Editors note: This preview was written by Chris Bengel, new staff writer for Maryland Basketball with TerrapinStationMD.com. Chris also covers Lehigh University Basketball for CityOfBasketballLove.com as well as the Philadelphia Phillies at TeamToBeat.WordPress.com. Please help us welcome Chris to our staff.
Fresh off an absolute drubbing of Northwestern, the Maryland Terrapins will look to extend their winning streak to six consecutive games against George Mason BB&T Classic. Aside from their win against Quinnipiac, the Patriot have only won each game by four points or less.
George Mason is a member of the Colonial Athletic Association and comes into this game 5-2. Their key wins include Virginia to open the season and Rhode Island. Aside from their win against Quinnipiac, the Patriot have only won each game by four points or less. This looks to be the toughest game thus far for Maryland because it will be played at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. George Mason is always a tough team and they could have a decent amount of fans due to the game being local. Here is a look at Sunday’s matchup.
The Teams: George Mason Patriots (5-2) vs. Maryland Terrapins (5-1)
The Time: 2:30 PM
The Place: Verizon Center – Washington D.C.
Television/Radio: MASN (TV) and ESPN 980/105.7 FM (Radio)
George Mason Player to Watch: Sherrod Wright
Wright has been the most consistent player thus far for the Patriots. Through seven games this season, the Mount Vernon, Ny. native has scored in double figures in all but one game (9 against Boston University). Wright is the most balanced player on the Patriots’ roster as he is averaging 14.9 ppg and 5.0 rpg. In a 70-69 loss at the hands of New Mexico, the junior guard had his best game in which he scored 22 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. Maryland is going to have to know where Wright is at all times and could stick Dez Wells on him since Wells has been the team’s best defender thus far.
Maryland Terrapins Player to Watch: Dez Wells
When Dez Wells committed to come to Maryland, the Terrapins knew they were getting a good player. On Tuesday night against Northwestern, we found out just how good Wells can be. The former Xavier guard absolutely abused the Wildcats to the tune of 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting. Wells drove the basketball with ease and scored 13 of those points in the second half. We’ve all seen how important Alex Len has been to Maryland but if Wells can get going, the Terrapins are going to be a very tough team in the ACC and could be NCAA tournament bound.
Underlying Storyline: A chance for Maryland to possibly be ranked
Aside from Kentucky, Maryland had been tested very few times as they had convincing wins over teams like LIU-Brooklyn, Georgia Southern, and Morehead State. In the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, the Terrapins faced off against an undefeated Northwestern squad that had been playing well coming into the game. However, Maryland overcame a woeful first half and dominated in every facet of the game in the second half and upended the Wildcats 77-57 on the road. The Terrapins got the job done with a heavy dose of Alex Len inside and the scoring touch of Dez Wells. Coming into the week, Maryland was unranked and getting very little love in the polls. With wins over Northwestern and a veteran George Mason squad, the Terrapins could find themselves sneaking into the Top 25. The Patriots are coming in only averaging 59.2 ppg which is good for 302nd in the country. It should be a pretty easy game for the Terrapins but you never know how the crowd will be split since both are local schools. Maryland is looking for another win in the BB&T Classic after defeating Notre Dame in the game a season ago.
George Mason will hang tough in the first half but will ultimately pull away as they have many times this season. Maryland wins this one in the nation’s capital 72-57