Maryland-Clemson preview: Terps look for road win against Tigers

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

The Terps travel down to Clemson for what might be the last time.

Maryland will travel to Clemson, SC for the final time as a member of the ACC on Sunday, March 2nd, at 1:00 PM, to take on the Clemson Tigers at Littlejohn Coliseum. As we've noted with just about every other ACC opponent, this is potentially the last time in a while the two teams will meet for a while, unless they're matched up in the B1G-ACC challenge next season.

Maryland has mostly dominated this series, which currently stands at 90-49 in the Terps' favor. Clemson is also the team Mark Turgeon has had the most success against in his stint at Maryland, going 2-0 against the Tigers. The Terps have actually won their last four matchups with Clemson and haven't lost to the Tigers since January 31, 2010.

Clemson is having another up and down season, currently sitting at 17-10 and 8-7 in the ACC. They've lost four of their last six, including their last game against Wake last Tuesday.

The Tigers lost combo guard Devin Coleman in January, after he abruptly decided to leave Clemson and opted to transfer to Temple. Coleman wasn't a big contributor, but it did leave the Tigers with one less player on their bench.

Players to watch

K.J. McDaniels, 6-6, 200 lbs, Jr

McDaniels is a small forward who is Clemson's best player. He takes 30.1% of the Tigers' shots when he's on the floor and he plays largest percentage of Clemson's minutes. He averages 16.8 ppg, along with 6.9 rpg. He also averages just under three blocks per game and his block percentage ranks 48th nationally (KenPom).

McDaniels is the only player on Clemson averaging double digits in scoring. He's a solid rebounder, especially on the offensive glass. He's also taken the majority of Clemson's three pointers, but is only hitting them at a 30.3% clip.

Rod Hall, 6-1, 210 lbs, Jr

Hall is Clemson's second leading scorer, averaging 9.1 ppg, while serving as the Tigers' point guard. In that role, he unsurprisingly leads the team in assists at 3.8 per game. Hall leads the Tigers in offensive rating and ranks 169th nationally in assist rate. He also very rarely commits fouls, ranking third nationally in fouls committed per 40 minutes.

Landry Nnoko, 6-10, 255 lbs, So

Nnoko is Clemson's starting center, averaging six ppg and 6.1 rpg. He's a solid rim defender, ranking 109th nationally in block percentage and ranks third on the team with 1.6 blocks per game. He plays the third most minutes on the team, is a very good rebounder, especially on the offensive glass, and does a good job drawing contact when he shoots. Unfortunately, he's making just 56% of his free throws.

Damarcus Harrison, 6-4, 200 lbs, Jr

Harrison is Clemson's starting shooting guard, but is averaging just 6.8 ppg. He does a good job of protecting the ball, ranking 143 nationally in turnover percentage. He's taken the third most three point attempts on the team and is converting those shots 36.2% of the time. He leads the team in free throw percentage at 87.8%, but is shooting just 36% from the floor.

Jaron Blossomgame, 6-7, 215 lbs, Fr

Blossomgame has stepped into a starting role as a freshman for the Tigers, averaging 4.6 ppg and 4.7 rpg. He's a solid rebounder, but he's struggled shooting from the field and at the free throw line. He's attempted 37 three pointers on the season, but has hit just eight of them, good for 21.6%.

Strengths

A lot of Clemson's strengths come on the defensive end. They're holding opponents to just 27.9% of their three point attempts, good enough for 2nd nationally. They're holding opponents to an effective field goal percentage of 43.6%, which ranks 7th nationally. They're holding opponents to an adjusted efficiency that ranks 12th nationally and their block percentage ranks 13th.

They're also really good at offensive rebounding, ranking 39th nationally in OR%, they make most of their free throws, and rank 74th nationally in both block percentage and steal percentage. So why is Clemson just 17-10 this season?

Weaknesses

Clemson doesn't shoot the ball very well, either inside or outside of the three point line. Their two-point shooting percentage ranks 247th nationally, while their three point shooting ranks 318th. Their effective FG% ranks 294th and they don't attempt a lot of free throws.

Prediction

KenPom prediction: Kenpom gives Clemson a 66% chance of winning, predicting a 62-58 Tigers win.

Our prediction: Maryland has lost their last two games to two of the nation's best teams by a combined four points. They're certainly committing their share of mistakes still, but they're also playing better overall. While Clemson's defense is very good, Maryland's offense and ability to get out in transition should allow the Terps to have a good shot at winning. I think Dez Wells goes off for 25 or more points, and Maryland wins, 68-61.

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