Turtle-Soup.com is Live!!

Hey Folks-

The new Turtle-Soup.com is now live!

All new posts will now go to this site.  If you currently subscribe to an RSS feed for this site; please replace it with the following:  http://turtle-soup.com/wp/feed/

We have successfully moved over all of the old posts and comments to the new site.  Right now, we are having a problem getting the old comments to populate under each post; but I am hopeful that we will be able to work that out soon.

Some of the features will be improved.  In particular, I think you will all appreciate the Disqus comment system.  It allows users to reply to each others comments and start different content strings under one post.  You can also rate as comments as positive or negative.

I’d like to than loyal Souper, Jonathan Bruns and soon-to-be loyal Souper, Brian Tomasette for their help in getting this off the ground.  A thousand thanks to you both

I’m hope you all enjoy the new site.  I can’t wait to hear your feedback.


ACC Tourney Primer

MD will only beat NC State if they are able to reverse a disturbing trend. Once this team gets knocked down; it seems to take them several games to bounce back.

UVA was a stomach punch game.  As we have seen time and time again with this team; that usually means a prolonged slump will follow.  Back in December of 2007; VCU beat the Terps in a game we should have won.  MD followed that loss with the Ohio U and American debacles.

Later in the season;  just as Maryland was starting to surge; we blew a 20 point lead to Clemson.  The Terps completely derailed after that loss and ruined their season.

This season, MD fell apart against Morgan State.  That was followed with giveaways against Miami and Florida and BC.   The team recovered, positioned itself for an NCAA bid and then wet the bed against UVA.

So what happens now?  Well as I have just illustrated; history says a loss against NC State is in the offing.  Tomorrow night’s game is less about our opponent than it is about the Terps themselves.  Can they pull themselves out of the mire?  Do they believe in their teammates?

Here’s what I think.  Maryland has the talent and ability to beat NC State.  Maryland also has the ability to beat themselves. Who will win? Most pundits think the Terps will just fold up the tent and head back to College Park with their tails between their legs.

My brain is telling me to agree; but my heart tells me that we can do this. Regardless of what happens; this disturbing trend needs to end.  The Terps need to figure out how to not lose focus and to stick to the game plan when shots aren’t falling.  If not, we will perpetually fail to reach our potential.

What A Choke

There is nothing left to say about this team.  When they lose a game like they did today; you just want to punch something.  Yet another NCAA Tournament will pass without the University of Maryland.   It’s no one’s fault.  It’s everyone’s fault.  We need shooters.  We need rebounders.  What we don’t need is another year in the NIT Tournament.

Why did they bother to beat UNC if they were gonna pull this shit?  Seriously.  They could have saved us the trouble.

Jordan Williams and James Padgett will need to turn the whole program around.  It is Gary’s last chance.  Even I will jump ship if he is not able to get us back to the Tournament next year.

There is a culture of mediocrity that permeates through the entire program. I need to collect my thoughts before commenting further.

I’ll be announcing the new look Turtle Soup later in the week.  What a shame that it can’t be unveiled for the Terps Tournament run.


It’s not live yet, but will be soon.

Just Win Baby… Please!

Here we are.

Just hours from the biggest game of the season for us fans.  But we all need to remember it’s the biggest game of some of the players’ lives.  In the final day of the regular season, the Terps have it all in front of them.  Win a game against a rival on their home floor and they nearly clinch a spot in the NCAA Tournament. 

It’s that simple.

It’s that difficult.

There are no sure things with this Terps team, we all know that.  They are not talented enough to blow a team out.  In fact, they haven’t blown a team out since December when we played Elon.  So don’t expect it today.  Expect a usual battle between a bottom team in the ACC on their home floor and an overachieving team that has a ton of heart and desire.  I’m not sure it will be enough, especially with all this on the line, but I sure hope it will be.

We haven’t had a good history in 3 of the last 4 years in winning games at the end of the season that we have to win.  Today, that can change.  Today we can make it happen.  Today we take that step back towards having the rest of the country ‘Fear The Turtle’ once again.

If we play like we have the past 5 games, we will win this.  Everything has broken our way this week to set up the Terps for an NCAA bid.  If they lose against Virginia, we don’t deserve to go. 

Everyone knows what is riding on this game.  You think we are nervous, think about the players.  But despite our limitations, we are a better team that Virginia.  We are a better team than the one that beat UVA earlier in the season, now they just have to prove it.

I said earlier in the year that these guys were losers, that they did not come through in the clutch and didn’t have the confidence to win close games.  Despite the losses to Wake and Duke, this team has proven it can win in the clutch, and it can win close games.  In the past month, the Terps have proven they are winners and they just need to do that just one more time. 

The tournament starts today. 

This is Round 1. 

Let’s get it done and move on.

Post Game Thoughts

Dave Neal’s drive to the hoop in the final minutes that got swatted by Aminu summed up the entire season.  Neal got to the ball in the flow of the offense, made a great move, and was headed for an easy lay-in.  Aminu just elevated like the superb athlete he is and swatted the ball into next week.

It reminded me of a play in the 1980s that Lefty Driesell drew up in the closing seconds of a game against Carolina.  I think MD was down by 1 point.  Lefty Drew up a play and somehow, Chuck Driesell found himself open underneath the hoop.  He was wide open.  It was the perfect play.  Maryland was about to win.  As Chuck went up for the game winning lay-up; Michael Jordan came out of nowhere and swatted it.  UNC won.

When Chuck Driesell is going up against Michael Jeffrey Jordan, you know who is coming out on top.  Dave Neal vs. Aminu is the same thing.  We played our hearts out; but we just don’t have the athletes to beat a team like Wake Forest.

I hate to love this team.  I really do.  I know that in the end; I will feel unfulfilled after watching them for five months.  But they try so damn hard against better equipped teams every night; it is hard not to love them.

People have been rightly criticzing Milbourne for disappearing the last two games.  He has; but keep in mind that he has just played two of the biggest frontlines we will face all year.  He is only 6’7″.  Every time I look at our starting line up; I shake my head and think they can’t possibly compete.  Yet there they are; playing their best basketball at the right time and they have brought us to the cusp of the Tournament.

If they make it; it will be Gary’s best performance ever as a coach.  Mark the tape.

Speaking of which; here’s how I think it plays out:

MD, VT, and Miami are likely to be the #7, #8. #9 seeds in the ACC Tournament.  Two of them will make it. #8 and #9 play each other in the first round.  The loser will be out.  Regardless of which seed Maryland grabs; they will only need to win their first round game.

That’s a good thing, because depending on the seed; either Duke, UNC or Wake loom in the quarterfinals.

There is still hope.

Wake Forest Game Thread

Before I get into my brief pre-game analysis; I need to tell you a quick story.  At around noon today, I was scheduled to be a guest on Terrapin Sports Network’s Pregame Radio Show (that’s 105.7 in Baltimore and 106.7 in DC).  I was going to talk about Turtle Soup and the general state of the Terp Blogosphere.

Well, I just got a call from Greg Abel (tonight’s fill-in host) that I had to be bumped because–get this– Jared from Subway is at the Comcast Center tonight and Subway is sponsoring the game and Greg was being forced to interview him.  How hilarious is that?  I got bumped by Jared from Subway!!!  My life is complete.   The best part is that I will be able to tell that story forever.

Regardless, many thanks to Greg for inviting me on and I hope I have a chance to get on the show at some point in the future.

On to tonight’s epic contest.  The Terps must box-out on the defensive glass, harrass Teague; hit some threes and get someone else besides Vazquez to step up.  I hope Gary doesn’t rely too much on the press because I think Wake is too quick to be bothered by it.

Enjoy the game folks.

Go Terps!

Welcome To The Postseason

Gary Williams said it all in his post game comments.  Greivis gets all the credit for the win.  He refused to let Maryland lose.  His “Eff-U” three pointer at the end notwithstanding, Greivis’ performance was just about perfect.  I counted only one bad shot and very few turnovers.  Tonight’s performance was GV’s second best.  Only the UNC game surpasses.

Down the stretch, our secondary scorers really sealed the deal.  Hayes made great decisions and Tucker knocked down two big shots.  On a night when Milbourne fouled out early, the guys the Terps needed to step up, did.  Kudos to Dave Neal who fought hard all night and hit some big threes.

Now comes THE GAME OF THE YEAR: Wake Forest.  Who would have thought?  Can the Terps throw it all together again and come up with another perfect performance?  Wake has struggled away from Winston-Salem; but the Terps are undersized and Wake is huge.  Will the mismatch be too much to overcome? My guess is that Greivis and the rest of the Terps can smell the postseason and will give us their best effort on Tuesday.  It may not be enough, but I think it will.

Will a win on Tuesday seal the deal?  My first instinct is to say that bubble teams can’t afford to lose to teams like UVA. Period.  But let’s worry about that later.  Things are looking good. The Terps have won 5 of their last 8 and are playing their best basketball of the year.

If the Terps can head into the ACC Tournament having won 7 of 10, we are dancing.  Of that there is no question.  6 of 10 is still on the right side of .500, but I’d like to not leave it up to chance.  The RPI is moving up (road wins are huge) and we have victories against some other bubble teams (VaTech and Michigan).  Let’s just hope that Georgetown doesn’t sneak back into the conversation.

So the season comes down to two “winnable” games.  Knowing what we now know about this team and their tremendous shortcomings in the frontcourt; fans and alumni have to be thrilled at that prospect.

Comcast Center better be ready to explode on Tuesday night.  17,000 fans ought to be worth somethng right? Now is our chance to shine.  Make it happen Terp fans.

