1.) Jake Layman has a turnaround performance
Layman has his worst shooting night of his career against Clemson, going 1-of-14 from the floor and missing some crucial free throws late in the game. Well, I think that turns around today against the Hokies, who are admittedly fodder for teams this season. Why? Obviously because Virginia Tech is terrible, but also because Layman kills them. He’s averaging almost 15 points per game in three career appearances versus the Hokies.
Their staff doesn’t close out well against deep ball shooters, and even though Layman is in a slump, not many people on their staff can guard him. The fact that it’s a home game just adds on to my certainty of this occurring.
2.) The bench gets a lot of burn today
I’m not suggesting that the team is going to give up or anything and start trotting out Damonte Dodd for 30 minutes a game, but I do think the Terps start to use Roddy Peters, Dodd, and perhaps Cleare a lot this game. Virginia Tech should be an easier opponent for the Terps, especially a Hokies team that doesn’t play well anywhere (but especially on the road). That should give Maryland ample opportunity to give some of the younger guys a bit more experience.
I understand that as a coach you want to keep your team playing like every game matters, and there’s merit to that; it’s what good teams in down years do. That still doesn’t mean you shouldn’t evaluate your talent at the end of the year, and with no postseason play being a real possibility for Maryland, I look for Turgeon to start giving Roddy a lot of minutes, and maybe the Terps going into some four-guard sets with Dodd in the middle. And I actually think it’ll work.
3.) Virginia Tech shoots under 35% for the game
The Hokies are a crap team, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that they shouldn’t do well against the Terps. Still, I think they’re really going to get pummeled against Maryland tonight. The Hokies will be without two of their better players, including second-leading scorer Adam Smith, who came in averaging 11 points per game for his team.
Maryland, even though they’re a game over .500, plays some solid defense against anyone, and Virginia Tech barely has anyone shooting over 40% on their roster that scores any real points. Look for the Terps to squash this team defensively and ensure they don’t get many transition points. By the second half, Virginia Tech is going to start hurling threes as the game slides out of hand.