Maryland travels on the road for the first time in ACC play and they travel to the cream of the ACC, the Duke Blue Devils, who are the number 1 team in the nation and the defending national champions. The game takes place tomorrow night at 8 PM in Durham. Here are five questions going into the game and to keep your eyes on during the game.
What is up with the most famous toe injury in college hoops this year?
When Duke played Butler early in December, freshman Kyrie Irving made a simple cut and from that point on he has not played due to a toe and foot injury that seems to baffle even all the doctors at Duke. There has been speculation he may be done for the year but no definitive word has been given either way.
How can Maryland slow down Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler?
The simple answer is that it probably will not happen as both of these guys are All-Americans and phenomenal basketball players. They may not be able to stop them but the key will be to control them. It will take team defense and communication by all five players on the court on the defensive end. The two main guys to cover them will probably be Cliff Tucker and Adrian Bowie although Sean Mosley, Terrence Stoglin, and Pe’Shon Howard will take some turns on them.
How will Terps freshmen respond in first ACC road game?
This could be huge as Stoglin and Howard play their first road game. They have played some road games but nothing can really compare to playing at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The student section really brings it and they are right there next to the court. The veterans on the team (Williams, Dino Gregory, Tucker, Bowie, Mosley) will be huge in this aspect to help the freshmen as well as Gary Williams. Maryland needs to get out to a strong start to help quiet the “Cameron Crazies.”
Will Jordan Williams get a 9th straight double-double?
Williams is not as automatic as Blake Griffin and Kevin Love for double-doubles but he is tied for second all-time in Maryland history for consecutive games with a double-double at 8. However, the question is will he do it in Durham? I think he will get his 9th but Maryland will need more than just 10 points and 10 rebounds to win. Williams need to dominate the paint and get help from Gregory,James Padgett, and Berend Weijs to combat the talented Duke frontline lead by the Plumlee brothers. If Williams get 20 points and 15 boards, I think Duke will have a chance to win and pull the upset
Who will give Jordan Williams some help on the offensive end?
The most obvious choice would be Terrence Stoglin but I am not sure how he will do based on question three. The player I would keep an eye on his Cliff Tucker. He will have his hands full on the defensive end with Singler but if he can play him to a draw, it improves Maryland’s chances greatly. If Maryland can get between 12-15 points from two of these three guys: Stoglin, Tucker, and Mosley, I think Maryland will get the upset win.
I am looking forward to watching the game Sunday night to see the Terps and Devils. With all of that said, I think Duke will hold serve at home and get the win 78-67. Duke has too many weapons and is truly the most dominant team not just in the ACC but nationally.