Maryland Paradise Jam preview
Date: 22 November 2013
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Paradise Jam, U.S. Virgin Islands
Television: CBS Sports Network
Spread: Maryland (-18.0)
Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon was stunned by the number of mistakes his team made in its loss to Oregon State on Sunday. Chief among those deficiencies were errors on the defensive end of the floor that led to 90 Oregon State points.
The Terrapins now have an opportunity to fix those issues in volume by playing three games in four days, beginning with a matchup against Marist on Friday afternoon to kick off Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Preview the action below,
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Chavaughn Lewis vs. Dez Wells
Both 6-5 wing players are at the center of their teams’ respective offensive attacks and, if freshman Roddy Peters starts at point guard for the Terrapins, could end up guarding each other in the defensive end of the floor.
Lewis has been Marist’s most consistent slashing scorer over the past three seasons, on his way to averaging 16.7 points per game last season. Through four contests this year, Lewis is averaging 15.0 points and 2.5 rebounds per game.
Wells, on the other hand, started off slow through two games but may have finally hit his stride after his showing against Oregon State. Wells tallied 23 points in the loss.
Head coach Mark Turgeon has maintained that the team will not be successful if Wells is passive on the offensive end. With hints being dropped that Peters could start at point guard, that would give Wells the best opportunity to score the basketball.
Working off of screens and creating for others after he gets the ball fed to him is where Wells is most effective. Look for the junior to be the center of the offense on Friday afternoon.
MARYLAND PLAYER TO WATCH
Roddy Peters, point guard
Turgeon handed Peters the keys to the car for stretches of Sunday’s loss to Oregon State and he was one of the lone bright spots in the loss. Peters proved that he could play up-tempo while still under control, scoring 10 points and adding six assists while only turning the ball over twice.
Turgeon never outright said that Peters would start on Friday, but it seems like the perfect opportunity to do so. Peters will not be overwhelmed by the Marist defense, it appears, and he has already proven that he can take the heat against a high-major team against Oregon State.
Peters and his ability to create finally freed up Wells to be off the ball and Wells responded with 23 points. Expect that same formula to take hold during this tournament.
MARIST PLAYER TO WATCH
Khallid Hart, point guard
Hart was the state Player of the Year in Delaware during his senior season of high school. This year, the freshman is averaging a solid 10.3 points and 2.3 rebounds per game.
He won’t have an easy task going up against the long, lanky Peters, but Hart has the ability to shoot from the outside which will help him on the offensive end. Peters has made a commitment to improving his perimeter defense, but if Hart can get in a groove from the outside, he will give Marist a boost.
Paradise Jam afford Hart an opportunity to return to a place he is familiar with, the Virgin Islands, as he participated in the FIBA Americas U18 tournament as a member of the team from the U.S. Virgin Islands.
INTANGIBLE TO CONSIDER
Maryland sophomore big man Shaquille Cleare has struggled so far this season and has been part of the Terrapins’ deficiencies on the interior. But on Tuesday when speaking to the media, his roommate and friend Charles Mitchell said, “I believe in him,” thinks that Paradise Jam could give Cleare the boost he needs.
“He’s just got to loosen up a little bit and just play his game,” Mitchell said. “When he goes back to playing Shaquille Cleare game, he’s going to be a great player…I believe in him.”
With three games in four days, will Cleare “loosen up” and find a rhythm?