After slightly more than a month of matching up against one another, the University of Maryland basketball players will face some new faces tonight. The Terrapins will play the Canadian national team in an exhibition at 8 p.m. at Cole Field House.
"It's kind of redundant to go after each other in practice," Coach Bob Wade said yesterday. "The game against the Canadians is very welcome. We'll use this as a measuring stick to see where we are."
Maryland will open the regular season next Friday night when it meets Loyola of Baltimore in the first round of the MCI-Harbor Classic at the Baltimore Arena. On Saturday night, the winner will play the winner of the Mississippi-St. Joseph's matchup.
The Canadians, who were fifth at the Pan American Games, are 1-7 against Big East teams on this tour after losing to Georgetown last night, 97-78. They were beaten by Pittsburgh, 86-80, Monday night and they were scheduled to play Georgetown last night.
Wade is looking for some answers.
"I'm looking to see how aggressive we are and how do we execute," he said. "I want to see our offensive schemes, because we've done some things differently. Defensively, I don't want to say 'relentless,' but I want us to be active, with arms and legs waving. And I don't want to see us fall prey on the offensive and defensive boards like last year."
Individually, he would like to see how freshman centers Brian Williams and Cedric Lewis have progressed, and how point guard Rudy Archer makes the switch from junior college to major college.
Derrick Lewis is the only sure bet to start, Wade said. A possible starting combination -- and Wade has said it could change with the opponent -- would be Williams at center, Derrick Lewis and Dave Dickerson at forwards, Steve Hood and Archer at guards. Or, Teyon McCoy could be at either guard, with John Johnson as an off guard.