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Tuesday’s Things To Know: Brad Davison’s legend grows, Isaiah Moss gets hot for Kansas, Villanova has DePaul’s number

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Thursday had suspensions, an NCAA eligibility reversal and a monster dunk. Plus, Clemson suddenly being untouchable to traditional powerhouses from the state of North Carolina.

Here’s everything else you need to know from around the country:

1. Brad Davison gets a little more unlikeable in the Big Ten

Every league has a guy that everyone just seems to despise. Everyone except his own team, of course. A player that just drives fans of opposing conference teams insane. Usually, he’s not the best player on a team, but certainly a very good one that impacts winning in annoyingly effective ways. Typically, he’s an upperclassmen, with familiarity breeding contempt. Maybe the best-known of these guys recently on a national level is Grayson Allen. Excellent player, loved by Duke and absolutely loathed by just about anyone else.

Wisconsin’s Brad Davison is absolutely one of those dudes, and he showed exactly why in helping the Badgers knock off No. 17 Maryland in Madison, 56-54.

It started with an absolutely God-awful offensive possession by the Badgers generally and Davison, specifically. Davison put the possession, with Wisconsin down one with under 20 seconds to play, in serious jeopardy when he picked up his dribble on the perimeter without a plan. A couple passes later, he got it back and had to heave an airball that resulted in a shot clock violation and putting Wisconsin in serious trouble.

That’s when Davison stepped in with a helluva couple plays that are sure to make him reviled in College Park, joining campuses across the conference in that club.

Maryland’s Darryl Morsell struggled to inbound the ball after the shot clock violation, and tried to put his pass in a small window. It got deflected back toward the baseline, where it hung up and Morsell stood watching. Davison came flying in and battled the ball at Morsell, who was, of course, standing out of bounds.

Badgers ball.

Wisconsin then inbounded the ball into the short corner to Davison, who promptly drilled an off-balanced 3-pointer to put the Badgers up two. Maryland couldn’t score on the ensuing possession, and certainly will be boarding the plane make east tonight muttering about how maddening Brad Davison is.

Davison takes a lot of heat for his, um, talent (?) for drawing charges, but the same basketball IQ, grittiness, and ruthlessness that it takes to draw all those offensive fouls are also what it takes to put together two back-to-back plays like this. The rest of the Big Ten might curse him, but they’d sure like to have him on their teams.

2. Kansas gets big contribution from Isaiah Moss

If you’re going to criticize Kansas and start finding reasons why the Jayhawks might not win the Big 12 or get to a Final Four, you could do worse than starting at their 3-point shooting. The Jayhawks shoot a good-but-not-great 36.1 percent from deep while only taking 32.7 percent of their shots from distance, which is 280th in the country.

Isaiah Moss looked like a real answer to that issue.

The Iowa transfer made 6 of 11 from distance to help the Jayhawks keep Oklahoma at bay, 66-52, in Norman and bounce back from Saturday’s home loss to No. 2 Baylor.

The Jayhawks were without Devon Dotson, who is ailing with a hip injury that Kansas is calling a hip pointer and a deep bruise.  That made Moss’ emergence even more important.

Kansas has just three players that have attempted at least 50 3-pointers in Dotson (29.8 percent), Ochai Agbaji (38.6 percent) and Moss, who was shooting 33.9 percent before his outburst against the Sooners. Moss shot 42.1 percent from 3-point range as a junior in Iowa City, and came to Lawrence with the hope he could provide the boost that his shooting could provide – both on the scoreboard and from a spacing perspective with Udoka Azubuike needing all the relief he can get from double- and triple-teams.

Moss, who has been hampered by injury, hasn’t been fully able to do that for the Jayhawks, but if this performance is a sign of things to come and not a flash in the pan – and Moss’ historical numbers suggest this is something he’s capable of – than it could go a long way in making what is already a dynamic Kansas offense even better.

3. DePaul’s tumble continues

Think back to late November and early December, when DePaul was beating Iowa, Minnesota and Texas Tech. Could the Blue Demons, in Year 5 in the return of coach Dave Leitao, be on track for a return to the NCAA tournament? It sure looked like it.

Now, not quite as much.

DePaul lost its fourth-straight game to start Big East play with a 79-75 overtime loss to Villanova on the road. It was the Blue Demons’ 19th-straight loss to the Wildcats.

DePaul’s hot start to the season now seems awfully long ago with its offense seriously faltering and a defense that’s not much better. Those NCAA tournament dreams now seem to be fading fast.

Tuesday’s Things to Know: Baylor, Maryland earn key conference wins; two ranked teams lose on road

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College basketball saw quite a bit of action go down on Tuesday night. 

