Photo: flickr Writer: Eric Daniel
Illinois has picked up some nice results throughout their nonconference slate standing 10-3 overall winning their last 6 straight coming into conference play. Illinois has picked up some nice recent wins against teams like NC State, VCU, and BYU among others and this group is playing with some confidence as they head into this road test against Maryland. Unfortunately for Illinois they didn’t test themselves in any true road games during the nonconference, so this will be their first of the season. The Illini have been putting up some solid offensive numbers ranking 67th in the nation in scoring average with veteran Malcolm Hill leading the team averaging 18.4 points per game.
Maryland is another Big Ten team that picked up some nice results during the nonconference and the Terps have been better than expected with their reloaded lineup standing 12-1 overall going against a home heavy nonconference slate. Maryland lost the bulk of talent off of last year’s tournament team and it’ll be interesting to see if the Terps are able to replicate the same kind of success this year in the Big Ten. In their nonconference finale Maryland came through at home getting past Charlotte by a final of 88-72. Maryland picked up resume building wins in the nonconference against teams like Georgetown, Kansas State, and Oklahoma State. This group often leaned on their 57th ranked defense and on the offensive end veteran guard Melo Trimble leads the way averaging 17.9 points per game.
Illinois will be getting their first true road test of the regular season and it’ll be interesting to see how this group responds. Maryland has been taking care of business throughout the year thus far as well as on their home court since the Pitt upset defeat. We like Maryland to come through in this matchup at home as they go on to win and cover the spread.
Maryland -4 -110