The Sling Box Dream

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am living the dream. That’s right. The Sling Box Dream. I installed a sling box at my parent’s house and I am now able to watch the Baltimore Comcast channels. That’s right. Ravens, Wizards, Orioles, and of course, the Maryland Terrapins. To that end, I was able catch most of the Maryland-Lehigh game today. (By the way, the announcers were terrible. Anyone know who those clowns are? If my announcer is going to have an accent, I’d prefer it to be of the “bawlmer” variety. Who needs to hear some dude from the Bronx with NY accent?).

The really good news is that Maryland was able to significantly cut down on the turnovers. The team only committed 12 for the entire game as opposed to the 20+ they had been averaging. We hit some threes too, but somehow, we couldn’t pull away until that big run midway through the second half. The reason that Lehigh was able to hang around was poor our three point defense and foul shooting. Now, those are bugaboos with which we are all too familiar. We lived with those for most Gary Williams’ tenure (his teams never could defend the three). Frankly, I’d rather deal with poor 3PT defense and foul shooting. The turnovers were killing me.

Now, before we all get too excited, let’s see the Terps play a low-turnover game against a quality opponent. They will get their chance on Wednesday when the Illini come to town. The Illini are struggling (at least I hope they are. If Duke is blowing out good teams, then I am not ready to handle the ACC season).

There was definitely progress today. Vasquez and Hayes took care of the ball. Braxton Dupree was a force inside. Gist made some nice defensive plays.

I still don’t see anyone who can consistently not knock down a jumper (three or otherwise), but I hope it is just a mix of the freshman getting used to the college game and Vasquez and Gist mired in a shooting slump. Hayes is still too tentative with his jump shot. I saw him pass on open looks a couple of times. As a natural PG, that is the correct instinct. However, he is supposedly the best shooter. Gary needs to switch his orientation to that of a spot up shooter. As long as Gary is going to have Vasquez bring up the ball, Hayes needs to be running off screens or spotting up from three. The concern (as was pointed out by a comment from an earlier post) is that Hayes has a slow release. The ball just takes too long to get out of his hands. Still, if he works to get open he will have the opportunities to knock them down.

I feel much better after today’s game. If Maryland could have just taken care of the ball in Kansas City, I think we would have escaped with at least one win. Today, felt different. The team made a concerted effort to take better care of the ball in the halfcourt. The careless passes were mostly gone. Clearly, Gary has them focused on running the offense and focusing on the task at hand. The fact that it came against a cupcake Patriot League opponent matters little. The Terps had been their own worst enemy. Not today. Let’s hope they are cured. We get to find out on Wednesday.



  1. Nice to get another “W” to help get the taste of consecutive losses out of their mouths. Like you said, it matters little that it came against a cupcake. The important thing for this very young team, is to get better game by game and do the things it takes to win games.

    If Dupree continues to practice well, and play like he did in this game he’ll continue to get minutes and that helps the rotation up front.

    I shudder to think how good this team would be if they keep their TO’s at 12 per game, and average 75% at the FT line, and is competitive in the rebound column.

    Let’s hope Osby is healthy for the Illinois game, we get a similar effort from Dupree, and they continue to take care of the ball like they did in this game.


  2. Hey Jeremy, what’s a sling box. Do you have to be in MD area and on the Comcast system to use it?

  3. FF: Sling box is a device that enables consumers to remotely view their cable, satellite, or personal video recorder programming from an Internet-enabled computer with a broadband Internet connection.

    Jim Rome pimps it all the time in his show. I’ve been tempted to get one myself.

    Check out

  4. i agree, those announcers were horrible!

    someone needs to explain this sling box thing better. i went to their website and i still don’t understand what the thing does. i get that it connects your television to the internet so you can watch tv on the computer. but what does that have to do w/ accessing comcast from anywhere in the country? i’m especially interested because i leave the DC area soon so i’m going to lose comcast (and thus 80% of maryland b-ball games!).

  5. here’s the deal. in order for the slingbox to get DC or Baltimore channels, you will need to install the slingbox to a TV in the DC/Balt area. Basically, any tv that has cable and a broadband internet connection will work. in my case, i installed it at my parent’s house, but any old reliable friend will do. Now, I can open up the Slingbox player on my computer in Chicago and watch my parents tv. It even has a remote control that allows you to change channels.

