Sunday, February 8, 2009

Maryland Takes On Georgia Tech: A Must-Win

It seems like we are saying "this game is a must-win" a lot, but nonetheless it is true. Maryland heads to Atlanta tonight to take on Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets are 10-11 overall and are only 1-7 against the conference, including a win against Wake Forest and a loss against the Terps in Maryland's first ACC game about a month ago. Maryland currently sits at 14-8, 3-5 in conference play.

The loss to North Carolina did put a lot of hope into this season even if it might be a little late. Maryland put up 91 on a top-5 team on their home court, and when a team shoots 16-25 from the perimeter, it is hard to win against them.

But in that game Maryland seemed to finally start using their advantages. The Terps know they will likely not win the rebounding war by any stretch. But they have a number of fast guards and can play very well in transition, which was causing many problems to UNC's defense. The constant fast break shooting was very effective. Also, Maryland was not trying to force the 3-point shot, which has caused them major problems in the past. They were pulling off defenders and getting their shots from down low, ending 48% after starting 55.6% in the first half. They had 16 turnovers, same as UNC, 39 rebounds, same as UNC. Now the question becomes can this Terps team continue to play like this.

Maryland takes on Georgia Tech in a rematch from January 10th. Last time, Maryland needed a second half comeback to win. The Terps didn't shoot well at all but constant Yellow Jacket turnovers gave Maryland the opportunity to win. Like last time, look for Georgia Tech to use big men Gani Lawal and Alade Aminu to be big time players; the two combined for 27 rebounds last time as they both got double-doubles. They have lost six of their last seven games, but nearly all of them were close. Maryland will need to play fast and continue their fast-paced style that they developed against North Carolina. This game is a must-win.

(Photo credit: Baltimore Sun)

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