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Maryland will use ‘tag team’ defense to slow down Virginia Tech’s Erick Green

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Since falling to Kentucky on opening night in Brooklyn, Maryland has rallied off 12 consecutive wins heading into conference play. However the best wins of those dozens were a 20-point blowout against Northwestern and a single-digit win against a pretty good Stony Brook team.

The Terrapins will have a chance to go for lucky No. 13 on Saturday, but they’ll have to do it against the nation’s second-leading scorer, Erick Green and Virginia Tech.

While the Terrapins are looking to add another ‘W’ in the win column and try break the top-25, the Hokies are in much need of a victory following a pair of blowout losses to Colorado State and BYU to close out 2012. Green, averaging 24.4 points per game will look to bounce back against a team he has had success against following a loss to BYU where he scored a season-low 12 points off a dismal 4-of-17 shooting.

To make sure the dynamic scorer doesn’t go off, Maryland will hit him with a tag team defensive effort, according to Don Markus of the Baltimore Sun.

This tag team defense, is part of Maryland’s man-to-man defensive set, as the Terps make sure a particular player, in this case Green, is covered wherever he goes on the floor.

“We don’t play just one-on-one defense, we play team defense and we’re responsible to our man and the man next to us,” sophomore swingman Dez Wells told the Sun. “We’re doing whatever we have to do to help guard our man and the man near us.”

“I think he’s going to get his points, we just want him to earn them,” added Maryland coach Mark Turgeon.

This could be another long day for the 6-foot-3 Green. The Terrapins will look to throw size at him with 6-foot-6 Nick Faust and the 6-foot-5 Wells.

Terrence is also the lead writer at and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.


AP Poll: Syracuse, Xavier big winners in college basketball rankings

(Brad Horrigan/The Courant via AP)
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The new college basketball AP Poll is out, and it shouldn’t be much of a surprise to you that Syracuse and Xavier are the big winners.

The Orange steamrolled through a good Battle 4 Atlantis field, while Xavier capped a dominating performance in the Advocare Invitational with a 29-point win over Dayton. It should be no surprise that they are where they are.

[MORE RANKINGS: top 25 | Coaches Poll]

It is a bit surprising, however, that both Texas A&M and Providence made it into the polls with a loss this week. They both deserve to be there, I just wasn’t sure they were both going to be.

Anyway, here is the full poll:

1. Kentucky (59 first place votes)
2. Maryland (4)
3. Michigan State (2)
4. Kansas
5. Iowa State
6. Oklahoma
7. Duke
8. Villanova
9. North Carolina
10. Virginia
11. Purdue
12. Xavier
13. Gonzaga
14. Syracuse
15. Oregon
16. Vanderbilt
17. Cincinnati
18. Texas A&M
19. Arizona
20. West Virginia
21. Miami
22. SMU
23. Providence
24. Louisville
25. Baylor

NEW THIS WEEK: Syracuse, West Virginia, SMU, Providence, Louisville

DROPPED OUT: Indiana, Cal, UConn, LSU, Wichita State