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Sunday, March 1, 2009

A look at Maryland

Rank and Records UMD
Strength of Schedule#22
Top 252-6
RPI Top 504-9


With three ACC games remaining, State has a chance to finish 8-8 and .500 in the league. They could also finish 5-11. Finishing the season on a strong note heading into next season starts tonight against the Terps.

The Terrapins, much like Boston College, FSU and Miami, lean on an outstanding guard for their offense. Greivis Vasquez leads the team in points scored, field goals made and free throws made. But Vasquez provides much more than just offense to the Terps. He also leads the team in rebounding, assists and steals. He does it all, and when he's on his game, the Terrapins are very tough to beat.

Maryland will also turn to junior Landon Milbourne for added production. He's second on the team in scoring, and leads the team in offensive rebounding and blocks.

Where the Terps struggle is shooting the ball. They're 11th in the conference in effective FG percentage at 46.4%, and is one of the weaker teams from the perimeter, shooting only 32%. Compounding matters, they don't get to the line nearly enough. Their FTR% is 325th nationally at 29.3%, but they're in the top 10 in free throw percentage, 76.6%. In short, they're leaving a lot of points on the table by not getting to the line more.

This is a huge game for the Pack. State's favored by four at home, and has played well of late in the confines of the RBC Center. However, there's more riding on this game, and the BC game, than in previous contests. If the Pack can hold serve at home they would secure a 7-9 finish and have a good look at that .500 finish heading into the ACC tourney. Lose tonight, and it may kickstart a swoon that will all but negate the positive momentum the Pack has built over the last few weeks.

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