#86 R.P.I. Maryland @ #66 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:
TV coverage: Tuesday 8pm, on Raycom
Vegas line: VT-4, O/U=137, $-line: VT-185, Maryland+16o
Last time out the Fourm Guide predicted a blowout win and a blowout win is exactly what we got. NTTAWWT, as Seth and company played their best all-’round game of the season on Sunday afternoon inside the Cassell.
Maryland however is another matter entirely.
Once you left-click this preview right on open you will quickly see what I mean.
What I mean is … how in the world is a hoops squad as gifted as this one per se only 16 up and already 9 down?
Take a looksee at the stats below.
This is a very keen basketball team and these Terrapins are a very different animal from the Yellow-Jackets that we just harmlessly swatted away. Maryland is very very good on offense and defense alike this season. The only caveat is the Terrapins schedule which has been daunting indeed. Five teams ranked 16th or better is a load. For comparisons sake, Virginia Tech has only played two ranked teams thus far.
“The hottest fire makes the strongest steel.”
-Coach Paul Pasqualoni-
More than a stubble hint of Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche in that one; ain’t it?
And yet there is something to what Coach Paul was saying; and there is also something to the Maryland revenge factor and the amount of heat that the Terrapins A-game can bring.
Maryland at a Glance:
- 9th in Assist per game (17.4)
- 10th in FG% defense allowed (38.7%)
- 14th in offensive rebounding
- 20th in offensive FG% (47.7%)
- 23rd in scoring offense (77.8 points per game)
- 3o3rd in 3-pointers made per game (4.7: i.e. the Terps do not shoot from range very much)
Leading the Terrapin way is big ole #20 Jordan Williams. An Association and professionally right-sized 6`10“ 260 lb. loquacious sophomore PF man’s man of a banger on the inside. All #20 manages to give you is … a team leading 17 points and 12 boards per game. Now mix in a second best 1.4 blocks, 55% from the floor with 185 FTA’s and 97 offensive boards already. Wow! That is outstanding play from only a second-year A.C.C. big-man down low. Only an very impoverished 55% from the charity-stripe hamstrings an otherwise stellar first-team all-A.C.C. caliber game from Mr. Williams. Lindy’s named Mr. Williams the best pure rebounder in the whole A.C.C. way back in August and I for one am inclined to agree. In case you are keeping score at home that is just a hair under a 200% rise in scoring this season for Mr. Williams compared to his freshman year campaign up in College Park. Williams is also a vaunted low-post defender and it sure looks like V.D. and J.Allen have their hands full with this guy as big #20 has notched no less than 8 boards in only one game this year (@ uva) and big #20 has the potential to explode for mid-20’s in scoring on any given night. It should be noted as well that Jordan has been plagued by 4 personal-fouls in three of his last four basketball games. It would be most helpful if we could draw a couple of early whistles against Mr. Williams early on, on Tuesday night.
After the superstar Mr. Williams, things balance out quite evenly for Coach Gary Williams Terrapin’s as Maryland has no less than five different guys all averaging between eight and ten points per game. Second in scoring would be #24 Cliff Tucker, a 6`6“ 210 lb. senior Swing from Texas who nets 10.6 points per game while almost pacing Maryland from downtown at 37% per game from beyond the arc; good for second on the Terps this season. Second in rebounding (5.9) and sixth in scoring (8.4) would be #33, one 6`7“ rock solid 233 lb. senior SF Dion Gregory. Dino has been in and out of Coach Williams’ doghouse for undisclosed team violations off and on during his entire Maryland career. However, when he is on the court he is a physical defensive force both on the glass and in terms of leading his team in blocks (1.4) despite being a tad shorter than you would expect for such a team leading S.W.A.T. team accolade in traditional A.C.C. terms. #1 Adrian Bowie is third in scoring (9.6) and leads the Terps in assists with 3.7 per contest. #1 stands in as a 6`2“ 190 lb. all-around senior baller who also grabs 3.2 boards and is second in FT% for Maryland as a 77% shooter from the FT-line. Bowie as you may recall was a starter as a sophomore, only to be benched last year. This season he is part of the three G starting line-up for Coach Gary Williams. Fourth in scoring (9.5) would be the Arizona t-freshman G one #12, 6`1“ 185 lb. Terrell Stoglin. Terrell is a blazing fast end-to-end Pt.Guard who has nice range and nice passing skills and very likely will be a three year starter up in College Park. The third starting G is #14, one Sean Mosely, a 6`4“ 210 lb junior lead-G and natural geographic rival to our very own Malcolm Delaney as Mr. Mosely hails from B’more (Baltimore Maryland) himself. Sean is fifth in scoring with 8.6 points to go along with an impressive 3.9 boards per contest while leading the Terrapins in FT shooting at 80% this season. Sean was thought to be the leading candidate to lead Maryland in scoring sans crowd-favorite Greivis Vasquez this season. Sean however has not produced as expected and has actually been a bit erratic of late as he has not broken 9 points in a single game 13 times this year. On the other hand he has 4-5 exceptional games this year making for a rather uneven junior season from a guy they were expecting to get many more miles out of during the 2010-2011 campaign.
