StLouHoo is very confident about a Hoos victory tonight, and with good reasons that he lays out in his game preview. I am not as sanguine. I see Maryland as presenting more of a threat. I watched much of the Marshall game and from that viewing, a few things come to mind:
If Anthony Cowan can get into the lane consistently, we're going to have to win the game on the offensive end. Cowan is very quick and got into the lane at will against Marshall. Once there, he is equally adept at finishing or dishing. If Maryland misses, the bigs vacuum the boards and convert. We've had trouble so far this season with dribble penetration. When guards get in the lane, our bigs come over and that is causing is to give up a lot of offensive rebounds. Given that Maryland is not a great three-point shooting team, we might help more with the guards than we usually do rather than let Cowan distort our interior defense. Because of Cowan, expec theavy minutes for Kihei Clark again. He did a great job on D'mitrik Trice. If he can make Cowan uncomfortable bringing the ball up and simply initiating the play, it will help contain the dribble penetration.
Maryland has given our defense trouble in past games with that weave action up top and the Flex offense. The cuts are hard to defend and the weave helps them get a guard going downhill. How we defend that will be important. Will we switch? Or do we want to keep Clark on Cowan? Watch this as well.
Maryland is probably going to score over 60 points. We will have to do better. They are inexperienced and throwing some wrinkles at them could pay big dividends. Expect to see a lot of ball screens. I'm thinking we will see Jerome and Hunter work them, and also Clark and a big with Jerome and Guy screening for each other on the reversal. These kinds of multiple options actions can create confusion for inexperienced and/or undisciplined defenders.
If we escape College Park with a win, we will be undefeated going into New Years Eve when Marshall comes to the JPJ. That will be a great test.