Friday, March 25, 2005

Horned Frogs here, Hoyas check out

The much anticipated match up between local powers Georgetown and Maryland will not happen as Georgetown was beaten by South Carolina last night, 69-66. I'm being generous in referring to Georgetown as a "power" since they haven't been much of a factor in this area in a long time. The lingering bad feelings between the schools is still evident and it was rumored that each side demanded that they not have the possibility of meeting till the semi-finals in New York as a condition of participating in the NIT. There will be no renewal of the "rivalry" between the schools anytime soon. Georgetown had to travel to South Carolina, which illustrates the drawback of playing home games at the MCI center since the site is often unavailable. Georgetown got to play Cal State at McDonough Gymnasium but that was the last game that the NIT would allow at a facility that holds less than 3,000 people, regardless of the "atmosphere".

TCU, Horned Frogs

Maryland will play a "major" conference foe for the first time in the NIT when Conference USA member TCU comes to Comcast. TCU finished 8th in the C-USA with an 8-8 record, 21-13 overall. They also finished ranked 91 in the RPI and 79 in the Pomeroy. Their marquee wins are against Florida State, Texas Tech, UAB and Memphis. Like Maryland's previous two opponents TCU plays a three guard set and likes to shoot from the outside. Their two big men, Femi Ibikunle and Marcus Sloan, both 6-9, combine to average a little more than 8 points and 10 rebounds per game. The team revolves around the play of Corey Santee, Nile Murry and Marcus Shropshire, an experienced trio of two seniors and a junior. Despite being the three top scorers for TCU none are particularly good shooters and all shot less than 40% from the field in C-USA play. Even if they may not hit many that doesn't stop the trio from launching it from downtown as Shropshire and Santee have both attempted more than 200 3-pointers. In comparison TCU's trio has attempted more 3-pointers this season than Maryland's entire team.

Their offense isn't particularly efficient but when they are hitting those outside shots they can pull an upset on a superior team. Free throw shooting is another achillies heel of TCU as they shot an abysmal 59% from the line. Their gritty defense may have give them a chance to keep the game close for a while. TCU does play a deep bench with 10 players averaging over 10 minutes a game, but they do not have the frontcourt players to keep pace with Maryland. The script will be familiar to Maryland fans as TCU may stay close with outside shooting in the first half only to fade in the second. Look for James Gist to have another big game.

No comments: