It might not be a coincidence that Maryland’s four home victories in Big Ten play this season also happen to be the four highest-scoring games from Jahmir Young.
On Saturday, when Maryland (13-7, 4-5 Big Ten) plays at home against Nebraska (10-11, 3-7), the Terrapins will look to spread the wealth and hope to lean less heavily on their highly productive point guard. But Young has shown he can handle the load if needed.
It’s tough to consider where Maryland would be without Young, a Charlotte transfer. In the Terps’ Big Ten wins, Young has averaged 25.5 points per game. In their five league losses, he’s put up an average of 13.0 points.
Taking their cues from Young, the Terps have been a different team at home. In two games against Wisconsin, the Terps lost on the road by five and won at home by 18. In two against Michigan, they lost on the road by 35 and then won at home by six.
In his first year at Maryland, coach Kevin Willard is getting a feel for how the Terps’ notoriously loud arena can lift the home team and rattle opponents.
“This building, especially when the students are in it, is really electric. This is a real, true home-court advantage,” Willard said on Wednesday after Maryland thrashed Wisconsin 73-55, thanks largely to 56.0 percent shooting and a 32-22 rebounding edge.
Nebraska has lost its last four games at Maryland and heads into the hostile environment with a lot going against it.
Earlier this week, the Cornhuskers learned that Emmanuel Bandoumel (knee) is done for the year, joining fellow backcourt starter Juwan Gary (shoulder), who went down for the season earlier this month.
On Wednesday at home, Northwestern manhandled Nebraska 78-63, thanks largely to a 35-23 rebounding edge.
Keisei Tominaga led the Cornhuskers with 22 points as Nebraska’s top two scorers, Derrick Walker (seven points, five turnovers) and Sam Griesel (eight points, four turnovers), were limited to a combined 11 shots.
“We had a guy dive out of bounds and nobody went over and helped him up. That bothers me,” Nebraska coach Fred Hoiberg said. “We have to be the harder-playing team when we step on the floor with where we are right now. Our margin’s too thin.”
— Field Level Media