Three things to watch: Vasquez, Plumlee(s) and three-point shooting
Later today, Maryland will take on Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium. It's Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski's birthday and this game will mark his 1,000th in charge of the Blue Devils. The Duke Varsity Club is hosting a considerably large program reunion -- more than 300 former players, managers, coaches and trainers are expected to attend.
And if you think the Terrapins care at all about any of that, well, here's guessing that they don't.
In regards to the actual game, here are a few things to keep track of:
1) Greivis Vasquez. The love-hate relationship between Vasquez and the Cameron Crazies has been well documented through the years, and today will mark the final time the two parties will meet at Cameron Indoor Stadium during Vasquez's collegiate career. Vasquez turned in solid performances in his first two season playing at Duke, but struggled last season as the Terrapins fell by 41 points. He and the rest of the team will be looking to attone for that showing today against the Blue Devils, who are ranked No. 8 in the nation. Vasquez is averaging 18.1 points, 6.3 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game. Duke is undefeated at home thus far this season.
2) Miles and Mason Plumlee. At last check, senior forward Lance Thomas -- who Krzyzewski called this past week one of the best defenders in the nation -- remains doubtful to play against Maryland due to a right knee injury suffered during a 10-point win at North Carolina on Wednesday. Assuming Thomas does not play, the Blue Devils will lean more heavily on the 6-foot-10 Plumlee brothers to produce in the frontcourt. Miles, a sophomore, is averaging 6.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, while shooting 57.0 percent from the field. Mason, a freshman, is averaging 4.8 points and 3.7 rebounds per game, while shooting 46.1 percent from the field. Mason stepped in for Thomas when the senior departed Wednesday's game early in the second half and turned in a quality performance off the bench.
3) Three-point shooting. Maryland and Duke shoot and defend the three-point shot fairly well, which will make for an interesting convergence along the arc today. The Terrapins lead the ACC in three-point shooting (45.5 percent) in conference play, while the Blue Devils are allowing opponents to shoot just 25.2 percent from beyond the arc, which ranks second in the conference in ACC play. Duke is shooting 34.9 percent from the three-point line in conference play (third), while Maryland is allowing ACC opponents to shoot 29.9 percent from beyond the arc (sixth). Keep an eye on the production of Eric Hayes and Jon Scheyer -- who might be the two best three-point marksmen on the floor Saturday. Vasquez and Kyle Singler can shoot from long range, as well.
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