Maybe it doesn't start officially, but this is the first time Maryland plays someone other than itself, so it's enough for me. If you want to attend the exhibition game, which will be against Indiana (Pa.), it's at 8 at the Comcastle, and
I'm pretty sure there's no cost of attendance. Now, here's five things you should expect:
1. It'll be closer than you think - Indiana (Pa.) is one of the best teams in D-II, and are the early favorites to win their conference. They're certainly better than the New Jersey Institute of Technology Highlanders, and those guys are DI - the point is, they're better than some of the DI teams around right now. They also have a former Boston College Eagle in Akida McLain, a 6-8 PF, who will provide a good challenge for some of the new Terp big men. A few years ago, Maryland beat their exhibition game opponent by just one, so the precedent's there.
2. But it still won't be very close - They're good for a DII school, but that's not saying that much. Their tallest player is the aforementioned McLain at 6-8, and they don't have any other fringe DI caliber players that I could find. Maryland should still win by double digits.
3. Someone unexpected will be a star for a game - Do you remember last year's exhibition? Jin Soo Choi (née Kim) dropped 20 and looked like a starter. Of course, he faded back into obscurity shortly after. I'm pretty confident someone will do the same again. These situations lend themselves to this type of thing, as the starters don't get a lot of PT and the backups have immense talent advantages. Maybe it'll be Choi again, maybe Jordan Williams or James Padgett. My money was originally on Steve Goins, but he's likely out for tonight with a knee injury, so that's out.
4. The established players won't get a ton of playing time - Gary knows what Hayes, Landon, and Vaz can do. No reason to send them out there for the majority of the game and risk an injury. That's not to say they won't play, but they probably won't be receiving major minutes.
5. People shouldn't read into it..but will anyway - It's a scrimmage. The players' intensity levels will vary. The talent they're going up against is...well, calling it talent is a stretch, let's leave it at that. Gary and the rest of the staff will make some adjustments based on these performances, and it's more important than a normal practice, but when Padgett has 25 and 17, don't go penciling him in all-ACC. Likewise, if Greivis has 8 points on 2-7 shooting, don't freak out there, either. Some people still will overreact, but it's not worth it.