, on the other hand, narrowly defeated the Hoyas 76-75.
Players to Watch
He’s already been mentioned in this preview and we will cover him more below, but Melo Trimble is the leader of this team. The junior guard can be found on all the award watch lists for this season. Along with Trimble, freshman forward Justin Jackson, junior big man Michal Cekovsky and freshman guard Anthony Cowan all over double figures in points per game. The Cowboys will have their hands full on defense against the Terps.
3 Big Things
1. Play good basketball.
After the game against the Hillcats, Brad Underwood was not happy with his team.
They controlled the whole tempo of the game with their effort...It shows our activity on the defensive end. I was fearful of that. We had three of the four days off coming back from Maui. To be honest, we didn't practice great. We practiced very lethargic...To let someone come into your house and shoot 57 percent, 50 percent from the 3-point line, wasn't much energy on the defensive end. Wasn't munch fundamental foundation on the defensive end and that is what is disappointing.
Rogers State’s head coach Justin Barkley, on the other hand, was blown away by the Pokes - especially the defense.
The way they [OSU] plays defense, my gosh. We couldn't get the ball in reversals, and we kind of had to reinvent ourselves this week just so we could have some success on the offensive end.
I tend to agree with Underwood on this one. Rogers State may not be used to a defense like that, but we all know the Cowboys can play much better than they did.
2. Contain Melo Trimble.
The dude is a beast.
He is the clear leader of this team, and if the Pokes can contain him, I don’t know if they have any other options capable of carrying the team.
3. Set the tempo and run.
Maryland is bigger than us. They have four players 6-9 and above to our two. However, when you are playing a lot of height, you sacrifice speed. So if Maryland wants to play big, we need to force turnovers and then get out and going on the fast break.
OSU is at the top of the boards in a lot of categories this year.
- 2nd in steals - 12.4
- 3rd in turnovers forced - 20.71
- 1st in opponents’ average possession time - 14 seconds
- 11th in turnover percentage - 25.1
If the Cowboys can limit the amount of time the Terps have the ball, force the turnovers, and force Maryland to run with us, instead of settling down for battles at each end, I like OSU’s chances to go into Maryland and leave with another win under their belts.