The Verdict Is In: Terps Not Ready For Prime Time

The stat sheet will tell it all: too many turnovers and gawd awful three point shooting are killing this team. Missouri shot the ball almost 20 more times than Maryland. Since the object of the game is to score the most points, a differential like that will almost always translates into a win for the team holding it. There are only two statistics that can explain shot differential: turnovers and offensive rebounding. We aren’t good at either, but the turnover situation is grave. It is the worst that I have ever seen and I have been watching Maryland basketball for 25 years. It simply cannot continue if this team is going to win any games against quality opponents this year.

Perhaps even more alarming is that Dick Vitale repeatedly said tonight that this Terps team was the least talented team we’ve had in 10 years. (Considering the fact that 10 years ago we went to the Sweet Sixteen, I think he was referring to the team we had the year before Joe Smith arrived. In case you forgot, Chris Kerwin was prominently involved with that squad. That means he thinks this is the least talented team we’ve had since 1992-93. That’s 14 years!).

Say what you want about Dickie V. (I can’t stand him personally), but he does know talent. With all of his “Diaper Dandy” blather; he has seen his share of good young players. He doesn’t think we have any. Yikes!

Since I have only actually seen one game on TV, I am not exactly the best judge of talent here. But since I am writing this post, I am going to do some judging anyway.

Eric Hayes, besides borrowing my 6th grade haircut, has been horrible. Yes, he was more aggressive tonight, but the stat sheet does not lie. He could not hit a three to save his life and he dribbled the ball off his foot three times. That would be funny if he wasn’t our primary ball handler and best shooter! That is just not getting it done. He was brought in as the second coming of Steve Blake and at this point, that sounds like a cruel joke. I don’t think Steve dribbled the ball off his foot three times in his entire career. So far, Hayes gets an “F minus” and frankly, I am having serious doubts as to whether or not he is a D-1 caliber player.

Greivis Vasquez has been erratic to put it mildly, but I know that he has the talent. He demonstrated it time and again last year. In my view, he has been victimized by poor decision making and a shooting slump. Of course the two are related (bad decision making often leads to bad shots). My guess is that he may be overcompensating for what is missing out on the floor. It is either that or he has regressed from last year which I doubt is the case.

Landon Milbourne doesn’t appear to be able to create his own shot. All of his points come from put backs and I have yet to see an ounce of aggressiveness from him. In the long line of Maryland swing men (Exree Hipp begat Rodney Elliott who begat Laron Profit who begat Terrance Morris who begat Byron Mouton who begat DJ Strawberry), Milbourne looks like the worst of the bunch. I know it is early but every one of the guys above were better at this stage of their careers.

James Gist needs to shoot 15 times per game, not the 10 that he has been averaging. Everyone on the team knows this, yet it does not happen. Why? The reason, I believe, is that Gist doesn’t create opportunities. He either catches the ball on the low block and uses a post move to get to the hole, or he is knocking down the open jumper. In either case, he requires a distributor to get him the ball. The problem is that defenses are collapsing into the paint because Maryland can’t hit anything from outside. This means that Gist can’t bail us out of a shooting slump. To be effective, Maryland needs to be hitting it from long range to give Gist some operating room. He can’t create offense when things break down. He is just not that type of player.

Boom Osby has been the most consistent player to date. But, here is the problem: he can’t be our go to guy. He is a role player. If he is our first or second choice in the half court, we will continue to lose.

The Freshman have not shown me anything that points to consistent offense. Dupree has shown flashes and so have Tucker and Bowie. But they are all far away from being able to contribute consistently.

The first step is to cut down on the turnovers. Gary has his work cut out for him. It could be a long year.

37 Comments

  1. This is the dumbest team Gary has had in 14 years. And that’s saying something. These guys just are not smart. Usually there is at least one guy on the team with bball smarts, and actually I think that guy is Neal.

    But every player on the floor makes the same mistakes over and over again. They are stubborn and are not learning.

    Until we get smarter, we will continue to lose.

