Sitting atop the Big Ten rather comfortably, Maryland basketball has a chance to make a huge splash ahead of the highly anticipated NCAA tournament — so long as they get past Michigan State. In their previous contest, trailing by double digits, guard Anthony Cowan dug deep into his bag of tricks to will the Terps past the Spartans. Since his eruption at East Lansing, the Terps have gone 2-1 earning their first loss in over a month.
“We don’t get too high, we don’t get too low,” said Head Coach Mark Turgeon “We’re gonna lock in on Michigan State.”
Still, the goal for the Terps remains being focused on the task ahead — winning the next game. After an unlikely win against Minnesota, the Terps focus lies on their next opponent in the Spartans.
Cowan, as an individual who takes this mindset to heart, will likely bounce back from his two game hiccups. After shooting below a 30% clip for two straight games, the senior will look to bounce back and show his propensity to step up when the lights shine brightest. Cowan could find himself playing the role of a closer during Saturday’s College Gameday rematch.
Similarly, Aaron Wiggins and Ayala will also play a huge role in defending Aaron Henry and Rocket Watts as well as stretching the floor on offense. Both playing rather efficiently in the wake of Cowan’s late season slump, the duo has been playing at a level that could make Maryland a much bigger threat moving forward.
“We’re going into a stretch of the season where guys gotta be ready to play,” said Wiggins. “I think a lot of guys wanna step up.”
While defense has been the staple for Maryland this season, finding an offense that can stifle the Spartans defense is far more vital. With inconsistencies in the half court for almost all season, Maryland should look to find their shots early to ease into their fast-paced offense. The one caveat being, when the shots don’t fall, the Terps struggle to find their offense as seen in their recent win against Minnesota and beatdown by Iowa.
Nonetheless, the resilience and the grit of Maryland has been tested and will define them as the season continues.
“We’re a team that fights, we’re not gonna stop fighting,” said Wiggins. “If a team’s coming back we’re not gonna give in and when we’re down we’re not gonna give up.”