Maryland hoping for end of road woes in ACC

|
Sports,College,Kevin Dunleavy,Terps,University of Maryland

Turgeon has one such win in two seasons

January brought four difficult ACC road tests for Maryland, but the remaining schedule away from Comcast Center is much less daunting. None of the teams Maryland will play on the road -- Virginia Tech, Boston College, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest and Virginia -- has a better record than the Terrapins.

When Maryland (16-6, 4-5) travels to Virginia Tech (11-10, 2-6) on Thursday, the Terps hope to turn their road fortunes around and get a winning streak under way.

"If we want to be part of the [NCAA] tournament, we got to win some road games," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. "We know that."

Up next
Maryland at Virginia Tech
When » Thursday, 9 p.m.
Where » Cassell Coliseum,
Blacksburg, Va.
TV » Ch. 20

The last time Maryland won a road game in the ACC was a year ago to the day, Feb. 7, at Clemson, where Terrell Stoglin scored 27 points in a 64-62 victory. It was Turgeon's lone win on the road in the ACC in two years, a far cry from how his teams at Texas A&M fared outside College Station in the Big 12, going 15-17.

"My teams have been good road teams. This team, hopefully before this year's over, becomes a good road team," Turgeon said. "We're a young basketball team, and that's the next step for us -- learning how to do it."

Maryland has been close to a road breakthrough, losing on a buzzer-beater Jan. 30 at Florida State and falling by seven at Miami on Jan. 13. The Terps also played well at Duke on Jan. 26 but caught the aroused Blue Devils after a humiliating 27-point loss at Miami.

Freshman Seth Allen said there hasn't been a common thread in the losses.

"It's always something different," Allen said. "I don't think it's the crowd. I think we have good poise on the road. Sometimes it just comes down to defending."

The player the Terps will have to pay the most attention to Thursday is point guard Erick Green (25.0 ppg). The 6-foot-3 senior leads the nation in scoring, no small feat considering the last player from the ACC to do it was Grady Wallace of South Carolina 56 years ago.

In a 94-71 defeat of the Hokies a month ago in the ACC opener for both teams, Maryland surrendered 28 points to Green on 18 shots. Turgeon wants to see less efficiency and will rotate multiple players on the Paul VI graduate.

"If he gets 25 to 28 again, I hope it's on 22 shots," Turgeon said. "He's gotta really work for them, and we've got to do a better job on ball-screen defense. We gotta do a better job keeping him off the foul line."

Senior forward James Padgett is the only Maryland player who has won in Blacksburg. In his freshman year, the Terps got 41 points from Greivis Vasquez in a 104-100 victory in double overtime that helped secure Maryland's last NCAA berth.

Padgett said he has conveyed lessons learned to his younger teammates.

"Just being mature and understanding that it takes a lot to win on the road, regardless if you beat them at home," Padgett said. "It's a different ball game. You're in their home, their environment. The odds are against you."

kdunleavy@washingtonexaminer.com

View article comments Leave a comment