NC State freshman point guard Ryan Harrow first crossed paths with Maryland freshman point guard Terrell Stoglin in traveling team basketball in Las Vegas.
Harrow, who played for the Atlanta Celtics, scored 27 points, while Stoglin had 21 for Pump 'N Run.
Harrow and Stoglin have played with our against each three times, with a fourth one coming at 7 p.m. tonight in the first round of the ACC Tournament at the Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum.
Harrow doesn't remember his second encounter with Stoglin, but definitely knows the third one well. Stoglin and Harrow were teammates for the United States All-Stars in the Capital Classic on April 15, 2010. Stoglin and future Maryland teammates Haukur Palsson and Pe'Shon Howard joined Harrow and three other future ACC players on the U.S. squad. Duke signees Tyler Thornton and Josh Hairston played for the Capital All-Stars, which pulled out the 117-108 victory.
Harrow finished with 13 points on 6 of 14 shooting, and added four rebounds and two assists for the U.S. Stoglin went 3 of 6 from three-point range — and 4 of 8 overall — en route to 11 points, four rebounds and two assists.
Stoglin had one of his best games of the season in leading Maryland to an 87-80 victory over NC State on Feb. 20 in College Park, Md. Stoglin went 8 of 14 from the field and 9 of 10 at the line for 25 points, plus nine assists and one turnover.
"He's a good player and I played him over the summer, and we battled it out," Harrow said. "I knew he was a scorer from playing him in Vegas. He did a real good job the last game we played against him [for Maryland]."
The matchup is one Harrow remembers well. Conversely, NC State's flashy point guard went 2 of 9 (missed all three 3-pointers) and had four points, four rebounds and three assists in 21 minutes of action.
Harrow is looking forward to the rematch against Stoglin tonight.
"He is strong going left, so we have to force him to go the other way," Harrow said. "We know he likes to drive it to the hole. We've been working on things like that during practice."
Harrow knows it is now or never against the Terrapins, who have won the last eight meetings against the Wolfpack.
"I'm real excited and feel like it is an AAU game back in Vegas or a game at [Marietta, Ga.] Walton [High]," Harrow said. "I'll probably be thinking like I was back at Walton or an AAU game.
"It's going to be crazy and I really like the gym because I did well against Elon [at the Greensboro Coliseum on Jan. 5]. I'm pretty excited and confident that we will do well against Maryland."
Harrow, Stoglin, Thornton, Virginia Tech's Tyrone Garland, Clemson's Cory Stanton, Florida State's Ian Miller, Wake Forest's Tony Chennault, North Carolina's Kendall Marshall and Duke's Kyrie Irving, represent the ACC's freshmen point guard class. Irving deservedly got the majority of the attention early in the season before getting injured, and Marshall has received the bulk late. Stoglin has been consistent throughout the year.
"I've heard a little bit about them [the other freshman point guards], but I haven't really followed them," Harrow said. "I've been focusing on our team here and trying to do well here. I know all those guys are doing pretty well. We are trying to do things for our teams."
Stoglin has been one of the surprises of the class of 2010. The former three-star recruit from Tucson, Ariz., slipped away from the University of Arizona and committed to Maryland on April 2, 2009. Rivals.com ranked him No. 125 overall in the country and the No. 30 point guard.
The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder is second on the Maryland squad with 11.6 points and 3.3 assists per game. He is shooting 47.2 percent from the field and 36.7 from beyond the arc.
Stoglin has scored at least 17 points in five of his last six games, including 28 at North Carolina and 25 against both NC State and at Virginia Tech.
The transition for Harrow in college has been full of ups and downs, correlating with his spot in the starting lineup. He permanently moved into the Wolfpack's starting lineup against Wake Forest on Feb. 13, and started six straight games before sliding to the side for senior Javier Gonzalez to start on Senior Day against Florida State on March 6.
The 6-1, 160-pound Harrow is averaging 9.3 points, 3.4 assists and just 1.7 turnovers per game. He is shooting 38.7 percent from the field and 20.8 from three-point land, but is shooting an impressive 88 percent from the line.
"It's a big adjustment [from high school], but once you make that adjustment, I'll be fine," Harrow said. "I thought I got off to a good start, but then I hit the wall, and then I got sick. It has taken a lot to get back. I think I'll make some adjustments and be fine in the long run."
NC State's 15-15 record has also weighed heavily on Harrow's mind this season. The day-in, day-out grind of being a student-athlete, combined with the .500 record, has taken its toll on Harrow and the team.
"There have been moments like that [where it feels like a job] because we haven't done as well as we wanted to," Harrow said. "You feel you can do more to help your team. You try not to worry about those things because if you do that, it is going to hurt you and hurt the team even more. I'm just focused on doing well and helping the team as much as I can."
