Maryland (3-2) vs. Providence (6-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, November 25, 9 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Sports and Fitness Center (4,000) -- St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Television: None. Home Record: Maryland 1-1, Providence 4-0. Away Record: Maryland 0-0, Providence 0-0. Neutral Record: Maryland 2-1, Providence 1-0. Conference Record: Maryland 0-0, Providence 0-0. Series Record: Tied,1-1.
GAMES NOTES: In the championship round of the 2013 Paradise Jam, the Maryland Terrapins will square off with the Providence Friars as the teams settle things at the Sports and Fitness Center.
Maryland hasn't had too much of an issue in its first two games of the tournament as it breezed past Marist (68-43) in the opening round and posted an 80-66 victory over Northern Iowa in Sunday's semifinals. The two wins pushed the Terps above .500 for the first time this year. The Terrapins own a 3-2 overall record.
The blazing start to the year for Providence continued on Sunday as the Friars held on for a 71-63 victory over La Salle in the semifinals. The victory was the sixth straight to begin the campaign for Providence, which took out Vanderbilt, 67-60,to begin tournament action.
The all-time series between these teams is tied at 1-1.
In the semifinal round, Maryland simply played the more complete game to top Northern Iowa. The Terps shot at a 48.3-percent clip in the contest and earned advantages on the boards (37-33), points in the paint (42-28) and points off turnovers (15-8). Evan Smotrycz had 20 points and came a rebound shy of a double-double in the victory.
Through five games the Terps are enjoying a +10.8 scoring margin, primarily due to their efforts on defense. Maryland is holding foes to 64.2 points per game and 41.7 percent shooting. On the other end the Terps are netting an even 75 points per game, while shooting a shade under 45 percent from the field. Jake Layman (16.4 ppg,6.2 rpg), who scored 19 points against Northern Iowa, is the top offensive option and the team's most lethal shooter from 3-point range, where he has hit 50 percent of his attempts. Smotrycz (12.8 ppg , 6.0 rpg) can also hit shots from 3-point range for Maryland, which has five players scoring in double figures. Dez Wells (13 ppg), Nick Faust (11.2 ppg) and valuable reserve Charles Mitchell (10.4 ppg) are the other top scorers on the roster.
Tyler Harris turned in a 22-point effort and nearly notched a double-double to lead the Friars over La Salle on Sunday. The Friars' major advantage in the game was from the free-throw line, as they hit on 20-of-21 attempts.
Harris (13.3 ppg) is one of four players scoring in double figures for the Friars this season but he is far from the most prolific. That honor belongs to Bryce Cotton (17.5). However, Cotton has not been scoring at an efficient rate this season as was the case again on Sunday when he needed 15 shots just to turn in 11 points. KaDeem Batts (14.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and LaDonate Henton (14.5 ppg, 8.2 rpg) are the more consistent scorers, getting the job done inside. Batts was the more productive on Sunday with 18 points, but Henton is the more versatile threat as he can step out and knock down a 3-pointer when needed. As a team Providence is scoring 76 points per game, while holding opponents to just 61.2 points a contest.
With Henton and Batts inside the Friars have been able to push teams around. That should be enough to lead to a victory on Monday, especially if Cotton is able to hit shots more consistently.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Providence 74, Maryland 72
11/25 10:34:02 ET