I've learned a lot about our future conference mates this basketball season, and for that I am thankful. It's nice to read up and study teams that are not your own, because it gives you a new and different perspective on the college basketball season. Also, as an impartial observer I can watch the games with the detached aloofness of your father who you will never be proud of you. Maryland and Rutgers need to earn my love, and despite their records they are succeeding. It was a simple schedule for the Terps and Knights this past week, each time only played once (I'm going to throw Maryland's game from last night into the equation too, though) and Rutgers lost and Maryland won (and then lost last night). Let's get down to business!
Rutgers (10-17 overall, 4-10 AAC) continued it's brutal stretch of schedule with a matchup at home against the #22 ranked Memphis Tigers. The final score was 64-59 Memphis, which if you remember their first meeting this season (a 101-69 beatdown delivered by the Tigers) is a marked improvement! I often feel like I'm repeating myself in these Rutgers recaps when I start to name off who performed well, but Kadeem Jack lead the way for the Knights, keeping Rutgers in the game until the very end. He had 22 points (on 10-of-18 shooting), 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals, and two blocks while playing 36 of the 40 minutes in the game. He was assisted by Myles Mack who had 10 points (on 4-of-17 shooting EWWW!), seven assists, five boards, and three steals. Coming off the bench, Malick Kone also had 10 points and chipped in with six rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a block. Rutgers was an abysmal 4-of-20 (20% for all you mathemagicians out there) from beyond the arc and only got to the free throw line 11 times (and making only seven of those attempts). The Rutgers schedule gets considerably easier this week with games on Wednesday night at UCF and a home date with USF on Saturday afternoon. Both teams have worse conference records than Rutgers and give the Knights a chance to gain some momentum heading into the AAC Tournament.
Coming off a brutal schedule of their own, Maryland (15-13 overall, 7-8 ACC) had one home game last week against an extremely average Wake Forest and the Terps came out on top 71-60. It was Maryland's eighth straight win over the Demon Deacons and it was Wake's sixth straight loss of the season. Five players scored in double figures for the balanced Maryland attack. They were lead by Nick Faust, who scored a career high 20 points and added five rebounds and four assists. Rebounding Machine Charles Mitchell had seven boards and 12 points, but also had an unseemly five turnovers. HANG ON TO THE BALL CHARLES! Jake Layman had 11 points and Evan Smotrycz and Seth Allen each had 10. Dezmine Wells had an unusually quiet game, with only six points, but obviously his teammates picked up the slack. Last night Maryland had a prime opportunity to gain a marquee, season-defining win against the #4 ranked Syracuse Orangepeople (politically correct) at the Comcast Center, but they blew it. Syracuse held on to win 57-55 as Seth Allen's buzzer beater clanked off the back of the rim. The Terps had no business being in this game at the end, they shot poorly and turned the ball over way too much, but they kept clawing their way back and would not die. Like a basketball playing villain from a bad horror movie. Dez Wells returned to form, dropping 15 and adding seven rebounds, but the leading scorer was Seth Allen who poured in 22 points on a night where not much was going down for the Terps. In exciting "center's whose names are Shaquille" news, Maryland has a center named Shaquille and he played two minutes last night. He's from the Bahamas and I don't know how I hadn't noticed him until last night. *swoons* Anyways, Maryland ends the week with a roadtrip to Clemson on Sunday afternoon.
With Tourney time coming up, I will keep you abreast of any and all miracles that happen with Rutgers (and to a much lesser extent Maryland, because they may actually make the postseason) in the conference tournaments and beyond! Make sure you keep it locked to BTPowerhouse for all your B1G Tourney needs. See y'all next week!