After that Maryland has four bench substitutes, who play every single night; all of whom average between 2 and 5 points per game. #21 Pe’Shon Howard gives them the occasional offensive spark as a 6`3“ 195 lb. t-freshman combo-G from Los Angeles. #35 sophomore James Padget brings his strongish 6`8“ 225 Brooklyn front-court size to the floor. #13, t-freshman, 6`6“ 190 lb. Haukur Paisson gives the Terps Media-Guide a fun name and an interesting pre-game read on his sojourn all the way from Reykjavik Iceland. Nice place if you like sheep, moss covered volcanic rocks and even more sheep. Did I mention the sheep yet? Then rounding the Terrapin’s 10-man rotation out would be one #10, junior year Berend Weijs a JuCo transfer project of a 6`10“ 205 lb. beanpole Center from the Netherlands who could intern this summer as spokesperson for Amstel Lite or Shell Oil, take your pick. While I am unable to rightfully say that I see a superstar sixth man off the Maryland pine, I am able to say that I see a handful of solid role players who do what they are told, have decent enough size and don’t make many mistakes in what playing-time they do receive. They are useful if not dynamic reserve’s for coach Gary Williams.
- Freshmen Ashton Pankey, a 6`9“ 220 lb. P-F rebounding shot-blocker from the Bronx is out for the year with a stress-fracture in his lower left-leg
- Junior Ersin Levent 6`7“ 185 lb. S-F is done for the season with Mononucleosis
- Both injuries diminish the Terrapin front-court bench
- God Bless
Conclusion(s), Fourm-Guide and prediction:
Our good friend the Fourm-Guide has fared rather well this season; so let us see what it has to say about this home game vs. Maryland before we proceed any further. In Fourm-Guide clinical terms; there are three things I really favor: first when both squads have played the same really bad team, second when both squads have played the same really good team; or when both squads have most recently (in calendar terms) played the exact same team. Fortunately, we have two of those three in play for Tuesday night.
Overall the Fourm-Guide appears to be drunk; as it is predicting no less than 40 point decimation in the Terrapins favor. However, upon closer inspection Maryland beat moderate 13-11 Penn.State (+13) and depraved 9-19 Longwood (+36) much more severely than VT did head-to-head. Than there is the much more topical Boston College barometer that favors VT by +2. So take your Fourm-Guide pick; either VT scratches out a very testy win at home, or Maryland is noticeably better; period, end of story.
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The Home-Away splits and the most recent 5-game trends tell us the following … Maryland plummets by almost 10 points per game out on the road; despite playing 3% better FG% defense overall. In fact Maryland has only cracked 74 points per game once all year out on the road (with 76) compared to having trumped 74 points per game no less than 12 times at home! Rebounding also shifts away from Maryland’s favor and actually gives VT a surprising +6 edge inside of VT’s Cassell. The most recent 5-game metrics were close to awash; however, if anything, they did hint that VT’s defensive intensity has dropped off a tad whereas Maryland’s offensive game has been to some extent improved of late. Nothing offs the charts; though nothing that favored the Hokies either. Additionally, Maryland is +1 in days of rest having played on Boston College on Friday night whereas VT just ran Sunday afternoon vs. Georgia Tech. Virginia Tech however appears to have just played its best basketball game of the season 78 hours ago and therefore one could duly say that VT is peaking at just the right time.
I said a few previews back that I would have to take a long hard look at picking VT whenever VT does NOT enjoy fresh-legs. However, that Maryland visiting scoring freefall is quite noteworthy to me, so is the way we played vs. Gah.Tech on Saturday, and so is Shane Beamer coming back to Virginia Tech. Not to mention that both MD-2o-2o and Jeff Allen are both making their “look at me” N.B.A. contract season push. I am tempted to take the Terps, however I take Tech at home to eek one out instead.
Virginia Tech=69, Maryland=68