As if beating up on Wake wasn't enough, Maryland gets an even easier matchup tomorrow: Longwood. Yeah, for some reason the Terrapins are playing an 8-18 independent among the worst teams in the nation...in early February. While the ACC season rages all around them - including Duke-UNC, the biggest rivalry in college basketball - Maryland is going to get a nice break to coast past the Lancers.
A quick tour of things down in Longwood: they're 324 in KenPom and 334 in RPI. There are only 345 teams. They are literally KenPom's worst defensive team in the country, meaning Maryland should hit triple-digits. The have a couple of decent wins, relatively speaking - William & Mary, Columbia, Campbell - but they do little to make up for losses to SIU-Edwardsville and NJIT.
For the record, the one thing that they do pretty well is shoot, with an eFG% around 50%, good for 105th in the country and just about a percent below Maryland's. And I suppose that if you're going to do one thing well in basketball, making shots is a pretty decent thing to be good at. No one is better at it for the Lancers than 6-6 senior F/C Antwan Carter, who is averaging 18 points and 9 rebounds a game. He makes his living around the basket, but the height (and skill, for that matter) differential he's expected to face against Maryland should keep him quiet.
Past that, Longwood's strength appears to be their guard play, with four players averaging near or above 9 points and 25 minutes per game: Aaron Mitchell (6-2, 12.6 ppg), Jeremiah Bowman (6-2, 12.1 ppg), Martiz Washington (6-0, 9.9 ppg) and Durann Neil (6-1, 8.8 ppg). The final piece of the puzzle is Jan van der Kooij, a 6-7 Dutchman averaging 7 and 5.
For the record, the last ACC team they played didn't destroy them: VT only won 70-52, which may not seem like a lot until you realize that Longwood is the worst defensive team in the country. Part of that might be because Longwood's greatest deficiency is in height - again, their two best big men are 6-6 and 6-7 - and VT lacked the post firepower to make them pay for it there. Or, alternatively, it was a fluke. Or maybe Longwood's starting to gel, and the 104-59 losses to Colorado are now a thing of the past. Who knows?
I'm not going to spend much more time hashing out the lineup or whatnot, because, well, it's Longwood (no offense to any Lancer fans) and Maryland should win easily. The game is at 8:00, but unfortunately isn't on TV - it can be streamed online at TerpsTV for a few bucks, though I've heard enough horror stories about it to make me want to avoid it if possible. Normally, this wouldn't be a big deal with all the streaming sites, but considering a dozen or so of them were seized recently, I'm not sure what we're going to do yet.
More on that tomorrow. Any suggestions welcome.