Normally, an early-season tiff with an Atlantic 10 opponent wouldn’t raise an eyebrow for most Maryland Basketball fans. Wednesday night might be a bit different. The new-look George Mason Patriots, under new head coach Kim English, come to the Xfinity Center to visit the 20th-ranked Maryland Terrapins. The Patriots are 3-0 coming into the game, having beaten their opponents by an average of close to 30 points per game. This looks to be one of the bigger early developmental tests for the new and improved Terps. Let’s take a closer look at some of the keys for Wednesday night’s match-up.
English comes to College Park
The new GMU head coach has built quite a reputation for himself already in coaching circles and this year’s edition of the team looks to be a real contender for an Atlantic-10 crown. The visit also signifies a homecoming of sorts for former Maryland Basketball PG legend Duane Simpkins, who serves as an assistant coach on the Patriot staff. If GMU’s first three games of the season are an indicator, Wednesday night will turn out to be an intense, entertaining, and challenging game for both squads. Josh Oduro and Colorado transfer D’Shawn Schwartz look like one of the better duos in the A-10, averaging 19 points and 15 points a game respectively. Davonte Gaines (Univ. Of Tennessee) and DeVon Cooper (Morehead State) fill out a quartet that’s averaging double figures in each of their first three games. The Patriots have been just as impressive on the defensive end of the court, holding opponents to an average of 57 points a game. They’ve beaten their first three opponents by a scoring margin of 26.7 points. Indeed, this year’s edition of the Patriots looks poised to be a factor in their own conference, and a suitable challenge for the top-20 terps on Wednesday night.