Disaster Averted Redux, Maryland Escapes in OT Against Northeastern

As I listened to Johnny Holliday over the web, I actually wrote the first paragraph of the post assuming that we were going to lose.

“Disaster Strikes, Maryland Loses to (gulp) Northeastern University

I am at a loss. The panic button is officially pushed. I cannot believe that I am writing these words. All of sudden, this team appears to be too young and inexperienced to do anything this year. One close game against a cupcake opponent is one thing; but to have two close games–and actually lose one of them is unthinkable. There is officially no floor for this team. The Terps could be bottom feeders in the ACC. Forget the NCAA tournament, can we finish over .500? The freshman are not ready for major college basketball, and besides Vasquez and Gist; the other guys are glorified bench players.

OK. Back to reality. Some will say, that a win is a win; but I know differently. The turnovers are absolutely killing Maryland and there are no words to describe the rebounding differential. UCLA and the ultra-quick point guard deluxe, Collison, are licking their chops. We could lose by 20 – 25 points on Monday. I just do not understand the performance in these last two games.

It is really hard to find a silver lining in this win. If one exists; it starts with the seniors, Gist and Osby. They saved the Terps tonight. Gist was an absolute beast with 27 points. Osby, in a complete reversal, hit 8 of 9 free throws down the stretch to bring the Terps back from a six point deficit.

Say what you want about the parity that exists in college basketball, but the error-filled performances in the first three games are unchartered territory for the Maryland program under Gary Williams. Maryland ALWAYS blows the Hamptons and Northeasterns out. Suddenly, they are taking us to OT??? Are Northeastern and Hampton not your run-of-the-mill cupcakes? Are they bracket busters? Maybe you could make a case for Hampton, but I really think that this is more of a case of Maryland just not being ready for prime time.

The Terps are inexperienced and sloppy. I shudder to think of what will happen on Monday. Let’s just hope that the players don’t lose confidence. With the big opponents that are looming on the schedule; we cannot afford a self-esteem crisis in light of the tangible problems we saw tonight..

All is not lost. They are young and will learn to play as a team as the season moves on. However, it is clear that there will be some bad losses and frustrations along the way. I am damn glad that it did not come tonight, but one was to think that it will be a longshot for the Terps to come back from Kansas City with anything but two losses.

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36 Comments

  1. How were you getting Johnny Holiday over the web?

  2. I can’t take this. My ticker can’t take it. If this is the type of crap that is going to go on with the undercard type teams we have been facing lately, I am going to be dead by Mid-January.

  3. I don’t think I’ll make it to December!

    Seriously, this was sloppy, ugly, embarassing…and frighteningly enough, it could get worse…but it could also get a hell of a lot better.

    I’m going to say it again though…where the F were the damn students and fans??? This is getting more and more embarassing…

  4. I watched the game live on Comcast so I guess that makes me the first “expert witness” to post.I’ve been watching MD BB for over 25 years.
    I still like this team’s makeup. Lots of potential and lost of athlete’s . Their athleticism won’t lose them any games.

    There were some plus’es (sp?).
    1.Any OT game you win is good experience.
    2.Some young Terps got some valuable plalying time.
    3. Gary coached a great game for a good team.
    4. Gist showed he can score at will.
    5. Vas played better but scoreless first half hurt.
    He mayed up with it by hitting some “gutsy” three’s…….AGAIN. Don’t understand GW putting him in the 1 slot.
    6. Hayes was also superb.
    7. Milbourne is the right starter for now. Someone else may emerge.
    8. Terps played better the last 5 minutes of reg and
    through the OT.

    Minus’s –

    1. Osby much improved in FT. However, for a 6’8″ powerhouse his ineptness from the field is glaring.
    I luv the guy. His presence, at times, was crucial.
    We need him to post, block and rebound until he can show he can pass, hold on to the ball and score. Some of his shots under the bucket actually looked feeble.
    2. Good players from other teams still coming into our house and having “career games”. Why can’t we stop this?
    3. 23 TO’s. Unbelievable.
    4. We have guys that can score IF they are open but we don’t have enough players that can “get open” and score.

    The best analysis of this game will be watching
    Hampton and NE in their next 5-7 games. NE, in particular, has some monster games in the next week or two. If they hang in these games then this game wasn’t all that bad.

    Anxious to read your comments and observations as well.

  5. Earl Badu- if you go to umterps.com and click on schedule/results, you will see in the right hand corner, a moving window that displays “the next game”. If you go there during the game, there will be a little button on the botton that says “listen”. just click on it, create a username and password and you are good to go.

