Maryland will face off against North Carolina this weekend on Saturday Jan. 19 at 12:00pm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. This game will be UNC’s third loss in four games, as the Maryland Terrapins will win their second straight against solid conference rivals.
Maryland will be riding on a bit of momentum from their last second victory over No. 14 North Carolina State on Jan. 16. N.C. State was fresh off an upset win against then No. 1 Duke, and was thought by many to have finally found their stride. Maryland put an end to that holding N.C. State to 50 points as they squeaked by with just one point more, thanks to a tip-in by Alex Len with .9 seconds left on the game clock.
Maryland had a record of 13 wins and 1 loss coming into ACC play, but they have struggled somewhat since with a 2-2 record in conference match-ups.
The top three scorers for the Terps have been Len, Dezmine Wells, and Nick Faust. All three of these play-makers are sophomores, and Wells is new this year coming via transfer from Xavier. It appears that these young athletes are finding their chemistry, and gaining confidence in themselves as well as each other.
Len is gaining national recognition as one of the top big men in college basketball. He is nearly guaranteed to be selected as a lottery pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, if he opts to make the jump. Len should go top 5 depending on the needs of the teams that win those spots when the lottery balls roll in.
Faust has been recently playing more minutes at point guard bringing up the ball. This is a direct result of the lack of consistency from junior point guard Pe’Shon Howard. Faust hasn’t been super consistent as a shooter, but he is clearly a better scoring option, which will keep opposing defenses more honest. He has the ability to make plays and knock down shots, but can also serve as a facilitator.
This win will solidify a spot in the AP Top 25 for Maryland heading into week 12. It will be well deserved, and provide this young core with an extra boost of confidence moving forward.