Take Maryland -5 Over Arizona State as NCAAB Pick

Joe Gavazzi

Monday, November 24, 2014 10:16 PM GMT

Monday, Nov. 24, 2014 10:16 PM GMT

A pair of rebuilding teams plays their first meaningful game of the season.  SBR's Joe Gavazzi tells you which team is building faster.

Arizona St. vs. Maryland (-5-) 7:00 ET ESPNU Sprint Center, KC, MO

Monday's NCAA Basketball odds boards opened Maryland as -5 point favorites over Arizona State, but early action has since pushed that line down to 4. While this number has seen little movement, it is the Over/Under that has seen the most action, as that number has fallen from 128 to 123.5.

This is a first round matchup at the CBE Championship featuring a mid-level team from the PAC 12 conference vs. a mid-level team from the Big 10 Conference (Maryland’s new home after many years as an ACC member).  While both these teams have undergone turbulence in the off season, it is the opinion of this bureau that Maryland has survived the changes for the better, while Arizona St. may struggle the entire season. We will know tonight, as each gets their first true test after devouring a trio of cupcakes on their home courts.

Read our NCAA Basketball Picks of the Day article for more free plays

Ninth year AZ State HC Sendek has a tough recruiting challenge.  He is just 100 miles west of where his friend, Sean Miller, is building a Top 5 powerhouse in Tucson. Herbie has gotten the worst of it on the recruiting trail in recent years.  This season is an example of that.  Gone from last year’s 21-12 SU Arizona St. team is their top 3 scorers. Key cogs (PG) Carson, (SG) Marshall and (C) Bachynski accounted for over 45 PPG for the Sun Devils.  But, their leadership is what will be sorely missed.   Bachynski was a force in the middle, who stabilized the Sun Devils on both ends of the court.  PG Carson ran the show and was the “go to” guy when a basket was needed down the stretch. Desperate times call for desperate measures.  As a result, there will be no fewer than 6 JUCOS on the AZ State roster this season.  Dominant double digit victories over outmanned Chicago St., Bethune Cook, and LOY Marymount tell us nothing. 

For the Terps, the going has been turbulent as well for 4th year HC Mark Turgeon. Though the Terps lost 5 scholarship players, only PG Allen was of significance. Replacing them will be a pair of transfers and 4 freshman.  Of greater note, is that 3 key forces return to the lineup.  Their best boy is Dez Wells, an explosive scorer.  He is joined by reliable veteran wingman, Jake Leyman, and Michigan transfer Smotrycz. Adding to the mix is an NCA&T graduate transfer, Pack, who is a proven scorer.  But, the most important piece added by the Terps is freshman, PG Trimble, who is adding double digit scoring to his ability as a solid assist man.   The Terps have played a slightly harder schedule, in defeating Wagner, C. Conn St. and Fordham.  In so doing, they are allowing just 52 PPG. 

When it comes to placing tonight's NCAA Basketball picks, Turgeon is a step ahead of Sendek in his reloading process, andI see it translating into a solid double-digit victory tonight.

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