Tuesday 7 PM Littlejohn Coliseum Clemson, SC
Leading scorer: MD – Terrell Stoglin 21.7ppg CLEM – Andre Young 13.6ppg
Last game: MD- Lost to UNC 83-74 CLEM: Lost to Virginia Tech 67-65
Any educated ACC fan knows that despite their record, Clemson is always a tough team to beat at home, and that Little John Coliseum is one of the loudest venues in the conference. The Tigers are 11-11 and have lost to the likes of College of Charleston, Utep and Costal Carolina, but by no means can the Terps sleep on them… just ask Florida State, who was handed a 20 point loss by the host Tigers earlier this season. The Tigers five losses in conference play this year have been by a combined 18 points, so they are by no means pushovers. The Tigers certainly have some talent. Andre Young can light it up from the outside, and Devin Booker can provide a mismatch on the inside. The Terps go into Littlejohn looking for their first road win against a team who on paper they are “supposed” to beat. However, every Terp fan has to be worried about this game. The Tigers will be tough, and if they do lose, they will sure go down fighting.
So do you think Mark Turgeon worked on rebounding in practice this week? I would hope so, as the lack of rebounding on the defensive end cost the Terps their biggest victory of the season on Saturday, as the Tarheels rebounded better than Jennifer Aniston after a break up. There are no such things as moral victories, so I am not taking any stock into the fact that the Terps led the most talented team in the ACC for about 30 minutes, before eventually losing in the end. With Duke looming on Saturday, it would behoove the Terps to not sleep-walk their way through a sloppy game against Clemson. Terrell Stoglin, if you want to be mentioned in the same breath as Greivis Vasquez, then you need to step up to the plate and make big shots that win games… and this game would a good place to start. The Terps travel into one of the most hostile road environments where they have not much success of late, looking for their first conference road win against a team that has nothing to lose, and does not fear them. If that doesn’t sound like a recipe for disaster, then I don’t know what does.
I have waivered back and forth on this game and I have come to two realizations. First, the Terps this season have beaten, the teams they were “supposed to beat” which is certainly what Clemson is, even though they may be better than their record indicates. . Second, and most importantly, none of those wins came on the road and its tough to see them going down to Clemson and coming out with a win. The Terps have shown flashes that they can be a good team, but also show flashes that show why they are 13-9, and likely will miss the NCAA Tournament. To paraphrase something the great Denny Green once said, the Terps “are who we think they are” and they are a team that can’t win on the road. Until they prove me wrong, I have to pick the Tigers here. Expect a sloppy game but eventually Andre Young and Tanner Smith to make big shots to lead the home team to a victory.
Clemson 66 Terps 61.