Series: Maryland leads 36-27
Where/When: Xfinity Center, Tuesday 9pm
Line: Maryland -9.5
This is gonna be our comeback game to show people that there's some mistakes that we made the last game that we shouldn't have made and we're going to do a lot better. - Bradley Hayes
After waiting 22 years to restore their local rivalry with Maryland, Georgetown did its part this past weekend to take some of the buzz out of the much anticipated matchup with the third ranked Terrapins by dropping an unexpected game to the Big South's very own Radford Highlanders.
Yes, the two schools have played since that overtime thriller in 1993 but unless you've had a super nice college basketball traveling budget it's unlikely that you attended both or even one of the games. The 2001 NCAA Tournament game won by Maryland was in Anaheim while the Hoyas victory from 2008 was down in Orlando at the Old Spice Classic.
For Georgetown it's nice to get a game in so quickly after the disappointment that was the season opener this past weekend. It's even nicer when you get a chance to completely redeem yourself against a top ranked team.
So what do we know about Maryland:
Last time out: The Terps came out on what many expect to be a Final Four or bust season and took care of business with Mount St. Mary's to the tune of 80-56. Highly touted recruit Diamond Stone didn't disappoint in his debut by going for 10 and seven in 19 minutes as five played scored in double figures for Mark Turgeon.
RPI: Obviously this will be a strong game for resume purposes at the end of the season.
Who to watch for: Everybody. Well, that's what JT3 said earlier today as he described Maryland as having elite players at every position. Stone is a quality big that showed up via Under Armour and is expected to be a one-and-done. Melo Trimble flirted with the NBA last season and returns as a poised sophomore. Jake Layman is a big that's a threat to hit from deep as the senior has averaged double figures the past two seasons.
Transfers Rasheed Sulaimon (Duke) and Robert Carter (Georgia Tech) will provide an instant impact this season. Given Sulaimon's choice in schools I can only assume that he ends up at Syracuse doing something down the road. He can really pick them.
OOC: Maryland's game with Georgetown is the first of three big non-conference games for the Terps this year. They will also play North Carolina and our old friends UConn.
Let's move on to the Hoyas:
White Update: The legend of Paul White continues to grow the longer he misses games. JT3 said today that he wasn't sure if White would playtomorrow after missing the Radford game with a hip injury. On a team with few guards, White has a high basketball IQ and can act as a big guard at times. White will be a welcome addition on Tuesday night should he get past warmups.
Fixin' It: Earlier today Hayes, Smith-Rivera, and JT3 all talked about things that the Hoyas have to do better against Maryland. The fixes are easy to say but a bit more difficult to solve. Rebounding and limiting second chances has to improve. The Hoyas need to do a better job closing out on three point shooters and getting back in transition. Making late free throws and having less turnovers would also go a long way. Did I forget anything?
Quick Start: Smith-Rivera ended up with 15 points last game but was held scoreless in the first half. Like the senior co-captain he is, he took the blame for the Radford loss. Coming into the Maryland game the Hoyas will be out of it by the half if DSR can't get motivated early on.
"The energy level it wasn't just as far as offense, it was competing," DSR said about the opener.
"You want to come out and compete from the jump and with a team like this [Maryland] it fires you and the fact that we lost that last game it's even more fuel.
Real Rivalry? Not so much according to DSR and I tend to agree. Unless you were following college basketball super closely decades and decades ago, these teams just don't play anymore. Any rivalry they have is a cold war type situation.
Said DSR: " To me it wasn't as much of the rivalry of I consider Syracuse or most of the old of Big East teams were rivalry games."
That being said Bradley Hayes took the other point of view saying how everybody on campus and in the city is asking him about the game.
BJ: It's kinda like the game for DC. If Maryland wins they have bragging rights if we win we have bragging rights. pic.twitter.com/vNrSQsKpA8— Bobby Bancroft (@BobbyBancroft) November 16, 2015
In actuality conference realignment has hurt both schools in terms of rivals. Syracuse, who Georgetown plays in a few weeks was the Hoyas rival that will hopefully continue to show up on the schedule. Maryland always tried to make Duke its rival but everybody tries that and yet no one compares to UNC in that department. If the schools continue to play after the 2 years Gavitt Tipoff Games they could actually have something.
More Games: The last time these two schools met locally it was the day after Thanksgiving. To show how the sport has changed a bit, Georgetown will play four games by the day after Thanksgiving and it will go up to five a day later.
Tirico: Leave it to ESPN to give us a Syracuse guy on the call. Thanks, Bristol.
Reason to be Cynical: You watched the Radford game and felt like it was a March nightmare all over again.
Reason to be Delusional: Georgetown owes the Terps an upset for that game in 1993 when the roles were reversed.
Prediction: Hoyas 72, Terps 71. Marcus Derrickson will be the key to the game on both sides of the ball. After missing all of his attempts from the floor including three from the deep, the freshman who JT3 called a ‘lights out shooter' will get past his opening day jitters.