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Three things to watch

In just a few hours, Maryland will take on Indiana at Assembly Hall as part of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. This is a fairly important game for the Terrapins considering their 1-2 showing last week in the Maui Invitational. The Hoosiers aren't anywhere close to being an NCAA tournament-caliber squad, but a win over Indiana would provide Maryland its first victory over a major-conference opponent this season. It also would give the Terrapins a shot of momentum heading into Sunday's BB&T matchup against No. 3 Villanova. Some things to watch:

1) Free throw shooting. Maryland's performance from the charity stripe last week in Hawaii was, in the words of Coach Gary Williams, "horrible." The Terrapins are shooting 65.2 percent from the free throw line, and in a close game that's not going to cut it. Fortunately for Maryland, Indiana hasn't fared too well from the charity stripe either thus far this season. The Hoosiers are shooting 64 percent from the free throw line.

2) Landon Milbourne. The senior forward leads the team in scoring (13.7 points per game), but his showing on the boards last week in Maui was less than encouraging. Milbourne is averaging 3.8 rebounds per game, far below what Maryland needs from him, especially considering it is short-handed in terms of front-court depth right now.

"I really don't worry about Landon," Gary Williams said. "He's a senior. He sees things that he didn't feel he did well or did well in a game, and he'll come back. He's just one of those quiet people that plays with a great deal of intensity every time out. That's all you can ask of players. Some nights you get more rebounds than others. Some nights you shoot it better. But he's really consistent with his effort. I think any team wants that, where you know when you walk on the court you have this player that's going to do this every time out. Landon is really good at that. He's been really important to us, both last year and this year."

3) Indiana point guard Jeremiah Rivers. The Georgetown transfer has taken up the reins of the Hoosiers offense and has done a decent job of helping Indiana curb the turnover issue that seriously plagued the team last season. But Rivers is dealing with several nagging injuries (calf, shoulder, ankle) at the moment. He is expected to play, but if he is not at his best or if he has to spend more time on the bench than usual, look for the Terrapins to pounce on freshman reserve point guard Jordan Hulls or whoever else the Hoosiers have run the point. This could be a high-turnover night for Indiana, which would bode well for a Maryland squad that thrives in its transition offense.

By Steve Yanda  |  December 1, 2009; 2:07 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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