Maryland-Duke Game Preview

Terps begin a difficult road stretch, starting with No. 1 Duke

Maryland Terrapins (10-4, 0-1 Atlantic Coast Conference)

at

Duke Blue Devils (14-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference)

Sun., Jan. 9, 8 p.m.

Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, N.C.

History:

The Terps and Blue Devils shared the ACC regular season championship in 2010, and split the two-game series, both winning on their home courts.

In 168 all-time matchups, Duke leads 107-61 with a 50-14 edge at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils have won three straight against Maryland at home, including a 77-56 demolishing in Mike Kryzewski’s 1,000th win as Duke’s head coach.

Perhaps Maryland’s signature win last season though was a game in which the team sought revenge over their ACC rivals. In the final home game for beloved seniors Eric Hayes, Landon Milbourne and Greivis Vasquez, No. 23 Maryland defeated No. 4 Duke in College Park, 79-72, led by Vasquez’s 20 points, including a crucial bucket in the closing minute.

Leading Scorers:

Terps: Jordan Williams (17.6 ppg), Cliff Tucker (11.1 ppg), Terrell Stoglin (11 ppg)

Blue Devils: Nolan Smith (19.6 ppg), Kyle Singler (17.4 ppg), Andre Dawkins (11.9 ppg)

Scouting Report:

Despite losing diaper dandy Kyrie Irving to injury earlier this season, the No. 1 team in the nation continues to roll following their national championship, in search of their 25th consecutive win Sunday night when they take on Maryland.

Seniors Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler have continued to be stalemates in the Duke offense. Smith, who has emerged as the team’s best scoring threat since the loss of Irving, has scored 20 or more points in five straight games, shooting north of 61 percent from the field and better than 63 percent from three-point range.

Singler became the 11th player in Duke history to score 2,000 points in his career against Alabama-Birmingham. He is also streaking, averaging just short of 20 points per game in his last six.

Strengths

On a Coach K-coached team, fundamentals and execution are preached to no extend. It is no wonder then that Duke is the highest scoring team in the ACC, and second only to VMI in the country. The Blue Devils’ average 89 points per game, compared to the Terps’ 80.6 points per game.

When you’re scoring is so abundant, the team has to be efficient from beyond on the stripe. Duke shoots almost 44 percent at three-point field goals, led by sophomore specialist Andre Dawkins who has made a conference-leading 35 shots from beyond the arc this season. His .538 3-PT% is a distant first in the ACC.

The Blue Devils do not beat themselves. Their +5.43 turnover margin is far and away the best in the conference.

Weaknesses:

There are few weaknesses when you examine the team with the best standing in all the land. However, with the loss of Brian Zeller on the interior, Duke is not recording the rebounding numbers they would like.

The team ranks sixth and eighth in offensive and defensive rebounding, and won the battle of the boards by just three per game against their non-conference opponents. Their leading rebounder is Mason Plumlee, who averages 7.7 per game.

Keys to the Game:

Point Guard Play – The Terps have toggled with freshmen Pe’Shon Howard and Terrell Stoglin as the starting point guard in recent weeks. Head coach Gary Williams credits Stoglin with providing an immediate boost to the team coming out of the gate in games, so it’s likely Stoglin will get the nod in his first ACC road start. Stoglin must continue to lead the way in transition offense where the Terps have been so prolific all season.

Bowie Stays Hot – Since Adrian Bowie slid to the two-guard, he has helped spread the team’s scoring out instead of burdening Jordan Williams with the load every game. In the last five contests, Bowie is averaging almost 12 points per game, including hitting half of his shots from downtown.

Establish Jordan Williams – It seems obvious that the Terps need Jordan Williams’ interior presence to be successful, but never more so than when he is provided with outside shooters like he is now. Bowie and Stoglin are shooting with excellent touch as of late, while Sean Mosley is emerging from his early season slump. But if Maryland can use Williams in the deep post, they have an vast advantage over the Plumlee twins scoring in the paint and on the boards.

Coverage:

TV: Fox SportsNet

Radio: Terrapin Sports Radio Network

samspiegs@aol.com

Twitter: @samspiegs


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