The Maryland Terrapins are set to square off Tuesday night in a rare matchup against the Georgetown Hoyas. The meeting between the two teams will be the first time since 2008 and the first time Maryland will host the Hoyas for the first time in College Park since 1973. The rivalry between the two schools has been revived as Terrapins head coach Mark Turgeon and Hoyas head coach John Thompson III are very good friends and both are excited to bring to back a matchup that the Maryland/Washington D.C. area has been waiting for.
The showdown between the two schools will be the 64th meeting in basketball as Maryland leads the all-time series against the Hoyas 36-27.
Maryland vs Georgetown: 11/17/15 at 9:00pm on ESPN2 In College Park
The number three ranked Terps are looking for a 2-0 start at home against a Hoyas team that is coming off a surprising loss to the Radford Highlanders in double overtime 82-80. The Hoyas may have caught a trap game looking forward to the matchup against the Terps, but despite the disappointing 0-1 start, the Hoyas still have dangerous talent.
The Hoyas will certainly be a test for Maryland due to the team's offensive capabilities. Senior guard D'vauntes Smith-Rivera averaged 16.3 points a game last season and shot 39 percent from the perimeter. His perimeter game will be key to stop for Maryland as the Terps allowed seven-three pointers in the first half against the Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers.
Hoyas senior center Bradley Hayes scored 19 points and 10 rebounds against the Highlanders and with the defensive efficiency being a question mark still for Maryland freshman center Diamond Stone, backup center Damonte Dodd may see more minutes than he did in the season opener. After all, Dodd is likely the best defender Maryland has in the paint. Hayes is 7'0 and it might take more than one guy from Maryland to hold him down.
Also, Maryland shouldn't sleep on Hoyas freshman forward Jessie Govan who's 6'10 and provided 11 points against the Highlanders. The Hoyas are not a ranked team, but they have players who can create their own shots. They are the perfect team for Maryland to get ready for as the season goes along facing tough competition week after week.
In the frontcourt on offense for Maryland, expect the team to be balanced from the inside game to the outside game. The frontcourt for Maryland consisting of Stone, Dodd, Michal Cekovsky, and Robert Carter Jr. have pretty good awareness kicking the ball out of the paint for a mid range jumper or a perimeter jumper.
Maryland has a good enough rotation in the front court to have a game plan against the Hoyas to create foul trouble for Hayes and Govan. In short, make the Hoyas a one dimensional team and make them settle for outside shots. Maryland's defense right now is a work in progress and they can't come out flat on the defensive end against the Hoyas, or they could be in some serious trouble.
Terps Small forward Jake Layman should see some time at the wing position as well as the power forward position to bring the Hoyas frontcourt out to the perimeter as Layman is working the entire floor showing that he is ready for the NBA.
For Maryland, sophomore point guard Melo Trimble is expected to play after leaving during the second half against the Mountaineers with a lower back injury. It will be interesting as to how Turgeon handles him during the game monitoring if Trimble re-aggravate's his injury. When healthy, Trimble is one of the most explosive point guards in all of college basketball.
If Trimble has any issues, expect guards Rasheed Sulaimon and Jaylen Brantley to run the point for the majority of the night.
Nugget: Layman Steal- Coincidence or a good omen?
Layman on Friday night for the Terps made a steal near half court against Mountaineers point guard Elijah Long and finished it with a dunk. Long decided to look back at his bench and that ended up being a big mistake. Looking at the steal just seems like another great highlight. But it looked to similar to a steal that many Terps fans have seen in the past.
Layman's steal looked very similar to the one former Terp great point guard Steve Blake made near half court against Duke Blue Devils point guard Jay Williams when Williams decided to turn to his bench looking for a play call and converted it for a layup. And both steals occurred nearly at the same spot. It isn't everyday that you see a player make a steal when the ball handler isn't looking. But Maryland fans have seen it twice now.
Interesting enough, Maryland in 2002 was ranked number three in the country going into the game against Duke. And Maryland entered the game against Mount St. Mary's Friday night ranked number three in the country. Both games were at home as well.
Maryland ended up winning the national championship in 2002. Coincidence or not? Layman's steal could be a good omen for the Terps.
Here's Layman's steal from Friday night vs the Mountaineers:
Here's Blake's steal in 2002 vs the Blue Devils:
So judge for yourself. Is the steal just a coincidence or a sign of things to come? Either way, Tuesday should set up to be an exciting game for Maryland.