  2. Adding to Gists problems, it appears that he has also slipped into a mental funk. In the first 3 games (2 that he played in) he was vocal, enthusiastic, aggressive, demonstrative.

    I was concerned when he hung his head after the UCLA loss and tonight confirmed that he has lost his confidence.

    This will have to be Gary’s greatest coaching job ever to salvage much of a season, but if anyone can motivate this group of young men it is him.

  3. From Nov. 11th

    David Neal played 20 minutes. I’m not sure that I want to live in a world where David Neal logs 20 minutes of quality PT in a Maryland uniform.

    I’d kill for 20 minutes from Neal now. Any word on how he’s doing?

    From the unofficial stats I saw it appears we shot FT’s well at 91%.

    But 23 turnovers?!? This is becoming the story of their season. Fifteen of our turnovers were by Hayes, Vasquez and Bowie. Although Bowie was 3-4 from the field with one assist he also had a whopping 6 turnovers in 11 minutes on the court.

    The rebounding effort was back, we out rebounded them by 10. But defensively we allowed Missouri to shoot 45% from the field.

    With 4 mins left in the first half we’re down by 13 but claw back to within 6 at the half. With 16:27 left it was anybody’s game at 48-46 Missouri and then…

    This is gonna be a long season.

    Is it me or do we have too many guys on this team that are the same type player?

  4. Well I guess nobody told them I predicted 1 loss by January. This is hard to watch. High School turnovers and silly plays quick shots and little teamwork. I had joked that GW has given up and is waiting to give the reigns to Lefty II but it sure does look like it. These kids are more talented than they are playing. Something is amiss.

  5. While the turnovers and sloppy play are frustrating I think we can all see the effort is there. Dicky V said many times last night that the Terps wouldn’t “go away”. This team is a lot different than the Ledbetter/Caner-Medley/Garrison Terps who lived by the motto “They just wanted it more than us” As long as this team continues to work hard I think we will see improvement as the freshman gain more experience and the players get used to playing with one another.

  6. blr1023, thank you for brining things back into perspective. anytime you terp fans are starting to feel depressed about turn-overs, poor shooting, etc. just let the mug shots of ledbetter, garrison, caner-medley, etc run through your head. or picture john gilchrist throwing a temper tantrum on the bench. despite the slow start the team is in much better shape than it was a couple of years ago.

    however, i also agree with al v: “These kids are more talented than they are playing. Something is amiss.”
    he’s right, there are some super-talented players on this team, but they’re not playing like it. jeremy you question whether hayes is a D-I talent, but the guy had a phenomenal high school career. you can say the same thing about dupree, or tucker. i have no idea why these guys come to maryland and seemingly collapse. maybe we’re all being too impatient and expecting freshman/sophmore players to develop too quickly. however, i look around the country and hear about all of these first and second year players who are lighting it up for their teams. so i just don’t get it.

  7. Lots of good comments. It’s easy to get frustrated after two losses, but I think it’s too soon to do into desperation mode. Remember that UCLA is ranked #1 and this Mizzu team is good (they are tourney bound). Their new coach they have is turning around that program and they play with lots of speed. Also, the hustle and the level of defense that the Terps are playing is quite high for this early in the season.

    From the Mizzu game, clearly, the TOs are the #1 concern. That said, reading the UCLA box score, TOs and rebounding were concerning after that game. So at least the rebounding was corrected against Mizzulu. Everyone was hitting the boards hard and playing tough defense, too. These kids can be coached.

    Jeremy, you are being too harsh on Hayes (although the haircut comment was needed). Until he was a senior, Blake only had to handle the ball. Because Bowie and Vaz are both turning the ball over with regularity, GW had Hayes handling the ball and looking for a 3-pointer. He had lots of good looks at the basket, but his shot was not falling. This happens. You could see his frustration and then he pressed with the ballhandling to make something happen. IMO, GW needs to settle on Hayes as his ballhandler or his primary shooter. If he makes Vaz the primary ball handler, he needs to put a leash on him. (Vaz likes to dribble too much and was late on the pass a few times that I noticed).