    One caveat is that if your friend plans on watching separate channels than you, I recommend that you get the slingbox pro as that allows you to watch separate channels from what is on the home tv.

  6. oh, ok, i get it now. hmmm…not sure if i trust anyone back here in dc. however, my parents in ny have a direct tv package that gives them some ridiculous number of channels (close to one thousand, i think), including comcast. hopefully it works w/ direct tv. if so, you’re a genius!

  7. So how do you access the MD-connected slingbox from a remote site (several states away) on your commuter? Is there a website you log on to?

  8. So, what does everyone think of the Terps hammering NC State 37-0? What kind of bowl might we get out of this win, coupled with a 6 win-6 loss record, and two wins over top ten teams?

  9. on the sling box thingy, my co worker put it at his rents house in philly and he tells me he gets games no problem from philly to northern va.

    Now terps fb was nice to see em finish off the season with a nice ASS KICKING. WE just did what we do best, ran that ball down their throats. Del Ray Scott gonna be a beast to come when Ball and Lattimore leave us this year. If Portis can stay SMART, we could be good to go. I hope but might not happen that Henderson stays for his senior year.

    Do I believe we should be in a bowl game? Sure we do but it won’t be anything major. So I won’t get my hopes up.

    Nice to see our bball team take care of business.

  10. Ralphie Boy mentioned in his postgame conference that he talked with the people in Charlotte, NC for the Meinike Car Care Bowl, so that might be a clue to as to where they’ll end up. That bowl is actually the 6th choice for ACC teams, ahead of the Emerald Bowl in SF and the Humanitarian Bowl in Boise. MD’s reputation for travel is helping them out. Good win today…just a shoulda, coulda, woulda season.

  11. Here’s a handy reference:

  12. FF- I had to download the sling box player onto my remote computer. That is free if you have a serial number for a valid sling box.

    Congrats to the Football Terps. They could easily have had three more wins. They will be tough to beat next year and in their bowl game.

  13. Okay. Thanks.

  14. Official MD website saying that San Fran and Boise more likely than others. The game in SF might be a good one, especially if it is against Cal.

    MD and Cal begin a home-home series next year, so a bowl match up would add a 3rd game to that run. Might be interesting. Besides, MD had to play in Boise the year they won the NCAA hoops title (or it was the year before on the way to Final Four…it caused the NCAA to change to the pod system after MD, Mason, and G’Town all had to travel to Boise for first round games).

    But, I digress. The point is that Boise is in the middle of nowhere and they play on that strange blue turf. I’ve heard that birds fly into that stuff thinking it’s water. Could be urban myth, though.

  15. Terps FB might salvage something from this season. It would be nice to see them get a decent bowl game with an interesting opponent. They could finish on a high note with a win. Now for the hoop Terps, we need to knock off Illinois. In my mind, that would help offset the Mizzou loss somewhat.

  16. Back to B-ball.

    Looking at the box, Milbourn at 13 minutes and Lehigh outrebounding are the things I noticed. Milbourn disappeared (even though the stat sheet said he was on the floor) for long periods in KC. Obviously, Gary will tinker with the line-up in those cases.

    Hayes was 0-2 from the FT line. tsk, tsk, tsk. The boy is suffering from a serious “lid on the basket” syndrome.

    One other thought – Neal’s early season injury is giving the underclassment 20 more minutes to split the last few games. For his own sake, he better get healthy quickly. If Dupree and Burney prove they can play, Neal may become permanently expendable.

  17. So, its looking like the early read on potential freshman contributions this year is Bowie, Dupree and maybe Burnery (?). How’s Tucker been looking lately? Also, this whole thing with Milbourne is starting to concern me. Is this guy a player or not? I haven’t been able to catch the last two games on TV, so I’m going by what I read in the posts. Is he following the Gist pattern of development when JG was a sophmore–flashes or talent along with long stretches where he disappears; or is this something else–i.e. not really that talented a player who we might be pinning unrealistic hopes on?

  18. I might have to put a slingbox at my parents house when i go Home for Xmas because espn full court is not showing the terps until january. I love the chicago area but I’m missing my terps. Heres to hoping we beat the Illini on Wednesday.

