Maryland-Georgetown has been a long time coming and it will finally happen on Tuesday night in College Park. Here are 5 things you need to know as you get ready for the matchup.
1) 40+ years in the making
Georgetown has not played a game against Maryland in College Park since 1973. Finally, it is happening on Tuesday night. The atmosphere should be electric and the expected sellout crowd at XFINITY Center should be loud.
The coaches on both sides obviously understand the significance of the matchup. Players seem too young to fully grasp it, but know that local rivalries renewed are never insignificant. It’s unfortunate that the Champion’s Classic in Chicago may overshadow this game a bit nationally, but locally there will be no match.
2) Not underestimating after a loss
Georgetown’s double-overtime loss to Radford on Saturday created an odd dynamic in the lead-up to this game. So long in the making, there was now an added dimension of one team coming off a loss to a mid-major.
Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon says, if anything, that loss will re-focus the Hoyas even more and they could be coming into Tuesday’s game with even more to prove.
3) DSR vs. Melo
The D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera vs. Melo Trimble matchup will be Tuesday’s game within a game. Smith-Rivera, a veteran who decided to return to the Hoyas for his senior season, leads his team into College Park against Trimble, the sophomore with all of the preseason accolades and the adoration of the cameras.
Both are high-level scorers, though Trimble has the benefit of a more veteran and versatile supporting cast. Keep an eye on it.
4) The rebounding battle
A staple of Turgeon teams is found in the rebounding numbers. Maryland is a big team -- or rather, a team that can play big -- and they are coached to dominate the glass. Expect players like Robert Carter, Jr., Diamond Stone, Michal Cekovsky, Damonte Dodd, and even Jake Layman to hit the glass hard.
Why? It’s a point of weakness for Georgetown. The Hoyas were -6 on the boards in their loss to Radford, including allowing 15 offensive rebounds. If Maryland can make a habit out of getting second-chance points, they can take control of this game.
5) The lasting effects
Turgeon has said that he doesn’t believe in the recruiting angle of this game, being that the two schools rarely fight over the same players. At the same time, he cited something a colleague told him this week in saying that a matchup like this is great for everyone involved except for the coaches.
The takeaway from that is likely because of the quality of the opponent on the other side and the stress that comes along with the bright spotlight that will be on this game. But, of course, if you win in that spotlight you’ll get a stamp of approval from the fan base.
Tip off is at 9 p.m. at XFINITY Center.