Sunday Terps Look-ahead: Boston College and Clemson

February 17, 2013

Welcome to the Sunday Terps Look-Ahead, a weekly feature breaking down the upcoming action for the Maryland men’s basketball team, as well as a brief recap of its most recent games. Let’s get started.

WHAT JUST HAPPENED

You don’t know? Well, where have you been? Hiding under a rock, you say? Must have hurt. Well, you missed Maryland’s biggest upset in years, 83-81 over second-ranked Duke, thanks to some clutch Seth Allen free throws with two seconds left, six days after the Terps reached arguably their emotional low of the season in an 11-point loss to Virginia at home. It sparked the second Comcast Center court-storming of the season and a late-night celebration across Baltimore Avenue. And perhaps most importantly, Maryland reinserted itself into the bubble equation.

WHO’S UP NEXT

Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 9 p.m.: at Boston College (11-14, 3-9 ACC, RPI 147) in Boston, Mass. Televised on ACC Network.

Saturday, Feb. 23 at Noon: vs. Clemson (13-11, 5-7 ACC, RPI 136) at Comcast Center. Televised on ESPN2.

WHAT THEY’VE DONE

Boston College: Suddenly, traveling to the Conte Forum has become one of the ACC’s toughest tasks. The Eagles’ past three games, including home games against Duke and Wake Forest, have been decided by a combined seven points. Boston College nearly upset the Blue Devils at home last Sunday, ultimately falling 62-61 in a comeback Duke couldn’t quite muster the following weekend at Maryland.

Boston College most recently lost 69-66 at Florida State after Ryan Anderson’s potentially tying three-pointer bounced off the rim at the buzzer. The Eagles lost by five points at Maryland on Jan. 22, a game that was tied at halftime. That was the middle loss in a five-game slide for Boston College, which also played Miami to a 60-59 decision at home in mid-January.

Clemson: Clemson will host third-ranked Miami on Sunday afternoon before a six-day break entering its game against Maryland next weekend. The Tigers most recently snapped a three-game losing streak with a 56-53 win at Georgia Tech, but are just 3-6 on the road this season. Their five ACC wins have come against Virginia, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech twice. All but one of those were at home.

In their last meeting, the Terps eked out a 64-62 win despite blowing a 14-point lead with eight minutes left. Nick Faust and Alex Len had two points apiece in that game. James Padgett had eight points and five rebounds, while Pe’Shon Howard had three points and two assists.

The Tigers also rank last in the ACC in scoring offense (62.8 points per game) but second in scoring defense (58.6 points per game). Expect a slugfest.

WHO THEY’VE GOT

Boston College: The Eagles are led by forward Ryan Anderson and freshman guard Olivier Hanlan, who combined for 37 of the team’s 59 points in its loss to Maryland earlier this season. Both scored just above their season averages, which each rank in the ACC’s top 10.

Other than their two stars, however, the pickings are slim. Patrick Heckmann shot 2 of 9 from the field against the Terps while Joe Rahon and Lonnie Jackson combined for a 4-for-12 performance.

Clemson: Like Maryland, Clemson ranks zero players among the ACC’s top 19 scoring leaders, but senior Devin Booker averages 12.3 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.2 offensive rebounds per game. He’s also shooting a blistering 54.8 percent from the field, which ranks fourth in the league. Both Booker and sophomore K.J. McDaniels average over one block per game, while sophomore Rod Hall sports a 1.9-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Booker went off for 14 points and 12 rebounds against the Terps last season.

WHAT’S BEEN SAID

“We’ve turned it over too many times. We’ve talked about it in practice. It was a crushing start to our game at Virginia. It’s something we have to do better. We’re not a good enough team to waste possessions.” – Clemson Coach Brad Brownell.

“Going into this game, I thought that Boston College was an extremely dangerous team. Because I thought they were a little further with the execution of their offensive system than maybe our defensive system was. They’ve done a great job all year long of getting [teams] in and out of their systems, creating high percentage shots for their team.” – Florida State Coach Leonard Hamilton.

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 · February 17, 2013