Maui Invitational 3rd Place Game
Wisconsin Badgers (3-1 overall, 0-0 Big Ten)
#22 Maryland Terrapins (4-1 overall, 0-0 ACC)
Lahainna Civic Center, Maui, HI 4:30pm EST
PF: Wis: 64.8 MD: 75.6 PA: Wis: 55.8 MD: 53.6
There is no word to describe the Terps performance against Cincinnati other then horrendous. The game was pretty much over after a six minute scoring drought in the first half which saw the Terps fall down by 11 en route to a season low 18 point half. If the Terps are going to beat the Badgers they are going to improve their shooting which will be a tough task against a Badger defense that has only allowed one opponent to shoot over 37 percent from the field. The Terps come into the game shooting 46.8 percent from the field but had their worst shooting last night against the Bearcats shooting only 35.8 percent from the field and 1.4 percent from 3 point range. Hopefully their shooting woes against the Bearcats are just an aberration.
Wisconsin has been on of the most underrated programs of the last decade and Bo Ryan may be the best coach nobody knows about. Wisconsin is traditionally known for tough team defense and a slow down offense that frustrates their opponents. Previous Badger teams have had one player that can get their own shot outside of the flow of the offense and this year that player is Trevon Hughes. If the Terps can shut Hughes down (he was limited to just 10 points his previous game) then they have a great chance to win. In addition to trying to shut down Hughes the Terps need to play disciplined defense for the entire 35 seconds. The Badgers will be selective and work the ball around for the duration of the shot clock before finding a shot they like, so defending for 35 seconds play in and play out will be a challenge.
Against the Bearcats, Maryland showed what happens if they do not have a scoring compliment to Vasquez. Sean Mosley and Landon Milbourne, who were averaging 15ppg each coming into the game, combined for 16 points with five points coming from the free throw line. Mosley and Milbourne will need to play like they did in the first four games if the Terps are to topple the Badgers.
The Terps played their worst game of the season against the Bearcats so it is hard to think they can play any worse. The one positive was that the Terps went to the free throw line 31 times, however they left a lot of point there converting on just 17 attempts. With points likely to be at a premium the free throw line could be the Terps best friend. Regardless of the year, you know what you are going to get from the Badgers. Their style will force the Terps to execute in their half court offense, which they did not do against the Bearcats. This game will be close but it will be hard to imagine the Terps playing and shooting any worse then in their previous game. I think they get down early, but battle back for an ugly win. Terps win 61-58.