During this whole “Internet battle” between Maryland and Penn State fans, we decided to corner the face of Maryland blogs in the alley of some abandoned Internet hallway and see what is really on their mind. Turns out, people from Maryland are real people too. Not that it’s honestly a surprise to anyone, but it’s always nice to know the invisible lines between states do not actually dictate a change in species.
Anyway,Ben Broman from Testudo Times took some time to answer a few questions Penn Staters have going into this weeks matchup against Maryland and how they view this game from the perspective of the defending ACC Co-Champion. Lets get to it. )You can check out our side of things here)
1. Is Maryland going to go through Jordan Williams for offense this year and make him become the 260 pound version of Greivis Vasquez or is Cliff Tucker/Adrian Bowie going to take over that role?
Jordan’s definitely the focal point of the offense. Or, rather, should be the focal point of the offense. He’s by far the most talented player on the team, but Maryland has a tendency, particularly early in games, to not feed him the ball. Tucker’s a decent scorer and Bowie is an excellent penetrator, but Maryland doesn’t have anyone that create their own shot like Vasquez could. Williams is the only guy that can get the ball and make something out of it without a set play.
2. Penn State and Illinois are pretty similar teams in regards to playing style. What does Penn State need to do to replecate Illinois 80-76 victory over Maryland?
For one, it’d help if Penn State made a bunch of 3s. Maryland arguably outplayed Illinois in that game, but for whatever reason forgot how to close out on outside shooters. There was a stretch of about 8 minutes where the only shots the Illini made were 3-pointers. If they close out on those shooters, Maryland probably wins the game with the late run they made. Also, Illinois did
a great job of limiting Cliff Tucker. Maryland’s offense really struggled when Tucker was out of the picture.
3. Does anybody outside of the Big Ten know who Talor Battle is, and where did Taran Buie fall on Maryland’s wish-list?
Battle’s not a big name, but he’s not a complete nobody. He kind of falls into the “Oh, I think I’ve heard of him before” category. Buie, meanwhile, was a guy Maryland wanted early in the process, but in hindsight he wasn’t a big loss. Maryland received a commitment from Terrell Stoglin literally right before Buie committed. Soon after, Terrence Ross committed and Maryland fans were actually kind of happy Buie didn’t commit. Of course, Ross eventually decommitted and was replaced by Pe’Shon Howard, who quickly became a fan favorite. Buie would’ve been welcomed with open arms, of course, but I don’t think anyone is freaking out about losing him.
4. Penn State has a Top 50 RPI and a Top 150 SOS. I think most people expect that Maryland won’t be the power they were last year, but should still compete in the ACC. Assuming that Penn State has a decent year (and that’s expected), how important is this game in the scheme of the remaining out of conference schedule?
To be honest, the most important part of this game is getting back on a winning track against high-major teams. With games against Temple and Villanova still on the schedule, most fans are more worried about getting a premier OOC win, which Penn State won’t provide. It’ll be a nice win to put on the résumé, but no one’s looking at this as a crucial game.
5.Penn State and Maryland are obviously good at different sports, even still, is there any interest in getting a rivarly going from the Maryland side of things?
There’s actually quite a bit of interest. Maryland lacks a real rivalry and, to some extent, so does Penn St. Maryland’s getting better at football compared to what they used to be and Penn St. has periods where they’re good at basketball, too. It’s really a natural match, and it’s a shame it hasn’t been done more.