Marquee matchups in the Big Ten and Big 12 kept things interesting. Upsets with ranked teams losing on the road completed a strong night of games. 

No. 12 Maryland slows down No. 11 Ohio State

The night started with a clash of top-12 teams in the Big Ten. It resulted in a quality home win for the Terps as Ohio State’s freefall continues.

Senior point guard Anthony Cowan Jr. led a balanced offensive night for Maryland. The team’s stifling interior defense did the rest. The Terps limited touches for Ohio State big man Kaleb Wesson. And the Buckeyes couldn’t make Maryland pay from the perimeter with a poor shooting night.

I have more on Maryland’s win here. Ohio State, meanwhile, has dropped three straight after previously being No. 1 earlier this season.

No. 4 Baylor holds off No. 22 Texas Tech for Big 12 road win

The second top-25 matchup of the night had the Bears holding off the Red Raiders to start 2-0 in the Big 12.

Spreading the ball all over on offense, Baylor blitzed the offensive glass for 16 boards to maintain a big advantage on the glass. Davion Mitchell was the only double-figure scorer for the Bears with 14 points. It’s another great early-season win for Baylor as they continue to look like a major Big 12 contender.

Texas Tech struggled to score from all over the floor on a poor shooting night. The Red Raiders were 37 percent from the floor and a dismal 41 percent from the charity stripe. Even with a good effort from freshman Jahmius Ramsey, Texas Tech came up short at home.

Baylor heads to Allen Fieldhouse for another Big 12 showdown with No. 3 Kansas this weekend.

Boston College, Rutgers score upset home wins over ranked teams

It wouldn’t be a normal night of college hoops during the 2019-20 season without some upsets.

Boston College took down No. 18 Virginia in the ACC. Meanwhile, Rutgers earned an impressive Big Ten home win, sans Geo Baker, over No. 20 Penn State.

Previously getting blown out by Duke in ACC play, the Eagles bounced back because of strong perimeter defense and a huge late shot from Jared Hamilton. They move to 3-1 in the ACC behind only Duke and tied among a pack of teams.

Rutgers is now an intriguing 12-3 and 3-1 in the Big Ten. The Scarlet Knights kept pace with Maryland and only trail Michigan State in the early Big Ten standings — just as we all predicted… Playing with Baker, Ron Harper Jr. put together an impressive night to lead Rutgers with 20 points. Winners of six straight, Rutgers has wins over Wisconsin, Seton Hall and now Penn State during that span.

No. 12 Maryland scores solid Big Ten home win over No. 11 Ohio State

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Maryland secured a very good Big Ten home win on Tuesday night as the No. 12 Terrapins held off No. 11 Ohio State with a 67-55 victory.

Using stifling defense and balanced scoring, Maryland picked up what could be another quad one win while maintaining pace with the Big Ten’s top teams. Senior point guard Anthony Cowan Jr. paced the Terps with 20 points while soundly outplaying his Ohio State lead-guard counterparts.

Maryland (13-2, 3-1) also had 11 points from Jalen Smith and 10 points from Darryl Morsell. Six players for the Terps scored at least seven points each on a night where they didn’t need one player to take over. Coupled with the team’s impressive defense and it was a very strong win for Maryland.

Maryland did a strong job of defending on the interior.  Smith and freshman Chol Marial were both capable of slowing down Ohio State big man Kaleb Wesson and limiting his touches. The Maryland defense dared Ohio State’s perimeter shooting to beat them.

The Buckeyes simply had no answer if the Wesson brothers weren’t creating inside.

Ohio State shot 18 percent (5-for-27) from three-point range with 14 turnovers. Kaleb (15 points) and Andre Wesson (14 points) were consistent offensive threats for Ohio State when they weren’t bogged down by a collapsing Maryland defense. Freshman point guard D.J. Carton also chipped in 14 points with some garbage-time buckets to offset an up-and-down night. Outside of them? Ohio State had next to nothing.

Missing Kyle Young (injury) and dealing with a sluggish C.J. Walker (illness), the Buckeyes weren’t close to full strength. It didn’t help that Luther Muhammad and Duane Washington Jr. also both had off-shooting games. Muhammad and Washington were a combined 0-for-11 from three-point range on Tuesday.

After looking like one of college basketball’s elite teams early in the season, Ohio State is struggling. They’ve gone from the No. 1 team in the country at 9-0 to now losing four of their last six games. And while you can blame some missing rotation pieces and an off-shooting night for a loss to a top-12 team on the road the lack of offense is a troubling sign for the Buckeyes.

Point-guard play has to be more consistent for Ohio State while the outside shooting has to get better to make things easier for Kaleb Wesson.

