Five Maryland basketball games you can't miss this season

November 07, 2010|By Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun

College of Charleston at Comcast Center, Nov. 10: If you can only attend one early home game, this would be the choice. Bobby Cremins enters his 30th season of coaching (fifth with the Cougars) with a team that returns most of the scoring from last season's edition that upset North Carolina. Remember that Maryland's only home loss last season was to an early non-conference opponent (William & Mary). Gary Williams' teams are usually better later in the season than early.

Pittsburgh at Madison Square Garden, Nov. 18: The Terps typically play in a challenging early-season tournament away from home, and this one — the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer (Pitt, Illinois, Texas) — more than qualifies. Pitt is ranked fifth in the AP preseason poll. Williams often remarks on this season's challenging nonconference schedule, and this game is his "Exhibit A."

Temple in Washington, Dec. 5: The Owls are ranked 22nd in the AP preseason poll and are coached by Fran Dunphy, who was on Gary Williams' staff at American University. Dunphy is one of the gentlemen of the game, and remains friends with Williams. The former Penn coach is a big part of the history of the Big 5 — the Palestra, cheesesteaks and soft pretzels.

Duke at Comcast Center, Feb. 2: Last season's Duke-Maryland home game was almost too emotional for fans to bear. It came on Senior Night, and the Terps defeated the soon-to-be national champions. This year's Blue Devils return Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith and add highly touted point guard Kyrie Irving. But Jon Scheyer is gone, meaning Terps fans can finally retire their oversized "Scheyer Face" posters.

Virginia at Comcast Center, March 5: The Terps close the regular season at home against the Cavaliers. It may not match the adrenalin rush of a Senior Night game that Maryland played against Duke last season. But it will be the last home game for seniors Dino Gregory, Adrian Bowie and Cliff Tucker.

jeff.barker@baltsun.com

twitter.com/sunjeffbarker

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