No. 6 Maryland basketball vs. George Mason: How to watch and what to watch for

Forward Makhel Mitchell slams home a dunk in Maryland men's basketball's 74-55 win over Fairfield on Nov. 19, 2019. (Gabby Baniqued/The Diamondback)

Opponent: George Mason (5-0)

Location: Xfinity Center, College Park, Maryland

Tipoff: 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 22

Last matchup: Dec. 2, 2012, Maryland won 69-62

Last game: Maryland defeated Fairfield 74-55, George Mason defeated Loyola Maryland 65-61

Line: Maryland -17.5 per OddsShark

Kenpom prediction: Maryland 76-59

TV: BTN – Wayne Randazzo (play-by-play), Dan Bonner (analyst)

Streaming: BTN

Radio: Maryland Sports Radio Network (105.7 FM Baltimore, 980 AM D.C.) — Johnny Holliday (play-by-play), Chris Knoche (analyst), Walt Williams (analyst)

Student Radio: WMUC Sports (James Mahoney and Dylan Spilko)

 

What to watch for Maryland: Free throws

The Terps are normally one of the better free throw shooting teams in the nation, but they are shooting just below 66% from the charity stripe as a team through four games, including 14-of-25 (56%) against Fairfield on Tuesday. Though Maryland is favored by nearly 20 against George Mason, the Patriots are 5-0 for a reason. An inability to knock down clutch free throws late will be a developing storyline as the Terps’ competition stiffens and conference play gets closer. An encouraging sign is Jalen Smith, who is shooting 70% from the line this season, up from 65.8% last season. He made seven of nine free throws against Fairfield, half of Maryland’s total in the game.

What to watch for George Mason: AJ Wilson

Wilson, a redshirt junior, was getting 11-12 minutes of playing time per game for the past two seasons, averaging 3.7 points per game. This season, he’s started in all five games for the Patriots, averaging 27.4 minutes per game and 11 points per game. He is shooting 41.2 percent from the field and gets to the free throw line just under five times per game. Wilson’s breakout season has been a pleasant surprise from Mason, which has gotten off to its best start in program history at 5-0.

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