Fresh off the euphoria of Tuesday night’s last-minute win over Georgetown, Maryland basketball will play a significantly less hyped opponent on Thursday: St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
The Division III Seahawks had been very successful recently, finishing at 19-8 and 20-5 in recent years before dropping off to 13-14 last season. Unfortunately for them, Division III teams do not match up at all well with Division I teams. There is a reason KenPom gives the Terps a 100 percent chance of winning. This is going to be a Maryland victory by a whole lot of points.
Fans worried about a letdown after such an emotional win shouldn’t be worried much. The Terps are still a work in progress, but St. Mary’s simply isn’t poised to challenge them in any way. These teams are just too mismatched.
Thursday’s game begins a run of 12 straight contests in which KenPom favors the Terps, and none are going to be easier than this. The Seahawks and Terps tip off at 7 p.m. on ESPN3 (which is a website and not a TV channel).
St. Mary’s Seahawks (1-0)
2015-16 record: 13-14 (8-10 in Capital Athletic Conference)
Head coach: Chris Harney
All-time record vs. Maryland: the two teams have never played, according to Maryland’s record books.
They are a Division-III team. It’s really not fair for the Seahawks to take the court against the Terps. They’ll pick up some sort of paycheck for coming to Xfinity Center as a tune-up, and then they’ll be on their merry way. It’ll be a chance for some of these players to play basketball in a big arena in front of more fans than they’re used to seeing. Last season, St. Mary’s averaged a crowd of 263 fans for home games. Xfinity Center might not be sold out, but there should still be a considerable fan presence.
Height. St. Mary’s has two players who measure at 6’9 and two who come in at 6’8. Any of those players will have a tough time with Maryland center Damonte Dodd, and this also means when the Terps go “small” with Ivan Bender down low, they won’t have a height disadvantage.
Free-throw shooting. The Seahawks shot 61 percent from the line last season. As an entire team. Not great.
Maryland wins, 93-54. This really, really shouldn’t be close.