Harrow said he'll be back in the gym as soon as NC State's season is over to work on his weaknesses.
"I have to work on my confidence," Harrow said. "I need to be able to play my game, but also do what the coach wants. I have to get that down.
"I'll be in the gym as soon as possible and in the weight room. I'll be working on my speed and get a consistent jump shot. That is what I need to do the most."
Harrow won't miss being called a freshman, and looks forward to being an "experienced" sophomore.
"Next year, I'll be a smarter and better player. It will be more fun because I'll make it that way. I won't be doing the stupid turnovers and I'll be playing better defense. I'll know what coach wants from the get-go instead of being told over and over and over."
With the recent commitment of guard Jaqawn Raymond of Statesboro, Ga., the Wolfpack could have at least four players from the Peach State next year.
Harrow has always been close with Roswell, Ga., native Lorenzo Brown, who is also a freshman guard. He credits the chemistry on the team for helping him get through his freshman season.
"Everybody has helped me and we all get along pretty well," Harrow said. "I've learned that as long as you play hard, that will outweigh talent sometimes."
NC State (15-15, 5-11 ACC) vs. Maryland (18-13, 7-9 ACC)
Game time: Thursday, March 10, 7 p.m. — Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C.
PG — 12 Ryan Harrow (6-1, Fr., 9.2 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 3.4 apg)
SG — 2 Lorenzo Brown (6-5, Fr., 9.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.8 apg, 1.3 spg)
SF — 15 Scott Wood (6-6, Soph., 9.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.4 apg)
PF — 5 C.J. Leslie (6-8, Fr., 11.2 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 1.3 bpg)
C — 23 Tracy Smith (6-8, Sr., 14.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 0.8 apg)
PG — 12 Terrell Stoglin (6-1, Fr., 11.6 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 3.3 apg)
SG — 1 Adrian Bowie (6-2, Sr., 9.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.1 spg)
SF — 24 Cliff Tucker (6-6, Sr., 9.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.2 apg)
PF — 33 Dino Gregory (6-7, Sr., 9.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.4 bpg)
C — 20 Jordan Williams (6-10, Soph., 16.9 ppg, 11.6 rpg, 1.3 bpg)
Location: College Park, Md.
2009-10 record: 24-9 overall, 13-3 ACC
2010 postseason: Lost 85-83 to Michigan State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Coach: Gary Williams, 22nd season at Maryland (460-251) and 33rd season overall (667-379).
Series: Maryland leads 75-72
Last meeting: Maryland won 87-80 on Feb. 20, 2011, at the Comcast Center in College Park, Md.
Maryland: The Terrapins lost its last game of the regular season, 74-60 to Virginia at the Comcast Center on March 5. Williams had 17 points and six blocked shots, but managed just eight field-goal attempts. Gregory added 15 points and Stoglin had nine … The six blocks for Williams was a season-high. The back to the basket center scored in double figures in all but three games. He had a season-high 27 points against both Wake Forest and Boston College. He scored at least 20 points in 11 contests, and had 23 double-doubles for points and rebounds. He hauled in 19 boards against North Carolina, and had 15 in five different games … Williams was named third-team All-American by Yahoo! Sports, and first-team All-ACC by the media. Stoglin earned a spot on the All-ACC freshman squad … Gregory scored a season-high 18 points against NC State, and has scored at least 12 points in six of the last eight games. He has three double-doubles for points and rebounds this season, and has blocked at least three shots in seven contests … Tucker has struggled in ACC action. He scored a season-high 21 against Wake Forest, but has managed to crack double digits in seven out of 16 ACC games. He has scored seven points or less in the last five games.
NC State: The Wolfpack have gone 63-47 in the ACC dating back to 1954, and are the third-winningest team in tournament history. NC State also ranks third with 10 tournament titles … NC State has previously been the No. 10 seed in 2007 and 2009 … Coach Sidney Lowe is 5-4 in four ACC Tournaments, and 17-7 in both in-season and post-season tournaments … Wood has averaged 12.2 points in five career games at the Greensboro Coliseum, and is shooting 18 of 29 (62.1 percent) from three-point range at the venue … Leslie was named to the ACC All-Freshman team for the Wolfpack after leading the squad in rebounding and blocked shots, and is second in scoring … Smith, despite playing with an injured knee that previously underwent surgery in mid-November, has reached double digits in points in 16 of the last 17 games. He is averaging 14.4 points over the last seven games … NC State's 11 conference losses have been to teams that combined to go 117-59 for a winning percentage of 66.5 in ACC action. Only Duke's opponents in its losses (70.8) post a higher winning percentage … NC State has started nine different combinations, but the usual group of Harrow, Brown, Wood, Leslie and Smith, have a 3-4 record.