Maryland men's basketball coach Mark Turgeon said Tuesday in College Park that there was a benefit to not knowing which team his second-seeded Terps would be playing in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Conference tournament Friday until Thursday night.

"This is great for me because I don't know who we're playing, so we'll just work on us," Turgeon said. "A lot times, coaches screw around and work so much on other teams and don't work on themselves. So we'll just concentrate. [Assistant] coach [Cliff] Warren has one scout; [assistant] coach Bino [Ranson] has the other."


After the two scout Thursday's game between seventh-seeded Indiana and 10th-seeded Northwestern, the coaching staff will meet with Turgeon to break down the scouting report. Neither team looks as it did the last time the Terps faced them.

When Maryland last faced Indiana on Feb. 11, the Hoosiers were fighting for second place in the league with the Terps. Maryland's 68-66 win, which ended with Indiana star Yogi Ferrell's missing a would-be game-winning 3-pointer and a potentially overtime-forcing follow, dropped the Hoosiers all the way to seventh.

Indiana beat Minnesota at home four days later, then lost three of its past four games, including a 72-65 defeat at Northwestern on Feb. 25. Now the Hoosiers are in danger of missing the NCAA tournament for the second straight season, leading to speculation about coach Tom Crean's future in Bloomington.

Northwestern has gone in a different direction since losing Jan. 25 at Maryland, 68-67, when Dez Wells followed a step-back, go-ahead jumper by Wildcats guard Tre Demps with a game-winning, midair put-back. It was the sixth loss of what became a 10-game Big Ten losing streak for Northwestern.

After ending the losing streak with a 66-61 overtime win over Iowa on Feb. 15, Northwestern won its next three games and finished the regular season with five wins in seven games. Both of the losses, though, were blowouts on the road — at Illlinois (86-60) and Iowa (69-52) — something the Terps can relate to.

Turgeon said he might "walk through some things" with his team Thursday night and again Friday morning.

As much as the Hoosiers have struggled down the stretch, Maryland likely would prefer to play the Wildcats. While the Terps eventually slowed Northwestern after a hot start and caught them at the end withanother heroic shot by Wells, that matchup favors Maryland.

Freshman point guard Bryant McIntosh, who scored 21 points on 10-for-14 shooting, should be easier to figure out the second time around than Ferrell, who had 24 points in a 19-point win at Assembly Hall and 23 at Xfinity Center.

The Hoosiers also have a lot more to play for than the Wildcats, who are not even considered a possible National Invitation Tournament team despite their late-season surge. Considering the questions swirling around Crean's status, Indiana would have a lot more to play for than Maryland in their quarterfinal game.

With a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament field likely, the Terps most need improvement from their supporting cast, and not at the expense of Wells and freshman guard Melo Trimble.

Even Trimble, a first-team All-Big Ten selection by the media, said there are some things he needs to work on ahead of the tournament.

"Just learning how to handle the team better, just being assertive," he said.

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