No. 5 Maryland Men's Basketball vs Marquette Prediction, Preview

Marquette's Markus Howard is coming off a record-setting performance against USC

Date & Time: Sunday December 1, 2019, 1:00PM (EST)

TV Channel: ESPN

Maryland Terrapins (7-0) and Marquette Golden Eagles (5-1) will face off in the Orlando Invitational Championship finals. The Terrapins struggled against Harvard's stingy defense but found a way in the end to win 80-73. From start to finish, the Golden Eagles outplayed the USC Trojans in every way possible to win 101-79.

Getting to know the opponent

HC Steve Wojciechowski 

Wojciechowski is in his sixth year with Marquette with a career record of 102-70. He has led the Golden Eagles to two NCAA tournaments and four winning records in the Big East conference. 

G Markus Howard

Howard is currently the top scorer in college basketball, averaging 29.3 points per game. He is coming off the best individual performance of his career, scoring 51 points and making nine 3-point shots. Through two games in the Orlando Invitational, he is averaging 45.5 points. He was also a consensus AP preseason first-team All-American. The senior guard is having the best year of his basketball career and is getting much-deserved national recognition.

G Koby McEwen

The junior guard from Toronto, Canada is arguably the most the complete player on the team with his contributions offensively and defensively. His average of 12.2 per game is good for second on the team. He is the Golden Eagles' top rebounder and facilitator. McEwen is shooting 50 percent from behind the arc this season and leads the team averaging one steal per game. He is the do-it-all player for Marquette.

F Theo John

Though he is not much of a scorer, averaging a measly 5.3 points per game, John is the Golden Eagles' top blocker. He is tied for 26th in the nation averaging 2.5 blocks per game. The 6-foot-9 255-pound junior earned the Most Improved Player Award last season being one of the defensive stalwarts on the team. His 15 blocks on the season is no fluke. 

G Greg Elliott

Elliott can be treated as Marquette's top sixth man on the team. If the team needs scoring contributions from the bench, Elliott would be the man for the job. He is 5-of-10 from behind the arc and is coming off the game against USC where he converted all four of his field goal attempts.

Strength

The team has converted 41.9 percent of their shots from behind the arc. They are one of the top teams in the nation in this category. Howard, McEwen, and Elliott's collective effort combined for 44-of-89 of their 3-point shots. 

Weakness

Though Marquette is efficient in scoring, they are also turnover-prone. They are averaging 15.7 turnovers per game, which is not a recipe for success against a pretty good Maryland defense. 

Prediction

Maryland has not faced a team that is as good as Marquette in scoring. Against Temple and Harvard, the Terrapins struggled to defend Alani Moore and Bryce Aiken. Markus Howard seems to be in a league of his own right now and should have another impressive performance on Sunday. Every game this season, Maryland has started off slow and finished the game with a victory. 

Terrapins' Anthony Cowan was ineffective in the first half against Harvard, making only 1-of-4 of his shots. If he starts slow again, this could be the third-straight game where the Terrapins trail going into the half. This should be a high-scoring affair in what could be an upset victory for Marquette.

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