5 huge questions for the Illinois basketball team against Maryland

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Illinois basketball is coming off a much-needed win over Michigan, but a familiar foe awaits on Saturday.

The Illini have now won six out of the past eight games, but back in mid-January, we took on a tough Maryland squad. The Terrapins came into Champaign and left the state with a victory. While Maryland has floundered since then, that was a big win on their resume.

On Saturday, Illinois gets the Terrapins once again. This time around needs to be a different result, though. It will be even tougher, as the Illini are traveling out to the East Coast for the game. There are some questions I need answered in the game as well.

5 huge questions for the Illinois basketball team against Maryland

1. Can Illinois contain Jahmir Young?

Maryland has an average team this season. They are middle of the pack in the Big Ten and have struggled recently.

The Terrapins were 11-6 overall and 3-3 in the Big Ten at one point. That was the day after they beat Illinois back on January 14 in Champaign. This was the pinnacle of the Maryland season. Since that day, they are 3-5.

But in that game against the Illini, Maryland had some big performers. One of those big-time performances came from Jahmir Young. Can Illinois contain Young this time around, though?

Young has been the leading scorer for Maryland in all but nine games this season. In the first game against Illinois, Young went for 28 points, eight assists, two rebounds, one steal, and one block while shooting 11-of-24 from the field and made all six free throws he attempted.

Illinois didn’t have an answer for Young. He was 0-of-4 from three-point range, but Young’s ability to get into the lane was incredible. The big issue for the Illini is the fact our guards are slow off the dribble. They can easily get beat, and that is what Young took advantage of in the first game.

If the Illini can’t stop Young on Saturday, this could be another long game for the program. He is the engine that drives the Maryland train.