After a stunning blowout win on Saturday within the opening spherical of the Corridor of Fame Tipoff Basic, Maryland basketball appears to be like to proceed its red-hot begin on Sunday within the championship recreation. The Terps face Miami, which beat Windfall within the opening spherical, in a 1 p.m. tipoff on ESPN.
It appeared like Maryland’s opener towards Saint Louis can be the workforce’s first take a look at of the season. As a substitute, the Terps managed the sport from begin to end, dominating a team that was among the many prime ‘receiving votes’ groups outdoors of the AP Ballot’s top-25, 95-67. Donta Scott tied his career-high with 25 factors and Kevin Willard grew to become the primary coach to win his first 4 video games at Maryland.
“Tomorrow’s a possibility to win a championship. Anytime you’ve a possibility like that, it’s a must to seize it, benefit from it. I believe these guys are getting rewarded for his or her exhausting work,” Willard mentioned afterward.
As of early Sunday morning, no level unfold had been posted.
Listed below are three issues to look at:
Matchup of veterans and balance … Guard Jordan Miller, a 6-7 senior averaging 15.7 factors, 7.7 rebounds and a pair of.7 steals on 62.5 % taking pictures, leads the Canes. That is Miller’s fifth season of faculty basketball and he is averaged double0figure scoring in each season, the primary three coming at George Mason. Hakim Hart, who sparked Maryland on Saturday (6-10, season-high 16 factors) will seemingly get the project in what must be a great matchup.
Miami has three extra gamers in double-figures: sophomore ahead Norchad Omier (12.7 PPG, 11 RPG), who was a prized commodity within the switch portal final offseason, guard Isiah Wong (12 PPG, 4,7 APG) and guard Nijel Pack (11.3 PPG) Wong helped lead Miami to a stunning Elite Eight berth final season, whereas Pack was one other extremely regarded switch portal commodity, from Kansas State.
Equally, Maryland has 4 gamers in double figures and just one youthful than a junior. Scott, Julian Reese, Jahmir Younger and Hart. So it’s going to be a robust matchup of beginning lineups.
Protection wins it? Miami has been good offensively, rating thirtieth in KenPom’s adjusted effectivity rankings, whereas Maryland ranks thirty fifth. The Canes rank 57th in adjusted protection, whereas Maryland sits thirty first. The Terps held Saint Louis to simply 36.2 % taking pictures after they entered the sport taking pictures 48.2 %. So Maryland appears to be like like the higher defensive workforce, however 4 video games is a small pattern measurement.
Reese may have a problem towards Omier, a burly Nicaragua native who weighs about 25 extra kilos than him regardless of standing just a few inches shorter. Maryland will most likely want extra offense from him than on Saturday, when he solely took three photographs and went 0 for 4 from the free throw line.
Regardless of their offensive outburst on Saturday, it has been the Terps’ protection keying their first stretch of 4 consecutive 20-point wins in 13 years. However it’s tougher to gameplan defensively for a workforce when you do not know who you are enjoying till the sport is lower than 24 hours away.
“I’ve had a lot enjoyable teaching this group as a result of they’re actually understanding what we’ve to remove from a gameplan standpoint, they’re actually being attentive to the scouting report, they’re embracing the scouting report, after which they are going out and executing it,” Willard mentioned. “For being such a younger group collectively, regardless that they’re older guys, I am actually proud of the way in which they’re popping out with their depth after which we’re sticking to the defensive gameplan.”
Two hot-starting groups … After years of gradual begins, Maryland has shortly reversed that behavior underneath Willard. The Terps led SLU by a stunning 51-27 halftime rating on Saturday, their largest halftime lead since 2018 towards North Carolina A&T, after main its earlier opponent, Binghamton, by 21 on the break. Miami has additionally been a hot-starting workforce, main Windfall on the break on Saturday by 12, the identical margin by which it led its earlier opponent, Florida A&M. The Hurricanes led by 15 at halftime of their first two video games.
Whoever wins ought to have an opportunity to enter the AP Ballot earlier than lengthy. Maimi obtained votes final week, whereas Maryland would seemingly start to take action this week.