Terps/Virginia Tech Preview
Virgina Tech Hokies (16-7,6-3 ACC)
Maryland Terrapins (15-8, 4-5 ACC)
Leading Scorers: VT: Malcom Delaney (18.7ppg) MD: Greivis Vasquez (16.1 ppg)
Virgina Tech is a much better basketball team then their record indicates and everyone in the ACC is aware of that. 6 of their 7 loses are by 4 points or less, so they have been in every game this season. The Hokies beat the Terps twice last season in two very close games: if the outcome of those games goes the other way then the might have been in the NCAA Tournament. Despite only winning by 1 point against ACC cellar dweller Georgia Tech, the Terps showed a lot of heart and desire to win. Coming out with a 57-56 win was a huge result for the Terps and you could see the jubilation on the face of Gary Williams.
The Hokies have two tremendous players in A.D Vassallo and former Maryland High School Player of the Year Malcom Delaney. Delaney choosing VT or Maryland shows the inability of Maryland to keep big time local talent home. While Vassallo and Delaney will be doing the scoring, Washington DC product Jeff Allen will be doing everything including scoring for the Hokies. Allen had his coming out party last year in Blacksburg against the Terps and he will be a handful to stop.
Inserting Sean Mosley in the starting lineup has worked well for the Terps and I believe they will run that lineup the rest of the season. Mosley provides good defense, intensity and has increased his production on the offensive end. In addition to Mosley, Cliff Tucker has been a major contributor the last 3 games and has worked his way into the rotation. Despite all of this the Terps live and die by two things : the inside game and Greivis Vasquez. If they do not get contributions from either of these aspects then they will have a tough time beating a good Virginia Tech team. Adrian Bowie, who is coming off the flu, will have to use his explosiveness and scoring ability to provide another scoring threat for the Terps.
There will be an interesting matchup between Mosley and Delaney, both of whom were the last two high school players of the year in the state of Maryland. I believe the Terps have played with a lot more heart, desire and desperation since their embarrassing loss to Duke. This game will be a close on throughout but I believe the Terps will actually come out on top. I do think this team learned that they can compete with anyone when they went into Chapel Hill and put up 91 on the Terps. I think the Terps will get out to an early lead, and Delaney and Vassallo will bring their team back. In the end,I think the Terps find a way to get it done in a 1 point victory to bring their record to 16-8 and more importantly 5-5 in the ACC.
Maryland 77 Virginia Tech 76.