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Maryland hosts IUP in exhibition to start the year: GameThread

Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

Basketball is kinda-sorta-not-really-but-close-enough-to-being back. This thing tips off at 7:00 and is on, to my knowledge, only TerpsTV - and not that nice free TerpsTV, but the "premium" package, so watching it will cost you $10. I plunked it down and I'll be updating here throughout the game with thoughts and intermittent updates. I welcome you to do the same, if you're interested in it, or you can freeload off my generous updating. For the radio folk, it'll be on the regular stations, which are here, but if you're not around, you can listen on WJZ's site here.

In lieu of a preview, I'll just do a quick overview here: IUP is bad, as you'd expect from tune-up fodder, but not god-awful. They lost to Pitt in their first exhibition 69-54, and a 15-point margin isn't too bad for these types of games, and they actually gave Pitt something of a scare with a 21-16 halftime margin. And to hold you over until tip, a few questions to watch for (feel free to take some predictions as discussion starters):

What's the starting lineup? We went over this yesterday already, but I'd assume the five that start tonight are most likely the five that'll start against Kentucky, unless something changes in the next week of practice. That's possible, but I don't think it's probable.

Who's the secondary scorer? Everyone knows that Nick Faust is going to be the go-to option this year (unless Dez Wells becomes eligible). But who's the number two? The hope is Alex Len, I'm sure, but he still has to prove that he has a competent offensive game. If he's like last year's Len, there are going to be question marks going ahead, especially without anyone on the perimeter to ease Faust's burden.

How does the guard play look? Andy Katz mentioned that Maryland's guard play looked shoddy against George Washington in the secret scrimmage. I don't know how much improvement you can rationally expect in about a week, but a strong outing tonight would go a long way toward assuaging some concerns about the backcourt.

And in case you're wondering, no Dez Wells isn't eligible to play in this one.