Maryland vs. Duke: New contributors have emerged for both teams
Less than four weeks have elapsed since Maryland lost to Duke, 71-64, at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
But when the teams meet again Wednesday ¿ this time at Comcast Center ¿ both squads will be slightly changed.
The main difference for the Terps (14-7, 4-3), who have won their three consecutive games, is their evolution at point guard, where freshmen Terrell Stoglin and Pe'Shon Howard are splitting duties.
In the Jan. 9 game at Duke, Stoglin started for only the second time in his career. And his inexperience showed in the way he tried to do too much, going 1 of 10 from the field (missing all six three-point attempts), turning over the ball three times and ending up with five assists, three rebounds and three points.
Howard managed five points in his 10 minutes of action but turned over the ball four times.
Said Maryland Coach Gary Williams on the eve of Wednesday's game: "I thought that was a very difficult thing for Terrell Stoglin and Pe'Shon Howard to walk into Cameron and play for the first time. We didn't have too many games behind us. That game is part of the growing process for them and for our team."
Stoglin has scored in double figures in two of Maryland's last three games. In the six games since that four-turnover performance against Duke, Howard has just 10 turnovers total.
Meantime, Duke (19-2, 6-1) has gotten more production from sophomore forward Ryan Kelly, who has added punch to the Blue Devils' front court.
The 6-foot-11, 235-pound Kelly scored two points and three rebounds against Maryland in January. Entering Wednesday's game, he's averaging 9.4 points and 4.9 rebounds in ACC contests. Kelly scored a career-high 20 points, going a perfect 6 of 6 from the field (including 3 of 3 from beyond the arc), in Duke's 83-59 victory over Wake Forest on Jan. 22.
Duke arrives at Comcast Center on the heels of its worst loss of the season, falling Sunday to unranked St. John's at Madison Square Garden, 93-78. The defeat dropped Duke, ranked No. 1 when it beat Maryland in January, to No. 5 in the Associated Press top 25.
In the view of Williams, the spanking by St. John's doesn't necessarily bode well for the Terps.
"People have to realize [the loss to St. John's] is one game," Williams said, "and that one game might make Duke a better basketball team the rest of the year."