Maryland basketball vs. Duke: Previewing the ACC tournament second round


(Associated Press)

THE INFO

Who: Maryland (21-11) vs. Duke (27-4).

When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Where: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, N.C.

TV: WDCA-20, WNUV-54 in Washington/Baltimore area, ESPN2 everywhere else.

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

Coaches: Terps — Mark Turgeon (second season, 38-26). Blue Devils – Mike Krzyzewski (33rd season, 881-236)

Pomeroy ratings: Terps 60th, Blue Devils 5th.

RPI: Terps 80th, Blue Devils 1st.

THE SCRIPT

Beating Wake Forest was one thing. Now the Terps get a hungry Duke bunch, who are returning to the site of their NCAA tournament disaster last March against Lehigh. Tack on the added motivation of Maryland’s 83-81 win at Comcast Center on Feb. 16, and the Terps might be running into a freight train. The Blue Devils haven’t played since blowing out North Carolina on March 9, and have made six straight ACC tournament finals when Greensboro hosts the event. Maryland always seems to rise to the occasion this season, but can Turgeon’s bunch do so away from College Park?

THE QUESTIONS

1. Neutralize Kelly? Known affectionately around Durham as the “White Raven,” Ryan Kelly’s return from a foot injury has sparked Duke. He’s shooting 60 percent from the field (18 for 30) in three games after missing two months, including a career-high 36 points against Miami at Cameron Indoor. At Maryland’s open practice earlier this week, forwards James Padgett and Charles Mitchell were working on perimeter close-out drills with the guards. They’ll be expected to contain Duke’s potent stretch-four.

2. “Little brother” complex? After Turgeon told Alex Len that Mason Plumlee treated him like “a little brother,” Maryland’s sophomore center dropped 19 points on the Blue Devils in the upset at home, shooting 6 for 8 from the field and 7 for 8 from the free throw line. So which Len will show up? The motivated one who led the Terps to their best win of Turgeon’s tenure in College Park? Or the generally disinterested one who gets pushed around by the ACC’s lesser post players?

3. Play with urgency? The Terps emerged sluggish against Wake Forest, falling behind by five points at halftime. A slow start like that 22 hours later could crush their already slim chances of an upset against Duke.

THE STATS

1.000: Duke’s winning percentage with Ryan Kelly in the lineup (18-0).

17.9: Dez Wells’s scoring average over the past five games.

53.6: Maryland’s rebounding percentage in conference games, best in the ACC.

THE QUOTES

“Got after our guys a little bit at halftime [of the Wake Forest win], talked about energy. We came out with energy, got our offense going. Weren’t quite as good defensively until the end. We did something tonight we don’t do a lot, we got to the foul line and made free throws. That was the difference.” – Turgeon.

“Ryan changes the whole dynamic of their team. We’re going to come ready and we’ll have our scouting report ready for him and the rest of the Duke players.” – Wells.

THE TERPS TUNE OF TODAY

Madness” by Muse.

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 · March 15, 2013