3-point play: George Washington-Maryland preview

3-point play: George Washington-Maryland preview
December 8, 2013, 12:45 am
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George Washington Colonials forward Isaiah Armwood (32), Creighton Bluejays guard Grant Gibbs (10) and forward Doug McDermott (3) go for a loose ball in the first half of the game at the Honda Center.

(Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

Three things to watch in Sunday's George Washington-Maryland matchup in the BB&T Classic

Isaiah Armwood versus Jake Layman: The lengthy Armwood typically roams the paint looking for shots to block and rebounds to snare. However, in George Washington's Thanksgiving week win over No. 20 Creighton, the 6-foot-9 forward locked up All-American candidate Doug McDermott on the perimeter. The 6-foot-8 McDermott averages over 24 points on the season and shoots 44 percent from beyond the arc for Creighton. Against GW, he scored seven points on 2 of 12 shooting, missing all five of his 3-point attempts.

Against Maryland, expect Lonergan to sic Armwood on yet another 6-foot-8 forward no matter how far away from the basket he roams.

Layman leads the Terps in scoring (14.3) and 3-point shooting (46.0 percent). Taking Armwood (2.8 blocks) away from the basket isn't so bad for Maryland. Getting the senior in foul trouble is even better considering the Colonials have negligible big man depth. 

Depth: The Colonials often goes with an eight-man rotation, but that includes Patrico Garino and Joe McDonald, the roster's only proven point guard. Arguably the Colonials top all-around player, Garino (finger) will not play while McDonald is a game-time decision. Should the Landon product sit, George Washington would be susceptible to any pressure defensive schemes.

While GW hopes McDonald can play Sunday, the Terps already know there will still be without point guard Seth Allen. The sophomore suffered a broken foot shortly before the start of the season, leaving the role to freshman Roddy Peters. The District Heights native is averaging 3.4 assists and 2.9 turnovers.

No McDonald means more minutes if not starting minutes for freshman guards Nick Griffin and Miguel Cartagena. No McDonald also makes it more challenging to feed perimeter threats Maurice Creek and Nemanja Mikic on the wings.

3-point shooting:  Last season the Colonials had little interest in shooting 3-pointers in part because they had scant success making them. Now George Washington is taking and making shots from long range, ranking 13th nationally at 42 percent. Creek, the former Indiana transfer, and Mikic are the primary weapons as both sink over 45 percent of their attempts.

The Colonials patient and pick-heavy offensive schemes set both threats up from all angles. When defenses pinch out to cover the perimeter, GW looks inside for double figure scorers Armwood and Kevin Larsen.

Maryland has its own deep threats, namely Layman and Evan Smotrycz. However, the Terps struggle to stop opposing shooters, ranking 208th nationally.

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