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Wake to Give Terps Another Zone to Break

Last night, Maryland proved it could handle a 2-3 zone defense, especially with several hot hands from three-point range. Tonight against Wake Forest, the Terrapins are likely to see a different type of zone defense, one that might prove a little more difficult to master.

The Demon Deacons employed a 1-3-1 zone defense in the second half of a 65-63 win over Maryland on March 3. Using 6-foot-9 forward Al-Farouq Aminu at the top, Wake Forest stretched its scheme far and wide. Maryland shot 34.3 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from three-point range in the second half against Wake Forest that night.

"I personally think it's harder playing against a 1-3-1, especially against Wake who's extremely long and athletic," Dave Neal said on Tuesday. "Just the height that they have, and as quick and athletic as they are, a 1-3-1 takes up pretty much a majority of the half court ... When Wake started their 1-3-1 they started it at half court and it was tough."

The Terrapins' performance against N.C. State's zone defense should give them a bit of a confidence boost heading into tonight's matchup. Maryland made 4 of 7 shots from beyond the arc in the first half to break down the Wolfpack's 2-3 zone. The Terrapins were able to find holes in the N.C. State zone and exploit them by knocking down open looks when they presented themselves. By the end of the first half, the Wolfpack had returned to a man-to-man scheme.

"It was just a great sign to show that our zone offense has come a long way since the Wake game, and it's a good thing because I know Wake's going to come out and probably play a little bit of 1-3-1" zone defense, Neal said last night. "If we have a shooter like Eric Hayes, who's extremely hot, I think it's going to be extremely hard to stay in a zone for our opponents."

By Steve Yanda  |  March 13, 2009; 1:25 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: More on Hayes's Emotional Game

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