ESPN college hoops analyst Andy Katz did a review of the ACC so far, so I thought we’d just cut out the unimportant stuff (read: everything not concerning Maryland) and give you the rest. Here it is:
The problem is that the teams below Duke must separate themselves from the league’s bottom tier. That means teams such as North Carolina, Boston College and Maryland can’t afford to lose to the likes of Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Clemson and Virginia. But aside from Wake Forest, even these teams have enough talent to be tough outs.
He lists the Terps among the best of the rest:
Maryland has the most productive power player in the middle in Jordan Williams. He can be the anchor that takes the Terps to the Big Dance. The guard play needs to be more consistent, and inexperience in that area has cost the Terps in close games against like competition (see losses to Illinois in New York, Temple in Washington D.C. and at Boston College). A nonconference game at Villanova next week is another opportunity to impress. The Terps have the talent and have traditionally been a second-half-of-the-season team, so they should do enough to earn a bid. Maryland gets Duke twice, North Carolina once (on the road), Virginia Tech twice and NC State once (at home) with a return game at Boston College.
Grading his preseason picks:
6. Maryland: Sure, the Terps lost to BC at home and haven’t had that signature win yet, but they have talent to finish in the top three.
On best place to watch a game:
And it’s hard to top the intensity of the students at Maryland. The Duke students may have more gimmicks, but the Maryland students tend to bring a bit more vitriol to their passion.
Katz has quite a few Maryland games under “Games to watch” – Feb. 2 against Duke, Feb. 12 at BC, Feb. 15 at VT, Feb. 20 against NC State, and Feb. 27 at UNC.
He predicts Maryland makes the tournament (alongside Duke and North Carolina), and says they win their first round game. Katz also says Jordan Williams is still in the ACC POY discussion, although Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler are the leaders.