Previewing Maryland

The Blue Devils and Terrapins will tip off tonight in College Park beginning at 9:00 EST. The game will be broadcast nationally by ESPN with Dan Shulman and Jay Bilas calling the action.

Maryland (14-7) vs. Duke (19-2)
College Park, Md. -- Comcast Center
TV: ESPN 9:00 PM EST (Dan Shulman & Jay Bilas)
MEET THE TERPS

Head Coach: Gary Williams (22nd Year)
Record at Maryland: 456-245

Projected Starters:
33 Dino Gregory (6-7, 230 Sr.) – 7.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg
20 Jordan Williams (6-10, 260, So.) – 17.1 ppg, 11.9 rpg
1 Adrian Bowie (6-2, 195, Sr.) – 9.6 ppg, 3.6 apg
14 Sean Mosley (6-4, 210, Jr.) – 8.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg
12 Terrell Stoglin (6-1, 185, Fr.) – 9.6 ppg, 2.6 apg

Top Reserves:
24 Cliff Tucker (6-6, 200, Sr.) – 11.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg
21 Pe'Shon Howard (6-3, 195, Fr.) – 4.4 ppg, 3.0 apg
10 Berend Weijs (6-10, 200, Jr.) - 2.1 ppg, 1.1 rpg
13 Haukur Paisson (6-6, 190, Fr.) - 2.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg
35 James Padgett (6-8, 215, So.) - 4.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg


Series History: This will be the 170th meeting between the two programs with Duke holding a 108-61 advantage head to head. The Blue Devils have won seven of the last eight meetings, including a 71-64 win at Cameron Indoor Stadium earlier this season. Duke is 30-25 in games played at College Park and have won three of the previous five.

Dating back to the 1997-1998 season the Blue Devils own a 22-11 mark against Maryland including. Under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, Duke owns a 49-21 record against the Terps.

Maryland Roster: Click Here
Maryland Statistics: Click Here
Maryland Schedule: Click Here


PRE-GAME NOTES:

"You want the college students to enjoy themselves. It's become a very big game for them. You don't want to take away from them. Obviously there are things that can happen. Hopefully our students have heard enough about it in the past year. We do have great students here. There have been problems at other places that didn't get the same attention as ours." - Gary Williams

"Our plan is just to play the game the best to get the victory. We're not really worried about what the fans are doing. We're excited for them but at the same time we're just trying to win the game." - Dino Gregory

Season To Date: Maryland entered Cameron Indoor sporting a five game win streak before the Blue Devils came away with a seven point victory. Following the loss in Durham the Terps throttled Wake Forest in Einston before falling to Villanova by eight and then at Virginia Tech by 17. Since the loss to the Hokies, however, Maryland has won three straight beginning with a two point win over Clemson at home and then putting together a pair of road wins over Virginia (by 24) and Georgia Tech (by 11).

The Man In The Paint: Sophomore big man Jordan Williams will occupy a number of opponent scouting reports this season. At 6-foot-10 and 260 pounds, Williams is a load in the middle and is posting one of the best seasons in his program's history. He recently saw his streak of double-doubles snapped against Virginia, but immediately responded with 21 points and 15 rebounds against Georgia Tech in the Terps' last game. Against Duke in Cameron he logged 23 points and 13 rebounds.

Defensive Prowess: The Terps are making games competitive and holding opponents within striking distance with defense. The team ranks ninth in the country in FG percentage defense, holding teams to just 38 percent from the field. 11 of the 21 opponents have shot less than 40 percent against the Terps and over the last nine games total, opponents are hitting just 38.3 percent format eh floor and 29.7 percent from the perimeter.

Experience In Backcourt: After solidifying his role as the team's starting point guard early this year, Adrian Bowie has dished out 54 assists against just 20 turnovers over the last 15 contests. Bowie led the Terps with a season-high 22 points in the win at Virginia, scoring 17 of his points in the second half and had seven in Maryland's nine-point run early in the second half that extended the Terps' lead. He is averaging 11.0 ppg over the last 10 games (39-for-82, .476 FG; 13-for-33, .394 3FG), with 8 of those games in double figures.

