The Terps Will Beat West Virginia If…?

Sports and Bets — March 21, 2015 at 5:05 pm by

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After holding off Valpo Friday evening, the Terps are set for a Sunday night matchup against West Virginia. This is a matchup I honestly could not be less excited about. I watched a lot of WVU games this year, and this is a team that can beat anyone in country. Although they’ve been somewhat inconsistent, they have the potential to be very, very good at times. So this brings us to the question, what do the Terps have to do to win this game?

Don’t Turn The Ball Over: This one sounds obvious, but one of the reasons West Virginia is so good is their ability to force turnovers. They do it early and often. They lead the entire country in steals per game this year (10.9), and apply a pretty heavy defensive press. They forced 17 turnovers against Buffalo in their opening round game, and have averaged right around twenty turnovers forced per game this year. West Virginia is a physical team who will make you work to score points. To win this game, the Terps must be careful with the ball.

Box Out West Virginia HARD After They Miss Shots: West Virginia is terrific on the offensive glass, pulling back 40.6 percent of their missed attempts. Every player needs to be extra physical going up for defensive rebounds (this means you too, Layman).

Don’t Give Up Easy Points In The Paint: West Virginia is not a good shooting team at all. If Maryland makes them take jump shots (and rebounds effectively), the Terps should come away with this game. The Mountaineers do however score a lot of points (73.9 per game), despite not being able to shoot well. Much of this is due to their offensive rebounding proficiency. Their field goal percentage on the year was a terrible 46.7%, ranking them 274th in the nation in that statistic.

Stay Out Of Foul Trouble: This is the most important key to the game. Your star players can’t be stars if they’re not on the court, and if either Trimble or Wells get into foul trouble early, they’ll be forced to sit down. The Terps had to play without Wells for a good amount of time in the first half against Valpo, giving them a chance to catch up.

To sum up West Virginia, they will try to force the ball out of your hands on defense, then miss a shot on the other end of the court, and follow it up with an offensive rebound and a put back. This is how they score a large chunk of their points. If the Terps can eliminate mistakes, and focus on ball control and rebounding, it should easily be enough to win this game. If not, have fun watching the Sweet 16 from the couch.

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