The late season push that Maryland men’s basketball has enjoyed is certainly reason for optimism, but due to the fickle nature of college basketball, nothing is guaranteed. The eight-game win streak, home court dominance, and big time plays are all impressive, but Maryland’s momentum must hold.
Nonetheless, Maryland is firing on all cylinders. Guard Anthony Cowan is a crucial part of the Terps’ future. He erupted and scored the final 11 points in Maryland’s College Gameday win against Michigan State in East Lansing. Despite the hype around the win, Cowan emphasized humility.
“Throughout the season you’re going to have some highs and lows but I think it’s important to stay even keeled,” said Cowan. “When you can do that, usually those teams are the most successful”
Head Coach Mark Turgeon has echoed Cowan’s sentiment: for the Terps to continue to win, staying grounded is crucial. Indeed, while the recognition and national acclaim is a lot to be proud of, Maryland believes it’s more important to maintain a tunnel vision.
Turgeon said as such after the win over Michigan State: ‘Eight games ago everyone was talking about how bad you were, now everyone’s telling you how good you are. Both of them are poison don’t listen to [them].”
Improvement and winning are two points of emphasis for this Maryland team. Their upcoming contest is a perfect opportunity to get better as the postseason inches closer. Northwestern sits at dead last in the Big Ten and has produced only one win in conference play— a perfect prospect for a tune-up game. Still, Maryland cannot underplay their competition.
“I know [Northwestern’s] record but they’re pretty good on the road,” said Turgeon. “We gotta be ready to play, they’re going to battle.”
The last time these two sides met, Maryland had yet to win on the road and were eager to turn things around. Despite early struggles, the Terps were able to earn their first road win of the season against the Wildcats — a big step towards Maryland’s current form.
Talks of the postseason and the NCAA tournament can be enticing for the Terps, but the true prize is still far away.
“We still ain’t win anything” said Cowan after his game at Michigan State “I still don’t have a ring; my teammates still don’t have a ring.”