Terps scouting report

March 22, 2001|By Christian Ewell

No. 3 Maryland (23-10) vs. No. 10 Georgetown (25-7)

What: NCAA tournament, West Regional semifinals

Where: Arrowhead Pond, Anaheim, Calif.

When: Tonight, 7:55

TV/Radio: Chs. 13, 9/WBAL (1090 AM), WTEM (980 AM)

How they got here: The Terps beat 11th-seeded Georgia State, 79-60, in the second round on March 17. Georgetown beat No. 15 seed Hampton, 76-57.

Conference records: The Terps were 10-6 in the ACC. Georgetown went 10-6 in the Big East.

Rankings: Maryland is ranked 11th, one of 12 teams to remain in the AP Top 25 all season. Georgetown is ranked No. 21 in the AP poll.

Coaches: Gary Williams is 240-138 in 12 seasons at Maryland and 447-266 in 23 seasons overall. Craig Esherick is 52-32 in three seasons at Georgetown.

NCAA tournament records: Maryland has a 24-17 record in 18 appearances and advanced to the Sweet 16 under Williams in 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999 and 2001. Georgetown is 36-20 in 21 NCAA appearances, with one national title in 1984 and Final Four appearances in 1982 and 1985. The Hoyas' last NCAA appearance came in 1997.

Key matchups: Kevin Braswell's maturation into a true point guard has been an important development in Georgetown's return to the NCAA tournament. Before the tournament, he had nearly twice as many assists (190) as turnovers (98) while averaging 11.2 points. Steve Blake has played a similar role for the Terps, running the team to success when he is playing well. Another battle to watch will be on the blocks, where the finesse of Lonny Baxter and Terence Morris clash with the power of Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje and Michael Sweetney.

What Maryland has to do to win: The prevailing opinion is that if Blake can keep Braswell from penetrating and force the load onto Georgetown's wing players, like Demetrius Hunter, the Terps will be in good shape. Maryland must also get strong performances from reserves Mike Mardesich, Tahj Holden and Chris Wilcox, who will help Morris and Baxter against Boumtje-Boumtje and Sweetney, as well as Wesley Wilson and Lee Scruggs.

What Georgetown has to do to win: Braswell must disrupt Blake, whose performance is similarly vital to Maryland's success. The Hoyas must also throw the Terps off rhythm defensively down low by alternating the bruising style of Sweetney and perimeter-orientation of Scruggs.

Bottom line: Maryland appears to be a match in areas where Georgetown is strong, and superior in other areas -- like the spot occupied by shooting guard Juan Dixon -- where the Hoyas are not. The Terps should prevail.

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