Maryland’s win is particularly important given the team’s upcoming Big Ten schedule. Four of the next five games are on the road for the Terps as this will be a critical stretch to assess if this team is a Big Ten contender.

Penn State upsets No. 4 Maryland

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Penn State used five double-figure scorers and played consistently hard on both ends of the floor as the Nittany Lions stunned previously-unbeaten No. 4 Maryland with a 76-69 Big Ten win on Tuesday night.

Losing by 30 on the road to Ohio State in their last conference game, Penn State displayed impressive intensity on the defensive end, limited turnovers on the offensive end and received plenty of help for star senior Lamar Stevens when he wasn’t having his best game. For the second straight season, Penn State upset a ranked Maryland team on its home floor as the Nittany Lions proved they’ll be a tough out at home all season.

Penn State (8-2, 1-1) received double-doubles from both Stevens (15 points, 10 rebounds) and big man Mike Watkins (15 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks) as the duo did a ton of damage on the interior. The Nittany Lions also had double-digit scoring efforts from Myreon Jones (14 points), Izaiah Brockington (14 points) and Myles Dread (10 points). With 19 assists and only eight turnovers, Penn State’s offense did an outstanding job of running clean sets and getting good looks from multiple players.

This is a quality win for the Nittany Lions early in the Big Ten portion of the schedule. It gives an unproven team a major boost of confidence — particularly beating a top-five team on a night where Stevens was only 5-for-13 from the floor. The Ohio State road loss shows Penn State still has a long way to go to be considered any kind of major threat. But Pat Chambers’ team is at least balanced and feisty enough to be a really tough out at home this season. A few more wins like this could put Penn State in the NCAA tournament picture with the kind of schedule they’ll play in the Big Ten this season.

But the major story here is the loss for Maryland. Because the Terps have some concerning trends they need to address.

Early in the season, Maryland (10-1, 1-1) has made a habit of falling behind early. It happened multiple times in an early-season tournament. And it’s now happened in back-to-back Big Ten games against Illinois and Penn State. While Maryland has been able to overcome slow starts all season with talent and comeback wins, a bad start came back to really bite them on Tuesday.

Trailing by 10 at halftime, Maryland tried to make second-half runs to stay with Penn State. Ultimately, the Terps were derailed by inconsistent offense, sloppy and careless turnovers (Penn State had 17 points off turnovers in the first half) and an inconsistent effort on the inside.

Maryland’s offense had 20 turnovers to only nine assists for the game as the Terps never seemed to figure out the proper way to run its offense. Alternating between senior Anthony Cowan Jr. (16 points) and sophomore Eric Ayala (15 points) initiating offense, both guards had too many bad passes and unforced errors for a team with Big Ten title aspirations.

It’s very clear that Maryland has the talent to compete with nearly any team in the country. Even on an off night, the Terps made this a one-possession game against a balanced Big Ten team with some veteran players. But Maryland can’t have these kinds of unforced errors if they see themselves making a deep run in the NCAA tournament.

That mainly falls on Cowan. A few of his turnovers were stunningly bad for a senior floor leader. Getting stripped 35 feet from the hoop and throwing lazy passes for interceptions and easy layups can’t happen for Cowan. There’s just too much talent on offense for Maryland to be giving away points in close games.

The good news for Maryland is that there is plenty of time to correct some of these mistakes. Cowan can limit the mistakes. The offense will likely play better and more together. But Maryland’s slow starts are a trend to keep an eye on as it has been a factor for them in multiple games this season.

Jalen Smith’s double-double helps Maryland rout Notre Dame

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COLLEGE PARK, Md.  — Jalen Smith had 15 points and a career-high 16 rebounds as No. 3 Maryland cruised to a 72-51 victory over Notre Dame on Wednesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Eric Ayala scored 14 points and Aaron Wiggins added 11 for the Terrapins (9-0), who are off to their best start since winning 10 in a row to open the 1998-99 season.

John Mooney had 17 points and 12 rebounds for Notre Dame (6-2), which had won six in a row since opening the season with a loss at North Carolina.

It took some time for the Terps’ offense to get going, but their defense was sharp for nearly the entire first half. After falling behind 9-4, Maryland allowed just four points over the next 12:31.

Ayala scored seven points in a row to turn a one-point game into a 21-13 lead, and later delivered a tomahawk slam a minute before the break. Aaron Wiggins capped the half by getting the carom from his missed 3-pointer and slamming it home for a 32-20 lead.

Notre Dame never cut the deficit to less than 10 in the second half as Maryland snapped a six-game skid in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, a streak that began when the Terps were still in the ACC.

Smith recorded his fifth double-double of the season, matching his total from all of last season.

