Maryland basketball vs. Miami: Previewing the game

January 13, 2013

THE INFO

Who: Maryland (13-2, 1-1 ACC) at Miami (11-3, 2-0 ACC)

When: 8 p.m.

Where: BankUnited Center, Coral Gables, Fla.

TV: ESPNU

DMV radio: 105.7 FM, 1300 AM, 980 AM

Coaches: Terps — Mark Turgeon (second season, 29-17). Hurricanes – Jim Larranaga (second season, 31-16)

THE SCRIPT

How will the Terrapins respond after suffering a disappointing loss to Florida State at home Wednesday? How will the newcomers fare in their first ACC road game? Expectations seemed to snowball over the past month for Maryland, perhaps unfairly coinciding with its 13-game winning streak against relatively soft opponents. The ship tumbled back to earth against the Seminoles, but traveling to Coral Gables will be no easy rebound, either. Miami is a veteran team that’s hitting its stride without Reggie Johnson, running a shallow but experienced rotation. The Terps lost their way against Florida State, but must return to the unselfish, rebounding-centric bunch that helped accelerate those expectations in the first place. A win would do wonders for momentum and confidence at the outset of a rough January stretch.


Seth Allen, above, and Pe’Shon Howard need to bounce back from a sub-par game vs. Florida State. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

THE QUESTIONS

1. Be physical? Maryland was out-toughed in the second half as the Seminoles made their pivotal comeback at Comcast Center. The Terps will need to match Miami’s physicality Sunday evening. This means post players putting bodies on potential rebounders, assets like Alex Len becoming stronger and more confident on offense and others not caving into the pressures, especially during any down stretch.

2. Smarter point guard play? Both Seth Allen and Pe’Shon Howard struggled against Florida State, but Maryland will need its floor generals to keep their composure in South Beach. Properly executing the secondary break would do wonders for quick post-entry passes, giving Len and others chances to shine early.

3. Travel well? Maryland’s only true road test this season was a 20-point win over Northwestern. Other than that, it had neutral-site games in Brooklyn and Washington, not exactly adventurous jaunts away from College Park. This marks the first ACC road game for the Terps’ four freshmen and two transfers, so how they respond to the experience could help dictate Maryland’s chances.

THE STATS

3: Times in 15 games that the Terps have shot under 40 percent from the field.

6: Consecutive home wins for Miami over Maryland.

1: Charles Mitchell’s rank in rebounding among ACC freshmen.

THE QUOTES

“I think they’re very, very good defensively and very sound. They have smart basketball players, defensively, and physical. To be honest with you, they have four seniors, one sixth-year, one fifth. You look at those matchups that Carolina had, they have a fourth-year junior in [Kenny] Kadji. You’re playing pups sometimes against grown men, and that’s going to be really what we have to overcome.” – Turgeon.

“They’re the best rebounding team in the country. They’re big, they’re athletic, high-quality players, size, speed, quickness, jumping ability, shooting ability. They’ve got a very deep and talented team. They play at least 10 guys every game. The guys are coming off the bench, I think their second unit could be the starting unit for some ACC teams.” – Larranaga.

THE TERPS TUNE OF TODAY

Rock You Like A Hurricane” by The Scorpions. Obviously.

THE POLL

Alex Prewitt covers the Washington Capitals. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt or email him at alex.prewitt@washpost.com.
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Alex Prewitt · January 12, 2013

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