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A Farewell to Turtles

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Maryland pays the Jackets a visit for the last time as an ACC member.

USA TODAY Sports

There are 4 games left in the regular season and we have abandoned all hopes of postseason play beyond the ACC tournament. Unless we win that thing, of course. You won't see me making that kind of prediction, but it is our only hope of seeing our way into playing in the latter half of March.

Maryland visits McCamish tonight for the last time as a conference opponent. OR DO THEY?!?!?! Notice the caps, indicating RUMORS that never go away. I don't really care to talk about those things, but the football schedule released by the ACC doesn't exactly give us warm feelings from the league offices.

But we're here to talk about basketball. Maryland's leading scorer is a 7-1 center named Alex Len. 7-1 in college is a huge advantage. He averages 12.3 PPG and 8.0 RPG. As a sophomore, that is some very impressive production. The other thing that sticks out when looking at Maryland's stat lines is that they have gotten to the charity stripe 97 more times than the Yellow Jackets. They shoot only slightly better from the line at 65.8% vs. 63.0%, but getting to the line more obviously helps their scoring output, since they are still adding points while the clock is stopped.

One area that Tech could take advantage of is turnover margin. Maryland averages 15.1 turnovers per game, versus Tech's 13.1. For all the turnover problems we've seen at times from our young team, we have found a team that is more careless with the ball.

While Maryland's primary and initial threat will come from Len on the inside and dribble drives from their wing players. They also play the inside-out game very well. In particular, we should be worried about Logan Aronholt, who shoots a jaw-dropping 48.5% from beyond the arc and leads the Terrapins in 3PA. With the high amount of rotation we see from Brian Gregory's system, the help defense will need to be wary of his threat and close out quickly any time he has an open shooting opportunity.

Although this is our second easiest game of the last 4, I don't see us winning it. I think Maryland will create separation late in the game and win by a scoreline of 73-62.