Terps Hold Off Illini, 69-61, For A Huge Win

I saw the future tonight and it’s names are Braxton Dupree and Cliff Tucker. Dupree played like an uber Lonny Baxter in the first half. He has Baxter’s wide body, but more defined and slightly taller. There is not an ounce of fat on that kid and yet, he has a nice touch around the basket. He’s our rebounder folks. When the game started, I thought something might be wrong with Osby. Why wasn’t he in the starting lineup? Then as Dupree picked up where he left off against Lehigh, the question answered itself. He’s better than Osby. I am salivating at having him in the pivot for the next four years.

As for Mr. Tucker. He will be starting over Milbourne by midseason. He has a decent touch, is fearless around the basket, and he can leap out of the building. Once he learns the offense, he will be a star.

Eric Hayes played the best game of his career tonight. Like it or not, he will need to play out of position all year. He is our best shooter. Check that. Our only shooter. There is no one else who can hit a jumper with consistency (namely Vasquez and Milbourne. More on them in a minute)

If you had told me before the game that our best two players, James Gist and Greivis Vasquez would have off-nights, then I wouldn’t have even watched the game. That’s how sure I would have been that we would lose.

Gist needs to assert himself offensively. He is not demanding the ball and he looks tenative with his open jumpers. On the bright side, he brought it from the defensive end. He is a show-stopper on that end of the court.

Vasquez is mired in AWFUL shooting slump and that pales in comparison to his horrendous decision making. While he has cut down on the turnovers, the shot selection is so bad its mystifying. My buddy Danny calls him Nik Caner-Vasquez. Unfortunately, the comparison is appropriate. I can deal with the shooting slump. Eventually, those shots will start to fall, but the fadeaway threes with 20 seconds on the shot clock? The alley-oop pass on the break when Illinois has three men back on defense? He knows better.

It’s not all bad. At least he took care of the basketball. Combined, Hayes and Vasquez accounted for 14 assists against only 3 turnovers.

Jay Bilas said after the game that Maryland is the third best team in the ACC behind Duke and UNC. Umm, apparently, he did not watch any of the games in KC last week. Bilas is wrong, but he may be on to something. The Maryland team I saw tonight could have beaten Missouri and probably even UCLA. We had 44 turnovers (maybe more) in those two games. If we had just taken better care of the ball, last week would have turned out differently.

Maryland continued to take care of the ball for the second straight game (only 12 turnovers), but they have not solved some key problems. Despite Hayes’ shooting, we are missing a significant piece that all good perimeter teams have. All of Hayes’ perimeter points came as a stationary shooter. Think about the way Steve Blake used to shoot vs. the way Juan Dixon did. Blake was the stationary shooter: catching kick-outs off penetration; while Juan was always in motion, coming off screens or shooting off the dribble. Hayes cannot provide that. It is not his game. In order to get consistent production from the outside, Gary needs to find someone who can fill that void. Let’s hope one of the freshman swingmen can emerge during the season because I don’t think Vasquez is the guy (12% from three- YIKES).

I can’t remember the last Maryland squad that was more comfortable playing games in the 60’s than in the 80’s, yet here we are. This squad is not capable of filling up the stat sheet with lots of points. But if you contrast that with their athleticism, the lack of point production is confounding. This team is a contradiction. They love to get out and run, but they have yet to score more than 75 points all year. It’s not just the poor shooting percentage and the turnovers. Tonight they shot 47% from the field and only turned the ball over 12 times. Most Terps teams would have put up 85 points with similar stats.

Tonights win didn’t answer all the questions we have about this team, but it did open up possibilities again. The NCAA Tournament seems possible now and if we can find a consistent perimeter scorer, watch out. Jay Bilas may wind up being right.

65 Comments

  1. Good analysis…..I attended the game tonight and I don’t want to take anything way from tonight’s W b/c we needed it now and we will need it down the road.

    That said, this was not your father’s Illini…and this game was a couple of possessions away from a tough loss………The turovers were better, as was EH’s outside shooting, but the weak side D and the help D was out of whack all night…we were lucky that a slew of Illinois open looks did not fall….

    There were momenets were I thought ok, these youngsters were finally going to pull away and beat a quality oppenent at home convincingly, but our youth allowed the Illini back in the game…..but we hung on and grinded it out for a very good and much needed W going into the BB&T….

    These young guys are willing to work hard, they did that tonight, and I cannot wait to see the dividends when we finally play 40 minutes of Maryland BBall!!!!!

