clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Maryland basketball vs. Georgetown preview: Now the season really starts

New, 144 comments

Here’s the Terps’ first stiff test of the season.

NCAA Basketball: Big East Conference Tournament-Villanova vs Georgetown Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

After what was essentially a warmup on Friday against American, Maryland basketball faces its first significant test of the season Tuesday against Georgetown.

The Hoyas won their home opener over a nondescript mid-major much more convincingly than Maryland did, topping USC Upstate by 45 points.

Maryland won the teams’ meeting last season, 75-71, in front of a raucous Xfinity Center crowd. Greivis Vasquez and Scott Van Pelt were on hand to see the win, which was one of Maryland’s highlights last season.

The Terps only beat American by six points last week, and they’ll have to look a lot better to beat the Hoyas. The game kicks off at 6:30 on Fox Sports 1.

Georgetown Hoyas

Head coach: John Thompson III. He’s 333-175 in his career, and 265-133 at Georgetown.

Players to watch

L.J. Peak, guard, junior, 6’5/215, No. 0. Peak was Georgetown’s second-leading scorer last season, behind the now-graduated D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera. He was an efficient scorer as a sophomore, hitting 49 percent of his shots, including 53 percent of his two-pointers..

Rodney Pryor, guard, senior, 6’5/205, No. 23. Pryor, a grad transfer from Robert Morris, tallied up 32 points in his Georgetown debut. He only missed three shots, converting seven of eight from two-point range and six of eight from deep. This was a giant boost for a team lacking in star power.

Isaac Copeland, junior, forward, 6’9/220, No. 11. Copeland might be the team’s most explosive scoring threat. He was the No. 6 small forward in the 2014 class and the No. 24 recruit overall, according to the 247Sports Composite. He hasn’t quite reached the potential his high recruiting profile suggests, but this could be his year.

Strengths

These are hard to discern so early in the season, but here’s a shot:.

Free throw shooting. Georgetown was the No. 23 team in the nation in free throw percentage last season and hit 75 percent from the line in the Hoyas’ first game.

Three-point shooting, maybe. The Hoyas shot 53 percent from downtown against USC Upstate, though a performance in one game could amount to absolutely nothing. Most of those threes came by Pryor, but if he can somewhat keep that up with some assistance from his teammates, this could certainly be a strength.

Weaknesses

Again, these are pretty unclear at this point too.

Turnovers. The Hoyas were 245th in KenPom’s turnover percentage last season. They turned the ball over 14 times against USC Upstate, but teams often struggle with turnovers so early in the season.

Predictions

KenPom’s prediction: Georgetown wins, 75-68. Maryland has a 26 percent chance of winning.

Ryan’s prediction: Georgetown wins, 71-58. Maryland’s not quite there yet.