Maryland returns to action Thursday when it hosts Fairleigh Dickinson, and after a sluggish performance against a Division III school in its last game and an eight-day break before its next contest, the Terrapins want a good performance. Head coach Mark Turgeon was not pleased with the Terrapins’ 76-59 victory on Dec. 12 over Catholic, a game in which the Terrapins trailed more than they led in the first half before finally pulling away.
“I can’t explain it,” Turgeon told the media after the 17-point victory, a slimmer margin than three of Maryland’s victories against Division I competition this season. “I just think they were much more prepared and excited to play the game than our guys were.” Granted, the Terrapins did not have starting forward Justin Jackson due to shoulder soreness, but Maryland’s trend of starting games slowly continued. The Terrapins are shooting 50.1 percent from the field and are outrebounding opponents by 10.6 rebounds per game, ranking seventh in the nation. They face a Knights squad that has dropped five games in a row, falling to New Jersey Tech 71-68 on Saturday.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU
ABOUT FAIRLEIGH DICKINSON (3-7): Darian Anderson leads three Knights averaging in double figures at 14.1 points per game, while Mike Holloway Jr. averages 12.7 points and a team-high 6.4 rebounds. Guard Jahlil Jenkins earned Northeast Conference Rookie of the Week honors after scoring 10 points against NJIT. Fairleigh Dickinson ranks 28th nationally in steals per game (8.8).
ABOUT MARYLAND (10-3): The Terrapins have outrebounded 12 of their 13 opponents and average 39.5 boards per contest. Guard Anthony Cowan Jr. leads the team in scoring at 15.8 points after scoring 18 against Catholic. Center Michal Cekovsky is shooting 75 percent from the field and has led Maryland in rebounding twice in the past five games.
1. Maryland ranks 333rd out of 351 Division I teams in turnovers per game (16.5), while Fairleigh Dickinson is 341st with 16.9.
2. Maryland freshman F Bruno Fernando has blocked three shots in six of his past eight games, but has missed the past two games with a high-ankle sprain.
3. Turgeon is two victories away from reaching 150 at Maryland and 400 in his coaching career.
PREDICTION: Maryland 83, Fairleigh Dickinson 68