Preview: Maryland Faces Miami in Hall of Fame Tipoff Classic Championship

Miami (4-0) vs. Maryland (4-0)
When: Sunday, Nov. 20 | 1:00 p.m. ET
Where: Mohegan Sun Arena
After a 95-67 win vs. Saint Louis on Saturday afternoon, Maryland returns to action on Sunday to face a Miami squad that defeated Providence 74-64. Maryland opens as a one-point favorite in a game that features two guard-heavy teams. We take a look at what to watch on Saturday:

Overview: Miami

Led by head coach Jim Larranaga in his 12th season with the program and fresh off his 700th career win, Miami was picked to finish fourth in the ACC after leaning on the transfer portal to round out their roster. Like Maryland, Miami also started the season 4-0 as Isaiah Wong and Nigel Pack lead the way for the ‘Canes, but Arkansas State transfer Norchad Omier controls the frontcourt and is fresh off a team-high 19 points and 12 rebounds.

Can Maryland stay hot?

Maryland controlled Saint Louis in every aspect of the game on Saturday while Donta Scott led the way with a career-high 25 points (8-of-13), one of four players finishing in double figures. Maryland shot just over 50% from the floor in the sun and led by as much as 32 as they outrebounded Saint Louis and forced 14 turnovers, the fourth straight game Maryland has forced at least ten turnovers. Maryland was also able to contain Yuri Collins, one of the top passers in the country, to just 12 and 6 as Willard and his squad prepare for Isaiah Wonf, Nigel Pack and a veteran ‘Canes squad. “It was really key for us to contain him. So just following our coach’s game plan, really helped us a lot actually,” Donta Scott said about playing defense against Collins. “Just containing him and making sure we did the things [in the] the game that we had to do, like just from picking ’em up or just easing up, just listening to our coach. That really set the tone for the game. Once we got that done, it was all about just taking our time on offense and scoring.”

Backcourt Matchups

Between Isaiah Long, Nigel Pack and Jordan Miller, Maryland might actually match up well against the guard dominant ‘Canes in a game that will feature plenty of four guard sets. That bodes well for reserve guards Ian Martinez and Jahari Long as head coach Kevin Willard can counter Jim Larranaga’s lineups, but leaves questions as to how Donta Scott could matchup. “I just try to stay locked into the game plan because once you play great defense, that leads to great offense. My coach always tells me to take my time. I didn’t try to force anything, so I just took my time today,” Scott said of his career performance on Saturday.

Maryland’s defense, especially its perimeter defense, has lived up to the billing through the first four games but the ‘Canes could provide a bigger test than Saint Louis in the backcourt. While forward Norchad Omier finished with a team-high 19 points, national player of the year candidate Isaiah Wong wasn’t far behind with 18 of his own on 50% shooting after averaging 15.3 points per game last season. Nigel Pack, the Kansas State transfer added another 11 points yesterday staying in line with his 11.3 points per game.

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