    My concern #2 was that no one was setting the picks. I think that’s why the team is missing Neal. Dupree is a huge body, but just needs a little bit better understanding of what it means to be a role player as a frosh. Between Neal and Dupree, that will be fixed.

    We knew coming into the season that we would rise as high as Mr. Gist would take us. So far, he hasn’t found his way, but I think correcting the two issues above (and assuming that the D and the rebounding stay good) the shots will start falling for both Gist and the others.

    I watched the game a sports bar with no sound. The blessing there is that I would have gone through the roof if I had to listen to Dick V say this was an untalented team. This UM team has loads of talent, but 7 frosh and 3 high minute sophs. Give me a break.

  8. It is unfortunate that our interior players are seniors and our backcourt players are underclassmen. When Hayes and Vas (and even Bowie and Tucker) finally figure out how to play with controlled aggressiveness, they’ll be feeding balls to inexperienced post players (Dupree and Gregory).

    The biggest reason, in my opinion, that MD freshman have such a difficult time being “the man” like freshman on other teams is the flex offense. No one runs it in high school and it takes a year or two to figure it out. There are too many moving parts. Other schools run more wide open systems where players can isolate or clean up underneath on missed threes (think Dook).

    Even though we’re just at the start of this season, this team will be lights out next year. They’ll get better along the way this year and be that team “that no one wants to play” in the ACC or NCAA tourneys. Talent is not the problem. Experience is.

  9. The loss didn’t surprise me. I half expected it. In fact, I thought the losing margin would be larger. As Dickie V said, this team doesn’t know quit, and that’s huge. (His throaty comments re: MD’s talent deficit were silly.) The way in which the young Terps corrected the rebounding problem (albeit against a smaller team) was reassuring, as well. And despite dribbling the ball off his foot way too many times, Hayes’s several drives to the basket showed me something. Osby’s improving play (and free throw shooting) continues to impress. Gist is struggling, as are the new bigs. Bowie will be okay, maybe better than okay. But my worry is not personal effort. MD looks like a team whose individual players form less than the sum of their parts.

    Is it possible this team’s TOs stem not from poor ball handling skills but role uncertainty? Who should be scoring? Become the go-to guy for 3-point shots? (I can’t believe our trifecta average truly reflects shooting ability?) Driving the lane and kicking the ball out (and to whom)? Setting picks? Many of the players are still learning each other’s moves, strengths, tendencies, etc. Hence Vas’s headlong rush into clotted zone defenses, out of desperation to make something happen, only to end up getting crushed under the burden of his own unrealistically high expectations.

    As several on this list have observed, Gary has a lot of teaching to do. But what ails this team might not be curable on the blackboard. It may come down to chemistry and psychology. Simply put, players are going to have to figure out for themselves the roles they need to play. Each is going to have discover that elusive balance between subordinating their game to the larger good, and taking charge when the game comes to them. And somebody has to step forward as the leader. I still think it will be Vas, even if more of the point guard duties fall on Hayes’s shoulder. Neal’s return should have steadying influence. Who knows? maybe all the crap now being hurled their way by angry and disappointed fans will forge a sense of family unity in which essential team chemistry can get sorted out. I’m still anticipating that seasoning and experience will cause this team’s youthful talent to metabolize into something special before the season ends. I wouldn’t feel this way if Garrison, Caner-Medley, et. al were still on the roster.

    Wheels, thanks for the link to the Forbes story about the financial arms race in college football and how little of the Cha-Ching is heard on the academic side of the till.

  10. Wheels, I wish I had read your gloss on the flex offense before posting my own musings. You are dead on here.

  11. BTW – Anyone note that Mike Adams is off the staff for “personal reasons” Is there a story behind that? Does GW think he is upgradding his staff with Harrington?

