Originally posted on The Terrapin Nation  |  Last updated 11/20/11

The Terps conclude play in Puerto Rico versus Iona in the 5th place game. 

Game Details:

Opponent: Iona
Tip-time: 2:00 p.m. (ET)
TV: ESPNU
Radio: Terrapin Sports Radio Network (Johnny Holiday and Chris Knoche)

Maryland and Iona will meet up on Sunday for 5th place at the 5-hour ENERGY Puerto Rico Tip-Off. Iona comes into the game having defeated Western Michigan 94-88 following a tough fought 91-90 loss to Purdue.

Here’s a look at what to expect from the Gaels, who were the preseason pick to win the MAAC conference by the league’s coaches: 

GLOVER LEADS THREE RETURNING STARTERS FOR GAELS

Iona, coming off of a 25 win season a year ago, returns three starters, two of which landed on the Preseason All-MAAC First Team. Leading the way is senior forward Michael Glover who was selected as the Preseason MAAC Player of the Year. Glover comes into the game with the Terps averaging 12.5 points and 8 rebounds a game. At 6-7, 215-pounds he does not have elite size but he is one of the most efficient scorers in the country around the basket. Glover, who hails from the Bronx, will get a steady does of fellow New Yorkers Ashton Pankey and James Padgett.

In the backcourt Iona is led by fellow Preseason All-MAAC First Team member Scott Machado. Machado comes into the game versus Maryland averaging 15.5 point, 5 rebounds and 13 assists per game. Machado finished second in the nation in assists per game last season at 7.6. Returning with Machado in the backcourt is Kyle Smyth. A preseason third team All-MAAC selection, Smyth comes into the game averaging 13 points and 4.5 rebounds per game and has good size at 6-4.

ARIZONA TRANSFER MOMO JONES

The Gaels were already runaway favorites to win the MAAC coming into the season, but when Iona learned that the NCAA waiver for Lamont ‘Momo’ Jones had been approved and he was immediately eligible to play, expectations soared. Jones, a talented guard from Harlem, adds an extra scorer and playmaker to an already talented backcourt. Through the first two games, Jones is averaging 13.5 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists as the third guard in Iona’s starting lineup. Maryland will have a tough time matching up with three excellent guards, all capable of scoring the basketball as well as creating open looks for teammates. 

PUSHING THE TEMPO

At 92.5 pointer per game, Iona is looking to speed up the tempo with their excellent three guard lineup. They are shooting a blistering 39.1 percent from three-point range through the first two games and have an adjusted tempo of 71.2, ranking them 17th in the country. Maryland has struggled some at getting a hand in the shooters face so far this season and doing so will likely be critical in this game. The Gaels are also not a particularly good free throw shooting team. Maryland could look to foul some to avoid easy transition baskets for Iona but that will be difficult with such a short bench. The Terps will likely have to play at least two of their walk-on guards if Iona is able to turn the game into a track meet.

DEFENDING THE THREE

One thing the Gaels have not done well through two games this season and did not do well last season is defend the three-point shot. Through their first two games, Iona’s opponents are shooting 42.9 percent from beyond the arc. They weren’t much better last season, allowing opponents to shoot 39.7 percent on the year. Maryland struggled shooting the ball against Alabama but seemed to have found a rythme versus Colorado, making 11 of their 21 attempts from three-point land. If the Terps can carry over their hot streak from the Colorado game as well as slow down the pace they should have a chance to win this game.

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