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Posted at 9:49 AM ET, 01/ 7/2011

Streaks at stake when Terps meet Blue Devils

By Liz Clarke

With its 85-64 rout of Alabama-Birmingham earlier this week, Duke extended its unbeaten streak to 24 games. Maryland, of course, was the last team to beat the Blue Devils, on the eve of their run to the ACC and NCAA championships last spring.

In addition to Duke’s pursuit of a 25th straight victory, two impressive individual streaks will be on the line when Maryland (10-4, 0-1) travels to unbeaten Duke on Sunday: Jordan Williams’s eight consecutive games with a double-double for the Terps, and Nolan Smith’s five consecutive games scoring more than 20 points for Duke.

Smith (6 feet 2, 185 pounds), of Upper Marlboro, is playing spectacular basketball at the moment, demonstrating his rare versatility at both guard positions. He was named ACC player of the week for his performances against Miami and UNC Greensboro, scoring 28 points in Duke’s ACC season opener and 26 points (along with nine assists, five rebounds and no turnovers) against UNC Greensboro. Then, on Wednesday, he capped that with a career-high 33 points against Alabama-Birmingham.

Given Smith’s multifaceted play, Duke (14-0, 1-0) has hardly missed its trumpeted freshman point guard Kyrie Irving, sidelined indefinitely with torn ligaments in his right toe suffered in a Dec. 4 victory over Butler.

Maryland, meantime, has experimented with three starting point guards this season: senior Adrian Bowie and freshmen Pe’Shon Howard and Terrell Stoglin. It seems clear that Bowie is better suited to the shooting guard role, while both freshmen have shown encouraging promise, tempo and confidence at the point.

By Liz Clarke  | January 7, 2011; 9:49 AM ET
Categories:  Gary Williams, Men's basketball  | Tags:  Duke basketball, Jordan Williams, Maryland basketball, Nolan Smith  
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Next: VIDEO: Gary Williams talks Terrapins basketball

Comments

Thanks or the update, Liz.

It's time for the Terpsichore to end the Blue Devils streak. And Nolan Smith is butt ugly. Ok, that's not fair...most buts are not nearly as ugly as Nolan Smith.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | January 7, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Here is a streak I would like us to break next week: Losses against meaningful opponents. It stands at 4.

I know RPI rankings aren't the most significant measure, but how about the fact that the Terps are ranked 90th? We are behind the likes of Belmont, Kent State and Penn State (who we beat at their place. Here are the ACC rankings: 4) Duke 41)UNC 42) BC 45) Miami 70) VTech 72) Fl St 83) NC St 90) Terps 93) Clemson 94) UVA 139) GTech 209) Wake.

The teams we lost to: 6) Pitt 23) Illinois 28) Temple 45) BC. Nova is 14th.

So here is my point: Wins or losses to Duke and Villanova will be meaningful. A win at Wake will be practically meaningless (not that it doesn't count in the standings), but a loss at Wake will be ridiculous. Bottom line, we really need to win two games next week.

Posted by: petecard | January 7, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Pete,
I would like to end that streak too, but the Terps are a young up and coming team...we lost a ridiculous amount of talent last year to graduation...60% of starters and 65% of scoring....JW is great and he has some good players around him but I dont get too bummed out about losses to ranked teams yet...I sound like a broken record, but I believe Gary will have these kids overachieving in time

Posted by: TerpfanMA | January 7, 2011 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Terpfan is right. And Pete, look at our Pomeroy ratings right now: 14th in the nation. We'll get plenty of chances to improve our RPI by tourney time. A win this weekend or next and we shoot up 40-50 spots

Posted by: Barno1 | January 7, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Okay I looked at the Pmeroy and it is interesting. Where can I get a breakout of the stats definitions and calculations? I couldn't find it on the Kenpom site.

I'm not going to argue about the make-up of the team and I too expect them to keep getting better. We do have three seniors who started or played a lot last year as well as a junior and sophomore who started last year. We knew that the young PG's would need some time and they are coming around. But this transition is pretty normal, maybe even less than most teams experience. In my humble opinion, if we lose to both Duke and Nova next week we are in a tough spot.

Posted by: petecard | January 7, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I looked for the methodology as well but couldn't find it. I think it's safe to say margin of victory is a big factor if we are ranked that high, since we've blown out most of the mid majors we've played and kept our losses close.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 7, 2011 1:52 PM | Report abuse

It seems strange that it is impossible to get this information on the website or through a Google search. I understand not giving away the formulas, but what about defining the elements? Who of any consequence uses the Pomeroy Ratings?

Posted by: petecard | January 7, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse

maybe someone pulls the Pome Rankings out of their *ss?

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | January 7, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Hugh, where is all this aggressiveness coming from today? Don't get me wrong, I'm getting a kick out of the Nolan Smith comments and this "pulling them out of their a**. Just wondering what's gotten into you today.

Posted by: fushezzi | January 7, 2011 3:11 PM | Report abuse

fushezzi, to answer your question: it's Duke Week.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 7, 2011 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Hugh----------Will the NBA pay more money if Smith is good looking? I have been waiting to see who the terp fans would pick on this year. In the past there has always been a white guard to pick on----Hurley,Wojo,Reddick,Paulus.The frustration must be significant that Duke doesn't have a white guard.

Posted by: sportsfan2 | January 7, 2011 7:50 PM | Report abuse

HughG, You have had many great posts, but the one above may be your best. We are now looking at and discussing rankings that we know nothing about. To funny...

Posted by: petecard | January 7, 2011 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Hugh----------Will the NBA pay more money if Smith is good looking? I have been waiting to see who the terp fans would pick on this year. In the past there has always been a white guard to pick on----Hurley,Wojo,Reddick,Paulus.The frustration must be significant that Duke doesn't have a white guard.

Posted by: sportsfan2 | January 7, 2011 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Hey Nerd, what kind of loser goes on another team's blog to talk smack? How shocking you went to Duke.

And yeah, Smith probably will make less money for being ugly. Not from the NBA, but from sponsors.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 7, 2011 9:52 PM | Report abuse

Liz, thanks for the bb coverage..Living here in carolina i do not get much coverage from the news and observer....They are Pro State and carolina..esp that dematha loser s lowe...word is chairwoman yow wants him gone!!!

wii be at the game right behind the bench...So that all you folks who think i am not a terp I am...How do i change my screen name????

Posted by: carolina1 | January 8, 2011 11:00 AM | Report abuse

High KenPom ranking for UMD is because of an artificially high FG% (12th in the country). UMD only attempts 3pt shots about 20% of the time, way below the national average. This inflates our FG% because it is easier to make 2's.

See full explanation at http://www.basketballprospectus.com/unfiltered/?p=610

Posted by: getjiggly2 | January 8, 2011 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Here is the link on Pomeroy that gives the explanation. You can also get there by look at the ratings page and clicking on "Help" next to the word "Data" just above the years
2002-2011.

http://kenpom.com/blog/index.php/weblog/ratings_explanation/

Bottom line: this guy is a statistical egghead who speaks a language that most of us don't understand.

Posted by: petecard | January 8, 2011 6:01 PM | Report abuse

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