Maryland-Virginia preview: Terps take on UVA for final time in Charlottesville

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland will travel down to Charlottesville for the last time as their rivalry with the Cavaliers begins to draw to a close

After defeating Florida State on Saturday, Maryland has a quick turnaround before taking on UVA in Charlottesville on Monday, February 10th, at 9:00 PM. The game time was moved to 9:00 PM as a result of President Obama  and French President Francois Hollande's visit to Monticello that day. The game will air on ESPNU.

Maryland leads the all-time series between Virginia 103-67, which began back in the 1923-1924 season, a 13-26 loss by Maryland to Virginia (yay exciting basketball). The two teams have met twice a year ever since.

Virginia has won seven straight games and ten of their past 11. They're currently 2nd in the ACC, with their only conference loss coming to Duke back on January 13th.

Monday's game will likely mark the final time the Terps will travel to Charlottesville, at least for the foreseeable future.

Players to watch

Malcolm Brogdon - 6-5, 217 lbs, So., guard

Brogdon is UVA's leading scorer, averaging 12.1 ppg, and their second best rebounder, pulling down 5.8 rpg. His 12.1 average is a little misleading, as he's put up 16 or more in seven of UVA's last eight games. He's had a few bad games where he's been either held scoreless or in single digits and those are the game that the Cavs have typically struggled in. He's really good at forcing steals, where he ranks 170th nationally (KenPom) and ranks second on the team in terms of offensive efficiency rating.

Mike Tobey, 6-11, 253 lbs, So., forward/center

Tobey is UVA's big front court player, who averages 7 ppg and 4.3 rpg. He takes 26.6% of his team's shots when he's on the court, but his offensive efficiency is one of UVA's worst. He's only making 43% of his field goals, but he is making 72.5% of his shots from the charity stripe. So why is he on the court so much? He's a damn good rebounder, specifically on the offensive glass, where his offensive rebounding percentage ranks 12th nationally. He also ranks 93rd nationally in block percentage.

Justin Anderson - 6-6, 227 lbs, So., guard

Justin Anderson doesn't need too much of an introduction to Maryland fans. After initially being committed to the Terps, Anderson decided UVA was a better fit for him after Gary Williams announced his retirement. He's also said things recently that don't sit well with some Maryland fans. Anderson has actually been coming off the bench for the Hoos, averaging 22.9 minutes per game. In his time on the court, he's averaging 9.5 ppg and 3.6 rpg while taking 25% of UVA's shots, which ranks second on his team. He's only hitting 29.6% of his three point attempts and making 43% of his shot attempts. He's also a decent shot blocker, where he ranks 290th nationally in block percentage.

Joe Harris, 6-6, 225 lbs, Sr., guard

Harris is UVA's senior guard and second leading scorer. He's Virginia's best shooter in terms of effective field goal percentage, where he ranks 154th nationally at 57.5% and is also the team leader in terms of offensive rating. Among UVA's players who actually play significant minutes, Harris is their best three point shooter, making 42.4% of his attempts from beyond the arc. Harris also grabs a respectable 3 rpg, while dishing out 2.2 apg. He does a little bit of everything, gives you that veteran senior presence, and is effective in his shot selections.

Akil Mitchell 6-8 235 Sr., forward

Mitchell is UVA's best rebounder, pulling down 6.8 rpg. He's not the biggest offensive threat, averaging just under seven points per game, but he's really good at securing defensive rebounds, ranking 77th nationally in defensive rebounding percentage. He's also good at drawing contact when he shoots, ranking 197th in free throw rate. But when he gets to the line, he makes just 44.2% of those free throw attempts.

London Perrantes 6-2, 189 lbs, Fr., guard

Perrantes is UVA's freshman point guard. He's the one primarily running the show for UVA, averaging 28.2 minutes per game. He averages 3.6 apg, while very infrequently turning the ball over. As a result, he ranks 273rd nationally in assist rate and is one of the best Virginia players when it comes to steals. He doesn't score too much, putting up just 4.3 ppg, but he's doing a great job running Tony Bennett's offense as a freshman.

Strengths

D-d-d, de-fense. UVA is one of the best defensive teams in the country. They're holding their opponents to an adjusted efficiency of 87.1, which ranks 2nd nationally. Opponents are shooting just 41% in 2-point attempts (4th nationally), are being held to an effective FG percentage of 43.9% (11th nationally), and have little opportunity to secure offensive rebounds. The end result is that UVA doesn't score much (just 66,5 ppg), but when they do, they're very efficient. They're going to make you work to earn your points, but will likely force you to take bad shots, turn the ball over, and struggle with rebounding. Basically, you can expect a slow tempo game, lots of frustration, and not the most ideal situation for Maryland.

Weaknesses

Free throws. UVA is bad at making the free throws. Tney're not FSU bad, but they do rank 305th nationally in free throw percentage. They don't light it up beyond the arc, making 36% of their 3-point attempts, Otherwise, they're a very solid team, which is why KenPom ranks them as the 10th best team nationally. Speaking of KenPom...

Prediction

KenPom prediction: They think Virginia will win this, 70-59, giving them an 89% chance for victory.

Our prediction: I can't say I disagree. UVA should force Maryland into making mistakes, won't allow them to get out and run like they like to do at times, and will give the Terps trouble controlling the glass. Unless Seth Allen can put up 30+ in back to back games, it's hard to see a scenario where this year's team can pull out the W. Virginia wins, 67-54.

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