  12. I just read the Washington Post and the men get no read. The women get plenty and so does Gtown. I guess they have given up on them already. Can’t even get media support. But I am more fearful of a bad time for two reasons. Terps lost to a bruiser team in UCLA and a finesse team in Mizzou. They should have matched up with one or the other instead of neither IMHO. You see these mid majors playing their butt off and the Terps seem to be on cruise control at times. Is it the players or the coaches. Hmmmmmmmmmm

  13. More great comments, observations and S.W.A.G’s scientific wild ass guess’es.
    Atta Go DiamondbackRuss- I was going to say the same thing about Neal re last year most on this site
    would have given a nickel for him…..last year. Now
    suddenly he is the man.
    Also there were a plethora of comments about the
    “low basketball IQ” of that team.
    No one’s hit the panic button yet but a few are leaning against it.

    No way this is the worst Terp team in 14 years.
    I also agree that Hayes needs to shoot more. I have watched 4 terp games this year and “he just not looking for shots, in fact, the defense knows it.
    Then when we need him to shoot they are all over him. Vas has made some big three’s this year when we needed them but otherwise he’s a poor 3 shooter.
    As a team we do too much dribbling and nothing much going to happen in that scende Mizzou and UCLA “excellent passing teams” . Missou did very little dribbling after they got ball across mid-court.
    Our bigs, keep putting the ball on the floor under/near the bucket and, of course…….turnover.

    More passing may significantly reduce TO’s However, our guys have also thrown some stupid, floating passes cross court. Result…..TO.

    Let’s not embarass ourselves by giving up on this team. They are going to be much better as the year
    progresses and next 2-3 years will be top 15 of better.

    Quick comment- I also believe GW is “invested” in
    Vas and Hayes as starters and to attempt to break that up now would set us back further. They just have to get better…..quick.

  14. This team is showing maturity even though it has yet to influence the way they play. Note Vasquez’s comments:

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/college/basketball/mens/bal-sp.terpshoop21nov21,0,5659516.story

  15. Maryland
    Somebody had to go 0-2 in Kansas City, and two stats tell you why it was Maryland. The Terps committed 44 turnovers in their two games and shot 2 for 26 from three-point range. Those two makes came in on meaningless attempts hoisted in the final minute of each game.

    Though Williams was surprisingly upbeat about his team’s performance after the Missouri loss — “I feel better about this team than I did at 5:30 this afternoon,” he said — Maryland has two glaring deficiencies. The first, obviously, is a lack of shooters. That problem is compounded by the fact that their best marksman, Eric Hayes, still thinks too much like a point guard.

    The second problem is youth. Not only does Maryland have three sophomores in the starting lineup, but the first five guys off the bench are freshmen. That’s a hard formula to take into the ACC.

    The good news for Maryland is that its best player, Greivis Vasquez, can hardly play much worse than he did in Kansas City. Vasquez shot a combined 0 for 10 from three-point range in the two games and is making just 17.2 percent from long range this season. Asked to explain this, Williams said, “When you only have two shooters, sometimes there’s some pressure that makes you feel like, I have to make it every time I take one.” It’s a good theory, anyway.

    There were also some hopeful signs from the youngsters off the bench. Braxton Dupree, a 6-8 power forward, chipped in five points and four rebounds in 17 minutes against Missouri. Point guard Adrian Bowie showed he has the ability to break down defenders and make plays, though he made some poor decisions in the second half against Missouri and finished with six turnovers. “That can’t bother me,” Williams said, “because I have to play those guys.”

    So it wasn’t all bad news for Maryland. The best news of all? It’s only Nov. 20. There’s plenty of time to get better.

    – Seth Davis (SI.com)

  16. Chillum is where I grew up. Cox Avenue. Chillum in tha house.

  17. GV poses a huge potential problem for this team, not just because he can get out of control at times or can’t hit the 3 or the curl consistently. He was quoted in the Post after the loss to UCLA as saying that he had more experienced players to pass to last year (Jones and DJ) than this year and that it will take him time to get used to the new players. Gary has also worried about the pressure GV puts on himself because he played against Kobe this summer. At the end of each of the last 2 losses, GV simply puts his head down a la Manu and drives to the goal.

    There’s a fine line between being the furnace of the team and being John Gilcrist. I hope his personality is more stable than JG, but this kid hates losing and could, if unchecked, be just as destructive as Gilcrist was in the locker room (remember JG complaining that his team mates had no heart and didn’t like to practice? Well…he was right for the most part until Jones and DJ changed the culture last year).