BIG PICTURE

Notre Dame: The Irish missed out on the first of their three chances for a noteworthy nonconference victory this month. Notre Dame will get chances at home against UCLA (Dec. 14) and in Indianapolis against Indiana (Dec. 21) for a brand-name triumph outside the ACC.

Maryland: The evidence continues to build that the Terps are an elite defensive team. Three days after holding Marquette star Markus Howard to just six points, Maryland smothered the Fighting Irish, limiting them to 29.0 percent from the floor.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Maryland, which rose to No. 3 in this week’s poll after winning the Orlando Invitational, did nothing to dent its lofty ranking in the first of two games this week.

UP NEXT

Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish begin a three-game homestand Saturday, facing Boston College in their first ACC game in more than a month.

Maryland: The Terps open conference play on Saturday at home against Illinois, the first of two league games in a span of four days.

Smith, Morsell carry No. 7 Maryland past Holy Cross 95-71

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Chasing a bunch of quick, athletic players around the basketball court can be pretty tiring for a team with a half-dozen guys 6-foot-7 or taller.

Fortunately for Maryland coach Mark Turgeon, if one of his players gets weary, there’s always someone to replace him.

Taking advantage of a roster deep with height and talent, No. 7 Maryland launched a season of high hopes by defeating Holy Cross 95-71 Tuesday night.

Despite trailing early, the Terrapins forged ahead by 12 at halftime and won their 43rd consecutive home opener.

“It’s hard when we’re this big and tall to chase guys around, five guys that can shoot it,” Turgeon said. “Our depth finally got them.”

Maryland placed four players in double figures, finished with a 47-33 rebounding advantage and scored 64 points in the paint.

Jalen Smith had 16 points and 11 rebounds, Darryl Morsell scored 15, and Anthony Cowan Jr. and Eric Ayala added 12 points apiece.

The Terrapins returned seven players from a squad that went to the Sweet 16 last season and have added a pair of 6-foot-10 twins to the mix. Turgeon took full advantage, giving eight players at least 14 minutes of playing time.

“It’s nice, especially when the depth plays well,” Turgeon said. “And I think it’s just going to get better when the new guys get used to playing and get used to the speed of the college game.”

This team has a chance to be Turgeon’s best during his nine-year tenure at Maryland, but the Terps will have to prove it on the court.

Perhaps the clearest glimpse of this squad’s potential came in the final seconds of the first half. After Smith blocked a layup attempt, Cowan got hold of the loose ball and raced up court. He drove the lane and flipped the ball to Morsell, who capped the sequence with a powerful dunk.

“We played well,” said Cowan, a senior guard. “There were definitely some times where we weren’t getting enough stops or we weren’t doing the little things. But overall, I’m happy how we came out.”

Freshman guard Drew Lowder scored 24 for Holy Cross, playing its first game under coach Brett Nelson. The Crusaders took only five foul shots compared to 24 for Maryland.

“We had some moments where we were really good,” Nelson said. “I have a young group, so we’re learning. We’re going to be a lot different in January than we are in November.

“But I’ve got to give Maryland credit. They’ve got a heck of a ballclub. With the pieces they have, they’ve got a good chance to make a deep run in the tournament, for sure.”

Holy Cross trailed by just seven before Maryland went on a 16-4 run that made it 68-49. Smith and Ayala each had six points in the surge, and Cowan contributed a pair of free throws and a breakaway layup.

“This year could be a lot of fun if we just stay focused, stay selfless, keep getting better,” Turgeon said. “We’ve got a lot of talent.”

Maryland is 6-0 against Holy Cross in a series that began in 1971. The teams last met in 2008.

TOO DEEP

Perhaps one day, Nelson will be able to go nine deep on his roster. Until then, he’ll be stuck admiring teams like Maryland.

“They’re long, they’re athletic. They bring guys off the bench that are just as athletic,” Nelson said. “So from a rebounding standpoint, they really got us. And then the turnovers there in the first half led to runouts for them.”

BIG PICTURE

Holy Cross: The Crusaders look as though they will benefit from working under Nelson, who spent the previous five years on the staff at Marquette. Holy Cross ran its offense well and hustled back on defense, qualities that should be helpful when conference play begins in the Patriot League.

Maryland: The Terrapins got off to a solid start by using their height, but the outside game needs work. Maryland was 5 for 27 from beyond the arc, missing 11 of 13 in the first half.

UP NEXT

Holy Cross stays on the road, facing New Hampshire on Saturday before playing three straight at home.

Maryland hosts Rhode Island on Saturday night, the second of five straight home games to open the season. The Rams were 18-15 last season, 9-9 in the Atlantic 10.