Maryland-Wake Forest Preview: Terps welcome the Demon Deacons to town

Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

The Maryland Terrapins host the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at home on Tuesday night in a battle of ACC foes. Here is the full preview of the match-up.

The Maryland Terrapins will play host to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Tuesday, February 18th. Wake Forest comes into the game with a 14-11 overall record, but are just 4-8 in ACC play. The Demon Deacons have lost five straight games, and six of their last eight after beginning ACC play 2-2. The game will be played at 7pm EST, and will be broadcasted on ACC regional networks, as well as ESPN 3.

Players to watch

Devin Thomas: 6'9", 245 pound sophomore

Thomas is the player that the Demon Deacons like to run through. Thomas plays 68.8% of the minutes available, and has been a workhorse in the post. Thomas currently averages 11 points per game to go along with his 7.8 rebounds per game. The biggest weakness for Thomas is at the free throw line, where he shoots below 50%. On Maryland, it is likely that Charles Mitchell and Shaq Cleare will be tasked with guarding Thomas. He will battle on the boards, so this will present a nice challenge for Mitchell, who is known for his battle on the boards.

Codi Miller-McIntyre: 6'3", 195 pound sophomore

Miller-McIntyre is the top scorer on the team, averaging 14.2 points per game. Unlike some scorers, Miller-McIntyre doesn't shoot the three well at all, shooting just 22% from behind the arc. Miller-McIntyre wants to get to the rim and attack. Dez Wells is likely the guy to be tabbed to guard Miller-McIntyre. Both play a fairly similar style, so that is a match-up to watch throughout the game.

Travis McKie: 6'7", 220 pound senior

McKie has been a stalwart in the Wake Forest rotation for some time now. He is averaging around 28 minutes per game, so significant time is expected of him barring foul trouble. On the season, McKie is averaging 10.9 points per game, as well as 4.4 boards per game. McKie will shoot from the outside, but it isn't his strength, as he shoots just 32% from three-point land. Jake Layman is the likely Terp to guard him, given the size of McKie. Evan Smotrycz is another Terp who could guard McKie as well.

Tyler Cavanaugh: 6'9", 230 pound sophomore

Cavanaugh is a rotation player who averages 8.7 points per game to go along with his 4.4 boards per game. While Cavanaugh plays 20 minutes per game, he is a key cog in the rotation for Wake Forest and will be sure to cause some issues for the Terps with his ability to score. On defense, the Terps will likely use Evan Smotrycz to combat Cavanaugh, especially given the fact that he can shoot threes. In his last outing against Florida State, Cavanaugh scored 14 points, but did so on 3-10 shooting from the field.

Arnaud-William Adala-Moto: 6'6", 225 pound sophomore

Adala-Moto is a sophomore from Cameroon, and a tough player. While Adala-Moto only averages 6.6 points per game, he battles on the boards, averaging 5.6 per game. He scored a double-double against Duke with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Adala-Moto is not a big-time scorer, so the Terps may not focus as much of their attention to him. He is a rotation player that will rotate in with McKie. Jake Layman will probably be tasked with guarding Adala-Moto.

Strengths

Wake Forest is a scrappy team that fights for every possession. While they are not the most talented team, they fight on the glass and rank in the top 100 in team rebounding. They rank 62nd in defensive rebounds as a team, and 96th in total rebounding. Maryland is also a good rebounding team, ranking 59th overall in rebounding, so the battle on the boards will be interesting to watch. The Demon Deacons look to grind teams out, and know to play to their strengths.

Weaknesses

Wake Forest isn't going to put up a ton of points, as shown in their ranking of 212th in the nation at 70.4 per game. As a team, they shoot 44% from the field, good for 176th in the country. On defense, the Demon Deacons only average 5.5 steals per game and 4.5 blocks per game. With Maryland's length on offense, the Demon Deacons will have to tighten that up.

Prediction

KenPom prediction: Maryland wins, 77-68, with an 81% chance of winning.

Our prediction: Maryland wins, 77-70.

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