If you are nostalgic for the BB & T classic, or at least for seeing Maryland play in it, you should hustle down to Verizon Center today. Turgeon has made it clear if this game lacks some fan support or atmosphere, it could very well be Maryland’s 18th and final appearance in the charity tournament. He is not in love with the notion of having to give a return game to a national team to play in the Verizon Center instead of Comast. I for one loved the days of the high profile games of the actual tournament, but just playing a single game against a local team not named Georgetown doesn’t do a whole lot for me. I hate the idea of pulling out of a charity event, but just like moving to the B1G, Turgeon is going to do what is best for Maryland. It will be interesting if John Feinstein’s good buddy Gary Williams steps in and asks Turgeon to reconsider. For me, this could solve the Maryland and Georgetown dilemma. Divide the arena in half, sell half the tickets to Maryland and half to Georgetown and you sell it out every year, and raise money for charity. Mr. Anderson, instead of throwing an ultimatum at Georgetown, why don’t you work it out with Georgetown? It is a win-win for everyone. The area gets a rivalry aching to be played, you get some money for the Children’s Charity, and you save a little money in travel by allowing your non revenue sports to play games a mere 10 miles from campus. I am not a financial wiz by any stretch, however, I think this is a slam dunk.
Anyway, let’s take a look at what we will get with todays game. The Terps come in with a 5-1 record and a five game winning streak. If the Terps are able to build on that second half performance of the win in Northwestern earlier in the week, George Mason could be in trouble. Mason comes in with a 5-2 record (losses to Bucknell and New Mexico). The big win for Mason was the season opening victory at home against UVA.
Mason comes in shooting 43% from the field and 36% from three. They are led by Sherrod Wright’s 14.9 points and 5 boards per game. He is the only player in double figures. As a team they are 309th in points per game, 222nd in rebounds per game, 289th in assists per game, and 167 in FG percentage. The Terps on the other hand are 51st in points, 3rd in rebounding, 4th in assists, and 33rd in FG %. Not to shabby huh? What do all those numbers mean? Not much really, the game still has to be played on the court. However, based on those stats, Maryland should be able to own the glass and throw waves of players and wear down Mason.
The interesting thing with Mason is all but one game (blow out win over Quinnipiac) have been very close games. It will be interesting to see if they can keep things close against the Terps. I expect a less than electric atmosphere and the Terps haven’t exactly come out in any game and take total control from the opening tip. Don’t be surprised if this is a close affair early. They have done a much better job in the second halves of games. It could be attributed to the depth and size wearing down the opponents. It could be attributed to Turgeon finding the combination of players on that given night that is clicking. Or it could just be Turgeon making in game adjustments and the Terps follow his command (see Alex Len’s second half against Northwestern). My guess, a combination of all three. Either way I expect it to be a close game early with the Terps pulling away in the second half. Maybe something along a 76-63 win. What do you think?