Thursday, February 10, 2011

Just win, baby

The next few games for the Maryland Terrapins will likely decide the course of the season. With road games at Boston College and Virginia Tech coming up Maryland gets a chance to add to their thin resume and bump their flaccid RPI number to relevant levels. Collectively these two game are just as important as the Duke game was last week. At this point in the season Maryland needs to win, regardless of the opponent or location. It isn't that any one game is vital but the Terps will have to make up in volume what they lack in quality. It appears that North Carolina's resurgence might be legitimate and Maryland will get a shot to beat a young Tar Heels team on the road in a few weeks but that game will only be relevant if they can win in the interval.

It appears that Pe'Shon Howard has returned to the starting lineup. It seems Gary Williams will ride whichever freshman is playing better in that game. It is worth keeping in mind that though Howard has played well the last few games it was against Wake Forest and Longwood. Boston College will pose a much more legitimate test on Saturday and Eagles point guard Biko Paris torched Maryland for 22 points so Howard will need to keep playing at a high level on the road. Side note Paris has not scored more than 12 points in an ACC game since then.

It isn't worth discussing the Longwood game as it was merely an exhibition in the middle of the season. Throw out all the stats from that game because they don't mean much. 

It is also an opportunity to get some revenge on the Eagles after their 79-75 win over Maryland at Comcast Center in December. That loss seemed to stagger Maryland a little as they won three games against poor mid-major opponents but then lost three of the subsequent four contests. The Eagles' reliance on 3-point shooting seemed to take Maryland by surprise and Reggie Jackson's ability to drive to the basket gave the Terps all kinds of problems. Jackson has struggled recently but scored 27 points in the loss to Clemson last game. No Maryland defender had much success against Jackson in the last game so it will be interesting to see what Gary Williams decides to do to limit the All-ACC caliber guard. Given the major minutes that Jackson, Paris and Trapani perhaps the trio is wearing down a bit currently. Only paper thin Virginia Tech has three players playing more minutes per game than Boston College's top trio.

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