The No. 6 Wisconsin Badgers (8-1 overall, 2-0 Big Ten) return home to the Kohl Center on Monday night to take on the visiting Maryland Terrapins (5-3 overall, 0-2 Big Ten). The Badgers, coming off of a big road win over the Michigan State Spartans, moved up three spots in the newest AP Poll rankings and will look to continue their undefeated conference start against the Terps.
The Terps entered this season as defending co-Big Ten champions with the Badgers and Spartans and while both Maryland and MSU are currently 0-2 in conference, the Terps have definitely had the rougher go of it so far this year. Maryland’s best win this year is against a KenPom ranked No. 119 Old Dominion team and the Terps have lost both of their road games (Clemson and Purdue) and all three of their games versus Power 5 conference teams (add Rutgers to the mix).
Maryland has shown the ability to score with anyone, but their defensive efficiency rating is only ahead of Nebraska’s and Iowa’s in conference. One of their main problems has been stopping teams from launching, and making, threes. In their last game, Maryland gave up seven three point makes to Purdue in the first half and allowed the Boilermakers to shoot 10-of-22 (45.5%) on the afternoon.
That percentage is just four percentage points above Wisconsin’s season average and I’m sure three-point defense is something that the Terps have been focused on since losing to Purdue. Maryland gives up 40.2% of all of their points from beyond the arc, which is No. 15 in the nation. In this particular scenario, being ranked highly is bad.
Taking a look at Maryland’s starting lineup you’ll notice that there is no one taller than 6-foot-7 but also no one shorter than 6-foot-5. While it doesn’t appear that the Terps are some wild, “switch everything,” swarming defense, they definitely have the ability, size-wise, to do that on the perimeter.
While, again, Micah Potter and Nate Reuvers possess a significant size advantage down low, Maryland has a couple of options off the bench that can bang with Wisconsin’s two big men in 6-foot-8 junior Jairus Hamilton and 7-foot-2 sophomore Chol Marial.
An interesting note for those that follow recruiting and Wisconsin high school basketball: Milwaukee’s James Graham III chose to forego his senior season at Nicolet and just arrived at Maryland today! He isn’t eligible to play yet, but you’ll bet that the next time Maryland comes to Madison he’ll be jacked up.
Thank you to everyone who has helped me through this journey! I have made it to College Park and I’m ready to work pic.twitter.com/a8YT8cnUUG— James Graham III (@JamesGrahamIII2) December 28, 2020
How to watch/listen
TV: FS1, 6:00 p.m., CT, Kevin Kugler, Stephen Bardo
Streaming: FOX Sports GO
Radio/Satellite: 1310 AM, Sirius/XM 84; Matt Lepay, Mike Lucas
Live stats: Here!
Arena: Kohl Center
Line: Wisconsin -8.5
KenPom Wisconsin win percentage: 80%
Fun facts (according to the media guides)
- A win over Maryland would give Wisconsin 11 straight Big Ten wins for the first time since winning 11 in a row during the team’s 1941 National Championship season.
- UW is averaging 21.8 FTAs per game. Last season, the Badgers averaged 14.9 FTAs per game. The Badgers are also No. 3 in the conference, shooting 77% from the charity stripe.
- Wisconsin is leading the Big Ten allowing just 59.6 ppg this season and ranking No. 2 in FG pct. defense (37.5%).
- Wisconsin ranks No. 2 in the nation averaging only 8.3 turnovers per game. Dating back to last season, UW has committed 11 or fewer turnovers in 27 consecutive games.
- The Badgers have won 15 straight home games, the longest active streak in the B1G.
- UW ranks No. 3 in the Big Ten and No. 11 in the NCAA shooting 41.8% on 3FGs with six of its top eight scorers shooting over 40%.
- Monday’s game will be the No. 17 meeting between Wisconsin and Maryland in a series that dates back to 1931. The Badgers lead the all-time series, 10-6, including a record of 5-1 in Madison.
- The Badgers and Terrapins have met in some noteworthy circumstances over the last 15 years. Wisconsin’s 78-75 overtime win in the 2000 Big Ten/ACC Challenge marked Dick Bennett’s final game coaching at UW. The 2002 meeting, an 87-57 Terps win, came in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament en route to Maryland’s 2002 National Championship.
- All but two of the nine UW-UMD games since the Terps joined the Big Ten have been decided by single digits. The average margin of victory since 2015 is just 6.1 points per game.
- Senior Brad Davison has scored in double figures in each of his five meetings with Maryland, averaging 14.2 ppg against the Terps. In the most recent meeting, Davison’s heroics helped UW pull out a 56-54 win with a steal and 3-pointer in the final seconds.
- Maryland has not allowed an opponent to score 80+ points since the 2017-18 season - a span of 74 games.
- Maryland has won 12 consecutive games when outrebounding its opponent. (Last loss: at Wisconsin, 1/15/20).
- Sophomore Donta Scott has reached double-figures in 7-of-8 games and leads the team in rebounds (7.3) for the season. Over his last six games, the Philadelphia native is averaging 14.7 points and shooting 65-percent from the field. He is also shooting better than 50-percent from beyond the 3-point line during that span.
- Junior Eric Ayala scored a career-high 23 points in the Terps’ win over La Salle on Dec. 22, knocking down 13-of-15 free throw attempts.
- D’Mitrik Trice, 6-foot, redshirt senior, guard, No. 0
- Aleem Ford, 6-foot-8 redshirt senior, forward, No. 2
- Micah Potter, 6-foot-10, redshirt senior, center, No. 11
- Brad Davison, 6-foot-4, senior, guard, No. 34
- Nate Reuvers, 6-foot-11, senior, forward, No. 35
- Aaron Wiggins, 6-foot-6, junior, guard, No. 2
- Eric Ayala, 6-foot-5, junior, guard, No. 5
- Darryl Morsell, 6-foot-5, senior, guard, No. 11
- Hakim Hart, 6-foot-6, sophomore, guard, No. 13
- Donta Scott, 6-foot-7, sophomore, forward, No. 24