Virginia Tech Hokies (12-8, 1-4 ACC) At Maryland Terrapins (12-7, 2-3 ACC)
Saturday 2:30pm Comcast Center, College Park, MD
Leading Scorer: VT- Erick Green 15.8ppg MD: Terrell Stoglin 20.9ppg
Last game: VT- lost to BYU 70-68 MD: lost to Duke 74-61
Does anyone hear that? Listen closer, we usually hear it around March, it’s the sound of Seth Greenberg pleading his team’s case to be in the NCAA Tournament. Maybe the Hokies have been “snubbed” in the past , but after a 1-4 start in conference play this season, Virginia Tech has a lot of work to do if they want to even be in the conversation come tourney time. Not only have the Hokies lost four games in conference, but they have lost to Boston College and Wake Forest. However, they did beat a good Virginia team in their last ACC game, despite scoring just 47 points. Not many expected the Hokies to be toiling around the cellar of the conference, but things like that don’t happen by accident. It just may be possible that this year’s Virginia Tech team is just not that talented, no matter how much Seth Greenberg wants to dispute the critics. Even after saying all that, it would not surprise anyone if they came into the Comcast Center and left with a win.
I know there is no such thing as a moral victory, and despite what anyone says, the Terps simply collapsed again Wednesday night. Despite leading the game in the second half, Maryland showed their usual ineptitude running the half- court offense, and failed to make shots for 40 minutes. While Duke couldn’t miss at the free throw stripe, MD couldn’t convert, and had noticeable breakdowns on the defensive end the floor. Alex Len is starting to look to like the second coming of Will Bowers, only weaker. And, Nick Faust has yet to show any sort of ability to make a three pointer. The one bright spot has been Ashton Pankey, who is a menace on the glass, and strong enough to play against players who have more size then he does. If I could not see the name on the back of their jersey, I might mistake Pankey for former Terp Byron Mouton, which is high praise for the red shirt freshman. Despite previous results against the Hokies, this is a game the Terps expect to win, and one they need to win if they want to finish in the top half of the conference.
Two bold predictions here: First ,Terrell Stoglin will lead the Terps in scoring this game. Second, Seth Greenberg will be running his mouth about his team’s tournament chances immediately after this game. Okay, okay I know neither of those is bold, but truthfully, this game is a complete coin flip. I give a slight advantage to the Terps being at home, and think they gained some confidence (if it’s possible to gain that from a 13 points loss) after their game against Duke. I look for a sloppy game from both teams with poor offensive execution. But, somehow the home team gets the job done.
Terps 65 Hokies 61.