BALTIMORE, Md. — The University of Maryland men's basketball team is the hottest team in the Big Ten. There’s no question whose flame burns brightest: Darryl Morsell’s.
"I’m a leader for sure - on the court, off the court, in the locker room, going to get food, anywhere," said the Terps guard.
On the menu recently for Morsell and his team: the Terrapins special - a side of heart and hustle to go along with an entree of defensive superiority. Those are all focal points of Morsell’s game.
"I know how contagious my energy is, how everybody feeds off me," he said. "I’m just trying to be consistent with bringing it every game and just leading my guys."
The senior from Baltimore fought through shoulder issues last Sunday to lead those guys to a fifth straight win - a 73-55 blowout of Michigan State in yet another defensive masterpiece. Over their last ten games, Maryland opponents are averaging 59.2 points on 37 percent shooting.
"We, as a team, have locked in on defense on the defensive end and knowing that every game we got to play defense because there are going to be nights where the offense just isn’t clicking," said guard Aaron Wiggins.
"We felt like, defensively, we had to play a certain way and we started doing it. Defense has stayed consistent, the rebounding has gotten better and the offense has just gotten better," said Head Coach Mark Turgeon. "So, with that, when you win and you're playing well, confidence grows."
On Wednesday night comes the final road game of the regular season as the Terps (15-10, 9-9) visit Northwestern (7-14, 4-13). Morsell and his sous-chefs are ready to serve up consecutive win number six.
"We’ve seen success recently and we know what it takes to win games and be competitive in this league," he said.
The Terps have never lost at Northwestern since joining the Big Ten. They are a perfect 4-0. Tip-off Wednesday is at 9:00 p.m.