Maryland opens ACC play with visit from Virginia Tech Saturday

January 04, 2013 | WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - After completing regular season non-conference play with an 81-63 win over IUPUI on Tuesday, Maryland opens the conference portion of its schedule as Virginia Tech visits Comcast Center Saturday at noon. The Terps enter the game with a 12-1 mark, their best record entering conference play since 1998-99, when they were 13-1.

Storyline

• In their 12-game winning streak, the Terps have evolved into one of the better shooting teams in the nation. Maryland ranks 10th nationally in field goal percentage at .503, and has connected on better than 50 percent of its shots in eight of the last 11 games. Over the past four games, Maryland is shooting 55.6 percent, including 39.7 percent from 3-point range. That’s helped Maryland outscore opponents by an average margin of 17.2 points per game this year, a mark which ranks second in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

• The Terrapins’ depth, which has been an asset all season, showed in the 81-63 win over IUPUI. All ten players who are in the regular rotation received double-digit minutes and all made at least two field goals. Eight Terps scored at least seven points in the game, with Seth Allen (13) and Logan Aronhalt (10) leading the way. Aronhalt knocked down 3-of-4 3-pointers in the game and is shooting 55.8 percent on the season. That mark would lead the conference, but Aronhalt doesn’t have enough attempts to qualify.

• Although Maryland started slow against IUPUI, trailing 14-3 early in the game, the bench once again provided a lift. Maryland’s non-starters outscored IUPUI’s 43-2 in the game, and on the season the bench is outscoring opponents by an average margin of 29.1 to 11.5.

• The Terps continue to be one of the better teams in the country in terms of field goal percentage defense. They entered the week ranked second nationally in field goal percentage defense. After allowing three of the first four opponents this season to surpass 70 points, the Terps have held the last nine opponents under 70.


On a Streak

• Maryland won its 12th straight game on Jan. 1 with a 81-63 victory over IUPUI. Its the 11th time in school history the Terps have a winning streak of at least 10 games. The current winning streak is going on 55 days.

• The longest winning streak in school history was a 14-game streak in 1931-32. In the past 30 years, Maryland has put together a 10-game winning streak on six occasions (including this year). Each of the previous seasons, they’ve gone on to play in the NCAA Tournament.


Field-Goal Percentage Defense

• Maryland entered this week ranked second nationally in field goal percentage defense at .344. That number now stands at .351 after IUPUI shot .444. That’s a major improvement over last year, when opponents shot 42.8 percent and were held under 35 percent on just four occasions. The Terps have held seven of the last nine opponents under 35 percent shooting, with Stony Brook and IUPUI being the exceptions.

• Since 2000, five Terrapin teams have held the opponent under 40 percent shooting. Of those five, four went on to at least the second round of the NCAA Tournament.


Quick Hitters

• Maryland is 7-5 in conference openers since 2000, though the Terps have lost their last two ACC openers. The last win in a conference opener was against Florida State in the 2009-10 season. Head coach Mark Turgeon is 9-5 in league openers in his career.

• Charles Mitchell earned ACC Rookie of the Week honors on Dec. 31 for his play against Delaware State on Dec. 29. Mitchell came off the bench to score 19 points and grab 14 rebounds, both career highs. Mitchell is the second Terp to earn weekly ACC honors; Alex Len was Player of the Week on Nov. 12.

• Seven of the 10 players in Maryland’s regular rotation are underclassmen and 77.9 percent of Maryland’s scoring (56.9 of 76.5 points) is coming from underclassmen.

• When Seth Allen, Jake Layman and Shaquille Cleare drew starts against UMES, it marked the first time Maryland started three true freshmen since Dec. 28, 1993, when Keith Booth, Matt Kovarik and Joe Smith did vs. Hofstra.

• In Maryland’s 12-game winning streak, the Terps have assisted on 223 of 337 field goals (66.2 percent).

• The Terps have made more free throws than the opponent has attempted this season (200 to 169).

• At least eight players have scored in 12 of Maryland’s 13 games this year. The exception is vs. George Mason, when just seven players scored.


