Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

UNC Basketball: Maryland Game One on One

Editors Note: Staff Writer Matt Stradley is a veteran of and decided to take a new approach to previewing tonight’s Maryland matchup. Check out his one on one conversation with his buddy John.

This week I decided to make my article a text conversation between myself and my buddy John, who has a beautiful, irreverent yet articulate take on just about everything.
Matt – “Everyone wants to talk about Dook so you know what I want to talk about.”
John – “Maryland.  By the way, I’m fully prepared for a loss in College Park. We have not fared well against the Big 58 this year.  OH!”
Matt – “Nice!  Len worries me.  And it snowed up there.  Like a reverse snow game possibility.”
John – “Yeah.  Frankenstein will likely go for 40 and 35 against us.  BUT, Maryland doesn’t take care of the ball, which completely plays into our hands.  As long as we don’t give em too many second and third chances, I’m OK with getting out rebounded.”
Matt – “Especially since we went small.  In my opinion, JMM needs to get real solid real early positionally.  AND DONT FOUL.”
John – “AND DON’T FOUL.”
Matt – “He’s gonna foul isn’t he.”
John – “Maybe he can use his quickness to get Frankenstein in foul trouble.  He just has to be aggressive from the tip.”
Matt – “You know who I think decides this game?  PJ.”
John – “Well you know PJ would love to quiet those (fans)”
Matt – “And he’s tough enough to take it right into Len and draw the fouls.”
John – “I think if we win our post game celebration should be to tear down all their ACC banners.”
Matt – “What are the odds we win?”
John – “40/60″
Matt – “I’m afraid of two things.  Cold shooting (happens on the road) and getting beasted down low (could happen with Len)
John – “I just like how we take care of the ball in the small line up.  Obviously you’d like to dominate the glass, but if we can’t get second shots we have to create steals.”
Matt – “If steals/turnovers is greater than their offensive rebounds, we are in the game.”
John – “This is a game we can afford to play Hubert, Johnson and James a bit more in.  The did a good job the first time we played them.  Plus it’s 15 more fouls to use against Len.
Matt – “We need to win this game tonight to prove we can beat big on the road.”
John – “Either way I wouldn’t want to play us in the tournament.  Especially since the line up change.  It’s so different than UNC traditionally plays.
Matt – “It looks more like a Duke team to me.”
John – “Yeah, but unlike Dook, we get out and run AND our guards like to get on the glass.”
Matt – “And not a floor has been slapped.  I think we go hard and win tonight.  Big test for JMM.  Frankly, I’m excited to see how he handles it.”
John – “He has been playing much better lately.  Attacking everything.  Like.”
Matt – “Aggression.  Yes.  In my head, I like to think JMM’s thinking “I better get this rebound or PJ will kill me.”
John – “I do love PJ for that.”

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