    Great Win!!!!!! GO TERPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. This was a very good win and RPI elevator. Illinois is not that good now, but this win will look good in March. As for our team, they will continue to get better as the season goes on. The young guys are improving and they are slowly building an identity. It won’t be long before the cream rises to the top. The offense will come around.

  3. Thanks to Tivo and ESPN2, we were able to catch tonight’s game here on the west coast. A strategic, feel good, bragging rights kind of win tonight for the young Terps. So good to hear Lenny’s intelligent comments than Dookie V’s high pitched babble as over on the ESPN side.

    This squad has a long way to go to find their consistency or even a starting 5. The erratic play to date will have GW conducting further experiments prior to the BC ACC opener in December. We may get frustrated considering the high bar of expectations we all desire to see in performance by this Gist driven team, but I anticipate a fun to watch season with excellent competition for PT everywhere except for EH, GV, JG.

    With all the diatribe re: recruiting in the previous Beasley thread, I throw the following out there for your remembrance, recollection, useless information, or comment:

    Billy Hahn – mid 70’s alum, lights out long range, zone buster shooter (think the pre-3 point shot days), former Mr Indiana recruit of Lefty and Joe Harrington !… was GW’s top assistant and recruiter until departing before the Nat Champ season for his own head coaching job… was beginning to develop Layfayette into a revived Philly Big 5 threat when his legs were cut out by the woman’s team nut case sexual escapades with men’s team guys and then her allegations of rape vs. alleged consensual sex statements from the men’s team guys. Billy kept the confidence of the young woman by not exposing her name based on her personal request to him, then when school Pres. got involved – Billy became his scapegoat, was fired for not telling him(even though that would have broken the girls “confidence” request), then he became an “untouchable” pariah in the coaching community and was working as an independent scout and at camps to make a living… SURPRISE … Billy is now the top assistant for Mr. Huggins at WVU… and you think we had local recruiting problems before… just wait!

  4. Some comments on last night’s game:

    -First and foremost, let us all thank bejeezus that Eric Hayes got a hair cut! I much prefer the Blake look to the junior high look. Could that be the reason his jump shot is now falling???? You never know…

    -Landon Milbourne is not a good basketball player. He may be a good athlete, but he’s not a good basketball player. He should be buried on the depth chart, NOT a starter!

    -Based on performances thus far, the starting five should be GV, EH, JG, Dupree, and Tucker, with Osby and Neal the first two players off the bench, followed by Bowie and Burney.

    -I’m happy to see that Gary has decided to sit Dino Gregory for a while. He didn’t play at all in last night’s game. Nothing personal against the kid, he just doesn’t look ready to play D1 ball yet; needs more time to develop before he sees floor time.

    -If Bowie wants to continue seeing floor time he’s gotta tighten up his offense and quit making stupid decisions. It’s difficult not to play the guy because he’s so damn good on defense, but his offense is a major liability. He’s pretty good on a fast break, but in the half court game he makes some really dumb mistakes that lead to turn-overs.

    -I think people are being too hard on Vasquez’s shooting ability. The boy can definitely shoot, he’s proven that. People seem to have written him off as a poor shooter because he’s had a bad couple of games. However, he was 8-10 from the field against Lehigh and seemed to be getting his shot back. I think by mid-season he’ll be much more consistent and his 3 pt percentage will be way above what it is right now. Just needs to keep taking shots (when they’re open!).

    -I echo earlier sentiments regarding Dupree, Burney, and Tucker. Those 3 are starting to look damn impressive. I’m really excited to see these guys develop over the rest of the season, and over the next 2-3 yrs. The vast majority of contribution last night came from freshmen and sophmores. We might look like crap here and there throughout the season, but there’s no doubt that this team has a very bright future. Especially when you consider the 2 incoming freshmen. Next year we will be very good, but two years from now we dominate the ACC. No question about it!

  5. I went to the game last night and had a great time. The only negative for me was that I had to listen to the guy behind me blather on about the current team’s deficiencies and complete lack of talent. I believe his exact comment was, “the only way we’re going to win this game is if we play a perfect game and Illinois plays their worst possible game!” Al V. you weren’t by chance sitting in section 214 last night were you? (only kidding)

    I think this fellow must’ve had spent a few hours at Bentley’s before heading to the game, because he wouldn’t shut up, didn’t know the names of half of the players on our team, and apparently has never endeavored to pick up even the most basic elements of the game or its rules. He got so bad at one point, that I felt like picking him up and throwing him over the railing, but didn’t think that would be a good show for my father-in-law. Fortunately the other fans around me gave him sufficient shit for his idiotic commentary, he shut up and the guys pulled through and won a big game.

