The Maryland Terrapins come to Madison for Saturday’s game that will tip off at Noon on ESPN. The Badgers will look to recover from their loss on Tuesday against Indiana when they fell 59-58. Maryland is 14-1 on the season with a perfect record of 3-0 for the conference season. The Terrapins’ only loss on the season came at the hands of North Carolina at the Dean Smith Center. Last year, #14 Maryland beat the #5 Badgers 59-53 and stormed the court; so, in theory, for the Badgers, it’s a revenge game from last year’s outcome.

Projected Starters

Projected Wisconsin Starters

G: Bronson Koenig (13.9 PPG, 2.5 APG)
G: Zak Showalter (8.3 PPG, 4.4 RPG)
F: Nigel Hayes (15.7 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 3.8 APG)
F: Vitto Brown (9.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG)
F: Ethan Happ (11.1 PPG, 8.1 RPG)

Projected Maryland Starters

G: Melo Trimble (14.4 PPG, 5.7 APG)
G: Rasheed Sulaimon (10.8 PPG, 3.8 APG)
F: Robert Carter (12.5 PPG, 6.7 RPG)
F: Jake Layman (11.1 PPG, 5.3 RPG)
C: Diamond Stone (13.2 PPG, 5.5 RPG) / Damonte Dodd (3.5 PPG, 2.3 RPG)


When talking about Maryland, it would be wrong to start anywhere other than Melo Trimble. Trimble leads the Terrapins in points, assists, and steals. He’s definitely on the short list when talking about the best players in the nation, and might be only behind LSU’s Ben Simmons and Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine. In last year’s game between Wisconsin and Maryland, Trimble played a key part the upset, scoring 16 points when it mattered. Luckily for the Badgers, Trimble exited their most recent game against Rutgers with a hamstring injury and didn’t come back. Signs point to him playing Saturday, but his quickness and speed to the cup will be impacted by the injury.

Of course, the elephant in the room will be the return of Diamond Stone. If you don’t know, let me catch you up. Stone, a Milwaukee native, seemed ready to commit to the Badgers until he pulled a 180 turn on everyone, committing to Maryland. The former 5-star recruit has averaged over 18 points per game in Big Ten play, and is starting to look like the future lottery pick he is projected to be. He has been a force inside, one that the Badgers can only imagine of having after the rocky start to this season. The Kohl Center will be loud towards Stone undoubtedly, but with no true matchup to guard him, it could get quiet quickly.

The rest of Maryland’s supporting cast is no slouch, either. The entire starting five averages double figures, reminiscent of last years Badgers team. Rasheed Sulaimon is shooting 50% from the three-point line. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because he was a Duke transfer who scored 14 points in the Kohl Center last year. Jake Layman is a returning player from last year who scores 11 points per game and adds 5 boards. Robert Carter, a Georgia Tech transfer, has been a big addition for the Terrapins, third on the team in points and first in rebounds.

The severity of Trimble’s injury will play a big part in this game. If the Badgers don’t have to be as worried about his quickness and playmaking ability, they will be able to concentrate on interior defense where they are inferior to Maryland. Ethan Happ and Vitto Brown will have to really step up and play good solid defense in the paint against all of their tough inside scorers.

This is a common theme in all the previews, but when playing such a sound team, your stars really have to step up. The Badgers will need Bronson Koenig and Nigel Hayes to be leaders and be efficient from the floor to beat the Terrapins. The Badgers, again, were frustrating to watch on offense against Indiana, and won’t be able to keep up with the Terrapins if they play like that on Saturday. Perimeter shooting will be important for the Badgers because interior shots won’t be easy to come by against Maryland.

Bottom Line

The Terrapins, like the Badgers from last year, are just so good and balanced that there’s not anyway to stop them unless they’re having an off day. To pull of an upset, would take a multitude of things: containing Trimble, a great shooting performance, and controlling the boards. If the Badgers can do those three things, they’ll give themselves a chance on Saturday.