3 keys and a prediction for Michigan Basketball vs Maryland

Brian Bradshaw Sevald-USA TODAY Sports
Brian Bradshaw Sevald-USA TODAY Sports /
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Michigan basketball heads to Maryland tonight to take on the Terps and here are three keys for the Wolverines, as well as a prediction. 

Following a key win over Northwestern on Sunday, Michigan basketball is looking to stack wins and keep pace with Purdue and Rutgers atop the Big Ten standings.

Michigan basketball enters the game at Maryland 4-2 in the league, which is just one game back of the Boilermakers in the loss column.

Of course, Wolverines fans will remember the Maryland game well as Michigan dominated the Terps 82-46 thanks to 32 points from Hunter Dickinson, as well as a stellar defensive effort that limited Maryland to just 13 first-half points.

I don’t expect the game to be as lopsided this time around, but Maryland is limping in with an injury to reserve big Patrick Emilien, in addition to Donta Scott being limited due to an illness.

It seems like Scott, Maryland’s second-leading scorer will play, but how many minutes he can play or how effective he’ll be remains to be seen.

With that in mind, here are three keys for Michigan basketball, as well as a prediciton against the spread.

Hunter needs to dominate again

Hunter Dickinson has dominated Maryland throughout his career and hasn’t lost to the Terps. He was 13-of-16 in the prior matchup and scored 32 points. He was also 6-of-9 from the free-throw line.

Maryland’s post-defense and 2-point defense just aren’t good. Maryland allows 53.4 percent on 2-pointers, which ranks last in the Big Ten.

The Terps allow 47.7 percent shooting overall in league play which is 13th. They do succeed at limiting shots with a slower tempo (221st adjust tempo according to Kenpom), but I don’t see how this team is going to handle Dickinson.

Julian Reese got in foul trouble in the first matchup and that didn’t help since he’s basically the only regular Maryland player that’s 6-foot-9. Everyone else is shorter. I’m sure we’ll see some doubles and zones and all the wrinkles to keep the ball away from Hunter.

But that allows him to dominate another way — with his passing. Beyond that, you can’t limit his touches forever and as long as Hunter has a productive night, Michigan should have a good shot.