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Penn State At Maryland Preview & Open Thread: Spiderman Points At Spiderman

Two very similar teams with identical records face off.

Maryland Terrapins guard Jahmir Young (1) dribbles the ball as Penn State Nittany Lions guard Kanye Clary (0) defends during the second half at Bryce Jordan Center. Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Two teams with similar profiles face off in a game to avoid the very bottom of the conference early. The Maryland Terrapins, By virtue of Villanova, UAB, Davidson, and Indiana, is 4-4 on the season. The Penn State Nittany Lions, by virtue of Texas A&M, Butler, VCU, and *gag* Bucknell, are also 4-4 on the season. The difference, of course, is the Terrapins with a conference loss already, while the Lions have that anchor loss to the Bison.

Now, they face each other in a game to avoid the bottom of the standings, a place the Terps are already at by virtue of their conference loss. Another one digs that hole even deeper, and they can ill afford to do that this early in the conference season.

Penn State, on the other hand, needs something, anything, to take the bitter taste out of their mouths that is the past couple of weeks. Not only are they on a four-game losing streak, they just lost to a team that was sub-300 in Kenpom leading into this contest. The Lions need signs of life now.

Scouting the Opposition

Maryland is almost intact from a year ago. Back are Jahmir Young, Julian Reese, and Donta Scott, who formed the core of a pretty good Terrapins team a year ago. They also added DeShawn Harris-Smith, a freshman, and Jordan Geronimo from Indiana, to the rotation. The rest of the cast is there as well, so expect the kind of game we had in College Park a season ago to play out this season too.

This iteration of the Terrapins, however, is worse at shooting the three than last year’s. In fact, they’re worse than Penn State is at shooting the ball! If there’s a silver lining in any of this, is the hope that the Lions won’t get torched yet again, as even a mediocre rate from an opponent is enough to bury the Lions.

What to Watch For

Defense, anyone? - The boldness, agressiveness, and difference isn’t really showing up as of late. Can they get it back? They’re going to need it.

Qudus - How will Wahab react to playing a team he was part of two seasons ago?

Energy - Losing the way the Lions did to Bucknell can do two things. It can galvanize a team, or it can tank them. What version will we get?

Prediction

It’s hard to predict where rock bottom is. Saturday looked pretty rock bottomy, but I’m not ready to predict the upswing just yet. Maryland 56, Penn State 47

YAY HOOPS

Please use this as your open thread for the evening. As always, open thread rules apply. No illegal streams, no NSFW content, and for the love of all things cute, be nice to each other, the players, and the staff!

Here’s to a victory! We Are!