Coming off of back-to-back losses to the red hot Duke Blue Devils and undefeated and second ranked Syracuse, the Miami Hurricanes head to College Park, MD tomorrow night to face a a Maryland squad (11-9, 3-4 in the ACC) that has had their own struggles.
In their final season before heading to the B1G, the Terrapins have been models of inconsistency.
Can UM pull the minor upset on the road? What is the Maryland's biggest weakness that Miami can expose? Who are the greatest Terp players of all time?
Alex Kirshner with Testudo Times was kind enough to give us the scoop:
SOTU: Is going through the ACC schedule for the last time bittersweet? What is your all time favorite Terps memory within the conference?
TT: Full disclosure here: I'm an out-of-state undergraduate, so my frame of reference isn't as big as most Maryland fans. I've only been in College Park for two years, so I missed out on Juan Dixon and Steve Blake, Len Bias and Lefty Driesell, and countless others. My favorite ACC memory of the Terps is the 83-81 win over Duke at Comcast Center a year ago -- a dramatic, exciting moment in what's otherwise been a disappointing stretch for the basketball program since Gary Williams' departure
SOTU: Seth Allen appears to have settled in as the point. Has Maryland finally calmed down their turnover issues?
TT: Turnovers remain very much a problem. The Terps coughed the ball up 17 times against Pitt on Saturday, and the last time they committed fewer than 10 turnovers was the better part of a month ago against a bad Georgia Tech team. Their ball security has been fairly abhorrent for a while now.
SOTU: Which players have stood out? Disappointed? Can Maryland make a run and get in the Tournament, or is this an NIT team?
TT: There's been almost nothing unexpectedly positive. Sophomore wing Jake Layman has taken an overall step forward, but he's also gone weeks at a time being entirely irrelevant on the floor. Freshman guard Roddy Peters looked to be on his way to a great freshman year in the early going, but he's been lousy of late. Virtually nobody has inspired significant optimism.The Terps have one fringy good win, at a neutral site against Providence. They've had several horrid losses, including to Boston University and George Washington. Their next-best win was probably against Notre Dame at home. Where I'm going with this, of course, is that there's almost no way this team sniffs March without making a serious run at the ACC Tournament.
SOTU: If you could pick players from any season or era, what would be your all time Maryland starting 5?
TT: That's a tough one. I'm sure I'll be fried for forgetting somebody, but I'd try a three-guard set. Give me Juan Dixon, John Lucas and Grevis Vasquez in the backcourt, with the great Len Bias and Tom McMillen playing down low. There have been a lot of really good players to come through town.
SOTU: What players or match-ups on Miami concern you?
TT: Everything inside, essentially. Depending on who winds up covering him, I could see Donnavan Kirk performing well. Maryland's big men have not been good, and a lot of opposing bigs have been very effective against them.
SOTU: How does this game play out and who wins?
TT: I don't see this being an especially well-played game, given both teams' recent problems. Since Maryland, on the whole, looked OK against Pittsburgh over the weekend -- and because the game is in College Park -- I'll take them in a tight one, 67-62.
Thanks again to Alex for working with us. Be sure to check out the game tomorrow night at 9PM (ESPN3/ACC Network all affiliates).