Duke (17-1) vs Maryland (13-5)
Durham, N.C. - Cameron Indoor Stadium
TV: ESPN / Tip: 12:00 PM EST
Program Vitals Conference: ACC Nickname: Terrapins Colors: Red and Black Head Coach: Gary Williams (20th season) Career Record at Maryland: 617-348
Projected Starters: 1 Landon Milbourne (6-7, 210, Jr.) – 12.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg 35 Dave Neal (6-7, 265, Sr.) – 7.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg 5 Eric Hayes (6-4, 185, Jr.) – 9.9 ppg, 3.6 apg 21 Greivis Vasquez (6-6, 190, Jr.) – 17.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg 22 Adrian Bowie (6-2, 190, So.) – 11.0 ppg, 2.7 apg Key Reserves: 4 Braxton Dupree (6-8, 260, So.) – 2.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg 11 Jin Soo Kim (6-8, 195, Fr.) – 1.9 ppg, 1.2 rpg 14 Sean Mosley (6-4, 210, Fr.) – 4.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg 33 Dino Gregory (6-7, 230, So.) - 2.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg
Storylines For Maryland:
How They Got Here:
Duke has started 17-1 and raced out to the top of the ACC standings with a perfect 4-0 record in conference play. In each of those four wins it has been the Blue Devil defense that has been the difference maker - holding opponents to less than 60 points per contest.
Meanwhile the Terrapins enter Saturday's contest fresh off breaking a two game losing streak by beating Virginia at home. So far this season the Terrapins have faced three ranked teams - posting a 1-2 record. However, Maryland hasn't seen one of the nation's top 25 teams since November 30th when the team was trounced by then No. 16 Georgetown 75-48. Prior to beating the Cavaliers Maryland had lost three of four including a January 7th game against Morgan State. Still, a larger sample of games reveals the Terrapins are 9-3 in their last 12 games, with those three losses coming by a combined six points.
This will be the 164th meeting between the two programs. The Blue Devils hold the all-time lead by a 103-60 margin. Duke won both games last season by an average of 10.5 points per game including a 77-65 win in Cameron. Maryland swept the season series in 2006-2007 - winning 75-66 in Durham.
Duke's Greg Paulus continues to be somewhat hampered by an injured forearm, although he has been able to play through the injury with increasing success over the last few weeks.
Hugo Chavez's best hoops product:
Junior combo guard Greivis Vasquez was tremendous last season and has continued that run of play this year leading the team in 12 categories including (34.6 mpg), FG (101), FGA (255), 3FG (32), 3FGA (103), FT (72), FTA (79), rebounds (6.0 rpg), assists (4.8 apg), steals (1.61 spg) and points (17.0 ppg). The talented guard has been named ACC Player of the Week twice so far this season after averaging 20.0 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 5.5 assists against Michigan and George Washington in early December. Scoring in double figures is nothing new to Vasquez who has scored 10 or more points in 42 of his last 44 contests - much of that can be attributed to his near automatic stroke at the free throw line where he's the best in the ACC and 3rd in the country at 91%.
Another Third Year Player Williams Has Developed
Much like Vasquez last season, second year player Landon Milbourne used his sophomore campaign as a breakout season. Now, as a junior, the 6'7 combo forward is the league's 9th best rebounder in ACC games and has averaged 7.5 boards per game in each of the last four games. Over the last 12 games he has scored 10 or more points 10 times including back to back 20 point games against George Washington and Delaware State to raise his scoring average to 12.6 per game.
Another International Player Into The Program:
Freshman forward Jin Soo Kim became the first South Korean to earn a Division I basketball scholarship when he signed with the Terrapins this summer. Before coming to Maryland he played high school ball in Connecticut before showing well with the U19 South Korean national team at the 2007 FIBA World Championships where he averaged 14.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks. Unfortunately for Kim, he suffered a shoulder injury this early on and missed some time this summer.
Numbers Don't Lie
Through games of 1/18 (not including Virginia), Maryland was 7th in the nation in team free-throw shooting. They come to Durham shooting an impressive 78.9% as a team - easily the best percentage in the conference. Though the team has knocked down a three pointer in 338 consecutive games, this year's team hasn't been as accurate from downtown - hitting just 31.8% of their attempts. The team's top percentage shooter is David Neal (37.5%), while the most willing shooter has been Vasquez who has attempted 103 perimeter shots, but has knocked down just 32 of those attempts (31.1%).
For Duke this game will be all about weathering Maryland's intensity. It seems as though the match up with the Blue Devils is akin to Gary Williams' program's national championship game each and every season. As such the Terps always seem to come out and play tough against Duke. That will no doubt be the case again on Saturday. In order to earn the victory, Duke will need to establish Singler and for either Gerald Henderson or Jon Scheyer to contain Vasquez off the dribble. Speaking of Scheyer, the Blue Devils will look for the 6'5 junior to break out of his recent shooting slump. If that happens, Duke should win by 12 or more.