Dominating the Paint

• Maryland has enjoyed an advantage in points in the paint throughout the year. The Terps have outscored the opponent in 11 of 13 games; the exceptions are Morehead State (28-28 tie) and Stony Brook (28-32). On average, Maryland is scoring 40.0 points in the paint while holding its opponent to 21.7 points.


Super Subs

• Maryland’s bench has been an asset all season, as the Terps’ non-starters have outscored the opponents non-starters in 11 of 13 games (exceptions are Kentucky & George Mason). Most recently, the bench outscored IUPUI’s 43-2 to help overcome an early 14-3 deficit, as Maryland went on to win 81-63.

• On the year, Maryland’s bench has a 378-149 (29.1 to 11.5 per game) advantage over the opponent. The biggest advantage Maryland has had this season was against UMES on Dec. 5 (55-7).

• Seth Allen (7.2 ppg), Charles Mitchell (6.5 ppg), Logan Aronhalt (6.0 ppg), and Shaquille Cleare (5.6 ppg) have been the biggest contributors.

• Aronhalt is the long-range specialist. He is two 3-point field goals made of qualifying for the ACC lead, but his .558 mark from beyond the arc would lead the league. He has made at least one 3-pointer in 11 of 13 games this season.


Sophomore Jump

• After averaging 6.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per game as a freshman, Alex Len has developed into Maryland’s most consistent scoring threat as a sophomore. Len is averaging 13.3 points per game, which ranks first in the ACC among centers and t-15th overall. His 8.0 rebounds per game rank sixth. Len also ranks second in the league with 2.3 blocks per game. He has three double-doubles this season: against Kentucky (23 & 12), Northwestern (13 & 13) and Monmouth (14 & 10).


More on Assists
• Maryland is tied for fourth nationally with 18.5 assists per game behind Notre Dame (19.5), North Carolina (19.5), Pittsburgh (19.1) and tied with UCLA (18.5).

• Pe’Shon Howard, who ranks second in the ACC with 5.8 assists per game, would be in some rare company if he can average 6.0 assists per game this season. In the past 25 years, just three players have averaged more than 6.0 assists per game at Maryland: Terrell Stokes in 1998-99, Steve Blake from 1999-2003, and Greivis Vasquez in 2007-08 and 2009-10.

• Maryland’s 28 assists against LIU Brooklyn were nine more than the team’s season-high of 19 last year. In fact, the last time a Maryland team had more assists in a game was in the 2002-03 season, when the Terps had 29 on two occasions. The Terps also had 28 assists in a game on 2/9/11 vs. Longwood and 12/31/05 vs. VMI. The school record for assists in a game is 37.

• Howard’s 13 assists vs. LIU Brooklyn are tied for the fourth-most in a single game by a Terp. The only better performances are: Greivis Vasquez (2008) and Terrell Stokes (1998) with 15; and Steve Blake (2002) and Terrell Stokes (1996) with 14.


Force on the Boards
• Maryland leads the Atlantic Coast Conference and ranks third nationally in rebounding margin at plus-13.5 per game. Just Colorado State (plus-14.2) and Missouri (plus-14.2) rank above that. Maryland is the only ACC school with a double-figure advantage in rebounding margin; North Carolina is second at plus-6.2.

• The Terps have built advantages on the boards in all 13 games this season.

• Alex Len and Charles Mitchell are the biggest factors in that; Len averages 8.0 rpg and Mitchell averages 6.8. Len ranks sixth in the conference and Mitchell ranks 13th, including second among freshmen. There are five Terps averaging at least 3.9 rebounds per game (also Dez Wells, James Padgett and Nick Faust).

• Len ranks second in the conference with 3.1 offensive rebounds per game, and the Terps are averaging 13.6 offensive rebounds per game as a team, second in the league behind North Carolina (16.3).

• Mitchell made an impressive debut by grabbing 10 rebounds in his first career game, against No. 3 Kentucky. That’s the most rebounds by a Maryland freshman in his debut since Buck Williams had 13 against Bucknell in 1978. Williams went on to lead the ACC in rebounding that year (10.8 pg) en route to capturing ACC Rookie of the Year honors.

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