I'm out of town and the GameThread will be up around a half-hour before gametime. But ACC season is back, so I'll start doing gameday guides for basketball games to provide a pre-game place for discussion.
Where: Comcast Center, College Park, MD
Where to Watch: CSN for the locals; Justin.tv (p/w: juanjuan) for the out-of-towners
Line: Vegas: Maryland -8.5 KenPom: Maryland by 7
Notes: BC's 6-6 Corey Raji is expected to play, though he likely won't start. That's not a big deal; he's been coming off the bench lately, but has still been getting starter minutes. ... Maryland has made their ACC debut against BC a whopping four times already. They're 6-6 all-time against the Eagles, meaning they'll break the tie tonight.
Keys in Cliches:
- Control the tempo. Boston College plays at a very slow pace, but they're very efficient. Get them to play at a higher pace and maybe Maryland can force some uncharacteristic turnovers.
- Close out on outside shooters. The Eagles shoot very well from outside and get a lot of their points that way. Maryland hasn't played a particularly good-shooting team since Elon and Illinois, and those games had mixed results. Maryland had trouble early in the year, so hopefully they've learned.
- Take advantage of the inside game. To be frank, BC doesn't have anyone to match Jordan Williams. Like usual, give him the ball every single possession he's in the game.
The Four Factors actually lean toward BC. Whoa. That's a little surprising.
Prediction: Screw the Four Factors (for the most part). They don't include Jordan Williams. Use a healthy dose of Jordan - and make sure that Josh Southern doesn't randomly dominate - and the Terrapins will be fine. Well, so long as they close out on shooters, and I believe they'll probably have figured that out by now. If Maryland can use their athletes to get out and run, all the better. Maryland by 9, 74-65.
Question of the Day: I don't normally do this but it's here now to try to kickstart some discussion while I'm on the road. ACC season is upon us. What will Maryland's ACC season record, and will it be enough to get Maryland into the tournament without beating Villanova?
Feel free to throw your own prediction or Random, Baseless Prediction in with your answer.