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Nolan Smith and Maryland

This is Zach Berman, providing a glimpse from Duke’s locker room on Friday as they awaited Saturday’s game against Maryland.

The business-like Blue Devils made sure to offer kind words about the Terrapins. They were aware that Maryland has been playing well, and pointed out the difficulty of topping a team three times in a season. (Maryland lost to Duke, 85-44, on Jan. 24 and 78-67 on Feb. 25.)

For Duke guard Nolan Smith, the game has added meaning. Smith is from Upper Marlboro. Although Maryland fans might know him more for suffering a mild concussion from a Dave Neal screen and Washington sports fans might not him as the son of the late Derek Smith, Nolan Smith has a strong connection to the Terrapins.

“It’s my home team, and you never want to go home during the summer time and be around these guys when they talk junk to you,” Smith said. That definitely means more. Right now, I have bragging rights – for two games. Win this one, and it’s three strikes. You strike out.”

Smith plays pick-up basketball at the Comcast Center during the summer. He said he knows “pretty much the whole [Maryland] team”, but he specifically mentioned Adrian Bowie, Sean Mosley, Greivis Vazquez. Smith said the Maryland-Duke contests are not the dominating conversation during the summer games, although it is in the back of the players’ minds on the court.

“They might joke about it to get ready for the season,” Smith said.

By Zach Berman  |  March 14, 2009; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Comments

I'm glad he is back. It is hard to to cheer for someone that has grown up without a Dad.

We can't let Nolan have bragging rights.

Go Terps!

Posted by: 34ripLB | March 14, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

not cheer for someone

Posted by: 34ripLB | March 14, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

How did we let him get away?

Posted by: petecard | March 14, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

"slight concussion"? Dave Neal stepped into Nolan and the kid was out for 3 weeks. Nolan didn't play for 3 weeks. He got thrown around today, as well. I am a Gary Williams fan but it's hard to be a Terp fan because of the whining and excuses of the fans.

Posted by: tiger10 | March 14, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

""slight concussion"? Dave Neal stepped into Nolan and the kid was out for 3 weeks. Nolan didn't play for 3 weeks. He got thrown around today, as well. I am a Gary Williams fan but it's hard to be a Terp fan because of the whining and excuses of the fans."

Wrong, tiger10. The pick was clean, and you're an absolute clown for saying he got "thrown around" today. I think you're the biggest whiner here if you think Dave Neal "stepped into" the pick. Watch it on Youtube--Nolan's teammates on the bench, not 15 feet away, FAILED COMPLETELY at calling out the pick. Nolan should have thrown a right hook at every player that was silent on that bench while Neal stood there for the screen. NO ONE called it out. Duke should be embarrassed, not Dave Neal.

Posted by: BurgundyAndGold | March 14, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

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