Where: Xfinity Center, College Park, Maryland
There always is an adjustment period for freshmen in their first season of college basketball, but so far a heralded class of newcomers is fitting in just fine at Maryland. The No. 24-ranked Terrapins host Towson on Sunday, the next opportunity for Maryland’s new players to build upon a 3-0 start and continue what freshman guard Kevin Huerter said is an enjoyable experience.
“I’m not really surprised we all like playing with each other, because we all share the ball with each other,” Huerter told reporters after the Terrapins routed St. Mary’s (Md.) 93-45, two days after a thrilling comeback victory over Georgetown. “None of us really care who gets the shot.” While Melo Trimble remains the main cog in the Terrapins’ offense, a trio of freshmen – Huerter, Justin Jackson and Anthony Cowan – have combined to average 26.7 points per game, 34.6 percent of Maryland’s offense. The Terrapins host Stony Brook on Tuesday before leaving for Brooklyn, N.Y., and the Barclays Classic next weekend, facing Richmond on Friday and either Boston College or Kansas State on Saturday. Towson has opened the season with a pair of six-point road victories at George Mason and Morgan State.
TV: 2 p.m. ET, ESPN3
ABOUT TOWSON (2-0): The Tigers’ recent run of success against in-state schools (13-1 versus teams from Maryland since 2013-14) figures to be challenged Sunday, but Towson has won 20-plus games in two of the past three seasons. Junior forward Mike Morsell (21.5 points per game) and senior forward Arnaud William Adala Moto (20.5 points) have combined to average 15.5 rebounds per game while accounting for 57.5 percent of the Tigers’ offense. Towson was picked second in the Colonial Athletic Association preseason poll.
ABOUT MARYLAND (3-0): The Terrapins enjoyed a breather Thursday following narrow victories over American and Georgetown to open the season. Trimble only played 15 minutes, scoring seven points, while Damonte Dodd posted his first career double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds) and Huerter added 11 points. Maryland has been solid defensively, holding its three opponents to 35.5 percent shooting from the field while outrebounding the opposition by 14.7 boards per contest.
1. Trimble is shooting 51.4 percent from the field, averaging 17 points in 28.3 minutes per game.
2. Maryland F L.G. Gill – a transfer from Duquesne – led the Terrapins with 15 points Thursday and is averaging 9.3 points while shooting 16-of-21 from the free-throw line.
3. Seven different Maryland players have scored in double figures so far this season.
PREDICTION: Maryland 78, Towson 61