Purdue-Maryland Preview

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The Maryland Terrapins have started freshmen Anthony Cowan, Kevin Huerter and Justin Jackson the entire season, getting consistent production from all three.

But now it is Jackson, a forward from Ontario, Canada, who is shining the brightest.

Jackson is averaging 12.4 points and 6.7 rebounds in conference games as No. 17 Maryland hosts No. 23 Purdue on Saturday.

He led the Terrapins with 22 points and a career-high 12 rebounds in a 77-71 win at Ohio State on Tuesday.

“I was just locked in as usual. Just taking open shots and what the defense was giving me,” Jackson said after he made eight of 12 shots from the field, including his first five.

In the previous game, at Minnesota, he led the team with 28 points and 10 rebounds.

Maryland junior point guard Melo Trimble had an off night but finished with 13 points on 13 shots at Ohio State. He missed seven of first eight shots and ended up with four assists and five turnovers.

But the resident of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, hit a big three-pointer in the closing minutes and his layup in traffic in the closing seconds helped seal the win.

“When you have a player like Melo, you just kind of get out of the way and just let him do what he does,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said.

Maryland is 20-2 overall and off to the best start in school history. The Terrapins are 29-6 the last three seasons in games decided by six points or less, and Trimble has been on the court for all of those 35 games. The Terrapins are 8-1 in conference play and tied for first with Wisconsin.

Maryland is averaging 75.1 points per game in the conference while allowing 67.1. The Terrapins are shooting 47 percent from the field in Big Ten games while opponents are making 41 percent.

Trimble is averaging 15.6 points per contest in conference play, while Cowan is averaging 11 points and Huerter 10.8 against Big Ten foes.

Purdue (18-5, 7-3) last played on Wednesday, with an 80-59 win at No. 25 Northwestern as junior forward Vince Edwards had 17 points, including five 3-pointers to set a season-high in his best outing in several weeks.

“I was just being confident and having fun,” Edwards said. “I just played hard and didn’t even think about it, just playing the way I know how to play.”

The Boilermakers are averaging 82.6 points per game and allowing 66.5. Purdue is averaging 39 rebounds per game while opponents get just 30.1 boards per contest.

Sophomore forward Caleb Swanigan had 24 points and 16 rebounds at Northwestern, which had won six in a row.

Purdue has five players averaging at least 10 points per game: Swanigan (18.8), junior center Haas (13.3), Vince Edwards (11.7), freshman guard Carsen Edwards (10.8) and junior guard Dakota Mathias (10.2).

“When Vince Edwards made the shots that opened things up,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “And we needed Vince to have some positive reinforcement.”

Purdue parted ways with redshirt junior forward Basil Smotherman prior to Sunday’s 83-80 loss at Nebraska. He was averaging 3.9 points, 1.7 rebounds and 12.1 minutes per game off the bench.

“There are standards and expectations that our student-athletes must follow and Basil has not met these guidelines. We have mutually agreed the best route for him is to no longer be a member of our squad,” Painter said in a statement.