    A couple quick thoughts:

    -Dupree looks like the real deal. In addition to his offensive highlights, his defense was stellar. Not to hate on Osby ( I think he is a great energy player), but whenever Pruitt got the ball against Osby, he seemed to be able to quickly back him down to the basket and get up a decent shot. However, Dupree seemed to do a better job of holding his ground and containing him.
    -Provided that Dupree can step in and become a Baxter-like presence on the floor, I think that Gist’s game will really benefit. It would give him a chance to become more of a slashing, high-flying type scorer (ala Chris Wilcox) and change the way other teams have to handle their defensive assignments.

    It was a fun game and I am hoping that more people will get out and root for the team (I’d say attendance was 80%). Go Terps!!!

  6. Isn’t it too early to be writing off Milbourne and Bowie? You can teach flex offense, but you can’t teach athleticism, which LM and AB possess in blessed abundance. They’ll come around, as team chemistry becomes more settled. I think the “contradiction” Jeremy highlights will likely get resolved come March in the shape of hellacious defense and potent offense.

  7. OK guys, I was going to write a similar post after our 2nd loss but decided to hold back. I can’t hold back anymore and now I have more game film to base my opinions on.
    I’ll start with some basic observations. First, Gist should not be hanging out at the 3 point line. The occasional (maybe once a game) 3 when open is fine from him because he can make the shot, but it’s not his strength. He should be in the post where he can catch the ball and make a move. He is athletic and has a nice touch, let him to damage in the paint. After he shows this strength, he will get double teamed and be able to dish the ball to Hayes for the open, stand still, jumper.
    Second, on to Haye v. Vasquez. Hayes is a better PG! PERIOD! I’ll start with the negatives of Vasquez. I like the Caner-Vasquez line, but I think a worse version of Gilchrist is more in line when he plays PG. Honestly, the guy doesn’t have a good basketball IQ right now. He takes dumb shots and makes bad decisions. At least Gilchrist was able to make those shots. Both playes with TOO MUCH emotion for a PG.
    A PG has to be cool and composed. Let the slashers and dunkers be the ones with emotion (Vasquez and Gist). Hayes is the prototypical PG AND he has a nice outside shot. Yes he needs to be standing still, but guess what, after he makes some good passes, the ball will come back to him for an open jumper. I want to see Hayes acting like Blake. I want to see him bring up the ball, form an “L” with his left fist to his right elbow, and either pass down low to Gist (ala Baxter) or give it to Vasquez on a curl for a jumper or a drive (ala Dixon).
    This team has the potential to be a similar team to the Final 4 years. They have a solid core with some role players. They need to put it together and I think it starts with switching Hayes and Vasquez.
    I swear, while watching the game last night, even my wife started to question Vasquez’s moves. Don’t get me wrong, I think he has a huge upside, but it’s not as our PG. He has the passion to be a very good player, but he has to harness it at times and let the game come to him, not force it like last night.

    Finally, I think it was an important win last night. We saw some sparks in our Freshman that give us even more hope. I’m not going to say I am confident we will have a good season and not be a bubble team, but I do see a possibility of that happening. I think it’s up to Gary to figure out the best lineup and if we do surprise people this year, it will be due to Gary’s coaching, but if we falter, I think the blame goes on him as well.

  8. Everyone has brought up great points, I love this forum.

    As for me, had someone told me that Vas and Gist would combine to shoot 7 for 25 I would have thought we’d struggle to score 50 points in a blow out loss.

    Some of the freshmen showed that they’re getting “it”. Braxton Dupree was going up against a preseason All Big Ten selection in Pruitt. And Dupree handled his business.

    Burney’s 2 blocked shots led to layups at the other end. His time as a redshirt may have really paid off. He seems to be developing into a very solid player defensively who will rebound.

    Tucker looked good whether he was shooting a three, driving to the hoop or rebounding inside. And I seem to remember that when he was close to signing with Maryland, Scout.com listed one of his strengths as “ability to create”. It will be interesting to see, as his comfort level in the offense increases, if he’s able to beat people off the dribble.

    As for Milbourne, I was hoping for a better performance. If he can develope a perimeter game to go along with his athleticism he could grow into a Terrence Morris type player.

    It’s going to be fun to watch the development of this young team. As someone mentioned, the bulk of our production came from freshmen and sophomores last night.

