Terps Face George Mason Sunday in BB&T
Dec. 1, 2012
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
Maryland travels to downtown Washington, D.C., to play in the 18th annual BB&T Classic, benefiting the Children's Charities Foundation. The Terrapins take on George Mason in the second game of a doubleheader, with George Washington and Manhattan tipping off at 12:15 p.m. in the opener.
Depth, rebounding and an ability to ride the hot hand has helped Maryland win five straight games. Nine players are averaging double-figure minutes, and the Terps lead the ACC with a plus-17.3 rebounding margin per game. In the five-game winning streak, a different player has led the team in scoring in each contest. Most recently, Dez Wells poured in a career-high 23 points to lead Maryland to a 77-57 victory over Northwestern in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
Alex Len recorded his second double-double of the year against the Wildcats by grabbing 13 points and 13 rebounds. Len leads the team in scoring (15.2 ppg), rebounding (9.0 rpg) and blocks (2.5 bpg). Pe'Shon Howard, Maryland's active career leader in assists (199), has been a solid distributor with his 6.8 assists per game leading the league. As a team, Maryland is averaging 18.7 assists per game, which also leads the league. In the five-game winning streak, the Terps have assisted on 95 of 143 field goals (66.4 percent).
Since being outscored by Kentucky's bench in the season opener, the Maryland bench has outscored its opponents 147-42 over the past five contests. In those four games, the biggest contributors have been Seth Allen (7.2 ppg), Shaquille Cleare (7.0 ppg) and Charles Mitchell (6.8 ppg)
Logan Aronhalt has found his shooting stroke off the bench recently. He hit all four of his 3-point attempts vs. Georgia Southern and made 3 of 5 at Northwestern.
After averaging 6.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per game as a freshman, Alex Len has developed into Maryland's most consistent scoring threat as a sophomore. Len is averaging 15.2 points per game, which ranks first in the ACC among centers and tied for ninth overall. His 9.0 rebounds per game rank fifth. Len also leads the league with 2.5 blocks per game. He has two double-doubles this season: against Kentucky (23 & 12) and Northwestern (13 & 13).
Force on the Boards
Maryland leads the Atlantic Coast Conference in rebounding margin at plus-17.3 per game, the only school averaging a double-figure margin. North Carolina is second at plus-6.9.
The Terps have built advantages on the boards in all six games this season. Against Northwestern, Maryland built a 47-19 advantage on the boards, the largest margin this season.
Alex Len and Charles Mitchell are the biggest factors in that; Len averages 9.0 rpg and Mitchell averages 7.2. Len ranks fifth in the conference and Mitchell ranks 12th, including first among freshmen.
Len leads the conference with 3.8 offensive rebounds per game, and Mitchell is tied for seventh with 3.0 per game. As a team, the Terps are averaging 17.0 offensive rebounds per game, second in the league behind North Carolina (17.7).
Mitchell made an impressive debut by grabbing 10 rebounds in his first career game, against No. 3 Kentucky. That's the most rebounds by a Maryland freshman in his debut since Buck Williams had 13 against Bucknell in 1978. Williams went on to lead the ACC in rebounding that year (10.8 pg) en route to capturing ACC Rookie of the Year honors.
Two of the better rebounders in recent memory, Joe Smith and Jordan Williams, didn't reach double-digit boards until their third and fourth games, respectively.
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