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Maryland's prolific offense gets another crack at stingy Duke defense

Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski has said several times this season that this season's Blue Devils squad is different from those of recent seasons because it is centered on defense and rebounding, rather than purely on offensive proficiency. Indeed, Duke ranks first in the ACC in scoring defense (61.6 points per game allowed) and rebounding margin (plus-3.9) in conference play.

But Maryland owns the top scoring offense in the league (78.1 points per game in ACC play), which adds yet another point of intrigue to tonight's showdown at Comcast Center. During the Terrapins' 21-point loss at Duke on Feb. 13, the Blue Devils held Maryland to 56 points on 37.7 percent shooting.

The Terrapins simply cannot afford to put up similar numbers again tonight if they hope to knock off their conference rival, and it is unlikely that they will be as offensively anemic this time around. Maryland leads the conference in field goal percentage (46.3 percent).

What gave the Terrapins problems during its matchup in Durham earlier this season, several players said Feb. 13, was Duke's constant defensive switches. That threw Maryland out of its offensive rhythm and caused the Terrapins to rush many of their shots. This time, players said Tuesday, Maryland needs to remain more relaxed and confident in its ability to execute its game plan.

By Steve Yanda  |  March 3, 2010; 10:19 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: ACC POY race could be impacted by Wednesday's Maryland-Duke contest

Comments

Is it 9:00 yet? Better yet is it 5:00 yet so we can start the festivities at Bentley's?? Comcast was loud as heck for the UNC game this year (due in large part to an additional 2,000+ students)but tonight will be special. MD cannot afford to come out flat or pick up cheap fouls due to thier energy level. VAMOS TERPS!!

Posted by: terptilldeath | March 3, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I'll be doing my best to make sure that it's Duke that feels uncomfortable tonight! Hopefully we won't be as tightly wound tonight as we were at Cameron.

Posted by: stjerome03 | March 3, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

"What gave the Terrapins problems during its matchup in Durham earlier this season, several players said Feb. 13, was Duke's constant defensive switches."

I couldn't agree more, it was so obvious to see. Switching and just plain in-your-face pressure. We handled the same thing against Clemson much better the second time, but some of that seemed to be that their defense was less intense.

Patience, ball control, shot selection. We can do it.

Posted by: petecard | March 3, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Patience, ball control, shot selection. And crash the boards...

I don't believe in jinxes, clearly, so let me just say this:

SHORT OF A MAJOR INJURY TO A KEY TERP, I DON'T SEE ANY WAY POSSIBLE THAT MARYLAND LOSES THIS GAME TONIGHT.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 3, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

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