Maryland vs. Butler Preview

The Terrapins get set to take on their first challenge of the season, the Butler Bulldogs tonight at the XFINITY Center.  Tip is for 8:30pm.

Maryland is coming off a massive win over UMES, 96-43, to improve to 2-0.  Not much went wrong for the Terps, other than some cold spells from the field at times and some mental lapses.  Maryland must play with the same intensity against Butler, if they hope to come out on top like they did last season in the Gavitt Games.

Butler, like the Terps, are 2-0 on the season with wins over Kennesaw State and Princeton. The Bulldogs were a tourney team last year as the 4 seed in the South region.  Butler then knocked off Winthrop and Middle Tenn. before losing to the National Champion UNC Tar Heels in the Sweet 16.

Butler is led by senior forward Kelan Martin who has averaged 20 and 11.5 boards through their first two contests.  Kamar Baldwin is a sophomore point guard who has stuffed the stat sheet for the Bulldogs so far.  He has put up an impressive 11 ppg, 1.5 reb, 1.5 ast, 1.5 stl, and 1 block.  He’s one of those Terrapin killers who has the potential to put up 25 out of nowhere.  (We’ve all seen this before.)

Last season in the Gavitt Games, Kevin Huerter first made his presence known as he came up with the big block against Georgetown with two seconds left to save the game for the Terrapins.  Maryland went on to win 76-75 behind 22 points from Mr. Trimble,  and finished the game on a 20-10 run to get the W.  This season, instead of Trimble dropping 20 points, the Terps look to Huerter, Anthony Cowan Jr., and Justin Jackson to lead them over Butler.  Dion Wiley and Darryl Morsell have also had big games for Maryland off the bench, and the presence of Jared Nickens and his range is another plus for this new-look team.

The Terps must come with all of their defensive abilities and go to work on the boards like the first two games.  The offense is there, with all of the pieces they have this season.  All Terrapins have done a great job on the boards so far, and they must keep that up and not shoot themselves in the foot by giving up second chance buckets.

My prediction:

68-79 in favor of the Terrapins.

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