Preview: Maryland vs Alabama
In what could be the craziest March Madness in recent memory, Maryland survived Connecticut. In a tournament full of upsets, the question I have regarding the Terps is: “Why not us”. Small school programs that most people have never heard of are shocking the world against house hold named teams. If someone were to tell you that the last two big ten teams remaining out of the nine that started would be Maryland and Michigan, you would look at them like they had two heads. Without further ado lets take a look at the Why not us Terps tonight against Alabama.
One of the favorites of this tournament and a team that Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon referred to as “The fifth number one team”, Maryland has a tough matchup ahead of them. Led by Sophomore guard Jaden Shackelford who averages 14.1 points is going to be a handful for the Terps tonight. With other guards like Jahvon Quinerly and John Petty Junior, who average 12.6 and 12.2 points respectively, they seem like a team Maryland should matchup with evenly. Bama lives off fast pace and the three point shot. On the other end, MAryland likes to slow it down and make you work for your shots. It will be interesting to see how this chess match will play out.
My three keys to tonight’s game are: keeping transition baskets to a minimum, getting some sort of contribution from the bench, and keeping the rebounding numbers even. If Maryland is able to get back on defense and force Alabama to slow down their play then it will be tough for Alabama to generate their offense. The biggest key for me is getting Jairo’s Hamilton going off the bench. If he can come in and score 8-10 points and spread the court, he will be a tough matchup. Getting Hamilton going will also take some of the pressure off Ayala and Wiggins. A contribution from former Crimson Tide Galen Smith would also be huge. If he could come in and score some points down low and grab some rebounds then that would be a big boost. The rebounding will be huge too. UConn seemed like they grabbed every rebound, but luckily for Maryland the second chance points did not hurt them. Letting Bama get more rebounds gives them more opportunities to beat Maryland by the three ball.
Maryland is going to need a lot to go right to win tonight. They may not be better than Alabama on paper, but they just need to be better for 40 minutes. I will leave this preview with the same way i started it, “Why not us”.
Peace and Blessings