Tournament time is finally almost here, and Xavier has one of the first games. To help get you ready for our Big 10 opponent, we talked to Ryan Conners over at Testudo Times . Their site is posting plenty of great tournament stuff, so definitely check them out. Let’s get started.
1.) As the bracket reveal went on, I started to become irrationally upset at the thought that Xavier might be left out of the tournament. How much fun was that process for you?
Haha it was something. It wasn't particularly nerve-wracking since I knew Maryland was going to make it into the tournament, but it was shocking to watch No. 7 seed after No. 7 seed come off the board. Once we got to the last bracket, I didn't know what to believe. Can't be mad at the end result though.
2.) We all know about Melo Trimble, so who else on this team do we need to worry about?
Pretty easy: the three freshmen: Kevin Huerter, Anthony Cowan and Justin Jackson. Each has come in and started from the very beginning this season, and each occupies a different role for this team. Cowan is a defensive dog and a distributor. He allows Trimble to play off the ball, which suits his strengths more. Huerter is a knockdown three-point shooter, and plays excellent defense as well. He starts at small forward, but would likely shift to guard if Trimble leaves for the NBA after this season. Huerter doesn't create his shot often, but he showed against Northwestern that he can get to the rim when he needs to. Jackson is a good outside shooter who can get to the rim too. He's got an outrageous 7'3 wingspan on his 6'7 frame, and can guard a bunch of different positions.
3.) Maryland started the season 20-2 before dropping 6 out of their last 10. What happened?
A couple things. No. 1: Maryland played a really easy out of conference schedule. Apart from Kansas State and Oklahoma State, the Terps didn't face any challenging teams. No. 2: This was a young team that got tired down the stretch, and also lost big man Michal Cekovsky when it needed him badly. Maryland didn't have a post scoring presence, so when the outside shots weren't falling, the team's offense went silent. In addition, Ceko's absence meant Maryland could get in foul trouble very easily, and that happened a few times.
4.) Are the Terps happy in the Big 10, or are their some looking back at the ACC?
The Big 10's treated Maryland quite well, actually. Some people will always look back to the ACC as the program's true home, but as long as Mark Turgeon and DJ Durkin keep the basketball and football team's trending in positive directions, you won't hear too many complaints.
5.) What is your go to brunch order?
Hmm. OK. I'm gonna confess that as a college senior, my view of brunch is sort of skewed. Often, "brunch" to me is just breakfast that i didn't eat until after my 11 a.m. class because my body refused to get out of bed. I'm a big fan of the classic bacon egg and cheese on a bagel. It's delicious. As an out-of-stater (I'm from Massachusetts), I consulted with my Maryland friends and they've confirmed that there isn't any particular "brunch" food that Marylanders identify with.
6.) Score prediction?
Well, without toooo much looking into Xavier yet, I'll go with Maryland 75, Xavier 71. Definitely don't look back at this on Thursday.