No. 3 Maryland men’s basketball vs. Illinois: How to watch and what to watch for

Guard Anthony Cowan lays in a basket during No. 3 Maryland’s 72-51 win over Notre Dame at the Xfinity Center on Dec. 4, 2019. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)

Opponent: Illinois Fighting Illini (6-2, 0-0 Big Ten)

Location: Xfinity Center, College Park, Maryland

Tipoff: 5 p.m. EST, Saturday, Dec. 7

Last matchup: January 26, 2019 – Illinois 78-67

Last game: Maryland defeated Notre Dame 72-51, Illinois lost to Miami (FL) 81-79

Line: Maryland -11 per OddsShark

Kenpom prediction: Maryland 79-69

TV: ESPN2 — Jason Benetti (play-by-play), Dan Dakich (analyst)

Stream: WatchESPN

Radio: Maryland Sports Radio Network (105.7 FM Baltimore, 980 AM D.C., TuneIn Radio App, Sirius XM 83) — Johnny Holliday (play-by-play), Chris Knoche (analyst), Walt Williams (analyst)

 

What to watch for Maryland: Consistent scoring

Maryland’s offense has been consistently inconsistent this season. Apart from the Terps’ dominant victory over Marquette, their offense has struggled to start the game. Maryland is also struggling from beyond the arc, shooting just 31.1% from three. With Maryland facing an Illinois team who has been predicted as a possible NCAA Tournament team, its offense will have to step up.

What to watch for Illinois: Rebounding

The Fighting Illini are sixth in the country in rebounding, averaging just under 44 boards per game. Their success in crashing the glass stems from the play of freshman Kofi Cockburn, who is averaging 11 rebounds per game along with 16.3 points per game. Illinois starts two big men, with Cockburn being joined by Giorgi Bezhanishvili, who averages just under six rebounds per game. Maryland has also been a great rebounding team, averaging 42.6 per game, which is 13th in the country.

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