Preview: Can Maryland stop T.J. Warren, NC State on road?

Preview: Can Maryland stop T.J. Warren, NC State on road?
January 20, 2014, 7:30 am
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(Associated Press)

VITALS

Date: 20 January 2014

Time: 9 p.m.

Location: PNC Arena, Raleigh, N.C.

Television: ESPNU

Spread: Pick

FAST BREAK PREVIEW

Maryland stepped dangerously close to proverbial edge after the first half on Wednesday against Notre Dame. Combined with big losses to Pittsburgh and Florida State, had the Terrapins not come out with the spark that they did in the second half against the Irish, this might be a very different season.

They look to put together a complete game on Monday against NC State in Raleigh.

[RELATED: Turgeon: ‘We’d be searching’ if not for big 2nd half vs. ND]

MATCHUP TO WATCH

NC State’s T.J. Warren vs. Maryland’s Nick Faust

How does one contain the conference’s leading scorer, especially one who is 6-8, 215 pounds? It will come down to something that Maryland has done a poor job of so far this season--keeping the sophomore, T.J. Warren, out of the lane.

As Nick Faust told the media on Sunday, if Warren gets a foot in the paint, it’s usually a bucket. That means Maryland needs to make a concerted effort to keep him away from the basket and out toward the three-point line, where he’s shooting just 21 percent on the season.

Faust will be tasked with defending Warren for much of the game and his job will be to get Warren’s points-to-shots ratio close to 1-to-1. It’s almost inevitable that he will get his 20 points--he has only scored less than 20 on four occasions this season--but if the Terrapins can make him take 18 shots to do it, that’s a victory.

MARYLAND PLAYER TO WATCH

Dez Wells, Maryland

Turgeon maintains that he prefers a balanced offensive approach to one centered around the junior wing, but a second half like what Wells put up against Notre Dame is welcome on any night.

Wells stuck to the scouting report that Turgeon laid out against the Irish, getting to the basket and drawing fouls, and scoring all 17 of his points in the second half of that win, including going 11-of-13 overall from the line.

He will have the green light to go into takeover mode if things aren’t going well for the Terrapins, especially on the road. Watch out.

NC STATE PLAYER TO WATCH

Anthony “Cat” Barber, guard

The freshman point guard from Hampton, Va., is not only one of the quickest first-year players, but one of the quickest players in the conference--period. He, like Warren, thrives when he can get in the lane, which could be a problem on defense for either Seth Allen or Roddy Peters at the lead guard spot.

It’s imperative that those two keep Barber toward the perimeter where he’s shooting just 26.7 percent from deep.

INTANGIBLE TO CONSIDER

NC State lost to Duke, 95-60, over the weekend. That was the biggest margin of victory for Duke since the Blue Devils beat Maryland, 85-44, on Jan. 24, 2009. It’s less of an intangible relevant to Monday’s game and more of a historical stat that links, in a way, two miserable games in the respective programs’ histories.

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