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Sleeping with the Enemy: The Terrapins of Maryland

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Your Fighting Hoyas of Georgetown look to rebound from the fiesta de crap against Radford with an enormous early season tilt against the hated Maryland Terrapins in the Gavitt Tipoff Games.  Here with us to dish about all things Turtle are our buddies at Testudo Times, the premier source for all of your Maryland needs.  Let's do this!


Georgetown - Maryland! We're back, baby! Scale of 1-10 with 10 being bounce off the walls excited, how excited are you for this game?

I'd like to introduce myself by saying my name is Matt Ellentuck. I'm a junior at the University of Maryland, I'm a writer for Testudo Times and Steve Nash is a better point guard than Allen Iverson.

I'd say a number on that scale couldn't accurately represent any of what Maryland fans are feeling. Let's make a deal. We go to infinity overtimes and stay at the Xfinity Center for the rest of our lives. You in?

Do you, as a modern-day Maryland fan feel there is any rivalry with Georgetown? If so, how would you describe it?

Maryland and Georgetown have played each other twice in the last 14 years so I'm leaning on the no side. But for lack of a better term, Maryland fans are "thirsty" to start a rivalry with someone. I'm down for some DMV competition.

The Terps are a preseason Top 3 team in most polls. Congrats! What are your expectations for this season?  Sweet 16 or bust?

This is the year to win it all. After this season, Jake Layman will graduate, Rasheed Sulaimon will be gone and Melo Trimble and Diamond Stone are both expected to leave for the draft. Robert Carter is another wild card who could leave after this season. Their talent is leaving and they haven't locked up a big name recruit yet. I think there will be some serious disappointment in College Park if the Terps don't make it to Houston.

Talk about the recent loss of Dion Wiley.  How will that impact Maryland's rotation?  Could this be a blessing in disguise for some of your younger players?

I don't think losing Wiley will help anyone. He was probably going to start this year, and his loss already shakes the already shaky chemistry in our unfamiliar backcourt. What's great about the Terps this year is that they don't have any repeat players, meaning nobody is a clone of someone else, and everyone plays with a slightly different style. Jared Nickens (3-point shooter) and Sulaimon  (Elite defender) will now obviously get more minutes, but losing Wiley's ability to penetrate and score will hurt.

The Terps have surged quickly over the last few years and has had some impressive recruiting hauls. What do you think has been the biggest factor in Maryland's recruiting surge? Turgeon? Under Armour? Does it have anything to do with the move to the Big Ten?

I think all of those things helped. It's difficult to pinpoint what goes right when a player commits somewhere, but certainly getting support from Under Armour has helped. Shoutout to Steph Curry and Jordan Speith for making that happen. UA's jerseys are just absolute fire too, which is just about the most important thing to consider when making a college decision.

Mark Turgeon has also come a long way. Several writers have picked him to win coach of the year, and his more-than-successful season last year followed by whatever happens this year will turn him from a relatively unknown coach on the hot seat to a household name.

Melo Trimble is going to the NBA. Last year, he had to score because the Terps' frontcourt couldn't create/make their own shots. This year, does the learning curve of adapting his strategy and facilitating plays for so many new stars have any negative impact on his performance? So early in the season, is that an area the Hoyas can exploit?

First of all, Melo Trimble is not going to the NBA. He is staying in College Park forever and ever and my kids will cry watching him dominate for Maryland years from now. He is never leaving our sights. Next question.

Ok I'll answer the rest of your question. Percentage-wise, Melo's numbers should increase, but his basic per game stats should be expected to drop slightly. He won't have to shoot as much and should be a lot more comfortable playing within his own game. He doesn't need to become a facilitator for this team to be successful. He's a scoring point guard and he should stay that way. Diamond Stone and Robert Carter can create offense for themselves.

What are your expectations for Diamond Stone this season? Is he a one and done?

Though I want to remain naïve and believe he's staying, this will be the only year Maryland sees Diamond Stone. He's the best immediate impact player Maryland's had in years, and as we've seen, NBA teams have no hesitation drafting big men in the lottery. It'd be a crime if he made it past No. 10 in June.

Joe Smith was the #1 overall pick in 1995.  Allen Iverson was the #1 overall pick in 1996.  Did you know that these dudes played against each other in high school?  It's true! Check it out!  Basketball in the mid-90s was the tits, right?

Well as far as basketball in the 90s is concerned, I'm sure it was great and all but I couldn't really find the time to watch it. I was swamped working in my crib. Blocks wouldn't fit in the holes and Elmo was all the rage (I was three months old when Joe Smith was drafted).

