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Three things to watch

Later this evening, Maryland will host Longwood in its final non-conference game of the regular season. The Lancers do not seem likely to pose much of a challenge to the Terrapins, but as Coach Gary Williams pointed out Monday, that's been said before about non-conference foes Maryland has faced, and the results have not always turned out favorable for his squad. Assuming tonight's game does turnout as most observers believe it should (with Maryland providing a thorough thrashing to Longwood), here are a few things to keep track of:

1) Frontcourt reserves. Williams said Monday that Gregory needs to start producing more points and rebounds. Gregory's defensive presence and energy have been valuable to the team since he returned from suspension eight games ago, but his current averages of 3.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per contest are not enough. The Terrapins likely will need more than that from him down the stretch in ACC play. As for freshman forward James Padgett, his ability to produce has been hampered by a lack of playing time. Padgett, at times, has appeared overwhelmed on the defensive end of the court, but he hasn't been afforded much chance to get into a rhythm, either. Gregory and Padgett both should get ample playing time tonight.

2) Backcourt reserves. Guards Cliff Tucker and Adrian Bowie played exceptionally well Saturday at Boston College, combining for 29 points. The key, especially with these two, is whether they can keep it going. Both players have turned in solid performances intermittently this season, but Maryland would be greatly aided if they could find a way to produce on a more consistent basis. Much like Gregory and Padgett, Tucker and Bowie should see plenty of court time tonight, which will provide them another opportunity to boost their confidence levels before heading back into ACC play.

3) Final few minutes of the first half. It would seem likely that Maryland will jump out to an early lead against Longwood. And it also would seem likely that the Terrapins will start the second half with vigor, as well. But take note of how Maryland performs in, say, the final three minutes of the first half. At that point the Terrapins likely will have a decent-sized lead, and so it will be interesting to see how sharp their focus remains as halftime nears. After building an 18-point lead in the first half Saturday at Boston College, Maryland ended the first half ahead by 10, as the Eagles went on an 8-0 run in the final three minutes. That B.C. spurt didn't matter much in the end, but it's worth noting whether such a pattern takes place again tonight.

By Steve Yanda  |  January 19, 2010; 2:46 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Maryland discards Longwood, 106-55


Three things to watch:

1. The coverage this game gets on ESPN (not!)

2. The sound of a pin dropping midway through the first half.

3. The number of people in the stands midway through the second half.

Why are we playing this game??????

Posted by: petecard | January 19, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

But, actually, Poopy is right...who thinks they have the right to define real fans?

Posted by: petecard | January 19, 2010 5:38 PM

Well, it is pretty well documented what one poster on here thinks what is and isn't proper fandom.

As for the upcoming game, I'm guessing most Terps players work up more of a sweat walking around campus than they will playing this game.

With that said, Longwood. hahahahahahaha



Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | January 19, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

We play this game because everyone else is in the middle of their conference schedule and don;t have bye weeks that coincide with ours and this is one of the few independents who is available.

We have small rocket scientists posting on these boards.

Posted by: DiehardTerp | January 20, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

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