Wake Forest at Maryland
Location: College Park, MD
Venue: Comcast Center
Tip-off: Wednesday at 7:00 PM ET.
TV/Internet: Fox Sports and ESPN3.com
Wake Forest: 10-5, 1-0 ACC (Defeated Virginia Tech 58-55).
Maryland: 10-4, 0-1 ACC (Lost to NC State 79-74).
Series history: The Terrapins have an all-time advantage in the series of 64-56. UMD has won two in a row, sweeping the Demon Deacons last season by a combined 40 points.
Deacons Illustrated breaks down the matchups by position:
Small Forward - Nikita Mescheriakov, WF -vs.- Sean Mosley, UMD. The Belarusian baller has the length (6-foot-8), but the Terps senior has the quickness. As a part of Maryland's three-guard lineup Mosley provides a physical presence, solid ball-handling, leadership and a threat to score (10.4 points per game). Edge: UMD
Power Forward - Travis McKie, WF -vs.- James Padgett, UMD. In Saturday's win over the Hokies McKie tied his career-high in rebounds with 15. Combine that with his scoring output this season (17.5 points per game), and all signs lead to a long night for Padgett. Edge: WF
Center - Ty Walker -or- Carson Desrosiers, WF -vs.- Alex Len, UMD. The 7-foot Ukrainian has been a major addition to the Terrapins. Len enters Wednesday's game against the Deacs after recording a double-double (12 points and 11 rebounds) in Sunday's loss to the Wolfpack. Walker and Desrosiers combined for five blocks and five assists Saturday, but only nine points and three rebounds against the Hokies. Edge: UMD
Shooting Guard - C.J. Harris, WF -vs.- Pe'Shon Howard, UMD. Big-time players make big-time plays, and that is exactly what Harris has done this season for Wake Forest. He made the game-winning layup at Nebraska and most recently the trifecta that pushed the Demon Deacons past Virginia Tech. Howard will struggle to defend the ACC's second leading scorer (18.3 points per game). Edge: WF
Point Guard - Tony Chennault, WF -vs.- Terrell Stoglin, UMD. Chennault performed better versus the Hokies than his indecisive effort in the loss to Wofford. He will have to improve dramatically if he hopes to be on par with Stoglin, who is the ACC's leading scorer (21.4 points per game). Edge: UMD
Bench - Chase Fischer has often been a spark offensively for the Deacs this season, but aside from him Wake Forest has had limited production from its reserves.
Freshmen bigs Nick Faust and Ashton Pankey have shown promise, and Mychal Parker give Maryland a solid seven man rotation. The Terrapins can play nine if push comes to shove. Edge: UMD
Coaching - Jeff Bzdelik, WF -vs.- Mark Turgeon, UMD. Both have been through battles. Bzdelik made competitors out of Air Force and Colorado, and has seen the bright lights of the NBA. Now he is working to convince a young team to believe in itself, and play within his system. Wake has doubled its win total from a year ago.
Coaching legend Gary Williams left Turgeon with some big shoes to fill. His first season at the helm in College has and will likely continue to be a college one, but if Turgeon has similar or better success at Maryland that he had in stops at Wichita State and most recently Texas A-&-M look for the Terps be near the top of the pecking order in the ACC and maybe nationally. Edge: Tie