  6. OMFG!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow…is all I can say…….with the way this game started w/ Gist imposing his will against NE…I was thinking ok, this is/was at this early stage in the season their best start……that said..Boom’s missed bunnies (ok maybe three times to far under the hoop), the sloppy passing…..and all in all we are just standing around, not runnning our sets and the youngbloods relying on the “vets” to make something happen……….and while Vas individually was better as far as turnovers went….I could sense some “don’t F us up tension to his game”….perhaps this was the very game where we needed his burglar’s mentality and fearlessness……..

    Better free throw shooting from Boom (thank the lord) and Gist was THE man early and critical late despite this F’ing mess……….

    It is still early, I still got the love and faith, but jeez louise……this season could be a long strange trip…..

    We need to work harder and we WILL get better…truth be told………

  7. This was a tough game to watch because it was not Northeastern that nearly beat us, it was US that nearly beat us. Just like Monday. These players are not learning from their mistakes and it’s Hayes and Vasquez doing a lot of the damage.

    They are failing at basketball 101 right now.

    After the game, Gary blamed his “veterans” for not taking over the game. I’m sure he means playing and leading combined. It’s the job of Hayes, Vasquez, Gist and Osby to calm down the other players; to show them that there is no reason to panic, no reason to force passes, but they are not getting that job done.

    When Vasquez threw up that ridiculous NBA 3 late in the game, I wanted him benched immediately.

    Give Osby credit though. His free throws won that game. If he shot like he did Monday, they would have lost.

    This team will be good as long as they can fix these problems. And these problems are easily fixable.

    Let’s hope it’s soon.

  8. We’ll getcha next time, Jeremy!

  9. I sat there with my head in my hands for most of the game. Once again, a team like NE should not even have a hope against MD. What I truly think saved us down the stretch was four of NE ‘good’ players fouling out of the game. That and, hold your breathe, Osby’s FT shooting.

    Gist…played awesome. A career high game. The only thing I wish he did more of was maybe take one or two shots from behind the arc. He’s proved that he can hit the three, so he might as well prove that he can hit the shot and get teams worried.

    Osby….played awesome. 6 blocks, 10 boards, and 16 points…wow. AND HE MADE FT’S!!!! 14-20 still is’nt spectacular, hell it’s only 70%, but it is much better than the previous game.

    Vas…as previously stated, needed to be more aggressive this game. He did however, have 10 assists which is always a good sign of him slowing down and making less turnovers (he had 2). He made a big three down the line to tie the game, but also took a stupid shot that was completely, for lack of a better word, a bone-headed decision.

    Hayes only had 1 assist. He did shoot well. His three towards the end stopped the run that NE was on.

    Milbourne…they only gave him credit for 1 blocked shot, but if I recall, he had three back to back to back in the 2nd half. His 6 turnovers didn’t help. I would like to see him more aggressive and maybe shoot the ball some more. He IS a good player, but I think he needs to build his confidence just a bit.

    Rook’s…I’d like to see Dupree play more as well as Gregory, but when the game was that close, you need experience on the floor. So maybe after the UCLA game we may see Gary play the guys a bit more to get them ready for ACC play.

    ACC play….what a scary thought judging from the past two games.

  10. Hopefully that was our Gardner-Webb.

  11. An even scarier thought is the UCLA game. Based on the couple of outings I’ve seen, Eric Love is one the best outlet passers at any level in the game today. At least Collison will still be sidelined.

    Too early to push the panic button. There is a lot of athleticism and quickness on the MD team, and Gist is playing far better than any of us in our wildest dreams could have imagined. Not that I didn’t think he’d play well. But at Wooden candidacy levels?

    Funny. I’m listening to the last minutes of regulation and OT and felt strangely non-plussed, something I never experienced when MJ, DJ, and Caner-Medley were playing poorly. Maybe it’s because I sense this current crop is hungry wants to improve as a team.

  12. “We are what our record says we are” Undefeated. On the positive side how prepared are we when we roll cupcakes by 30 and then fail under the gun when the heats on away from home. We performed when we needed to and although a UCLA win is unlikely at least we have experience winning close games. If we keep it tight into the second half we can win a tight game. At least were not Mich St or Kentucky.

  13. FF says: “I sense this current crop is hungry wants to improve as a team.”

    Bingo. This is going to be a great year, watching these kids grow. If you want to see scads of 5-star recruits putting in their time on the way to being 20-year-old lottery picks and maybe picking up an NCAA title along the way, fine. But this is much, much better, and far more satisfying to watch. I think, BTW, that Boom is clearly an off-the-bench player and he’ll be in that role once the new frontcourt recruits sort out.

    Vampire, where are you?

  14. Welcome to another season at turtlesoup. If the Terps keep playing like this, what’s the over/under for how many laptops jeremy destroys with his bare hands this season?

