Maryland embarks on what will be only their second true road game of the season tonight as they take their talents to South Beach for a date with the Miami Hurricanes. Coming off of a three point loss to Florida State that was hard to stomach for players and fans alike the Terps should be ready to get back after it in front of a national television audience as they are featured on ACC Sunday Night Hoops on ESPNU.
Miami presents another test for Mark Turgeon’s Terrapins team as the Hurricanes have started off conference play with two straight victories, including a nine point win over North Carolina in Chapel Hill on Thursday night. The Hurricanes have both the size to contend with Maryland on the inside as well as the scoring options on the wing to potentially present problems for the Terrapins. Without further ado, I present you with my Keys To Victory for tonight’s game.
1) Value the Basketball.
I feel like this shouldn’t need to be said but after giving the ball away 18 times against Florida State it is imperative that the Terps take better care of the ball tonight. This has been a recurring issue for Maryland this season and couldn’t be rearing its ugly head again at a worse time with conference play beginning and the stakes being raised every night. Having that many lost possessions over the course of 40 minutes will be an absolute killer for this team were that trend to continue. Mark Turgeon surely conveyed that message to his team in the Terps practices since the loss to Florida State.
2) Own the Glass.
One of the biggest positives for this Maryland Terrapins team has been how they’ve continuously won the rebounding battle. Whether it leads to a second chance for the Terps on the offensive end or prohibits the opposition from having second chance opportunities winning the rebounding battle is paramount to the Terps success.
The Miami front line is anchored by a Univeristy of Florida transfer. Kenny Kadji, the Hurricanes 6’11″ C is averaging 7 rebounds a game to go along with 12 points. The match up within the match up between Kadji and Len will be one that Maryland must win tonight.
3) Contain Durand Scott.
Senior swingman Durand Scott is leading the Hurricanes in scoring with an average of 14.4 per contest. Last year Scott torched the Terps averaging 19 PPG against Maryland, including a 24 point 8 rebound and 7 assist effort in the Hurricanes double-overtime victory. The Terps will presumably throw an array of defenders at Scott throughout the game as they did against Erick Green until someone shows to be effective. Unfortunately for Maryland, Miami has far more offensive weapons than the Hokies did so while they must contain Scott they cannot forget about the rest of the Hurricanes players on the floor.