Preview: Faust, Maryland travels to Pittsburgh to take on Panthers

Preview: Faust, Maryland travels to Pittsburgh to take on Panthers
January 6, 2014, 11:00 am
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Gary Williams on Maryland, Georgetown and GW

(USA TODAY Sports)

VITALS

Date: 6 January 2014

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Location: Petersen Events Center, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Television: ESPN2

Spread: Pittsburgh (-10.5)

FAST BREAK PREVIEW

Maryland coach Mark Turgeon introduced the concept of a “new season” after the team’s Dec. 21 loss to Boston University. The Terrapins are now 3-0 in that “new season” as they travel to Pittsburgh to take on coach Jamie Dixon’s 13-1 Panthers on Monday night.

Preview the game below.

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Maryland PG Roddy Peters vs. Pitt PG James Robinson

It will be a battle of contrasting styles at point guard on Monday night, Peters the long athlete who pushes the ball in transition against Robinson, the ball-control-oriented sophomore who averages less than one turnover per game in close to 30 minutes.

Peters should have the advantage on the offensive end, as Robinson is not the most laterally quick guard. But if turnovers plague Peters on Monday, that spells trouble. The Panthers (led by Robinson) don’t turn the ball over.

The same goes for Seth Allen, who should come off the bench for the Terrapins as he continues to work back to full strength, now close to 10 weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a broken bone in his foot.

[RELATED: How much of a problem will James Robinson present for Terps?]

MARYLAND PLAYER TO WATCH

Nick Faust, guard

The return of Seth Allen has changed Nick Faust’s game. Before the sophomore’s return from injury, Faust was averaging 9.0 points in 29.5 minutes per game on 34 percent shooting. Since he has been back, Faust is averaging 16.0 point in 23.7 minutes per game on 58 percent shooting.

This has been one of the best three-game stretches for Faust in his career and he’ll look to keep it going vs. Pittsburgh. What’s the key? Efficiency. Faust has said it himself, that his effort on the defensive end of the floor helps to translate into production on the offensive end.

If he takes good shots and settles in with the mentality of being the third or fourth scoring option instead of the first, the points will come naturally.

[RELATED: What's the key to Faust's big three-game stretch?]

PITTSBURGH PLAYER TO WATCH

Lamar Patterson, guard

It took Patterson some time, but he’s now the offensive centerpiece for Pittsburgh, averaging a team-high 17.2 points and adding 4.6 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game. Faust will likely be guarding Patterson which means he’ll need to keep tabs on him on the perimeter and limit his open looks from deep.

Shooting 41.9 percent from deep, the three-ball is a threat for him.

INTANGIBLE TO CONSIDER

Maryland has had trouble turning the ball over. Pittsburgh simply does not turn the ball over, so much so even that they rank 15th nationally with just 10 turnovers committed per game. So what does that mean for Maryland?

It means that an early hole could be deadly, as Robinson and the rest of the Panthers won’t be flustered by the press if Maryland decides to crank up the heat. The Terrapins ran into the same problem in their loss to Boston University, thanks to the backcourt duo of Maurice Watson, Jr. and D.J. Irving.

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