The Teams: Maryland Terrapins (7-5) vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (4-8)
The Time: 7:00 pm EST
The Location: Comcast Center, College Park, MD
The Coaches: Mark Turgeon (third season with Terps) and Danny Manning
The 2013-2014 regular season certainly hasn’t gotten off to the best start for Maryland. The Terps are back from winter break and are looking to put the Boston University loss behind them. While the Terriers are the favorite to win the Patriot League, it was a game that Maryland was more than capable of winning. Turnovers and a slow start plagued the Terps as guards Dez Wells and Roddy Peters committed 11 of the 17 team turnovers.
Maryland did shoot 48.3 percent from the field and won the battle on the glass against Boston University. Peters did struggle, but may not be expected to be the sole facilitator much longer. During Saturday’s media availability, coach Mark Turgeon announced that guard Seth Allen could see some action on Sunday in some minutes in each half. Allen fractured his foot prior to the season, but did practice with the team on Saturday.
On the Tulsa side of things, the Golden Hurricane only have two players that average double figures in guard James Woodard (13.8 points-per-game and 6.3 rebounds-per-game) and forward Rashad Smith 12.4 points-per-game and 5.4 rebounds-per-game. Tulsa doesn’t have any signature wins and plays in a weak Conference USA. This is a team that the Terps should dominate.
Keys to the game
1.) Make A Statement - The Terps have struggled recently and need to get back to the basics. Maryland is coming off a tough loss against Boston University and didn’t look too impressive in a narrow victory against Florida Atlantic. In those games, the Terps turned the ball over 26 times and allowed the opposing team’s most talented scorer to run amok. In order to tighten things up before ACC, Maryland will need to guard better and be more effective on the perimeter.
2.) Be More Effective In The Post – Maryland’s biggest question mark coming into this season was their interior play. It’s clear that former center Alex Len manning the middle and altering shots. Center Shaquille Cleare is playing better and has showed a few post moves. Cleare is a guy that is capable of being a glass-eater, but his highest rebound total is only five. Forwards Evan Smotrycz and Charles Mitchell can man the boards, but aren’t great defenders. For the Terps to defend the paint, Cleare and his counterparts are going to have to step it up on the defensive end.