Penn State faces its toughest frontcourt challenge of the season tonight as the Maryland Terrapins, led by Jordan Williams, invade the Bryce Jordan Center at 9:15 tonight in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.
The 6'10 Williams is averaging just over 17 points and 11 rebounds, a stern post challenge for a Penn State frontcourt boasting only center 6'10" Andrew Jones over 6'8". The good news for Penn State is that forwards Jeff Brooks and David Jackson have stepped up considerably this season underneath, averaging about 27 points and 12 rebounds combined in the Lions' first six contests.
Senior Talor Batlle also figures to play an important role. Averaging over 18 points per game, the senior guard remains Penn State's most consistent offensive weapon.
Guard Tim Frazier will need to continue his recent strong of good play as well. On Sunday against Furman, the sophomore contributed at both ends of the floor, racking up four points, six rebounds, five assists, four steals and a blocked shot. Frazier had a big game in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge last year, too, in Penn State's win over Maryland, scoring 11 points and notching five assists. If the guard can play well, expect Penn State to hang with Maryland until late in the game.
Finally, one other story line to keep an eye on will be freshman Taran Buie's performance against a Maryland team that heavily recruited him before he committed to Penn State close to years ago. Buie is averaging 9.3 points per game in his last three contest, so it will be interesting to see if he can kick it up another notche against his former suitor.