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Maryland men’s basketball moves up to No. 15 in AP Top 25; Jalen Smith named Big Ten Player of the Week

For the first time in more than a month, the Maryland men’s basketball team moved up in the weekly Associated Press Top 25 media poll released Monday.

On the strength of their first two road victories of the season — a 77-76 down-to-the-wire win at Indiana on Sunday that followed a 77-66 second-half comeback win Tuesday at Northwestern — the Terps jumped two spots to No. 15.

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Maryland (16-4, 6-3) is among six Big Ten teams in the Top 25, behind only No. 14 Michigan State (15-5, 7-2), which rebounded after a narrow road loss to the Hoosiers with a comfortable road win Sunday at Minnesota.

The next three games for the Terps will be against ranked Big Ten teams: Thursday at home against No. 18 Iowa (14-5, 5-3), followed by a home game against No. 25 Rutgers (15-5, 6-3) and a road game at No. 19 Illinois (15-5, 7-2), which shares first place with Michigan State,.

Penn State (14-5, 4-4) is the only other Big Ten team ranked, at No. 24.

Jalen Smith named Player of the Week

After scoring career highs in leading Maryland to consecutive league road victories — the first two wins away from home for the Terps this season — sophomore forward Jalen Smith was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Monday.

Smith followed up a 25-point, 11-rebound performance in a 77-66 win at Northwestern on Tuesday with a 29-point, 10-rebound performance Sunday at Indiana, which included the former Mount Saint Joseph star scoring the game-winning basket with 14 seconds to go.

In the two games, Smith shot a combined 17-for-27 (63%) from the field and 6-for-11 on 3-pointers, including 10-for-14 from the field and 4-for-6 from 3-point range against the Hoosiers. Smith is averaging 17.4 points and 9.4 rebounds in nine Big Ten games. He is shooting 15-for-27 from beyond the arc in league play.

No. 18 Iowa@No. 15 Maryland

Thursday, 8:30 p.m.

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TV: Big Ten Network

Radio: 105.7 FM, 980 AM

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