  15. I still can’t decide if the steals to turnover ratio is a cause for concern or an indication that the turnover problems are correctable. Last night the Northeastern had 13 steals and UM committed 22 turnovers. Against Hampton it was worse : 18 steals against 22 turnovers. I don’t recall ever seeing ratios that high.

    The fact that the terps are getting pickpocketed so frequently seems to indicate either:
    A. Carelessness
    B. Lack of quickness

    It has to be the former right? I guess being careless with the ball is better than constantly making stupid passes. Maybe the concentration level will be higher against UCLA. I’m talking myself into this I know.

  16. I hope Gist can step up and provide greater leadership. Right now it seems that Vas is the team leader.

    While in some ways that isn’t a bad thing, when you need the team to calm down and know what your “go to” plays are to get on track, I don’t know that he’s the right guy … he’s too emotional right now for that role.

    A balance of him and Gist would be ideal. Vas when the team needs “firing up” and Gist when the team needs “calming down”.

  17. It feels like a loss. Northeastern played better in the second half, and even with four of their guys fouling out, we could barely eke out a victory. But I think the Terps will give UCLA a good game. It helps that Collison will be out. Gary has always excelled at giant-killing.

  18. If Gary wants to stay on the floor with UCLA and MSU or Mizzou, put Hayes (the more natural PG) in charge of running the offense, and challenge Vasquez (the more natural SG) to work for his shot, as you said after the Hampton game.
    Let Dupree and Walker and Burney all take turns leaning on Love.
    I don’t expect us to stay with UCLA, but a 25 point loss would equally surprise me.

  19. Was wondering who Gary might select as a new assistant to replace Michael Adams. Seems like a perfect opportunity to add someone to the staff that could provide a different value to the team.

    Right now Gary’s staff seems to need someone who might be able to help teach the Terps “bigs”, and secondarily could help with the recruiting (although doesn’t have to be the primary with Dreisell there). Gary’s coaches are often guard oriented and really need a big man who could help develop his big people. Booth isn’t really that kind of guy (Booth has value, but not in that role).

    It would also be good to pick someone that has recognition in the Baltimore/DC area as it might help us finally land some of the five star local kids we’re never able to get.

    Some suggestions:
    Buck Williams
    Jeff Ruland
    Len Elmore
    Tony Massenburg
    Walt Williams (although he’s a guard)

  20. I guess Gary already hired Joe Harrington. With Byron Leftwich now in Atlanta, I guess he was looking for a job.

    Who the h*** is Joe Harrington? How will that help our big men develop? How will that help us with local recruiting?

    Oh, yeah. I guess we’ll now get to lockup our first recruit for 2009 now. The son of the family that Isaiah Armwood is staying with, Phil Jones, should be a lock for us.

    Maybe this guy is really good. But it just doesn’t seem to address the areas of need.

  21. This is a good hire. Harrington, a Maine native, was the MD center when Gary was point guard. He has a nice way about him, is smart and knowledgeable, far preferable, say, to Ruland. He’ll relate well to the players, and have something to teach them, as well. He’ll be a good foil to GW, a calming yin to Williams’s fiery yang. Elmore would have been great, too, but the chances of landing him, I’d venture, were slim to none.

    I’m feeling even better about the season ahead, even if we lose by a ton of points on Monday. UCLA at this point in the season is probably 15 to 20 points better than the Terps. By March I expect that differential to have shrunk to less than five.

  22. Another thing we should all keep in mind for this year, Vas and Eric are just sophmores. I’m hoping they keep improving year-to-year, but there use to be a term that I don’t hear much these days: “sophmore slump.” It used to be when a kid had a great first year, like Vas did last year, the expectations get ratcheted up for the sophmore year. Sometimes the player ends up falling short of them. He then comes back in his junior or senior year and meets them. Gist is sort of an example of this, although his first year was nowhere near as dynamic as Vas first year. Obviously, I hope this doesn’t happen, but it could. Also, keep in mind Landon is another potential key player who is a sophmore with little ACC experience. Come to think of it, Boom is only in his second year with us. Kaze is correct, they should be fun to watch grow. However, after these first three games, I’m resigned to a wild roller coaster ride at least until February. However, it should be fun–I think. Pass the Pepto and bring on UCLA!

  23. Harrington sounds like a legit coach:

    http://umterps.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/111607aaa.html

  24. Some things to think about:

    Harrington: I remember see Joe Harrington play at Bath, HS in Maine. He was awesome. Except for a knee injury his final year at MD he was one of the best. He’ll surely help our “Bigs” hone their skills.

    Osby- Some of you were touting Osby’s monster game against NE. I really like the guy but he gave away as many points as he scored. Yes, the good outweighs the bad but consider that he was about 1-10 from the field. He is a liabilityin a close game with quick defenders. He can’t dribble, pass or score. He’s a Jeckyl and Hyde. He can both hurt and help us. At best it will be a roller coaster ride with him.

