After an abysmal performance against Ohio State on Wednesday, Maryland will face off against the George Washington Colonials at the Verizon Center in what could be their final game as a participant in the BB&T Classic. This will be the 19th annual BB&T Classic, which Maryland has participated in annually since the tournament began in 1995. The event was previously a two-day tournament, but in recent years was shortened to just two games on Sunday. The Terps are 16-11 all time in the tournament, which they probably won't play in starting next season.
George Washington has had a very good season thus far, jumping out to their best start since the 2005-2006 season. They've recorded wins over Creighton (who was #20 at the time), Miami, and most recently beat Rutgers. Kenpom has them ranked as the 69th best team in the nation.
Senior guard Maurice Creek (6'5", Oxon Hill, MD) is arguably the best player for GW, averaging 15.3 ppg while being ranked as the 181 best player in the nation in eFG%, according to Kenpom. Isaiah Armwood, a 6'9" senior forward out of Baltimore, is averaging 14.4 ppg and 7.9 rpg and registering just under three blocks per game, which is 67th best in the nation. Kethan Savage (6'3" sophomore) is averaging 12.9 ppg and 4.4 rpg in his second season with the Colonials. 6'10" sophomore Kevin Larsen is averaging 10 ppg and 5.6 rpg and fellow sophomore Joe McDonald is averaging 7.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg and 4.5 apg.
The Colonials have eight players who are averaging 12 or more minutes per game, including senior forward Nemanja Mikic (8.3 ppg, 2.5 rpg), sophomore G/F Patricio Garino (6.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg) and junior forward John Kopriva (2.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg).
Overall, GW is pretty efficient on offense and defense, ranking as the 75th best in both offense and defensive adjusted efficiency. They're also extremely good at making three pointers, shooting a extremely high 43.2% as a team from beyond the arc, 12th best in the nation. Maryland is allowing opponents to shoot 34.8% from three point land this season, which ranks 208th in the nation. GW is also a very tall team, meaning they could provide matchup problems for Maryland, especially Jake Layman and Evan Smotrycz.
Maryland hasn't exactly shot lights out when playing in the BB&T Classic in the past. George Washington is a very good team, so they'll have to play well if they want to beat the Colonials. Maryland will either come out flat again, ala Ohio State and lose this game by 10+ or they'll come out firing from the opening tip and pull out a hard fought win. I'm going to be optimistic and lean towards the latter, but George Washington keeps the game very close with some timely three-pointers. Maryland wins 72-67.