Maryland Men's Basketball vs Oakland Preview

Andy Kwong

Head coach Mark Turgeon and the Maryland Terrapins are off to a great start, winning their first two games of the season. Their next opponent will be against the red-hot Oakland Golden Grizzlies, winning the three of their first four games.

The Grizzlies top two scoring leaders are sophomore forward Daniel Oladapo (13.8) and junior guard Kevin Kangu (13.3). They have been the driving force that has led their team to such a great start. Kangu, the 6-foot-4 179-pound guard, has been their most consistent three-point shooter, making 35.3 percent of his shots from behind the arc. He also leads the team in assists (5.5), where the chemistry of team starts with him.

They have also been solid at the board, having three players with an average of at least seven rebounds a game. Senior forward Xavier Hill-Mais leads the team with 7.8 rebounds per game, in addition to scoring an average of 12.3 points. The Grizzlies will need to hope that senior center Brad Brechting can impose his presence as a rebounder and inside shooter. He had a season-high of 12 rebounds in their last win against Southern Illinois but has been inconsistent for most of the season thus far.

Unfortunately for the Grizzlies, they have not faced a team as good as the Maryland Terrapins. Terps' sophomore forward Jalen Smith is having an MVP-caliber season. Through two games, he is averaging 17.5 points and 11 rebounds. He has also been particularly good as a defender, blocking five shots so far. The 6-foot-10 225-pound player has been a terrifying player to defend.

Senior guard Anthony Cowan Jr is as steady as they come, averaging 13 points and leads the team with 10 assists. The big 6-foot-6 200-pound sophomore guard Aaron Wiggins is probably the Terps most well-rounded player, averaging 11 points, nine rebounds, three assists, three steals, and 1.5 blocks through two games. 

They have an impressive rookie in that of freshman guard Darryl Morsell, who has been a quality defender. Combo guard Eric Ayala has been in and out of the starting lineup, but has been one of the Terps' most accurate shooters. 

The Maryland Terrapins should have it easy but their biggest demon so far has been their three-point shooting, making only 23.9 percent of their shots. The Grizzlies have made 33.3 percent from behind the arc. Last week, the world witnessed the unranked Evansville Purple Aces pull off the biggest upset against the No. 1 ranked Kentucky Wildcats. No one should expect an upset to happen here but the Terrapins have been off to a slow start in the first half of games. But, considering the production of the Terps' depth compared to the Grizzlies, Maryland should be victorious here.