After an expanded edition on Sunday, time to scale back the game day shootaround to three items to keep an eye on.
And let's face it: Maryland's trip to Wake Forest is slightly less compelling than its trip to Duke was.
A few things to keep an eye on as the Terrapins (10-5, 0-2 ACC) look to collect a road victory in the Dash ...
1. Board games
Ever-so-quietly beyond Jordan Williams, Maryland has outrebounded 11 of its 15 opponents --- and lost all three times it was beaten on the glass (the Terps had a 36-all split with College of Charleston). Meanwhile, Wake Forest ranks at the bottom of the conference in rebounding margin (-2.2) and offensive rebounding percentage (an abysmal 27.3 percent).
Granted, the Demon Deacons are poor at many, many things, but this is one facet that could create particular pain for Jeff Bzdelik's struggling bunch tonight.
Prediction: At the least, Williams comes close to his career-high in rebounds (17) and Maryland maintains a healthy margin of at least plus-10 on the glass.
2. Hauk flies high
More on this later in the day, but Hauk Palsson quietly had an impressive 14-minute outing against Duke on Saturday. The forward didn't score in the 71-64 loss, but demonstrated (much as he did early in the season) an ability to seamlessly fit into the offense. He took smart, open shots, and it's clear coach Gary Williams was happy to see such assertiveness even though the attempts rimmed out.
Palsson thrived against a big front line in Durham; Wake Forest generally doesn't play quite so large (it's not like a few years ago when James Johnson, Al-Farouq Aminu and Chas McFarland confounded the Terps at times). This could be a good chance for Palsson to take another step forward.
Prediction: Palsson plays 12 minutes and scores six points along the way.
3. Dissecting the D
One more thing Wake Forest isn't very good at: Defense. The Demon Deacons are yielding 74.8 points a game, and just absorbed the first 90-point conference outing by N.C. State in Sidney Lowe's five seasons and rank last in the conference in field goal percentage (.442).
Wake isn't technically on pace for the worst ACC defense is forever (Georgia Tech gave up 76 points a game just three seasons ago), but odds are good league games will make matters worse for some of these stats. Maryland, averaging 79.5 points a game, is as good a candidate as anyone other than Duke to exploit Wake's defensive deficiencies.
Prediction: Maryland tops 85 points and shoots at least its season average (48.9 percent) en route to a 15-point victory over an outfit that proves far peskier than it did in Saturday's blowout loss at N.C. State.