Saturday, January 24, 2009

Terps Head to Durham

To Maryland fans, the two Duke games are the bigger games of the year. Maryland-Duke may not be a full-blown rivalry, but these two do not like each other at all. The first installment of the 08-09 season commences this afternoon as the Terps will face the Blue Devils in Cameron Indoor Stadium at noon ET.

#2 Duke is prime to take over the #1 ranking for next week if they defeat Maryland, as current #1 Wake Forest got upset at home to Virginia Tech earlier in the week. They hold a 4-0 record in the conference with a 17-1 record overall, their lone loss coming against Michigan back in Ann Arbor on December 6th.

At the frontcourt, Kyle Singler is is a 6'8'' forward that plays hard down low, having a strong sophomore season, averaging 16.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. Their other big man is junior Brian Zoubek, a 7'1'' pure rebounding and defensive center. He averages 4.7 boards a game, but only averages around 14 minutes a game. Maryland needs Dave Neal and Dino Gregory to step up today. The Terps saw how a seven foot player does against Maryland on the board when they played Virginia, 7' freshman center Assane Sane had seven boards in just 10 minutes; the Terps were very fortunate he got into foul trouble.

Duke has normally been all about their backcourt in recent years, and this season has a strong one. While junior Gerald Henderson isn't the cleanest of players, he averaging 14.4 a game, and Jon Scheyer is getting 13.3. The Blue Devils love to own the perimeter and are a big time shooting team.

One key aspect against Duke especially down in Durham has been Greivis Vasquez. He thrives off the hatred from the crowd and has scored more than 20 points each time he's been down there. But the Terps need more than just him to step up. Maryland still is not looking good all-around, barely defeating Virginia and Georgia Tech at home and in turn barely losing to their two Florida opponents. Adrian Bowie and Dino Gregory have been decent of late, and will need to continue their success. Duke is heavily favored in this contest, but Maryland needs to play well.

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