Maryland Terrapins at Illinois Fighting Illini
Maryland Terrapins Preview
The Maryland Terrapins have won five consecutive games entering their Friday contest at Illinois. The Terrapins beat the Fighting Illini 59-58 at College Park, Md., on Dec. 7. Jalen Smith, a 6-foot-10 sophomore post player, had six blocked shots in Maryland’s 56-51 win over Rutgers on Tuesday. He blocked five shots in the previous game against Iowa, and in the past five games, he has blocked 18 shots.
Smith’s average of 2.5 blocks per game ranks third in the Big Ten behind Penn State’s Mike Watkins (2.8) and Minnesota’s Daniel Oturu (2.6). Smith has 13 double-doubles this season, including five in the past five games. The Terrapins are 13-0 at home but 2-4 on the road.
Illinois Fighting Illini Preview
The Illinois Fighting Illini look to improve upon their 12-1 home record when they host Maryland on Friday. Seven-foot freshman center Kofi Cockburn is averaging 14 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, the latter figure ranking sixth in the Big Ten. He had an 13 points and 10 rebounds against Minnesota on Jan. 30 but slipped to six points and six rebounds in the Illini’s loss at Iowa on Sunday.
Ayo Dosunmu had 11 points against the Hawkeyes, his seventh straight game in double figures and 12th in the past 13 games. Dosunmu is averaging 15.8 points this season after becoming the first true freshman to lead Illinois in scoring last season, when he averaged 13.8 points.