Three things to watch: Milbourne, free throws, Vasquez
The Maryland men's basketball team will host Georgia Tech later this afternoon at Comcast Center. The Yellow Jackets have dropped three of their last five games, while the Terrapins have won four of their last five games. Both could use a win as they attempt to bolster their NCAA tournament resumes. Here are a few things to keep track of during today's contest:
1) Landon Milbourne. Against the Yellow Jackets' sizable frontcourt, Maryland will need the engaged version of Milbourne to show up today. From time to time, Milbourne becomes more reserved if he doesn't get into an offensive flow quickly in games. It's happened far less frequently this season than it did down the stretch last season, and it would bode well for Maryland for Milbourne not to let it happen should he not get into a scoring rhythm early on in today's game. He'll likely be matched up against Georgia Tech forward Gani Lawal (6-foot-9, 234 lbs.), who is averaging 11.8 points and 9.5 rebounds per game in conference play. Lawal is one of the ACC's top-notch rebounders, and limiting his production on the boards will be one of Milbourne's most crucial tasks. Milbourne has proven capable of thriving against bigger opponents this season, and today's match-up will provide him another opportunity to do so.
2) Free throws. Georgia Tech is, shall we say, not fond of the charity stripe. In ACC play, the Yellow Jackets are shooting 59.9 percent from the free throw line, which ranks last in the conference. So the advantage certainly will be with Maryland should this game be close near the end and decided at the foul line. Maryland ranks fourth in the conference in free throw shooting percentage (72.1 percent) in ACC play.
3) Greivis Vasquez. The senior guard averaged 24.4 points per game in Maryland's last five contests, and he needs just five points today to become the sixth player in program history to tally 2,000 career points. Should he do so -- and it's extremely likely that he will -- Vasquez also will become the first player in ACC history to record 2,000 career points, 700 career assists and 600 career rebounds.
February 20, 2010; 8:30 AM ET
Categories: Men's basketball
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