Testudo Times Roundtable: Previewing Maryland-Syracuse

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Every week the staff of Testudo Times comes together to debate the biggest topics surrounding the program.

Q: Do the Maryland women suffer another regular season loss?

Andrew: Alyssa Thomas is incapable of suffering. She only provides it. (Also, no.)

Dave: 16-34 is the combined ACC records of Maryland's remaining opponents. I sure hope they don't and would be surprised if they did. As an aside, it's amazing how many of the Women's teams in the ACC mirror the Men's teams.

FlaTerp: No.

Todd: I think three wins are a lock. They should win all four but the game at Georgia Tech is still questionable despite Tech's record. This has been a tough matchup for Maryland for years and they needed 43 free throw attempts to beat GT in Comcast. Even if they get a good officiating crew, that's not likely to happen in Atlanta. Right now, I think they come out with a win but I don't think it'll be easy.

Brendan: No (Todd, am I doing this right?).

Q: The win over Wake Forest doesn't do much for Maryland's tournament hopes, but do you see any scenario in which Maryland gets an at-large spot?

Andrew: If they win six straight games, starting now, they would be 21-12, around 5th in the ACC, with wins over a top 10 RPI Syracuse, top 20 RPI UVa, and what should be a very good team in the 2nd round of the ACC tournament. I think that would do it, but not a guarantee. I also do not think this will happen.

John: I think they have to win out, and do something in the ACC tournament. Too many bad losses and not enough big wins, if any. Not seeing it this season.

FlaTerp: No. A potential win Monday was cheapened by Syracuse losing to an awful team at home. If Maryland, not BC, had been the team to pull off the stunner, it would have thrust the Terps into the conversation. Now if Maryland wins, the story will have changed into "what's wrong with Syracuse?"

Todd: Well, even though they'd be seeded like an at-large team, there's a scenario that will get Maryland an automatic spot, right? I'm not sure anything short of winning out and reaching the ACCT championship game even gets them in the conversation. And like Andrew and John, I don't see it happening.

Brendan: I think it's damn near impossible, but winning out and making the ACC Championship game might do it.

Q: The emergence of Damonte Dodd has severely limited Shaquille Cleare's minutes, what do you think is the biggest issue for Cleare right now?

Andrew: Completely honest, I have no idea what the deal with Shaq has been. I would assume he's not practicing well during the week, which is limiting his playing time. Could there be an injury we don't know about? Possible. I don't want to speak too much on something that we really have no insight into.

Dave: Andrew could definitely be onto something re: injury. Remember, Shaq did have a back issue; perhaps it's impacting him? In terms of production this year, I don't think anyone thought he'd be this limited. He's had trouble scoring, primarily, but there have been other issues too. Over the season, Dodd has improved and basically caught up to and passed him.

John: I have a theory, but it probably has zero truth to it. What has Shaq added this season? Size underneath, some rebounding and opportunistic scoring. That is not a slight at him, it is just being honest. He also gets in foul trouble. What does Dodd add? The same thing, except he blocks shots. At this point, and if Shaq is battling anything, it just makes more sense to get Dodd some minutes. That's just a theory. It is pure speculation.

FlaTerp: The ACC game looks too fast for Shaq right now. Dodd, let's be careful about expecting too much of him. He's young and raw and he basically got out of the way so that Jabari Parker could slam home the game-winner last weekend. Too much pressure was put on Shaq to perform at too young of an age, and it would be a shame to repeat the process with Dodd. It's neither player's fault that Maryland doesn't have a quality upperclassman forward or center to lean on. These young guys are being asked to do too much, too soon, simply because the Terps don't have an alternative. They need time and patience.

Todd: I am completely unqualified to make anything but the most speculative statement imaginable. So, on the advice of my attorney, I will invoke my fifth amendment right not to make an idiot of myself.

Brendan: I don't want to speculate what Cleare's "issue" might be, but I honestly think it's talent. He hasn't progressed at all. At least with other guys you see them getting better and you see flashes of brilliance. I haven't seen anything from Cleare in a while.

Q: The Syracuse game has lost some its luster following the Orange's loss to Boston College, with Duke on the horizon first, do you see Syracuse bringing a losing streak to College Park?

Andrew: I think they either beat Duke or lose by double digits.

Dave: Stupid Boston College. You ruined the ACC when you arrived and now you're ruining our chance of doing something cool when we leave. I think Syracuse beats Duke and somehow loses to Maryland, because of course that's what would happen. In reality, Syracuse will probably lose to Duke and then beat us.

John: Through my years in Syracuse, I have learned one thing: when Syracuse takes a loss, some others are soon to follow. I expect them to lose to Duke, but that doesn't mean Maryland cannot beat them too.

FlaTerp: Duke is playing better basketball right now.

Todd: I can barely keep up with the status and progress of Maryland's men's program. And you're asking me a question about Duke & Syracuse? I am chopped liver. I am chopped liver. (I will say this much: Didn’t that BC game have the makings of a trap game? Syracuse wasn’t playing well going in and they have Duke coming up next. I mean, classic, isn’t it?)

Brendan: I think Duke (unfortunately) wins.

Q: Your prediction for the Maryland-Syracuse game:

Andrew: Maryland wins 68-65 in overtime. One of these games is going to overtime and I'm gonna feel very smart for calling it.

Dave: Maryland somehow wins, because the odds are stacked against them and in addition to crabcakes and football, doing the opposite of what you'd expect is what Maryland does.

John: It will all depend on how Maryland shoots, and if Dez Wells can penetrate the zone. I know how Maryland can find success, it's a matter if Turgeon will see it. I'll say Maryland wins, however, because Syracuse has not shot the ball well at all lately.

FlaTerp: Sorry to be a wet blanket here, but Maryland hasn't shown the ability to beat a good team. Syracuse is a very good team. Terps lose, 68-62.

Todd: I predict there will be at least 40 minutes of timed basketball. Whether the game requires only forty minutes or some additional block(s) of 5 minutes, at some point with all zeroes on the game clock, one team will have outscored the other. (Happy, Brendan?)

Brendan: That'll do, pig, that'll do. I think a Maryland win .... lets say 57-55.

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