Be honest.  Looking back at all of those studs on your 2002 national championship team, did you honestly expect Steve Blake to have the longest NBA career?

So again, I was seven years old here and I grew up in New York with absolutely no ties to Maryland, but just looking at Steve Blake, does it really make sense that he'd have such a lengthy NBA career? He has no glaring strengths, but does a bit of everything well, and keeps control over the ball. His shooting improved in the pros, and he continued to be a floor general. He'll continue to be a reserve for as long as he wants to be.

Why does the Maryland state flag look like a NASCAR flag?  Would you consider it to be the ugliest state flag in the country?

It's perfect. Look at any other state flag and get back to me.

Chesapeake fries.  Just regular ol' french fries or waffle fries with some old bay seasoning, right?  Are they casual?  Speaking of fries, what is your dipping sauce of choice?

No. No. No. (I really hope nobody from Maryland sees this, but I don't like old bay.) I like ketchup. [Editor's note: who hired this kid?]

According to Bradley Cooper's character in "Wedding Crashers," Maryland is all about crabcakes and football.  Because that's what Maryland does. So, what else does Maryland do?

I may be mistaken, but I'm pretty confident Bradley Cooper said crab cakes and basketball. Maryland is really, really good at staying weird. This didn't get enough attention last year.

Terp alum Scott Van Pelt will be bringing his midnight SportsCenter broadcast to the game. What do you think of his version of the show? How much of an improvement do you think it has been over the typical SportsCenter broadcast?

It's hard not to smile when Van Pelt yells, "He a Terp" after a Vernon Davis or Torrey Smith highlight. His show is entirely unique compared to the typical SportsCenter shows. He speaks his mind, says his opinions, and brings whoever he wants on air for interviews and isn't just limited to ESPN analysts (he even had SB Nation's Spencer Hall on recently to talk about college football!). It's a more modern SportsCenter that College Park is eating up. Also the intro.

And I'd be failing both of us if I didn't mention the fact that Van Pelt will be hosting a live edition of SportsCenter from the Xfinity Center immediately following Tuesday's game.

Should the Preakness Stakes be moved from Pimlico to a more casual track somewhere else?

Is that a discussion people are having? Honestly I've have never been there or heard anything about it. Whatever makes American Pharaoh win I'm in for. He's the most elite athlete to grace Baltimore this year. Oops.

Hoyas-Terps is just over a week before Thanksgiving. What sides are going on your Thanksgiving dinner plate?

My boss of a grandma is making the usual sweet potatoes that I will be annihilating. You can't have any.

Which shows have you binged lately on Netflix?

There's a Netflix and chill joke somewhere here that I refuse to acknowledge. They aren't funny.

But on the real, I can recite 75 percent of Kevin Spacey's lines in House of Cards, 50 percent of Kyle Chandler's lines in Bloodline and Charlie Hunnam's lines from Sons of Anarchy fall somewhere in between.

Why do Maryland people insist on defacing the National Anthem by shouting "O" in the middle?

We're on the same page here. I have no clue. It's got something to do with the Orioles. Let them have their fun, it's harmless.

How is the adjustment going for Maryland in the Big Ten?   Any upside or do you miss the ACC desperately?

It's moving swiftly considering they finished second in the Big Ten last year and are predicted to take it all this year. There's some chatter about missing games against Duke, but we'll live.

It appears we have at least one thing in common.  We both hate Duke. Coach K is the devil.  And Wojo, Greg Paulus, J.J. Redick and the rest of those clowns are just the worst.  I think we can agree on all of that. Wait, did we just become best friends?

Both schools definitely do hate Duke. The reason? I'm not sure x. Personally I love Duke [Editor's note: again, who hired this kid?]. Damn it, Maryland fans are going to kill me after reading all of this. Coach K is a once in a lifetime coach, and they've created a dynasty down there. Check out their recruiting class. They're going to be lethal next year, but good luck against the Terps right now.

What's it like to have your home court sponsored by Comcast?  I suppose it's a step up from the RC Cola Center as far as brand popularity

As the upperclassmen are graduating the name, "Comcast Center" is actually fading here. They renamed it the "Xfinity Center" before last season, and old-timers are not fans. They'll get over it as Maryland basketball continues its dominance under the new name.

True or False: Deep down you're very nervous about losing this game.



Final score prediction?

Maryland 71 - Georgetown 54