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.
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