Three things to watch: Turnovers, Milbourne, Booker
Maryland will host Clemson later tonight at Comcast Center in a rematch of a late-January game in South Carolina that ended as a nine-point Tigers victory. The Terrapins, however, have yet to be defeated at home in ACC play; Clemson is 1-4 on the road against conference opponents. Here are a few things to keep track of during tonight's contest:
1) Turnovers. Clemson likes to press every chance it gets, and Maryland struggled to handle that pressure three weeks ago. The Terrapins tallied 26 turnovers against the Tigers on Jan. 31. They were impatient and rushing too many shots, according to several players. Maryland typically is a sound ballhandling team, and it will need to maintain that form tonight if the Terrapins plan to experience a better outcome against Clemson this time around. That starts with Greivis Vasquez and Eric Hayes, who combined to commit 14 turnovers last time out against the Tigers. Both are much better than that. They'll need to be tonight.
2) Landon Milbourne. The junior forward tallied three points on 1-of-8 shooting against Clemson on Jan. 31. He has scored in double figures in one of the past four games after starting out conference play as one of Maryland's most consistent point producers. The Terrapins should hope that the extra few days they've had since Saturday's game against Georgia Tech gave Milbourne some time to recharge. At his best, Milbourne is a difference-maker on the court for Maryland. In addition to his offense, the team will need Milbourne to be more of a factor defensively, as well. Last time out against Clemson, the Terrapins devoted so much attention to containing Tigers forward Trevor Booker that fellow Tigers forward Jerai Grant was able to turn in a breakout performance (18 points, 12 rebounds).
3) Trevor Booker. One of the top all-around forwards in the ACC, Booker was limited to 2-of-16 shooting against Maryland on Jan. 31, and that was due in large part to the defensive work of freshman forward Jordan Williams. If Williams can have similar success in containing Booker again tonight, that certainly will bode well for the Terrapins. Booker is averaging 16 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in ACC play.
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