Terps End 2008 With Home Test vs. Elon
Dec. 29, 2008
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Maryland plays host to Elon University on Tuesday in a non-conference men's basketball game at Comcast Center. The Terrapins are now 9-2 overall after winning their fifth straight game on Saturday, 72-51, over Bryant University. The Phoenix enter the contest at 4-4 overall after winning three straight.
* The Terrapins are in the fourth game of a seven-game homestand that will last a month between mid-December and mid-January. Maryland is 7-0 at Comcast Center this season and has already beaten Delaware State, American and Bryant in this stretch. Following the game tonight, Maryland will host Charlotte (1/3), Morgan State (1/7) and Georgia Tech (1/10) before facing its first official road game of the year on 1/14 at Miami. Maryland was 13-6 at Comcast Center last year.
* Maryland's five-game winning streak is its longest since the 2006-07 season when the Terrapins won seven straight down the stretch (2/11/07 to 3/3/07). The Terps had a pair of four-game winning stretches a year ago. The Terps are also hoping to complete a perfect December, entering tonight's game 5-0 in the month.
* Greivis Vasquez is leading the Terps in scoring (17.3 points per game), rebounds (6.6 per game), assists (5.0 per game) and steals (1.7). Vasquez leads the Atlantic Coast Conference with a .909 free-throw percentage.
Noting the Phoenix
Elon, 4-4 overall and 1-1 in the Southern Conference, is the last of three non-league opponents the Terrapins will play for the first time in 2008-09 (Youngstown State, Bryant)...
The Phoenix scored a 79-76 overtime win over Lipscomb in their last game, and own victories over The Citadel and Lees-McRae as part of their three-game winning streak... Elon is 1-1 and in second place in the North Division of the SoCon, behind Appalachian State (2-0)...
Senior guard Brett James was named Southern Conference Player of the Week for Dec. 16-22 after averaging 22 points and five rebounds in the wins over Lees-McRae and Lipscomb. He enters tonight's game averaging 16.1 points per game...
Senior forward Ola Atoyebi is the other Elon player averaging in double figures at 15.1 points per game. Both James and Atoyebi are tied atop Elon's rebounding stats with a 5.1 per game average...
Atoyebi is shooting an impressive .627 from the field this season. Elon has faced another ACC opponent this season, losing 76-67 at Virginia Tech on Nov. 26...
Head Coach Ernie Nestor is in his 5th season at Elon.
Gary Williams' 20th Season
Head coach Gary Williams reaches another in a career filled with milestones when he coaches his alma mater for the 20th season in 2008-09...
He is the 6th-winningest active head coach in NCAA Division I men's basketball with an overall record of 613-345 (.640)... He ranks 2nd among active ACC coaches with 406 wins at Maryland (3rd all-time) and also ranks 2nd among active league coaches with 165 ACC victories. Williams is the Terps' all-time winningest coach...
He earned his 400th victory at his alma mater on 11/21 with an overtime win over Vermont... His 397 wins in 19 years at the beginning of the season were an average of 20.9 wins per season with the Terps...
Maryland's 70-65 victory over Boston College (2/6/2008) gave Williams his 600th career victory... Only five other active head coaches in Division I have 600 career wins...
Williams picked up his 400th victory at Maryland against Vermont (11/21)... The milestone came in dramatic fashion, as Vasquez buried a 3-pointer with 6 seconds left to force overtime... The Terps scored the first 17 points of the extra period, earning the most lopsided OT victory in school history with a 17-2 edge in the extra session... Williams picked up the victory over former assistant Mike Lonergan, now in his 4th season as head coach at Vermont.
Milestones, Streaks, etc.
The Terrapins are playing the fourth of a seven-game homestand with the game against Elon... The Terps will not leave Comcast Center for a game again until a mid-January road trip that will take them to Miami (1/14/2009) and Florida State (1/17/2009)... The final game in the current homestand will mark Maryland's ACC opener, when the Terps host Georgia Tech (1/10/2009)...
Maryland's next three opponents are the final non-conference teams on the regular-season schedule and include Elon, Charlotte and Morgan State.
Maryland Among ACC's Best Last Ten Years
Maryland has been one of the top programs in the ACC over the past 10 seasons.
Maryland vs. Ranked Teams Under Gary Williams
Since Gary Williams took over in 1989-90, Maryland has 68 wins over Top-25 teams, including the 80-62 victory over then-5th-ranked Michigan State on Thanksgiving Night.
Between playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference (currently ranked 1st as a league in the Sagarin Computer Ratings) and facing three ranked teams in the 2008 Old Spice Classic, the Maryland men's basketball schedule is formidable:
Home Sweet Home
Maryland has been a dominant home team over the years:
Adept at The Line
Maryland currently leads the Atlantic Coast Conference in free throw percentage at .791... Duke was second in the league after weekend games with a .751 mark.
Maryland entered the week (through games of 12/21) ranked 6th in the nation in FT percentage (Green Bay led the nation at .823).
Among 7 Terrapins who have at least 10 FTs this year, 6 of those are shooting at least .769 from the line... That group is led by Greivis Vasquez, who is hitting at an ACC-best .909 clip (36-for-40)... Eric Hayes is 19-for-20 at the stripe this year, but doesn't have enough attempts to qualify for league or national rankings... Landon Milbourne is 10th in the ACC at .824 (28-for-34)...
Maryland's school-record for team FT percentage for a season is .758, set in 1976.