Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Basketball schedule shaping up

It appears that the ACC will keep the original three year rotation and though it has not been officially released yet it appears Maryland's ACC schedule will consist of the following:

Home and Home:
Virginia
Duke
North Carolina
Georgia Tech
Miami

Home Only:
Boston College
Wake Forest
Virginia Tech

Road Only:
NC State
Florida State
Clemson

The Raleigh paper called it the most difficult schedule in the ACC since the Terps are the only team that has to play Duke and North Carolina twice. It isn't an "easy" schedule but with Maryland locked in to two games against Duke every year they are not likely to get an easy draw like Virginia Tech or Miami who are guaranteed four games against the dregs of the conference every year. Right now it doesn't appear that the Terps are in great shape this fall but to suggest that Maryland will have to play over its head to finish above 10th in the league is pretty ridiculous. I doubt a Gary Williams coached team will finish below 9th in a very weak ACC.

It is unlikley that Maryland will be able to steal a win from UNC, though they are they only team to beat UNC each of the last two seasons. I think Duke was vastly overrated last season and will only be marginally better this year. If Williams made some different coaching decisions Maryland could have easily won at least one of the games against Duke.

I don't see Miami having much of a chance to improve on their record from last season so assuming they will be a 11 win team is laughable. Maryland hasn't had much luck against them in past seasons, mostly because the frontcourt players for the Terps got bullied, but I don't see that as a sweep for the Hurricanes.

Georgia Tech has talent but always seems to underachieve. In addition Maryland has won five in a row against the Yellow Jackets.

Virginia may be slightly better than last season overall but the void at point guard may spell disaster for the Wahoos.

Maryland gets to host improving Wake, Boston College and Virginia Tech. None of those teams are particularly good road warriors. I wouldn't be surprised if the Terps took two of those three.

The road slate, outside of Clemson, isn't difficult. NC State may still be the worst team in the ACC and Florida State lost a tremendous amount of experience. Clemson is a dark horse. They may still be the third best team in the ACC, and not far off from Duke.

All in all I think a 7-9 or 6-10 record is very feasible with this schedule.

I think Miami actually has the most challenging slate. Getting NC State and FSU twice helps, though they can't seem to win in Tallahassee, but the rest of the schedule is difficult. The home only slate includes tough opponents in Wake, Virginia Tech and Clemson, not that the worst arena and fans in the league give them any advantage at home. The road slate includes a visit to Duke and two road venues in Georgia Tech and Virginia that are more difficult that the talent level of those teams would indicate.

Georgia Tech probably has the most favorable schedule and probably should take at least 5 of their 8 home games.

In other news Maryland will play Vermont again this season along with George Washington, Charlotte, Michigan and an undetermined quality opponent in the Old Spice Classic. It isn't too challenging a non-conference slate, which is exactly what the Terps will need.

1 comment:

Willy Mac said...

Your trip to Tigertown next year should be an interesting game. Good luck next year guys.