Maryland vs. Mount St. Mary’s: how to watch, listen, game preview

Maryland (0-0, 0-0 B1G) vs. Mount St. Mary’s (0-0, 0-0 MAAC)
When: Tuesday, Nov. 7 | 7:00 p.m. EST
Where: Xfinity Center
Watch: B1G+ – Jason Brendan Hartlove, Tyler Lochte
Listen: 105.7 FM (Balt) / 980 AM (DC) / SiriusXM Channel 372
Betting: Maryland -18.5, O/U: 134.5

Maryland will kick off the 2023-24 season tonight against Mount St. Mary’s, looking to win its 47th consecutive home opener which is the third-longest active streak nationally. Maryland has defeated the Mountaineers in all ten matchups with the Terps pulling out an 18-point win back in 2020, while head coach Kevin Willard defeated Mount St. Mary’s in his lone matchup back in 2014-15.

Opponent overview: Mount St. Mary’s

After finishing 12-20 (8-12) last season, Mount St. Mary’s was picked to finish seventh in the preseason conference coaches poll. The Mountaineers are led by Bethesda, MD native and head coach Dan Engelstad, who is 59-90 in his sixth season as the Mount’s head coach after finishing 104-34 at Southern Vermont. Mount St. Mary’s boasts seven upperclassmen, a trait that Maryland head coach Kevin Willard was fond of heading into Tuesday’s season opener.

Senior G Dakota Leffew: the senior guard was named a preseason first-team All-MAAC selection as the top returning scorer who posted 13.1 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals in all 31 games last season, including double figures in all but seven games and 20 points or more in five games.

Grad F George Tinsley: the Binghamton transfer averaged 7.1 points and six rebounds in his first season with the Mountaineers last year while posting double figures nine times and collecting ten or more rebounds four times. Tinsley also led the team in blocks (42) and joins Leffew as veteran leaders heading into the season.

Grad F Terrell Ard Jr.: After transferring from UAB following a season-ending ACL injury, Ard was the go-to guy at Presbyterian after becoming a two-year starter and posting a team-high 5.8 rebounds last season. Ard posted his first career double-double against UNC Asheville last year, finishing with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Though just 6-foot-7, Ard will be a challenger on the boards for Maryland after Mount St. Mary’s restocked its frontcourt this offseason.

What to Watch

1. Starting lineup?

Four of Maryland’s five starting spots are solidified with Jahmir Young, DeShawn Harris-Smith and Julian Reese back while DeShawn Harris-Smith takes over Don Carey’s role at the two. The starting wing spot is where Maryland has the one question mark, though Jamie Kaiser Jr. could be in line for first career start in his first college basketball game. Maryland could also turn to Donta Scott at the three with Jordan Geronimo starting at the four after Willard has routinely said he’s tinkered with different lineups both in Italy, scrimmages and in practice. On Monday, Willard noted that Tuesday will be “the first time trying to figure out our rotations” with a chance to go deep into the bench.

2. How the rotation fares

The opening stretch to Maryland’s season is not kind to a team that struggled to consistently win away from Xfinity Center last season, and Tuesday’s game may be the easiest matchup until UMBC heads to College Park on Nov. 21. Tuesday night could give the Terps’ bench a chance to play minutes in bunches into the second half as Noah Batchelor, Mady Traore and Jahn Lamothe iron out roles. Willard has also pointed to the offseason progress from Caelum Swanton-Rodger as he’s in line to back up Reese at the five as Tuesday gives fans their first glimpse into the second-year big man. Willard offered caution for Traore, though the 6-foot-11 sophomore has flashed a smooth stroke and athleticism that offers optimism for the future of the frontcourt. Meanwhile, Willard noted Lamothe’s ability to give the Terps’ another big guard alongside Jahari Long as the duo can backup Jahmir Young at the point, but how does the staff mesh the backcourt on Tuesday?

3. Can Maryland showcase improved three-point shooting?

Maryland started out hot in the season opener last season, shooting 45% from deep in a 22-point win over Niagara before that eventually proved to be an outlier performance. While Tuesday’s opener will only serve as the first chance to showcase their ability to score inside and out, Maryland will look to see who steps up to ease early three-point shooting concerns. Kaiser Jr. has showcased his pure shooting through practice as he remains a primary option to fill the void, while Noah Batchelor will be looked at to provide three-point shooting off the bench. How Maryland’s new and veteran pieces mesh together will be something to watch through the early stretch of the season, but whether the Terps can prove they can stretch opponents could tell the tale of how successful the 2023-24 campaign is.

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