Opposite the steady senior will be junior guard Sean Mosley who is the team's designated backcourt defender. He has 17 steals in the last 11 games, giving him a team-best 25 for the season. Mosley came off the bench against Clemson, ending a string of 65 appearances in which he was a starter.

On the wing there is senior swingman Cliff Tucker who has been asked to be a sort of utility player with the loss of do-everything guard Grevis Vasquez. Most notable is the need for the senior to score more after averaging 4.1, 4.5, and 5.7 points per game in his first three season. So far so good as he is second on the team in scoring at 11.1 points per night and has dished out 27 assists in the last eight games, tying him for second most on the team with 38 on the season.

New Kids On The Block: The loss of Vasquez paved the way for upperclassmen, but also forced the Terps to bring in more players in hopes of early contributions. Six of the 13 players on the roster weren't in uniform a season ago led by freshman point guards Pe'Shon Howard and Terrell Stoglin. Both will see action against Duke, and both have had impacts already in their young careers. Howard hit the game winning shot against College of Charleston, while Stoglin has been a scoring dynamo at 11.0 points per game while playing just 18 minutes a night.

Up front the Terps welcomed junior college transfer Berend Weijs, a shot blocking specialist who has played only 5.8 minutes per contest, but has recorded 14 blocks on the year (a 40 minute average of nearly 7 swats per night). Iceland import Haukur Palsson has been somewhat left out of the rotation at times, but did manage 8 points and four boards against Maine.

Duke Noteables: The Blue Devils will be looking to move to 20-2 (7-1 ACC) on the season against Maryland, but there are some additional notes worth following:

  • Mike Krzyzewski continues to inch closer and closer to his coaching mentor, Bobby Knight on the list of all-time winningest coaches. Krzyzewski enters the game with 887 career victories.
  • Mike Krzyzewski is one of seven coaches in ACC history with a winning percentage above .500 in league road games. Coach K's .607 road winning percentage ranks fourth all-time, while his 136 career road wins are an ACC record.
  • Nolan Smith is attempting to become the first player in ACC history to lead the league in scoring and assists. Smith is currently averaging 21.0 points and 5.6 assists per game. He is one of four players in the NCAA averaging over 20.0 points and 5.0 assists per game.
  • Nolan Smith averaged 25.3 points per game in nine January contests. He scored 20 or more points in six of those games, including a pair of 30+ point efforts.
  • The Blue Devils are 14-2 following a loss over the last four seasons. Duke has not lost back-to-back games since the 2008-09 season.
  • Duke has not lost back-to-back games against unranked opponents since falling at Wake Forest and Miami in February of 2008.
  • Kyle Singler is 11 points shy of moving into the top 5 at Duke and the top 20 in the ACC in scoring. He enters Wednesday's game with 2,144 career points.


WHAT TO WATCH FOR

Duke got creamed in Madison Square Garden. Following the game head coach Mike Krzyzewski said his team wasn't ready to play nor compete. A similar performance at Comcast will likely spell doom early for Duke as the environment will be the most hostile of the season. Not a good place to look to bounce back. Or is it? For the last month Duke fans have waited for the Blue Devils to develop a consistent third offensive option to help relieve the load carried by Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler. THere have been flashes of that potential third option when Ryan Kelly, Andre Dawkins, and Seth Curry recorded big days. And while each of those players has had big performances, there are just as many games where the combined production has been less than half of each player's big games. Against the Terps one of Dawkins or Curry will need to produce in a big way. In the last game Duke got 22 points on 6-10 from the field from Curry and Dawkins. It helped overcome a post performance that saw Mason and Miles Plumlee struggling on the offensive end with a combined four points on 2-of-9 shooting.

For Duke to win - both against Maryland and in general going forward - the offense has to be more than the Singler and Smith show. Over the last few weeks Ryan Kelly's offense has stepped up. At some point during every season the new players carve out their roles in a big game. In the most hostile of environments it won't be easy, but a positive step for any number of players would like be lasting. While the execution may be similar, look for the coaching staff to have gotten their team mentally prepared for the game in hopes of avoiding a similar performance to one seen in the Garden. If Duke can feed off the wall of vitriol and match the Terps' intensity, the Blue Devils can win a fourth game of six in College Park.

Prediction:
Duke - 79
Maryland - 73


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