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Big Ten Thursday Preview: Major Battle in Bloomington Between Indiana Hoosiers and Maryland Terrapins

Two of the top freshman in the nation each look to led their team to victory tonight as IU hosts Maryland. Freshman James Blackmon leading scorer for IU faces another freshman Melo Trimble who leads the Terps in scoring.

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight in Big Ten action we have two games, starting off the night Ohio State looks to get back in the win column against a struggling Northwestern team, before heading home to play back to back ranked opponents. In the second game of the night we have two ranked teams battling against one another. Maryland attempts to prove their Big Ten relevance against a surging young Indiana team.

The Best

Maryland (17-2, 5-1) at Indiana (14-4, 4-1) 9:00 ET. On ESPNU

Maryland looks to continue its dominance against their Big Ten foes tonight when they head to an Indiana team who has found new hope since losing to Eastern Washington earlier this season. Tonight's matchup is very well a battle of offensive vs. defense. The Terps come into tonight allowing only 61.4 points per game, which is done strictly by not giving their opponents open shots. Through 19 games so far this season only Virginia (ranked 2nd in the nation) has shot over 50 percent from the field against Maryland. Indiana on the other hand has a different style of play, they look to score and score fast. The Hoosiers are 12th in the nation in scoring (81 ppg) and shoot just under 48 percent on the year.

How do they win?

For Maryland to win tonight they have to continue to play the Big Ten way and win with defense. Through six Big Ten games they have held their opponents to 38 percent shooting from the field only behind Nebraska. Melo Trimble (16.1 ppg) is what makes the Terps go on offense, the freshman had 24 points including a season high six three pointers in his last game against Michigan State. Mix together great defense, and get the youngster scoring early you just might be able to take out this IU crowd and grab a huge road win.

For Indiana to win tonight they as well need to look to their freshman to score early and often. James Blackmon (16.6 ppg) is a sharp shooter that looks to shoot from deep at any given moment. James isn't alone though when it comes to scoring, the Hoosiers also have Yogi Ferrell (14.9 ppg) and Troy Williams (13.4 ppg) who are able to score quick and often. Blackmon and Williams both had 21 on Sunday against Illinois. If Indiana comes out scoring early, the crowd will cause problems for Maryland to try and fight back.

The Rest

Ohio State (14-5, 3-3) at Northwestern (10-8, 1-4) 7:00 ET on ESPN

The Buckeyes head to Northwestern with hope of picking up a win and some much needed momentum heading into next week's back to back showdowns at home against Maryland and Indiana. Ohio State who was ranked earlier in the Big Ten season has lost two of its last three games, and can't afford to lose to Northwestern. The Buckeyes who score 80.5 ppg which is 14th in the nation are led DeAngelo Russell (18.6 ppg.) On the other side of this matchup is the Northwestern Wildcats who continue to struggle in Big Ten play having only one conference win coming at Rutgers. The Wildcats have lost 4 games in a row and need to pick up a win if they hope to gain any momentum heading into next week's game at Maryland.