    Most of you are acquiesing already givne UCLA the “W”. What about all those games with Puke and NC that we were absolutely, positively supposed to lose but won anyways?

    I still like this years team. They can only get better.

    BTW – Don’t you think Gary is more calm (so far)
    this year. A calmer GW will reap dividends as much as a calmer Vaz will.

  25. Wheels, he is a legit coach–and a good guy. He might just be what Osby, in fact, all our “bigs” needs. Harrington is only 6’5″, a small center who went up against much taller timber in his playing days (including Elvin Hayes when he played at the Univ. of Houston).

  26. Wasn’t Harrington one of Lefty’s assistants?

  27. Yes. One of the first assistant coaches Left hired after leaving Davidson, I believe.

  28. I think Monday against UCLA will be our finest hour. We owe them a beat down since the last meeting in 2000 2nd round NCAA when they blew us out. The team will rise to the moment.

  29. I’d love to see it, but it’s doubtful. That 2000 smackdown had a silver lining, though: it showed the nucleus of our first Final Four team (Dixon, Blake, Nichols, Baxter, Holden, Miller) what it took to play at the highest level. I don’t see us losing by 35 points in our Monday night rematch with the Bruins, but I don’t see us winning either. And I won’t be crestfallen if we do lose to a bigger and more experienced team at this point in the season. There are no prima donnas on the present MD team, which is why it is going to be fun to watch them grow and develop, even if they do fall on their face on occasion.

    Of course, if they win Monday night…..

  30. I apologize for the break in our regularly scheduled hoops chat, but I’d be interested on hearing anyone take on this article:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/17/AR2007111701109.html

    Ralph has offficially lost it. Benching his QB a week after announcing that Turner won the job for the rest of the season AND your own QB coach not even knowing about it?

    What a great way to inspire confidence in your QB. This isn’t the pros or even college hoops, where you can fire up your team by taking starters out of the game. This is like pro hockey when you pull your goalie. You’re saying that you have no confidence in him. Turner will now play looking over his shoulder. Again, that’s not a good way to approach the college QB position.

    How did I turn against Ralphie so quickly? He needs to go. It’s not working anymore. A new coach would win at least 9 games with the type of talent on this team, even with the injuries.

  31. I was troubled by the article–and the yanking of Turner. Not even the QB coach in the press box had a clue as to what had taken place. Talk about an impulsive substitution. I gave up hope when Friedgen elected to forego a three-pointer for a botched fourth down conversion with about 9 minutes to play, and the Terps down by 11. The momentum had definitely started to shift. But after stopping MD, FSU got fired up and stormed right back to score a field goal. That’s when I turned off the live wire broadcast. I’m fully invested in Terps BB right now.

  32. I hope the kid doesn’t transfer over this. Turner seems to have a massive upside.

  33. The football season’s been a big letdown on several fronts. Too long to get the QB situation under control (and it’s spiraling OUT of control even this late). Should have beaten UVA and UNC, though we probably should have lost to GA Tech in the same light; our W/L is right around where it should be. A step backward in many arenas for us but next year should be promising.

    If we beat NC State and Miami loses, we go to a bowl (perhaps on blue turf in Boise, but it’s another game at least) automatically. This is based on the ACC negotiated bowl tie-ins, so even 6-6 gets us there. Even if Miami wins, we can make it to a bowl if (1) we get selected over Miami based on expected attendance and Miami played in Boise last year or (2) the ACC gets 2 teams in the BCS (VA Tech beats VA, BC beats them in the championship game, BCS standings help us somehow) and then Miami and Maryland would both go to bowls.

  34. Honest self-appraisal flavored by a will to improve. Not a bad combo:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/18/AR2007111800867.html

  35. NC State got beat at home last night by New Orleans.
    Ga Tech has lost to UNC-Greensboro and Winthrop.
    FSU has lost to S. Florida and Cleveland State.
    UNC nearly lost to Davidson.
    Anybody can beat anybody else this season. Hopefully, we can upset UCLA.

  36. Wow Samster all of those thing connect. FSU stinks this eyar, GTech is rebuilding and may be decent NC State is incorporating 3 point guards not that that is a good excuse but they will be good. Davidson is really better than I thought. Almost scary good. I don’t know about you but if the 20 turnovers keep up then count a L against UCLA, Mizzou, Illini, VCu and maybe Morgan State. Jeeeees would you ever say that out loud. Mid Major is an oxy moron with the 3 point line and as UNC showed playing average against a 3 point shooting team is definite trouble. The Terps felt that against NE. So pray for the turnovers to go down and Maryland continue to play to their opponents or at least believe everyone is better than them something to motivate this young group.


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