    Gist has to be the counter to this. He needs to keep GV’s fire in check. I worry that GV is going to implode if this team doesn’t play to his expectations. Leaders can sometimes be highly destructive when the followers aren’t capable. Very dangerous in a team sport.

  18. Wheels, aren’t you viewing Vas through Gilchrist-tinted lenses? The kid knows he has limitations, has things to learn, and says so repeatedly. Gilchrist thought he knew more than the coach, that he was head and shoulders above everyone else and, as you point out, poisoned the locker room with his moody arrogance. Save for that one comment about having more experienced players to pass to, I haven’t seen signs that GV is developing into a team-killing prima donna.

    If you’re right, I’ll wear the sandwich sign for you. But I can’t believe you’re right.

  19. After going to the game last night, I think the Terps have some quality talent, but they seemed a little discombobulated out there. They just need to bring all the talent together, and Gary Williams is the kind of coach that can do that. I was impressed with Gist, and I agree–he should take more shots. And Stevend, it’s “Mizzou” not “Mizzu” :)

  20. FF:

    Just something I think needs to be watched as the season progresses. I certainly hope it does not come to pass and that I am way off base.

    If it does happen, I’d like the sandwich board to read:

    “It’s dangerous to be a jive turkey this close to Thanksgiving.”

    On that note, Happy Turkey Day to all Turtle Soupers.

  21. Guys, its too early for any gloom and doom; however, this is going to have to be a coaching cure with a capital C. GW is going to have to get them to practice the way they are going to play. I.e, he’s going to have to ride their asses all practice long and not let a sinlge turnover slide by. If there is a turnover during practice, GW needs to stop and get in their face. He must coach them out of this turnover crap or he runs the risk it will become a relatively permanent habit that carries over into the ACC games. If this happens, I don’t see how they can be in the upper echelon of the ACC. The other issue, besides the turnovers that has to be coached out, obviously is the team rebounding deficits. Gary has to impress upon them that they must outrebound their opponent EVERY game. The offensive rebound totals have to be either in our favor or very close. To do this the guards must help with the rebounding. Neal is going to critical because we’ll not only need his five fouls a game, but we’ll need about 4-6 rebounds out of him as well. Dupree needs to develop quickly. I don’t care if he doesn’t score a point, but he has got to help us on the boards. If Milbourne is going to disappear for long stretches on the offensived end, he damn well better learn to play some serious in-your-face defense. As for the offense, we’re going to struggle to score a lot of points unless Vas learns to play under control and slash through the paint better (no off balance heaves at the basket after some out of control one-on-one manuever). We need him penetrating to draw the opposition’s bigs and then dumping off to our bigs for easy lay-ins, or kicking it out to Eric for a three. And Eric, we’re going to need him to figure out his role for us. If
    he is not going to run the team, and apparently he is not as long as Vas is on the court, he is going to have to learn to get open for a bunch of decent looks at the basket. And it goes with out saying he is going to have to knock some 2s and 3s down every single game. We need about 14 points a game out of Eric if he is going to be the SG. What did Jones give us last year, something like 17 a game? We ‘re going to need to approach that figure out of Eric. Maybe not quite that high, 13-15 will do nicely.

  22. Most of you that seem down on the “newbies” were the same people that were so high on them before the season. We’re in a wait and see mode. WE can’t do anything else.

    In the last 4 games they are 2-2. I watched all those games. They were IN each of them to win and it showed.

    AL V- I ‘ve been hard on you but in a positive way.
    However, for you to say ” Terps didn’t match up to neither UCLA or Mizzou ” (meaning go head to head) and insinuating Terps didn’t ” play their butts off” lilke the mid- majors is BS. Even Dukie V noted these terps “just don’t quit” leave your analysis highly suspect.

    To top it off, you want you leave us with “is it the players or the coaches hmmmm”.

    Give it a break and give them some time. We don’t need dispersions, we need patience and belief.

    If they fail, it won’t be for lack of effort.

