Maryland-Georgia Tech preview: Terps look to seize opportunity against Yellow Jackets

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

With Georgia Tech's Robert Carter out of the game, Maryland needs to beat the Yellow Jackets in College Park on Saturday.

Maryland jumps into their final season of ACC play on Saturday, when they host a Georgia Tech team who will be without one of their most productive players in sophomore Robert Carter, who tore his meniscus and is out indefinitely.

Players to know

Robert Carter, Jr., sophomore, 6'8"

When you initially looked at this game, having to face Robert Carter seemed to be a nightmare scenario for Maryland, who's had trouble containing talented big men this season. Carter is averaging almost a double-double this year (10.3 ppg & 9.3 rpg) and is one of the best defensive rebounders in the nation, ranking 12th in the country in defensive rebounding percentage. So when it was announced that Carter would be out against Maryland, you knew immediately that the Terps caught a major break. But they'll still have to contend with...

Daniel Miller, senior, 6'11"

Miller represents the other half of a very good Georgia Tech frontcourt. He's averaging 10.5 ppg, 8.2 rpg and 1.1 apg (not bad for a big guy). Miller is very efficient with the ball and when scoring, rating 92nd nationally in offensive rating and 52nd in eFG% (KenPom). He's also a great rebounder on both offense and defense and ranks 82nd nationally in block percentage. He's trouble with a capital T for Maryland.

Trae Golden, senior, 6'2"

Golden is Tech's leading scorer and point guard, Golden was previously at Tennessee before abruptly deciding to transfer last May. He's averaging 13.2 ppg, 3.5 apg, and 2.6 rpg. One of his best attributes is his free-throw shooting, where he currently ranks 85th nationally (KenPom). If he can get to the line, he'll do a good job converting. He's a nice veteran presence controlling the offense, has a pretty good assist rate of 22.6% and won't turn it over too much.

Marcus Georges-Hunt, sophomore, 6'5"

Hunt is averaging a solid 11.8 ppg, along with 4.7 rpg. He's averaging just under 30 minutes per game and doesn't do any one thing that's spectacular or that jumps off the page at you. He's a solid player who can do a little bit of everything.

Kammeon Holsey, senior, 6'8"

Hosley is one of Tech's best rebounders, ranking 115th nationally in offensive rebounding percentage (KenPom) and a very decent 204th in defensive rebounding percentage. He's been kind of like Nick Faust of late in terms of how he's been used; as a very valuable person off the bench. He could be thrown into the starting lineup as a result of Carter's injury.

Strengths

Tech is pretty good on defense, ranking 37th nationally in terms of their defensive effective FG%. They also do a great job controlling the glass, especially in terms of preventing offensive rebounds, while also blocking a decent number of shots.

Weaknesses

They're not very good at shooting the three-ball, which is good news for Maryland. Tech ranks 318th nationally in terms of their 3P%. They also don't get very many steals, another good thing for Maryland. They don't force a lot of turnovers, ranking 258th nationally in that category.

Prediction

Kenpom gives the Terps a 75% chance of winning this game and has Maryland winning by 7. I don't know if that factors in Carter Jr.'s absence or not. I think the Terps get their second ACC win, behind a big game from Jake Layman and Seth Allen. It also appears that Shaq Cleare has earned his starting job back:

Maryland needs to contain Miller and they should be able to win. We'll say the final is Maryland 72, Georgia Tech 61.

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