Can We Win Out? NC State Thread

Tonight begins MD’s quest to finish the season strong and in turn stamp their pass to the dance.  Personally, I’m more afraid of the road games the final home game despite Wake Forest being ranked.  It’s is extremely tough to win on the road, but NC State is the third worst team in the conference.  That may sound bad; but they are only one game behind the Terps in the standings.

I suspect an ugly game.  I think in the end Maryland’s desire and urgency will win out. NC State is tough but they are playing out the string at this point.  Let’s hope that carries the day.

A loss and Maryland is NIT bound.  Only a miracle will prevent that.

The Duke Aftermath

Wow, there were sure were some interesting comments last night.  Losing to Duke sure brings out the frustration for us! 

Hey, we can still say we’ve won a National Title more recently than them, so we still have that going for us… which is nice.

Anyway, despite the Duke fan’s comments, I really believe that it’s the frustration of being right in the game for the first 30+ minutes and not finishing that has a lot of us looking for blame.

In my opinion, the reality is we came to play last night.  We played hard.  The defense in the first 30+ minutes was as good as it’s been all year, with just a few breakdowns (but that’s going to happen).  In the past week, I’m more convinced that this team has a legitimate shot of getting to the tournament.  We are still flawed, or course, so it won’t be easy, but this team has made me proud the last week.

I really think the great defense was the reason for the poor free throw shooting.  I really think the players were exhausted after running around and that caused them to miss those shots they normally make.  No excuses.  They need to be stronger on the line and make those shots since the FT’s were a big reason we lost control of the game late.

Hopefully the players learn from this game.  They were close to pulling off one hell of a week, but Vasquez has to control his emotions to the point of not picking up silly fouls.  Mosley has to realize that he does not need to take a charge every time down the floor.  Mosley had a freshman game.  It was bound to happen.  But I don’t blame Gary for sticking with him because Mosley makes things happen on the defensive end and that’s what we needed.  We needed to get some easy buckets late, and the defense could have allowed us to score in transition.

In hindsight, I’m sure Gary would not have done some of the things he did, but personally I don’t have a problem with his strategy except for the very short-lived attempt at a zone that failed miserably, though I’m thinking that may have had something to do with the foul trouble.

In any rate, we did not embarrass ourselves and while Virginia Tech’s win last night was not good for us, we still control our own destiny.  All 3 remaining games are winable and they are all losable too.  Step one is winning a big game on the road this Sunday. We’ll need a top effort, but I have confidence this team will be ready and give it all they got.  We’ll see whether it’ll be enough.

Duke Preview. Will It Be Jeckyl Or Hyde?

What’s going to happen tomorrow night?  Does anyone actually know?  Does Gary Williams know which version of the Terps will show up?  Would you be willing to bet one way or another as to which team will show up?  Will MD get blown out by 40 or will they punch their ticket with an emphatic win?

I sure as hell don’t know. What I do know is that if the Terps can do what they did on Saturday (shoot 40% from three, get a Cliff Tucker-like performance from someone; and block nine more shots than their opponents); then the Terps will win.  Of that there is no doubt.

We’ve been here before.  Just last year, MD was fresh off their monumental upset of UNC and then lost a heart breaker to Duke.  It was a heart breaker because the Terps had a 10 point lead at halftime and lost it going away.  Looking back, it is clear to me that the Duke loss last year started MD on a path the led to many more second-half collapses in the ensuing 12 months.

Tomorrow is an opportunity to complete the redemption.  Like a Phoenix from the ashes, the Terps can exorcise the demons– literally.  It won’t be easy.  Duke is a much different team than UNC.  As has been noted by readers on this site; Duke plays much more aggressive defense.  Duke forces you to take care of the basketball and the Terps did not do that at all last month during the 40 point debacle.

And that brings me to Mr. Grievis Vasquez. Despite notching a triple double.  Vasquez did commit 7 turnovers.  Those are the kind of numbers he turned in last year.  Not coincidentally, Greivis took over the point guard duties against UNC.  Add that wrinkle to Duke’s aforementioned aggressive man-to-man defense, and the Terps could be walking back into the same buzzsaw that blew us out by 40.

That’s  my fear.  My hope is that the Terps finally turned a corner on Saturday.  The 40 point blow out to Duke is but a distant memory never to return.  The Terps will shoot consistently from three and not allow themselves to ever be mentally taken out a game again.

In reality; I don’t think either scenario is true.  I think the Terps will perform better than normal; but not as strongly as they did on Saturday.  I just wonder if they can win without a perfect performance.

As fans, we all want to win this game so badly; but let’s not allow ourselves to get overwhelmed by hope.  We may win; but a loss will not end the season.  The sun will rise in College Park on Thursday morning and Duke will still suck regardless of the outcome.

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