  23. We shouldn’t be making excuses. Maryland had the opportunity to elevate itself to a perennial Top 10 team after back to back Final Fours and winning it all. But that has been squandered away.

    The fact is that these players are not tier 1 talent and therefore we are back to being a team not even ranked in the Top 20.

    Maryland is a basketball school and it is inexcusable to not have top talent. Dreisell appears to be working his tail off to change it, but he now has an uphill battle. G’town is getting better and is getting better recruits than the Terps on top of our normal battles for local talent with UNC, and Syracuse.

    I do wonder if Gary’s personality is a turnoff to these kids. This topic has come up every year for the past 3-4. Every year, because of our loyalty to the program, we ask for patience, we make excuses, we want to see more talent on the floor than actually exists. And here we are again.

    Gary has certainly done a lot for the program, and you can’t take that away, but it is very disappointing that he has not been able to land higher talent to come to MD and keep us an “Elite” program.

  24. Two more quick points after reading some more of the earlier posts:

    1. I can’t believe people are suggesting Dave Neal could be the savior of this team. Give me a break. Tell me how much PT Neal would have at UNC, Gtown, Syracuse, or any other Top 20 team. If you said none, you’d be right.

    2. For the past 5 years, we’ve been saying next year this group will be great. But it hasn’t happened. I see several earlier posts, talking about this group being “lights out” next year. I don’t think so. Role player talent will always bring role player results.

    We may get a mid season run of wins again and we’ll be talking about whether we’re on the bubble or not for the tournament. From my earlier post, that isn’t good enough. We should be a Top 10 program year in and out, and all we’ve talked about for 5 years is whether we’re a bubble team or not.

  25. Cjazh:

    On paper (on paper, on paper, on paper) according to outlets like Rivals.com or Scouts.com, Gary’s last 3 recruiting classes (including the class that just signed LOIs in November) have been his best since he’s been at MD. That might say something about what he did previously on the recruiting trail, but he did win a NCAA and an ACC championship with not exactly top flight talent.

    Look at his past 3 classes. Hayes and Vasquez were Top 100 recruits. Last year brought Bowie and Tucker, again top 100 recruits. This coming class brings in Sean Mosely and Gus Gilchrist, two more top 100 recruits. Not to mention that Milbourne, Gregory and Dupree were also fairly high rated recruits. Next year’s team will have 6 or more highly touted recruits. This is a far cry from the days of Exree Hipp, Mario Lucas, Brian Walsh, and Matt Kavorik, who all saw significant playing time on very successful team.

    This team is not filled with role players. It is filled with legit, yet inexperienced ACC talent. I am not a big defender of Gary Williams, mostly due to what I perceive as his volatile personality and his stubbornness. I think, at least in the past, he did well with average talent but maybe scared off superior talent. However, that might change this year. He’s even talked about being more patient with this group.

    The future is very bright with this program. This year might be tough, and maybe we can blame Gary for not having a pipeline of talent. But that looks to be changing. It’ll take 9 wins in the ACC season to get to the NCAAs, especially after not beating either Mizzou or UCLA.

    By the way, Dook looks go so far. Vomit. Luckily, they will still get bounced by the Sweet 16. Death, taxes, and a Dook flameout.

  26. Wheels: re: Cjazh’s observation about GW’s personality turning off the kids. I’m not sure this is any longer true. I’m catching more glimpses of a mellower Gary. But what might be impeding the recruitment of top tier talent is something you raised an earlier post: Gary’s theological commitment to the flex offense. Not only do few high schools teach it, but this generation of ball players don’t like it. It is too constraining, too choreographed. When it works well, it works great. But there is a steep learning curve.

  27. Wheels – I think you make my point. You are saying these last classes are some of Gary’s best.

    According to Scout.com we have 2 players in the Top 100 in the past 3 years (not counting next year … we always say, wait til next year). Dupreee #90 and Hayes #96.

