Maryland Terrapins vs. Penn St. Nittany Lions Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 6th 2023

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Penn State isn’t pointing fingers as it takes a four-game losing streak into its Big Ten opener at Maryland on Wednesday in College Park, Md.

The Nittany Lions (4-4, 0-0) haven’t won since Nov. 17, and coach Mike Rhoades took accountability for the recent struggles after Saturday’s 76-67 home loss to Bucknell — a 21 1/2-point underdog.

“The No. 1 thing when you have failure is to own it, is understand it, learn from it so it makes you better,” Rhoades said. “We’re not doing that well enough right now, and that’s on me. No excuses.”

Rhoades said Penn State’s energy level isn’t good enough, which is causing the team to play frustrated. The defense faltered amid that frustration on Saturday, allowing the Bison to shoot 58 percent from the floor and 47.6 percent from 3-point range.

Some of Rhoades’ players joined him in owning up to the team’s lack of energy.

“That falls on my shoulders as a leader, as a captain and as a senior on this team,” said Puff Johnson, a North Carolina transfer who scored seven points in his first start at Penn State. “I gotta make sure that we’re all engaged and all ready to go.”

The Terrapins’ rocky start to the season hit another bump in Friday’s 65-53 loss at Indiana in each team’s Big Ten opener.

Maryland (4-4, 0-1) continued to struggle shooting from distance, making just two of its 16 3-point attempts. The Terrapins’ 22.7 3-point percentage ranked 359th of 362 Division I programs entering Tuesday.

However, Maryland coach Kevin Willard was more upset with his team’s lack of awareness, particularly as the Terrapins trailed the Hoosiers by double-digits just 6:09 into the game.

“We did some things to start the game, it makes you scratch your head … what some guys were thinking,” Willard said postgame. “… We have some older guys right now that are just doing stuff that you’re like, ‘What are we doing?'”

Willard has depended on his veterans to lead the team so far. Fifth-year guard Jahmir Young paces the Terrapins in points (16.4) and assists (4.0) per game, while junior forward Julian Reese collects a team-best 9.6 rebounds to go with 14.9 ppg.

Sophomore guard Kanye Clary scores 15.1 points per game to lead Penn State.

–Field Level Media

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