Good morning/afternoon/National Cream Cheese Brownie Day from College Park, site of Saturday’s Maryland-Virginia ACC matchup, to tip off at 1 p.m.
It’s the annual “Gold Rush” game, so Comcast Center has basically turned into a cotton/polyester/safe-wash version of El Dorado. Courtesy Alex Len’s Instagram account, here’s a picture of today’s jerseys.
As always, pregame reading is below. Your open discussion forum is one click away, and you can find me on Twitter here, straight bathing in gold.
But first, some pregame quick-hitters.
>> Expect Virginia to roll small, especially with 6 foot 11 freshman Mike Tobey out indefinitely with mononucleosis and 6 foot 8 sophomore Darion Atkins battling a stress reaction in his injured right shin. As a result, the Cavaliers have played freshman Justin Anderson — a former Maryland commit — at the power forward position. Anderson finished with 14 points after earning the start against Clemson, and has scored in double figures in four of the Cavaliers’ past five games.
Whether Turgeon will counter with a small lineup is uncertain. He did say Saturday that both James Padgett and Charles Mitchell will “chase around some guards.”
“We might have to at some point,” Turgeon said. “We’re prepared to do it. But we’re not thinking 35 minutes of it. Maybe 5 minutes, maybe 7, depending on the situation. Maybe 0. Depends on how we’re guarding.”
>> Now, about that packed-in defense which has given ACC offenses fits all season, and ranks second nationally in scoring defense (51.5 points per game)…
“They’re well coached, very disciplined,” Turgeon said. “Can’t get caught up in the way they want to play. You just have to play the way you want to play. It’s a good chance coming here. They want a grinder. They want it in the 50s. We don’t care. We just want to win. We don’t care of it’s the 50s or the 60s. We just want to come out on top.”
>> Virginia has won three straight against Maryland.
>> Junior guard Joe Harris is the only player in the ACC ranked in the top 10 in three-point percentage (first), field-goal percentage (eighth) and free-throw percentage (ninth).
Game preview: Maryland vs. Virginia
Pregame notes: On Pe’Shon Howard, Shaq Cleare and more