Maryland basketball vs. Boston College: Previewing the game

January 22, 2013

THE INFO

Who: Maryland (14-4, 2-3 ACC) vs. Boston College (9-8, 1-3).

When: Tuesday, 9 p.m.

Where: Comcast Center.

TV: ESPNU.

DMV radio: 105.7 FM, 980 AM, 1300 AM.

Coaches: Terps — Mark Turgeon (Second season, 30-19). Eagles – Steve Donahue (Third season, 39-43).

THE SCRIPT

The Maryland men’s basketball team has reached an impasse, as early in the ACC season as it sounds to be making such a declaratory statement. The Terrapins are 2-3 in conference, having lost three of four since rolling over Virginia Tech in the conference opener, and are one buzzer-beater away from being 1-4 in the ACC. Now they host a struggling Boston College team, with Maryland searching to rediscover its mojo and reclaim some confidence after losing a second-half lead to Florida State, scoring 14 first-half points at Miami and a disappointing showing against North Carolina. The Eagles, meanwhile, have lost their three ACC games by a combined nine points, including a 60-59 decision against the Hurricanes in Chestnut Hill, Mass. Especially with consecutive road games against Duke and Florida State coming in a four-day span, the Terps could use a feel-good win, something Boston College might provide.

THE QUESTIONS

1. Offense? Anyone? Seriously, has anyone put out an all-points-bulletin for the Maryland offense, filed a missing persons report or slapped its picture onto a milk carton? It’s been downright dreadful recently, but look for the Terps to rebound against a Boston College defense that ranks last in the ACC in opposing field-goal percentage and three-point percentage. For Maryland to respond, however, it must work inside-out through Alex Len and its other post players, opening up the perimeter with successful interior play. But if the Eagles force the Terps into hurried outside jumpers, then it could be another slug-fest type of night.

2. Have a short memory? Dwelling on the past won’t do anyone good. Yes, the Terps have endured a brutal stretch, but such a young team must forget and move on. It’s why Turgeon has preached “next play” over the past few days. Easier said than done, of course, but Maryland must bury the past few games and return to the formulas that produced such non-conference excitement: rebounding, defense and unselfish offense.

3. Limit Anderson? Expect the Terps to game-plan for Boston College leading scorer Ryan Anderson the same way they did against Virginia Tech’s Erick Green: Anderson will surely get his points, but imperative to Maryland’s chances will be limiting his open looks. This means bodying him up in the post and not biting on shot fakes which ultimately will result in easy trips to the line.

THE STATS

96.1: Percent of Maryland’s points at North Carolina that came from either freshmen or sophomores.

18.46: Maryland’s assists per game during nonconference play.

10: Its assists per game since ACC began.

THE QUOTES

“We all know we played poorly. We all know not anybody really played well the first half. We weren’t locked into our defensive assignments, we turned the ball over, not very tough. You learn from it, you talk about it. Then the second half you can’t take too much from that either. Maybe North Carolina wasn’t concentrating as much as they would have been had the score been tied. But we did compete, we competed until the end, we guarded better in the second half. Our assignments were better in the second half, defensively. You just move on.” – Turgeon.

“Starting off the season, everyone was really hot. I’d say everyone kind of slowed down right now, hit a real fast slump. We’re going to push through, guys will start hitting shots. You just can’t control it, but as long as you stay in the gym, keep focusing, locking in, I think we can push through.” – Nick Faust.

THE TERPS TUNE OF TODAY

Doolin’ Dalton” by The Eagles.

THE POLL

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Alex Prewitt covers the Washington Capitals. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt or email him at alex.prewitt@washpost.com.
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Gene Wang · January 22, 2013