Preview: Maryland meets Northern Iowa in Paradise Jam

Preview: Maryland meets Northern Iowa in Paradise Jam
November 24, 2013, 12:00 pm
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Maryland Paradise Jam preview

VITALS

Date: 24 November 2013

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Location: Paradise Jam, U.S. Virgin Islands

Television: CBS Sports Network

Spread: Maryland (-5.0)

[RELATED: Why is Maryland falling flat on defense through three games?]

FASTBREAK PREVIEW

Coming to the Virgin Islands 1-2, Maryland did not get the hot start it anticipated against Marist on Friday afternoon. They overcame a slow first half with a strong second, though, in a 68-43 win.

Sophomore forward Jake Layman was once again the one who sparked the Terrapins in the second half, finishing with a game-high 16 points, including 4-of-6 shooting from three-point range. Forward Charles Mitchell had another near-double-double with 12 points and eight rebounds.

Can Maryland keep the momentum going against Northern Iowa? Read more below.

MATCHUP TO WATCH

PG Deon Mitchell vs. Roddy Peters/Dez Wells

Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon experimented with the freshman, Peters, in the starting lineup against Marist and though Peters’ final stat line was not bad, the offense was stagnant in the first half while he was on the floor.

Turgeon switched it up to put Wells there in the second and the big Maryland run began, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the change at point guard was the catalyst. So who will start on Sunday?

Whoever it is, they’ll have their hands full with 6-1 Texas native Deon Mitchell, Norther Iowa’s leading scorer and a player who put up 23 points, five assists, and two steals in the team’s opening win over Loyola Marymount.

Mitchell had high-major interest from some notable programs coming out of high school, including Arizona State, Colorado, Marquette, and TCU.

MARYLAND PLAYER TO WATCH

Shaquille Cleare, center

After struggling through the teams first three games, sophomore center Shaquille Cleare took a step forward against Marist. It wasn’t a breakout game by any stretch, but it was a confidence builder for Cleare, who had eight points on 4-of-4 shooting from the floor and grabbed five rebounds.

Cleare continues to start over counterpart Charles Mitchell, mostly because Turgeon likes having a spark off the bench if the team comes out flat. The two ultimately end up playing the same number of minutes.

Another similar game from Cleare on Sunday would be a significant step toward getting fully back into a groove after injuries hampered him in the offseason.

[RELATED: Will Peters take over the reins of the offense at PG?]

NORTHERN IOWA PLAYER TO WATCH

Matt Bohannon, guard

Maryland’s poor perimeter defense has made for easy living for three-point shooters so far this season, going back even as far as the team’s exhibition against Catholic. Because of that, the Terrapins will want to keep an eye on the junior, Bohannon.

He is shooting close to 53 percent from three-point range on the year, including scoring 22 points on 5-of-7 shooting from three-point range in the team’s Paradise Jam opening-round win over Loyola Marymount.

INTANGIBLE TO CONSIDER

The split for Maryland between the first half and second half of games has been staggering. Through four games, the Terrapins have been outscored 136-129 in the first half. In the second half, Maryland has outscored opponents 166-119, an average difference of close to 12 points in each game.

Is that actually a positive? Well, it’s better to start slow and finish strong than start strong and taper off. But, at the same time, Turgeon would likely prefer to see more effort out of the gate.