    In the meantime, there are at least 11 local kids in the Top 50 the past 2 years and we didn’t land a one. Kids like:

    Donte Green
    Kevin Durant
    Austin Freeman
    Chris Wright
    Nolan Smith
    Alex Legion
    Ty Lawson
    Vernon Macklin
    DaJuan Summers
    Eric Devendorf
    Uche Echefu
    Marcus Ginyard

    Not a one? All you need is 1-2 of these kids …. put Dupress and Hayes and Vasques around them and now your in business. This need to be a higher priority or we will always be in the middle of the pack in the ACC and may not make the Top 20 for a while.

  28. Actually my list is over the same 3 year period (2005-2007)

  29. Cjazh:

    I hear you and I understand, especially when those kids at end up at ACC schools. Just so everyone has the same information so we can better discuss, here are the Rivals.com and Scout.com ratings and rankings for current Terrapin players and commitments. Again, first Rivals then Scout.

    James Gist: 4 stars and 53 ranked overall; 4 stars 13 ranked PF
    David Neal: 2 stars not ranked; 3 stars
    Jerome Burney: 3 stars not ranked; 3 stars
    Eric Hayes: 4 stars 70 ranked overall; 4 stars 19 ranked PG
    Landon Milbourne: 3 stars 107 ranked; 3 stars 33 ranked SF
    Bambale Osby: 2 stars not ranked; 1 star
    Greivis Vasquez: 4 stars 46 ranked overall; 4 stars 25 ranked SG
    Adrian Bowie: 3 stars 29 ranked guard; 3 stars 28 ranked SF
    Braxton Dupree: 3 stars 17 ranked center; 4 stars 16 ranked center
    Dino Gregory: 3 stars 44 ranked PF; 3 stars
    Cliff Tucker: 4 stars 97 ranked overall; 3 stars 32 ranked SF
    Shane Walker: 3 stars not ranked; 3 stars
    Gus Gilchrist: 4 stars 52 ranked overall; 4 stars
    Sean Mosley: 4 stars 60 ranked overall; 4 stars 8 ranked SG

    I don’t know how this compares to other schools, but either none of these ranking sites are any good, MD does have some good talent, or MD has talent that isn’t coached up.

  30. Here’s another interesting way to look at the rankings. If these kids (current sophs, juniors and seniors) were available to be recruited now, after seeing them perform at the D-1 level, which ones would other schools go after? I’d say Gist, Vas and Boom. I bet Duke wouldn’t mind having Boom to shore up its interior. Just about every ACC team would like to add Vas to its roster, same with Gist.

  31. I’m not saying those guys are bad players, but they are not top echelon guys. A program like Maryland should be able to land a top echelon kid now and again. We’ve had none. Even what Wheels shows is lower level. He’s listing numbers that are their rating at their position. I’m sorry, but if you are 44th ranked at your position, that’s not a good rating for a top echelon program. Looking at his numbers, there are 3 players that rate fairly well (my analysis had 2 because I didn’t go back 4 years and include Gist). Everyone else is not a Top 100 player. I’m suggesting that Maryland should be able to do better than that … after all Georgetown, UNC, Syracuse, and others do year in and year out. I’m not counting next year’s recruits, although Mosely at #39 in the country is the highest rated recruit we’ve had in about 5 years. That’s getting closer, but still not quite there.

    If you’re convinced these players can play at a level that has us being a Top 20 team, then that’s the end of discussion. I’m not convinced its going to happen.

    By the way, I think Gist does have superior athleticism, but doesn’t have a scorers mentality.

  32. One more comment. There might be some light on this with Chuck Dreisell. Mosely does appear to be the highest rated local kid in 2008 and we locked him up. That’s great news … although Mosely’s dad was big in that decision.

    If we can lock up Isaiah Armwood next year, then I’ll relent that things are changing for the better. If we lose him, then that’s one more top local kid on the list. Armwood is rated #13 in the country. That’s the type of kid I’m talking about us needing to lock up. A Top 25 in the country kind of kid.

    Crossing my fingers for Armwood. Just hope we don’t give all our scholarships away to Jin Soo Kim and Ater Majok … if we do then I’ve made my point.

