Maryland Basketball Looks to End Three-Game Slide vs. Saint Peter’s

Saint Peter’s (6-5) vs. No. 23 Maryland (8-3)

When: Thursday, Dec. 22 | 6:30 p.m.

Where: XFINITY Center

TV: BTN

After a week-long hiatus, Maryland basketball returns to action on Thursday evening hoping to end its three-game slide when Saint Peter’s comes to town. The upcoming slate of games on the Terps’ schedule gives head coach Kevin Willard and his staff a chance to iron out its kinks before conference play resumes on January 1. Despite falling to Wisconsin, Tennessee and UCLA over an eight-day span, Willard knows the heightened level of competition early in the season will benefit his team moving forward.

“The way we competed for most of that five-game stretch, I look at it more as, as a five-game stretch from the Louisville to the UCLA game, I thought we did a lot of good things defensively playing different styles. I thought for the most part defensively we adjusted pretty well to [an] Illinois team that runs up and down, a Wisconsin team that grinds, a Tennessee team that really try to play up and down the athletic. And then obviously UCLA. So I thought we did a really good job adjusting to different styles that I think we’ll see in Big Ten play.”

In the days since UCLA, Willard hit the road where he got a chance to see his crew of future Terps. “I gotta see DeShawn [Harris-Smith] play, got to see Jahn [Lamothe] play, got to see Jamie [Kaiser] play. So get out on the road and see those guys and see some of the 2024 guys.” In the meantime, Maryland got a much-needed break ahead of tonight’s matchup against a reeling Saint Peter’s squad.

“They got a couple [of] days off with me cause I’ve been recruiting since the UCLA game and then we just kind of got back after two days ago. We had to finish our finals. We had a lot of guys with finals. That took a lot…kind of just giving them a chance to kind of focus on their studies was really the biggest thing. I wanted them to finish up well academically. So really just giving them that time and then getting ’em get away from basketball while they focused on studies.”

Maryland is hopeful to have forward Julian Reese return to action tonight after he was ruled out for the second half during last week’s loss to UCLA. “He is progressing nicely but he’s still day by day. We’re hoping to have him tomorrow. He’s been working hard in rehab and getting back after it and doing some things on the side, but we’ve taken it real slow with him and making sure we get that shoulder 100% healed.”

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