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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.

By Steve Yanda  |  February 24, 2010; 2:18 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Comments

My three things to watch:

1) Tanner Smith v. Vasquez. In the first game at Clemson, Smith really got into GV's head with his physicality. Vasquez committed 2 fouls in the first three minutes and a charge in the second half that stymied our momentum and only played 29 minutes in the game. If the refs allow Smith to handcheck the reigning ACC player of the week up and down the court, our other guards will have to pick up some of the slack.

2) 3-point shooting. In wins, Maryland is shooting 49 percent from the 3, in losses only 29 percent (including 2-10 against Clemson and 2-13 against Duke). Our halfcourt defense is good enough that when we make shots, we're very tough to beat.

3) Bench play. Bowie and Tucker have contributed in the past two games, somewhat offsetting Mosely's slump. Will they combine to get 14-18 points as they have been or will the starters have to carry the load?

Posted by: PeteinAZ | February 24, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

In the first game against Clemson, the refs were letting the teams play very physically. I think this was huge factor in the amount of turnovers the Terps had. Hopefully the refs will be calling the game more strictly tonight.

Posted by: Chief2 | February 24, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the 3 point shooting, at home in the ACC Maryland is shooting 48.5% and 33.4% on the road. Big difference.

Posted by: Chief2 | February 24, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Great 3 things to watch by PeteinAZ.

Posted by: lavar609 | February 24, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

My 3 things to watch:

1. The Simpson's

2. Good Eats with Alton Brown

3. Gianna Michaels work

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 24, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

PeteinAz,

You are right on, especially with your number 1 item.

I mentioned Smith in the Catching Up with Clemson post a couple of days ago. He killed our guys last game. He was all over the place. The principal culprit in the high number of turnovers by GV and EH.

Posted by: petecard | February 24, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

The Terps need to stay aggressive against Clemson. Make sure you use space you're entitled to when you have the ball and use ball fakes. Force Clemson into fouls if they over play on the press/defense. This is what the Terps failed to do last time they played Clemson. That and turn the ball over. They seemed half asleep most of that game.

Maryland should win this game. Get Bowie annd Tucker involved early. If they can drop a few threes and get a lead I see a good possibility of Clemson rolling over.

Go Terps!!

Posted by: Jaymand | February 24, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

You guys bring up some good points. Maybe get GV coming off some ball screens for some open looks. GV does make mistakes sometimes when he tries to over play on one on one. Everyone seems to agree get Bowie and Tucker involved early and hope those guys put up some good minutes. Dino as well has been putting some good minutes also.

Go Terps!

Posted by: Jaymand | February 24, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Here is my #1 thing to watch:

SCORING: The TERPS are 19-0 when scoring more points than their opponents and 0-7 when they score less....this will be the key statistic tonight!!!

Posted by: TerpfanMA | February 24, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

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