Sporting Alert — No. 3 Iowa and No. 8 Maryland meet in a highlighted Big Ten college basketball game at the XFINITY Center Thursday night, while No. 12 Michigan State will also be in action.
The Hawkeyes (16-3) enter this contest on a nine-game winning streak, that includes a 7-0 Big Ten record — which is their best Big Ten start in 46 years.
They have also beaten five AP top 25 ranked teams this season, including four straight over ranked clubs heading into this contest.
“This is a group that enjoys each other and respects each other,” said Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery, whose team has 338 assists this season.
“They share the ball, help each other, and don’t ever get down on themselves or each other.
“They don’t get too down on themselves after a loss or too full of themselves after a win.”
The Terrapins (17-3), in the meantime, are looking to bounce back from a 74-65 defeat to then-No. 11 Michigan State the last time out.
Maryland is 6-2 in Big Ten conference play, but is 11-0 at home this term.
The Leaders For The Travelers
Forward Jarrod Uthoff and guard Peter Jok are the team leaders for Iowa this season and the pair comes into this matchup on good form.
Uthoff, who has 43 made 3-pointers and shooting 48.3 percent from long-range, is averaging 18.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game for the Hawkeyes this season.
“We have to stay true to ourselves and play up to our capabilities,” said senior Uthoff. “Maryland is a good team; we have to do what we do.”
Junior star Jok has also been productive from behind the arc as well, knocking down 42 shots from 3-point range, while averaging 14.7 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.
Jok has scored in double-digits in the last four games, while Uthoff has scored in double figures in all 19 of his games thus far.
For Maryland, Melo Trimble is averaging 14.5 points and 5.6 assists per game, leads the team with 25 steals, while shooting 47.2 percent from the field.
Diamond Stone and Robert Carter are each averaging 13.2 points per game and shooting at least 57 percent from the floor. Jake Layman (10.7), and Rasheed Sulaimon (10.3) are also averaging in double figures.
“[Trimble] is just as dangerous when he’s looking for shots for himself as he is when he’s loading other people up,” said McCaffery.
“Those are the toughest guys to guard, especially when they can stop behind a screen and make a 3; he can put up points in a hurry.”
Another college basketball game live on ESPN on Thursday night is the battle between the 12th ranked Michigan State and Northwestern at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
The Spartans (17-4, 4-4 Big Ten) finally ended a three-game skid with a 74-65 win over Maryland on Saturday night, while Northwestern (15-6, 3-5 Big Ten) has dropped three in a row and will be hoping to avoid a fourth successive defeat.
Senior forward Denzel Valentine is leading Michigan State in scoring, with 18.1 points per game, as well as in assists (6.6), while averaging 7.9 rebounds per contest.
Delta Player of the Week, Matt Costello (11.5 ppg, 11.0 rpg), leads the Spartans with 8.1 rebounds per game while averaging 9.8 points per battle.
He is coming off a 15 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks and two steals performance against Maryland.
College Basketball TV Channels, Game Times
Thursday, January 28, Live Streaming
No. 25 Notre Dame at Syracuse 6:00 PM ESPN2, WatchESPN
No. 3 Iowa at No. 8 Maryland 6:00 PM ESPN, WatchESPN
No. 12 Michigan State at Northwestern 8:00 PM ESPN, WatchESPN
No. 23 Oregon at No. 18 Arizona 8:00 PM ESPN2, ESPN3, WatchESPN