Fairfield Stags (2-0 overall, 0-0 MAAC)
Maryland Terrapins (1-0 overall, 0-0 ACC)
Last Game: FAIR: Beat Fordham 63-55. MD: Beat Char. So. 89-51
Leading scorers: FAIR:-Derek Needham 16.5ppg. MD: Landon Milbourne 16.ppg
MD: 1-0 at home, FAIR: 0-0 on the road.
The newly ranked Terps (#25 in the AP poll) welcome in the visiting Stags who should provide them with a much tougher test than Charleston Southern did on Friday. The Terps looked impressive in their first game, winning by 45 and having five players in double figures. Greivis Vasquez only had nine points but recorded 13 assists, which is a good sign for the Terps. If the Terps are going to be a top 15 team this year they will need to give Vasquez some scoring help and they did that in their 1st game. Freshmen James Padgett and Jordan Williams gave the Terps 22 points and 17 rebounds between them, giving them an inside presence they lacked last season. Williams and Padgett will have their hands full with Stags big man Anthony Johnson who is averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds a game. If they can handle Johnson that will be a good sign for Terps fans and should give the Freshmen some confidence.
Fairfield comes in undefeated and they have some talent. The Metro Atlantic Conference is much better mid major conference then the Atlantic Sun that Charleston Southern is in, so the Terps will need to come to play. The MAAC includes teams such as Siena who made two consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, and Rider who just beat previously ranked Mississippi State earlier this season and the Stags should be right up there with these teams. Derek Needham and his 16.5 points and five assists per game paces the Stags offense. The Stags two talented inside players in Anthony and Shimeek Johnson who are averaging 26 points and almost 20 rebounds per game. Look for the Stags to keep feeding them the ball, especially if they have success early.
The Terps struggled against teams with good inside games last season but the edition of Padgett and Williams looks to have helped that. If the Stags tandem of Johnson and Johnson are successful then it could be a closer game than the Terps would like. Ultimately, this Terps team is more talented and deeper then last season and is more adverse to handling inside foul trouble than last season. I believe Williams and Padgett hold their own inside and Maryland dominates the perimeter to pull away late to a 77-59 win.