  19. Maybe it is just me but I am disappointed. Gist, the summer games stud, is fading out of games. Vaz the summer games stud is shooting way too damn much and the Terps gout out rebounded by Lehigh. 12 turnovers vs average of 20 is better but damn this team should have been wiped out early in the first half 52.4% from the FT line is disturbing as well. You can’t put a good team away if you can’t hit those shots. Illinois is looming a little larger than they should be. At least the FB team played one game well this year. Still not impressed.

  20. Al, this year will be a grind. Let’s hope they can right the ship in time to sneak into the Tourney. I was encouraged by the improvement in ball handling against Lehigh. A win against a quality opponent like Illinois is essential for any Tournament hopes.

    Last year, UVA lost to the University of Puerto Rico before making the Big Dance. It’s a long year. Lot’s of time to improve.

  21. “KevBlack —
    “I might have to put a slingbox at my parents house when i go Home for Xmas because espn full court is not showing the terps until january.”

    KevBlack, that’s why I decided not to purchase full court again this year. It makes more financial sense to purchase the few games not scheduled for telecast on the various cable networks

  22. I will be saying this for a while – it’s a long season. There were several years here recently where we came out of the gates on fire, crushing our opponents by 20 and 30 points, only to fade later in the season when other teams improved and we stayed static (and oh by the way, have our solid RPI ignored and be left out of the field of 65 because of our poor late-season performance).

    This is a young team, and the coaching staff is going to be more worried about managing their performance in January, February and March, then what they’re doing in November. Don’t get me wrong, with a young team you do have a concern about them losing their confidence, but some of you are not being particularly accommodating fans.

    Lastly, Dick Vitale can kiss my hairy white ass with his comments on this year’s team’s talent. How in the hell, in one game, can he make such a broad brush analysis of a team comprised almost exclusively of kids that either weren’t here or barely played last year?

    I have faith in the system and in Gary to get this group to perform and excel.

  23. Props to Toobootom and the rest of you who have said be patient. We had some raw freshmen last week out on the court against the #1 team in the country and even though we were never in it, we never hung our heads and got blown out. (Vampire, I know about Love also being a freshman, but he’d have been in the NBA if this were two years ago.) Gary’s never liked giving minutes to freshmen early, but this year he has no choice but to resort to some on-the-court training. It will take awhile. Wheels had a great point about how long it takes to learn the flex. All the turnovers and all the poor shooting from guys who didn’t do those things last year…does anybody think Hayes, Gist, and our new Juan have suddenly lost their talent? Of course not. They’ve lost their composure. That’ll return.

    As a sidenote to Tooboomtom and his hairy white ass, please see Christopher Hitchens’ story on getting his waxed. It’s on the Vanity Fair website, and is called “On the Limits of Self Improvement. Part II.”

  24. Here’s a website diagramming the flex offense:

    While the flex is considered a simple offense, it requires constant motion from players. The website shows almost a continually flexing offense that does not have a set play, rather each play morphs into another play. It’s more of Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman (tangle up, tango on). It is not too dissimilar from the offense that Bobby Knight runs, and not too many freshman excel with him either. Most top flight recruits come out of AAU and high school programs that run more NBA-style offenses – pick and rolls, clear outs, and isolations – if they run offenses at all. Most trap and press all game and turn games into track meets.

    Gary is, if nothing else, a fundamentals guy. So, he runs a fundamental offense that most kids are not used to running. What is interesting about this is that prior to Juan and Steve, MD’s offense was all about pressing and running. They couldn’t win in half court games. When Duane Simpkins ran the point, MD’s only play was a backdoor screen for an alley-oop to Exree Hipp.

    I think Gary even ran the flex back then, but he didn’t have the personnel he wanted; so he played Nolan Richardson-type 40 minutes of hell. I remember those days well, but those days ended in the late 1990s for MD. They’re more of a halfcourt motion team now.

  25. Wheels, my hero – Thanks for the link and the analysis. Got the news that Sean Taylor died this morning. Reminded me of Len Bias all over again.

  26. Wheels, you should quit your day job as a human resources prof and get into sports journalism. I’ve read about the flex before, but yours is the most lucid–and entertaining–explanation I’ve run across. What you say about GW’s shift from a Nolan Richardson to a Bobby Knight style of offense also rings true.

  27. Kaze,

    I will pass your note on to my wife. She has also suggested laser hair removal, but I can just imagine not being able to sit for a week because of an accidental power surge in the Annapolis area that makes my butt take on the appearance of an overdone roast. ;-)

  28. YOU installed the sling box? HaHa congrats!

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