Preview: Maryland Basketball Returns to Action in Early Undefeated Battle

Binghamton (2-0) at Maryland (2-0)

When: Tuesday, Nov. 15 | 7:00 p.m. ET

Where: XFINITY Center

Maryland returns to action on Tuesday night where they’ll look to move to 3-0 at home. They’ll face an undefeated Binghamton team, who defeated Marist 78-75 on the road on Saturday, in the first ever meeting between the two teams. Head coach Kevin Willard has watched his team cruise through the first two games and with Maryland 23-0 all-time versus America East members, Tuesday night could give Willard another chance to work on his rotation once more before the first big test of the season in the Basketball Hall of Fame Tipoff this upcoming weekend.

Still, Willard has been impressed with his depth so far. “I think we’ve put 35 good defensive minutes out there both games and we’ve only had five-minute lapses. So I’ve been really happy with the depth. I feel comfortable playing 11 or 12 guys on this roster,” he added ahead of Tuesday’s matchup. “I haven’t had that feeling in a while.”

Binghamton’s four-guard lineup could be a test for Maryland’s frontcourt as senior Donta Scott’s conditioning may be tested, while Julian Reese will have a chance to run the court on Tuesday night. The sophomore forward is coming off a career-high 12 rebounds while tallying 19 points in the win over Western Carolina, flashing a more assertive and physical presence around the rim. His performance secured the first double-double of his career, a welcomed early sight after notching double figures in seven games as a freshman.

“It’s been fun having him because I can do things I haven’t been able to do for the last 3-4 years at the center spot,” Willard added.

Meanwhile, Binghamton returns 88.4% of its scoring from last year and will have a homecoming of sorts for John McGriff,a Bishop McNamara grad, Armon Harried, a Lake Clifton grad, and Jacob Falko, a North East native. Miles Gibson, a 6-foot-6 forward, enters the contest as the team’s leader in points (15) and blocks (1), but he’ll do so against what’s looked early on to be an improved Maryland defense. Maryland enters Tuesday ranked second in the Big Ten and 17th nationally in scoring defense after allowing just 100 total points through the first two defenses. While Willard cautioned his team would begin to take form possibly in late December, the defense has shown little hesitation in switching between man, zone, full and halfcourt defenses throughout the first two games.

Maryland has forced double-digit turnovers in both contests so far, partly due to a career-high five turnovers from Ian Martinez in the season opener, but the changing defenses have helped the Terps reclaim control of the games as they lean on their early strength.

“I actually like our full-court pressure and then right to zone,” Hakim Hart added. “It messes up the other team’s offense and takes a lot of time off the shot clock.”

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