Boston College at Maryland
Boston College (8-17, 3-8) at Maryland (14-10, 4-6), 9:00 PM, ACC Network split/ESPN3
Maryland competed well for parts of the Duke game but were essentially blown out in the second half. With two games against Virginia, one at North Carolina and one home vs. Miami remaining, this game and at Georgia Tech are Maryland’s only likely wins left. The Terrapins aren’t exactly coming into this one on an emotional high: their 18-point loss Saturday was their biggest margin of defeat since November 20th (Iona). Boston College continues to compete hard no matter what, and the young Eagles played arguably their best road game in ACC play at Virginia Tech on Sunday. But beating an angry Maryland team on the road is probably too tall of an order. If Maryland takes them for granted, though, the Terps could be in trouble.
Stat to watch: Rebounding. Both of these teams are coming off of humiliating rebounding performances this weekend. Duke out-rebounded Maryland 48-33 and pulled down 44.7% of available offensive rebounds, turning those 24 boards into 21 points. Maryland had been getting more offensive rebounds until the last two games (it has averaged 7.0 in that span and opponents have a combined defensive rebounding percentage of 77.8%. Fortunately for Maryland, Boston College doesn’t get a lot of offensive rebounds anyway. Unfortunately for Maryland, Boston College is pretty good generally on the defensive glass (68.5% in conference play). But the Eagles allowed Virginia Tech to get 54.5% of available offensive rebounds, and the Hokies turned those 18 offensive boards into 22 second-chance points. Those were the most offensive rebounds and second chance points allowed this year by BC in regulation. In a close game, that can make all the difference. Maryland has the personnel to rebound much more effectively than BC, but it hasn’t always been about personnel for BC this year when it comes to how competitive they are. Maryland will have to give its best effort in all areas, but particularly on the boards.
Most important players: Terrell Stoglin, Maryland and Matt Humphrey, Boston College. Terrell Stoglin had a bad game at Duke with just 13 points on 4-of-16 shooting and was benched late in the second half. Immediately afterwards, he Tweeted, “Loved sittin that bench today. [Smh] wow [sic]“. The talented sophomore has often tried to carry the team on his back offensively and that sometimes leads to questionable shot selection, which is why he was benched in the first place. Kevin Cowherd of the Baltimore Sun provides great perspective on how challenging this has been for Maryland head coach Mark Turgeonand how well Turgeon has handled it. It will be important to see Stoglin and Turgeon clearly back on the same page in this game.
Matt Humphrey has tied his longest streak of double-digit scoring games in a row with five, and he has been the most consistent part of BC’s office in ACC play. But like Stoglin, he’s not always efficient and is averaging 41% shooting on 10 attempts per game in league play. He has cut down on his three-pointers and is hitting a higher percentage of them, both of which are good signs. If the talented transfer can play within the offense and continue to improve his floor game, as he has recently (3.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.0 blocks per game in the last three), BC will continue to improve offensively.
Random stat: Not exactly random – or a stat – but Maryland will honor Ernie Graham before the game by putting his jersey in the Comcast Center rafters. Per Maryland’s official website, Graham still holds the school record for points in a game (44 against N.C. State in 1978). He played for the Terps when that rivalry with N.C. State was particularly strong, so that’s quite an accomplishment. Graham is 13th on Maryland’s all-time scoring list and 16th in assists.
Prediction: Maryland 77, Boston College 66
Last week: 7-4
Season: 108-39 (44-20 ACC)