Previewing Maryland

North Carolina and Maryland appear to be headed in opposite directions this season, but the Tar Heels haven't beaten the Terps since 2006. Tuesday's matchup tips-off at the Smith Center at 8 p.m. and will be televised by Raycom.

North Carolina (19-2, 5-2) vs. Maryland (14-7, 3-4)
Chapel Hill, N.C. - Dean E. Smith Center
8 p.m., Raycom

Quotables

"He has my personal full support, as he does from the department and from the university. He and I communicate regularly, and a couple of things that he's communicated to me are pretty important. One of those is that he's very optimistic about the future. He's really focused on recruiting. We all know that's important, and he's after it with as much enthusiasm and passion as I've seen in my 15 years." – Maryland Athletic Director Debbie Yow on head coach Gary Williams, as told to reporters during Monday's press conference

"It's nice that, uh, she said those things. I've never felt threatened by anything. I know what I've done, just this decade. Very few programs have done what we've done this decade. I think there's probably three or four, maybe. You know, Florida, because they've won it twice. You could say UCLA, even though they haven't won a national championship this decade. [North] Carolina, Duke, you know, those two because they've won it this decade. But, you know, I'm secure in what I've done." – Williams' immediate response to Yow

"We can win games. We can do some damage down in North Carolina, but we have to play for 40 minutes." – Maryland guard Greivis Vasquez

PREGAME NOTES

Season to Date: Maryland enters Tuesday night's contest with a 14-7 (3-4 ACC) record. Gary Williams' squad started the season with a bang, throttling then-No. 5 Michigan State, 80-62, at the Old Spice Classic. The Terps then lost to top-20 opponents in Gonzaga and Georgetown, before dropping a home stunner to Morgan State, 66-65, on Jan. 7. Maryland has lost all three of its ACC road games to Miami, Florida State and Duke.

The Venezuelan Sensation: Greivis Vasquez has become the do-everything man for Williams, leading Maryland in an insane number of categories – minutes (34.4 per game), field goals (114), field goal attempts (300), 3-point field goals (36), 3-point field goal attempts (121), free throws (75), free throw attempts (84), rebounds (5.9 per game), assists (4.9 per game), steals (1.43 per game) and points (16.1 per game). The junior guard nearly pulled off a triple-double in Saturday's 73-68 win over Miami, posting 11 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.

Developing Post Presence: Landon Milbourne has come on strong recently, averaging 15.1 points per game over the last 14. The junior forward is averaging 13.1 points per game on the season, as well as grabbing 5.6 rebounds per game. His 60 offensive boards lead the team.

Percentages Not Working in Terps' Favor: Williams' squad ranks dead last in the conference in field goal percentage (.414), while sitting in the 8th spot in field goal percentage defense (.408). Part of those statistics can be attributed to 3-point shooting, as the Terps are connecting on just 30.4 percent of their long-range attempts (11th ACC), while allowing their opponents to drill 33.1 percent of their 3-pointers (10th ACC).

Glass Jaw: Maryland holds down the league's cellar spot in rebounding margin, boasting a woeful plus-0.4. The Terrapins are pulling down 38.7 boards per game, while allowing their opponents to grab 38.3 rebounds of their own. Maryland joins Florida State as the only two schools without a player ranked in the ACC's top-20 in rebounding.

Strong at the Charity Stripe: Maryland currently ranks seventh nationally in free throw percentage, knocking down 78 percent of its free throw attempts, led by Vasquez's 89.3 percent. Six of the Terps' top-seven players are connecting on at least 73 percent of their attempts from the line. The school record for team free throw percentage (.758) was set in 1976.

Random Fact: Vasquez is 3-0 against UNC point guard Ty Lawson in head-to-head matchups -- 2-0 in college, 1-0 in high school.

Last Meeting: Maryland defeated North Carolina, 82-80, on Jan. 19, 2008, in the Smith Center in Chapel Hill. Tyler Hansbrough posted 17 points and 14 rebounds and Wayne Ellington added 14 points and eight rebounds, but the Tar Heels struggled to shoot 38.0 percent from the floor while allowing the Terps to connect on 46.9 percent of their field goal attempts.

Series History: The Tar Heels lead the all-time series with Maryland, 113-55. North Carolina has won five of the last seven meetings, but the Terps have won two straight in the series.

Projected Starters:
21 Greivis Vasquez (6-6, 190, Jr.) – 16.1 ppg, 4.9 apg
22 Adrian Bowie (6-2, 190, So.) - 10.6 ppg, 2.6 apg
14 Sean Mosley (6-4, 210, Fr.) – 4.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg
35 Dave Neal (6-7, 263, Sr.) - 7.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg
 1 Landon Milbourne (6-7, 207, Jr.) – 13.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg

Key Reserves:
 5 Eric Hayes (6-4, 184, Jr.) - 9.1 ppg, 3.2 apg
33 Dino Gregory (6-7, 227, So.) – 2.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg

UM Info
Schedule
Stats
Roster & Bios

Photo Gallery


Bowie ... Vasquez


Mosley ... Milbourne


Neal ... Hayes

(Photos courtesy AP)


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