Maryland Tries to Make It Back to Back With Visit From Jackets Sunday

January 15, 2012 | WNST Staff

Georgia Tech (8-8, 1-1) at Maryland (11-4, 1-1)
Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012 | 4 p.m. | Comcast Center
ACC Network-WNUV 54 locally in Baltimore
Terrapin Sports Radio Network

Maryland plays host to Georgia Tech in the second of back-to-back home games early in the Atlantic Coast Conference season. The Terrapins and Yellow Jackets are in a pack of league teams in the middle of the standings at 1-1. Each team won their most recent outing with Maryland winning at home 70-64 on Wednesday over Wake Forest and Georgia Tech winning Wednesday at NC State, 82-71.

The Terrapins are finishing a run of home games that had them playing only two games away from Comcast Center over a long period. The Terps played at Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C., in a win over Notre Dame on Dec. 4, 2011, and traveled to NC State on Jan. 8, 2012 to open their ACC schedule. Surrounding those two trips, Maryland played 10 home games, and comes into this afternoon’s matchup with the Yellow Jackets with a 9-1 mark at home this season. The schedule evens out over the next 1-1/2 months as eight of Maryland’s next 13 games are away from Comcast Center.

Maryland has won eight of its last nine games in a stretch dating back to the 78-71 win over Notre Dame on Dec. 4. During that time, the Terrapins have been playing considerably more of a Mark Turgeon-style by concentrating on defense and rebounding. Maryland has held opponents to just 67.3 points per game and .420 shooting from the floor. The Terps have held a plus-8.3 per game edge in rebounding and have out-boarded eight of their nine opponents in that streak.

Maryland is also taking strong advantage of the addition of sophomore point guard Pe’Shon Howard and redshirt freshman center Alex Len. Howard leads the team with a 4.8 assists-per-game average and has been on the floor an average of 31.8 minutes per game since his return. In his five games, Len has missed only eight shots from the floor (.729, 21-for-29), averaged 11.8 points per game, grabbed 7.4 rebounds per game and blocked 2.4 shots each outing.

Junior forward James Padgett continues to lead the ACC in offensive rebounding and is sixth in the nation in that category. Among his 96 rebounds in 15 games this season, 63 have come off the offensive glass (66 percent). Padgett had 11 points and eight boards (six offensive) in 19 minutes on Wednesday in the win over Wake Forest.

Sophomore guard Terrell Stoglin led the Terrapins in Wednesday’s win over Wake Forest with 20 points. It marked the 11th time in 15 games this season that Stoglin has hit the 20-point plateau. He remains the ACC’s leading scorer with a 21.3 points per game average. Stoglin has 38 3-pointers this season, already tied for sixth with Duane Simpkins (1994) on the sophomore list of 3FG. Greivis Vasquez hit 64 treys in 2008 to hold the school record by a sophomore.

The matchup with the Yellow Jackets is the first of two this season. Maryland returns the home game in a Feb. 25 trip to Atlanta. Maryland, which holds a 38-34 edge in the all-time series with Georgia Tech, has won 10 of the last 11 in the series. Maryland had a nine-game winning streak against the Yellow Jackets snapped in the 2010 ACC Tournament in a 69-64 loss before winning in Atlanta, 74-63, in last season’s only meeting between the teams.

Scouting the Yellow Jackets

Georgia Tech is 8-8 with a 1-1 mark in the ACC after picking up an 82-71 win at NC State on Wednesday… The Yellow Jackets had lost four consecutive prior to the win over NC State, dropping games to Mercer, Fordham, Alabama and Duke… Brian Gregory is in his first season as head coach after spending the previous eight seasons at Dayton.

Glen Rice Jr., a 6-foot-5 junior guard, is averaging a team-best 14.4 ppg and is shooting 51.8 percent from the field, which ranks fifth in the ACC… Rice has come off the bench the last three games and poured in 28 points vs. Duke and 22 against the Wolfpack, making 7 of 10 shots at NC State as Tech shot 51 percent as a team…

Rice was one of five Yellow Jackets to score in double figures in the win over NC State – guards Mfon Udofia (17), Brandon Reed (12) and Jason Morris (10), along with center Daniel Miller (10) helped make up a balanced scoring attack… Udofia leads the team with 40 assists and ranks second with 11.2 ppg, while Miller is averaging a team-best 6.8 rpg and ranks second in the league with 45 blocks…

Georgia Tech is one of the better teams on the boards in the conference, outrebounding its opponents by an average margin of 6.6 rpg, trailing just North Carolina (plus-12) and NC State (plus-6.7)… The Yellow Jackets are also third in blocked shots (5.7 bpg) and fourth in field goal percentage defense (.385).

Upcoming

Maryland hits the road for its next two games, having to face a tight turnaround after the Georgia Tech game on Sunday. The Terrapins will practice Monday, then fly to Tallahassee that night in preparation for a 9 p.m. tipoff Tuesday at Florida State… Maryland faces its last non-conference matchup of the regular season on Saturday, 1/21 against Temple in The Palestra…The Terrapins return home for two games the next week, playing host to Duke on Wednesday, 1/25 on the night when Gary Williams Court is dedicated and Virginia Tech on Saturday, 1/28…
Maryland has only three home games and six road contests in the month of February.

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