  33. cjazh, so do you think Chuck is the reason we might finally start landing the top flight talent, or are there other factors at work? His dad seemed to be able to pull it off with some regularity: Tom McMillen, Moses Malone, and Albert King to name a few. I think we are going to need to start landing a few of those to go along with all the role players we seem to get more than our fair share of. One big problem that exists now a days is the “one and done” phenomenon. A guy like Durant, I’m not so sure he helps us if we land him and then flame out in the Sweet Sixteen. He then waves bye-bye to us and we’re once again star-less. We need to get some top flight talent that will stick around for at least three years. Look at the huge tease Jennings was and we never even suited him up!

  34. cjazh/wheels,

    Evaluating HS talent is a tricky business. Your going back and forth on ratings reminds me of Mark Twain’s, ‘lies, damn lies and statistics.’ The only evaluation that matters – you either win or not.

    The Terps won a national title with the ‘buger king’ all-americans (they were the first program in a generation to win w/o a Mcdonald’s all-american recruit). On the other hand, UM’s most heralded recruiting class since Lefty was gilchrist/mccray/canner-medley/garrison. Then, MJ was supposed to be the second best SG behind LeBron James. We all know the results. Another example is to look at last year’s dook team, that had 12 top 50 players…..they sucked and did not deserve to make the NCAAs. My guess is that GW has learned a lesson of going after uncoachable recruits and is getting players that he can mold.

    On this year’s Terps, Boom – I think we all agree – is diamond, but got no love from the raters. And regarding Neal (another unheralded recruit), he was a suprising contributor last year and he has a good b-ball IQ. He’s not this year’s “savior” (on this team, that role is reserved for Gist), but he’s an important role player who can make a big difference.

    Regarding GV, it is totally unwarrented to compare his competitiveness with Gilchrist’s. If you recall, Juan Dixon was also fiercely competitive. While GV does not yet deserve to held in the same regard as Juan, I think GV’s brand of fire is much more like Dixon’s than Gilchrist’s. GV does not sulk!

    In fact, while the jury is still out on some of the frosh, I don’t think there are any sulkers on this year’s team. I expect they will give a good effort against Illinois. It’s hard to say when things will start to click, but I still think they will click this year. When they do, we will go as far as Gist can carry us…..that’s my story and I’m sticking with it!

  35. that’s odd, i thought there would be a bunch of posts about today’s game by now, but nothing yet. first half was uncomfortably close, but the second half they started pulling away. best the offense has looked so far this season. i know, it’s only lehigh, but it’s still a good confidence builder in terms of hitting open shots. plus, only 12 turn-overs!!!! woohoo! i thought braxton dupree looked great filling in for osby (14 pts, 5 rbs). actually a lot of the freshmen racked up some quality minutes, which was good. bowie’s defense is phenomenal….i won’t be surprised if he leads the acc in steals at least once over the next several years. dino gregory looks lost out there….haven’t been impressed by his play this year. although this was the first real look that i’ve gotten at jermome burney and i thought he showed flashes of promise. hayes was definitely looking for his shot more this game and hit three 3 pt shots (plus two more 3s from vasquez). 11-21 from the free-throw line sucks….we need to correct that. i think that’s the 3rd or 4th time this season that our team free throw percentage is down in the 50s. although last game it was up in the 90s so go figure. either way, that kind of thing can lose you several games come acc time. milbourne continues to be less than impressive. as time goes on bowie will steal more of his minutes. actually, i was just looking at the game recap and landon played 13 mins vs. bowie 21 mins.

  36. Terpgrad: Appreciate the rundown of today’s game. The box score offered only a two-dimensional snapshot. It revealed little about Bowie’s defensive prowess, for example. So thanks for this.

  37. terpgrad, nice analysis of the Lehigh game. Most of us probably didn’t/couldn’t see it. Any resolution on the backcourt situation out there? It seems like Hayes, Vas and Bowie are the rotation; however the roles may still be undetermined at this point, particularly Hayes and Bowie. Is Hayes the answer at shooting guard? Does Bowie come in for Vas or Hayes or both? If just for Vas, then who fills in for Hayes at the 2–Tucker?


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