Under Armour continually supplies Maryland with newly designed alternate uniforms and Wednesday, the Terrapins will unveil new “White Ops” jerseys for their matchup with North Carolina at the Comcast Center in College Park, Md.
We’ve seen the Maryland football team sport this white jersey arrangement but this basketball arrangement is pretty sharp, too. We see the typical Maryland yellow and black checkered pattern around the arm cut-outs and the high-top shoes add a nice touch. But the Terrapins will be focusing less on what they’re wearing and more on what they need to do Wednesday against UNC.
Maryland comes into the game having split the last six games and reaching peaks like a win over No. 2 Duke, then an immediate valley with a loss to Boston College. The Terrapins are still holding on to NCAA tournament hopes and are helped along by losses by other bubble teams, including Ole Miss’ loss to Mississippi State and Boise State’s inability to capitalize in a loss to UNLV.
They meet a surging North Carolina team Wednesday that has won five straight games and has all but cemented a spot in the NCAA tournament. Much of that success has been attributed to the smaller lineup put in place by Tar Heels’ coach Roy Williams.
Carolina’s smaller lineup should contrast with Maryland, who typically plays a traditional front court with Alex Len at center and either Padgett, Shaquille Cleare or Charles MItchell at power forward. When Maryland faced a similar small lineup against Virginia, the Terps seemed out of sync for much of the game and suffered a deflating 80-69 home loss.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.