On Tuesday night, two Big Ten teams will meet in a crossroads game that is crucial for both sides.
Those two teams are the Maryland Terrapins and Indiana Hoosiers.
Indiana, for one, is in a complete tailspin. After an 8-1 start that included wins over Kansas and North Carolina, the Hoosiers have now lost four of seven games and sit at 11-5. For a team with so much talent, they have hit a major snag, and will also provide us with a measuring stick for the Terps
Fresh off of a great road win over the Michigan Wolverines, Maryland will now look to vault themselves into the upper tier of the conference with a win over Tom Crean’s squad.
Led by junior guard Melo Trimble, the Terps will aim to improve their record to 15-2 and potentially crack the top 25. This game will take place in College Park, where the Terps play excellent basketball and are capable of beating anyone.
Could this be the game where they put it all together?
Perhaps it is, as the Terps have yet to have that breakout performance against signature opposition. That can be partially attributed to the fact that they have not faced many notable opponents to this point. The Hoosiers, currently ranked No. 25, will be the first ranked opponent that they have faced (if they stay in the rankings).
But the point is, to this point in the year, the Terps have only one really solid win. That would be their most recent one in Ann Arbor against a tough Michigan team. But even that performance was not one that showed us the full potential of Maryland.
They got far from their best outing by Melo Trimble, who struggled with his shooting, going 5-for-15 from the field. But the star guard did help in other ways, registering 6 boards, 4 assists, and 3 steals, to go with his 13 points.
But they did get nice performances from Damonte Dodd (15 points), Justin Jackson (15 points), Anthony Cowan (9 points, 5 boards, 4 assists), and a big night from Jared Nickens (12 points).
Seeing those names step up is big for Maryland, but what will they look like if that happens when Trimble plays well, also? This could be the game where we see it happen. Indiana has shown liabilities on defense at times this season, and this could be a big game for the Terps’ offense.
Also, Maryland has been without big man Michal Cekovsky because of an injury. This team, despite its good record, is still full of potential and provides us many questions to ask about them.
But Indiana is a team with even more questions. Mostly because we have seen them be a great team at times. But they have been unable to sustain it. This could be the let go of the rope game for the Hoosiers, who cannot afford another loss this early in the year.
A season that looked so promising for Indiana, could get away quickly in this game. While another team in Maryland, could create their own promise.