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Game Preview: Maryland Terrapins at Georgetown Hoyas

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Game 2: Georgetown Hoyas (1-0) vs Maryland Terrapins (1-0)

Series: Maryland leads 37-27

Where/When: Verizon Center, Tuesday 6:30 PM


Line: Hoyas -5.5

“A lot of people don’t really know it’s that big because of Georgetown Syracuse but Georgetown Maryland is big too.” – Tre Campbell on the local rivalry

Thanks to a huge assist from the good people at the Gavitt Games, Georgetown and Maryland are meeting in consecutive seasons for the first in over 40 years. How long this series will last is up in the air as Coach John Thompson III only gave the media a lukewarm at best – “We’ll see” – when asked about continuing the rivalry.

The Hoyas have dropped three of their last four to the Terps including last year’s tightly contested affair that saw Georgetown lead by as many nine in the second half before ultimately falling 75-71.

“Definitely want payback,” explained junior guard Tre Campbell who played just nine minutes last season before leaving with an injury. “We just want this victory tomorrow.”

Georgetown comes into this year’s matchup in an infinitely better place than last year after putting on an absolute show in drubbing USC-Upstate 105-60 led by Rodney Pryor’s 32 points. After going over all of the record breaking stats from Saturday the biggest fact remains that Georgetown got that first win and did so in a way that makes you believe they will try things differently this year thanks to an improved roster.

Keys to the Game

Rebounding: If there’s one area Georgetown needs to improve it’s cleaning the glass. Now granted there aren’t lot of opportunities for offensive rebounds when you shoot near 70 percent all game but the Hoyas gave up 20 offensive rebounds to the Spartans. So with Bradley Hayes still suspended, who step up for the Hoyas? Freshmen Justin Jackson and Anthony Cowan both had nine boards apiece in Maryland’s first game as the Terps were plus 22 on the glass as a team.

“We gave up twenty offensive rebounds and I only had one rebound so I feel kind of bad about that because on those twenty offensive rebound I probably could have got a deflection or got my hand in there a couple times,” Pryor said on Monday afternoon. “I know that’s a big part of winning games and a big part of winning championships and we have to have that night in and night out.”

Depth: All five starters scored in double figures for the Hoyas last year with Hayes leading the way with 16. The problem for the Hoyas was the six bench players tabbed by John Thompson III combined for exactly three points. Georgetown got 32 points from the bench on Saturday. With a deeper team expect the Hoyas to eclipse their meager total from College Park.

Fouls: Georgetown couldn’t hold onto the lead last year against Maryland mainly because of Melo Trimble. Trimble was able to attack the hoop and draw foul after foul on Georgetown. So much so that he was able to recover from an off shooting night from the field to finish with 24 points thanks to 18 free throw attempts. Georgetown as a team shot 20 free throws fewer than Maryland. It turned out to be something too large to overcome in such a tight game.

“That’s what we’ve been focusing on the last few days,” Tre Campbell said about the Hoyas defensive game plan on Trimble. “Just staying in front of him, having a hand up and just playing defense.

Hoya Notes

BMOC: Pryor received the BIG EAST’s first Player of the Week Award this season after going 13 of 16 from the field for 32 points. It may have taken Georgetown awhile to get into the grad transfer market but it looks as if the wait was well worth it.

“A lot of credit goes to my teammates for finding and having confidence in me to make plays,” said Pryor.” I hold myself to a high standard so I want to be able to make plays night in and night out not expecting awards but expecting wins.”

Rebuilding: This will be the first Georgetown – Maryland game since 1970 in which neither school is ranked in the AP Top 25. It snaps a streak of thirteen straight meetings with at least one school ranked. Maryland had been ranked last week but dropped out after a close win over American on Nov 11.

Reason to be delusional: Did you not watch or at least hear about what went down on Saturday? Raise your hand if you didn’t start looking at Tournament locations come March.

Reason to be cynical: You’re worried that there will be far too much red at the Verizon Center Tuesday night.

Final Thoughts: I think Georgetown gets this win but the Hoyas are going to need more out of Akoy Agau and Marcus Derrickson. Something seemed odd about Derrickson’s minutes and the timing of those minutes but he’s a legit threat to score and rebound from the 4/5 spot. Hoyas 72, Terps 63