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Maryland vs (#22) Indiana

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Indiana is dealing with some injuries, three of their players (Phinisee, Forrester, Davis) might be out.  This is a game Maryland should win according to the oddsmakers (-5).  It would be another resume building win against a top 25 team.  Maryland is entering a key four game stretch against some good teams (Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan State), it would be nice to start with a win.

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3 hours ago, Oriole4Life said:

Indiana is dealing with some injuries, three of their players (Phinisee, Forrester, Davis) might be out.  This is a game Maryland should win according to the oddsmakers (-5).  It would be another resume building win against a top 25 team.  Maryland is entering a key four game stretch against some good teams (Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan State), it would be nice to start with a win.

We're pretty happy with 2-2 over the next 4, right?  And ecstatic if we go 3-1?

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17 minutes ago, Hallas said:

We're pretty happy with 2-2 over the next 4, right?  And ecstatic if we go 3-1?

I think that's accurate.  If we can beat Michigan State on the road that would be the icing on the cake.  Ohio State just lost to Rutgers and I think they are a tad overrated, but nonetheless that game is on the road as well and will be tough.

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12 hours ago, Oriole4Life said:

Indiana is dealing with some injuries, three of their players (Phinisee, Forrester, Davis) might be out.  This is a game Maryland should win according to the oddsmakers (-5).  It would be another resume building win against a top 25 team.  Maryland is entering a key four game stretch against some good teams (Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan State), it would be nice to start with a win.

IU is actually dealing with more injuries than that.  Jerome Hunter, a top 50 four star recruit last year, had surgery to a lower leg/calf and has not played at all this season.  He was the first player besides Morgan to wear the gold practice jersey for the best player in practice for a week according the practice stats before his surgery.  Race Thompson, also a four star, was a redshirt last year who suffered a concussion (apparently knocked out cold) in an early practice this year and is in concussion protocol and there are now hints that he may never take the court for IU.  Phinisee has been a god-send as a freshman point guard holding his own against Marquette and Butler guards, but he is also in concussion protocol.  Forrester has not played much this year.  Davis could be a key guy to neutralize the UMd bigs, but went down with an injury part-way through last season, has come back at less than full strength this season and rolled his ankle very bad a couple games ago and could not play at Michigan.  That's a very heavy toll - one that makes it difficult to have competitive practices even.  IU had other players out earlier in the year which has set back the installation of some schemes and concepts into the team.  Never seen anything like this - five scholarship athletes out including two in concussion protocol.  Finally, IU's walk-on McRoberts has played decent minutes last year and this and has started some games has also missed time with injury and is at less than 100%.

IU has been plagued by unforced turnovers and slow starts this year - trailing a good majority of our opponents by double-digits before turning up the defensive heat and winning games.  Romeo Langford, the fourth highest scorer in Indiana HS history, has been incredible.  He can shoot, but often takes long step back three pointers that miss instead of stepping into a nice rhythm three.  He is a slasher - slithering through small openings on his way to the basket.  He draws a lot of fouls as he is both faster and stronger than he looks.  He will be a one and done.  Juwan Morgan is a strong senior forward, but he may have trouble defensively with your bigger guys.  Justin Smith has a pro body and pro jumping ability and has played good defense this year against some of the B1G's best weapons.  With Phinisee out, Devonte Green has played the point.  Green (younger brother of pro Danny Green) is a NY street baller and you will see that in his game, but he can get himself into bad situations which lead to maddening turnovers for Indiana fans used to guys with better instincts and fundamentals.  

I think this is Maryland's game to win and perhaps win big - especially by going big.  IU's injuries have enabled playing time to Evan Fitzner and Clifton Moore - both will be tall bodies against your bigs, but two guys who are currently behind the curve defensively.  Fitzner is a senior transfer from St. Mary's who can be a deadly three point shooter, but has been exposed defensively.  Moore is a very young sophomore who has improved a bit defensively but puts up little to no stats (including rebounds) for a 6-11 body.  I think IU would need one of these two to have their best game of the year by far to beat Maryland.

Archie Miller looks like he will be a very, very good coach at least.  He is excellent with Xs and Os and has a great feel for the game as it is being played.  

IU lost to #1 Duke at Duke and #2 Michigan at Michigan and also a road loss with a depleted roster against Arkansas.  Davis missed a one foot bunny tip-in all by himself for the lead with seconds remaining and then fouled Arkansas in the ensuing scramble that led to the winning foul shots.  On that play, Phinisee drove to the basket too early or else that game would have gone to OT.  As bad as IU played and as short a bench as we had, that was a disappointing loss.  

I think with a healthy roster this would be a very, very good game between two teams capable of reaching the top 15 or even higher, but also capable of playing into the low 30s on a bad night.  I would be pleased with a competitive effort, but I think this game could get away from IU early and we may not get back into it.

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Saw a report that Phinisee has been cleared to play tonight.  I don't think he has practiced w the team in hard contact for several weeks and haven't read what he is capable of doing, but he would be a big boost to our defensive efforts and hopefully reduce our turnovers if he can go 20 minutes.  If he starts, IU will have its regular starting five in.  If Davis is a go, then the team is closer to full strength than it has been pretty much since the Butler game.  Hopefully,  we are in store for a good game tonight.

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Also reading that Davis and Forrester are in uniform and warming up.  Still worried about Maryland's bigs and a continuation of the strong play from the big second half earlier this week.  Let's play some basketball!

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9 minutes ago, Oriole4Life said:

These slow starts are killing us. Missed shots and sloppy possessions. 

 I sit down and it’s Indiana 14 and Cowan 2.    That’s not good 

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Both teams are working incredibly hard on defense. This could be a relatively low scoring and intense game    

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4 minutes ago, Oriole4Life said:

Langford abusing us inside. Finishing around the basket at will.

14 points with 6:36 left in the first half isn't going to win you many games. 

We knew this was going to be a tough one going in, but yeah it does not look good. 

I blame @hoosiers  for the reverse jinx If we do lose. If we do,  he must wear Maryland gear to work on Monday! 

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