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Area college basketball previews

Friday, November 13, 2009

Maryland vs. Charleston Southern

When: 8 p.m.

Where: Comcast Center.

TV: Comcast SportsNet.

Radio: WJZ (105.7 FM, 1300 AM), WJFK (106.7 FM), WFMD (930 AM).

Outlook: Maryland kicks off its 2009-10 campaign against a Big South Conference opponent that went 9-20 last season. The Buccaneers lost two key contributors when starters Omar Carter and Tovi Bailey transferred out of the program in the offseason. The Terrapins will own a decisive advantage in size and overall talent over Charleston Southern, which should help freshman forwards James Padgett and Jordan Williams as they continue to grow accustomed to basketball at the Division I level. The eligibility of junior forward Dino Gregory remains in question and sophomore center Steve Goins continues to miss time because of a lingering knee injury.

-- Steve Yanda

Georgetown at Tulane

When: Approximately 9 p.m.

Where: Fogelman Arena, New Orleans.

Radio: WWXT (92.7 FM), WWXX (94.3 FM), WTEM (980 AM).

Outlook: The 20th-ranked Hoyas (16-15 last season) return three starters: Center Greg Monroe, a New Orleans native who's expected to have nearly 100 friends and family in the stands for his hard-court homecoming; and junior guards Chris Wright and Austin Freeman. Tulane, 14-17 last season and picked to finish eighth in the 12-team Conference USA, isn't likely to offer tremendous resistance. The Green Wave doesn't start a player taller than 6 feet 7. Like Georgetown, they return three starters, including last season's top scorer Kevin Sims, a 5-10 senior guard, and 6-5 guard Kris Richard.

-- Liz Clarke

Virginia vs. Longwood

When: 7 p.m.

Where: John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville.

Radio: WTNT (570 AM).

Outlook: Virginia will play without center Assane Sene (suspended) and forward Jamil Tucker (leave of absence). Joining forward Mike Scott in the front court will be little-used senior Jerome Meyinsse and possibly even walk-on Will Sherrill. Tony Bennett comes to Virginia with a reputation as a defensive coach, but there will be more of an interest in the Cavaliers' offense. Bennett's players say the slow-it-down style at Washington State has stayed on the West Coast, and there will be few better chances to run up a high score than Friday against Longwood.

-- Zach Berman

George Mason vs. Liberty

When: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Patriot Center.

Radio: WWRC (1260 AM).

Outlook: Patriots Coach Jim Larranaga's probable starters are forward Louis Birdsong, the team's only senior; sophomore forwards Ryan Pearson and Mike Morrison; junior guard Cam Long; and sophomore guard Andre Cornelius. He also will turn to several of the team's seven freshmen throughout the game. The Patriots, who have won 45 games the past two years in reaching the NCAA tournament and NIT, have not lost a season opener since 2002-03. The Flames, 23-game winners last season, were picked to finish seventh in the Big South.

-- Steven Goff

OTHER AREA MEN'S GAMES

American at St. Francis (Pa.), 7

Navy at Radford, 7

Howard at Indiana, 8

AREA WOMEN'S GAMES

George Mason vs. Norfolk State, 5

Navy vs. High Point in Phoenix Classic in Elon, N.C., 5

American at Howard, 7

Virginia at UMBC, 7

Virginia Tech vs. Longwood, 7:30

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