Maryland-Virginia Tech Gameday Guide: Still on the Grind

Where: Comcast Center, College Park, MD

When: 9:00

Where to Watch: ESPN2 (nationally, I believe); ESPN3 for those that would prefer to watch online; should be some non-kosher streams closer to gametime for those out of the country

Line: Vegas: Terps -4 KenPom: Terps by 6

Storylines/Notes

  • Jordan goes for the tie. Jordan Williams is almost there. He needs just one more double-double to tie Len Elmore's record of 12 straight for the Terrapins. Virginia Tech's tallest player is 6-8, so hopefully he shouldn't struggle.
  • Haters gonna hate. Malcolm Delaney called out Maryland fans yesterday. As I noted in the MM, so did Seth Greenberg, who has previously been critical of the Comcast Center ambiance. No, I'm sure that won't backfire in any way. It can't, can it?
  • New defense alert! VT will likely employ a 2-3 zone today, which is somewhat new to them. They used it against UNC, and will try to use it today to limit Jordan Williams in the post. They'll try to force Maryland to force outside shots instead...and we all know how that works out.
  • Injuries: Maryland's without Pankey, Virginia Tech is missing starting 2-guard Dorenzo Hudson for the rest of the year. In Hudson's place is Erick Green, a 6-4 sophomore.
Keys in Cliches:
  • Grind it out. Maryland is #1 in the nation in defensive efficiency, while Virginia Tech is #16. Despite VT's over-reliance on Delaney offensively, they're very well-rounded defensively, especially in half-court. Meanwhile, VT is also one of the slowest-paced teams in the ACC. Points will be at a premium. Avoiding one of those long scoring droughts will be crucial.
  • Do...something...with Malcolm Delaney. I don't know whether they want to let Delaney go one-on-one with Adrian Bowie and try to limit the rest of the team, or if they'd rather try to shut Delaney down, but either way, they need to do something with him. He's the lynchpin of the team, and if he's allowed to get his without a seriously concentrated effort at denying Jeff Allen, things could go south.
  • Come ready. Let's be honest, based on past performances, this is a game Maryland should win. Then again, so was the BC game. They lost that one, and there's no reason they can't lose this one, too. They need to come up like they're playing a top 10 team, and there shouldn't be a problem.

Lineups:

Maryland   VT
Terrell Stoglin (6-0) PG Erick Green (6-4)
Adrian Bowie (6-2) SG Malcolm Delaney (6-3)
Sean Mosley (6-4) SF Terrell Bell (6-6)
Dino Gregory (6-7) PF Jeff Allen (6-7)
Jordan Williams (6-10) C Victor Davila (6-8)

I had initially expected Mosley to cover Delaney, but upon further inspection that probably won't work. Bowie just can't give up four inches on the wing.

Green is taking over for VT at point guard for Delaney. He's played well there, but he's not an experienced PG. This seems like a gamble to me: it's giving up the very defined experience advantage that VT should've had in the backcourt.

Maryland's at a bit of a height disadvantage in the backcourt, but it's not a heinous one. Besides, VT's not a great-shooting team anyway, so I don't expect the height to be a huge deal.

Graph: 

 

eFG% is essentially even, as is ballhandling. Maryland has a decent advantage in rebounding, while VT has an (unsurprising) advantage in FT%. This one will be close.

Prediction: I have no serious idea, so I'll just roll with KenPom and say that Maryland gets their first moderately impressive win of the season, albeit not necessarily in impressive fashion. Terps win, 73-67.

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