    GO TERPS!!!!!

  9. Lots of good analysis and comments. Jeremy one thing I have to take exception with you and AL-V on……Nik-Caner-Vazquez? It’s a funny line and maybe appropriate for a one game performance, but let’s not curse his career.

    The #1 most impressive thing about this team so far – and no one has mentioned it directly, although Terrapine Station alluded to it – is that they correct their problems! Not rebounding? Everyone hits the boards! Turning it over? Take better care of the ball! No points in the paint? Work on your entry passes. No outside shots? Get better looks and correct it (I imagine lots of extra hours of shot practice). Seriously, you can see progress on every defect. When these kids are told about their problems, they work to get them corrected. I love that.

    Mr. Gist’s did not explode offensively, but his intensity on D is awesome and shot selection is good. The stat sheet said only 4 blocks, but there must have been at least 4 more “altered” shots. He was everywhere on D. The cheap fouls were silly, but he was a leader out there. I even defend him taking the 3s because he has shown that he can hit that shot and when he does, it will open up drives to the basket for him.

    Where were Tucker and Burney in KC? Those kids can play. Dupree played some in KC, but he is obviously improving and soaking in everything the coaches say. I just wish he wouldn’t do that stupid one dribble before he goes to the hoop. Catch and dunk, Braxton,….just catch the ball and dunk it. Regarding Tucker, he had that back-to-back 3 and then had a great move to the hoop…..very impressive. What I liked even better was that his expression did not change. He was totally concentrated on D after hitting his shots. How different is that from 3 years ago when you would see a mini-celebration after every made shot? Again, I love it. Ditto to those who say the frosh are looking good. We have at least 4 who are ready to contribute.

    Regarding the dual point guards – GV was not his best last night, but Hayes picked up the slack. As Terpgrad noted, GV can shoot and he has the confidence to keep shooting. The terps will need both him and Hayes to continue improving to win in the ACC. So don’t write-off GV yet. Bowie is only good for giving them rests right now (important, but I don’t think he’s ready for crunch time play, yet).

  10. A buddy of mine and I saw GV, Hayes, Milbourne and Burney two years ago at the Charm City Classic when they were all high school seniors. It took twenty minutes, tops, to know the following:

    (1) Hayes was born to play the point.

    (2) Vas has tremendous basketball ability, and plays with energy and joy, but he’s like a bouncy puppy and needs training. He was dropping threes like mad that day, but he was doing it from the 2 spot. Enter Gary Williams, under whose direction Vas will eventually be our new Juan, at the 2.

    (3) Burney has more hops than Milbourne, more physical presence, and far more intimidation on the court. Milbounre that day was the same quiet type we’ve seen most of his time on the court at UM.

    Having watched the baby Terps start to break out of their shells at last, here’s what I think is safe to say:

    (1) Dupree. A bigger Lonnie. A bigger Lonnie would have been an NBA’er.

    (2) Hayes will probably play point in the end, but Gary’s got so much talent to look at on the perimeter that he may be able to vary the array out there until he finds what’s best. I agree that Vas is no point guard (oh yeah, that was 10 assists, though). My favorite assist of his last night was practically an accident, when Vas noticed that Hayes was just standing there at the top of the key, totally unguarded, about 6 feet to his right. He tossed him the ball and Hayes, practically flat-footed, dropped it in for 3.

    (3) The emergence of Dupree will allow Osby to come off the bench, which is how he made his mark last year. He brings energy and rapidly expanding skills, but more important, is a sudden game-changer under the basket. How would you like to have your hands full with Dupree and all of a sudden the sixth man comes in and it’s . . . Boom.

    (4) This is a dream team for Gary. So many combinations to look at, so much raw talent, so many hard workers, so much quickness. He went nine deep last night, way into the freshman class, showing unusual flexibility for him just seven games into the season, and the Illini got pooped. Think of how dynamic and exhausting this rotation will be when the waters clear a little more.

    (5) And then picture it with Gus Gilchrist.

  11. This is an unusual Terps team, better suited to an interior, grind-it-out game rather than the frantic run-and-gun. This team plays good defense. I like these guys; they play with a hunger to win.

    I think you all are right in saying that Hayes should be the point guard. If you think about it, he is the most important player on the team. He’s the only one who can really run the offense, and he is the only 3-ball threat to keep the opposing defenses from collapsing inside. Gary must have told him he’d throw him in the Potomac River if he didn’t shoot the ball more. It was the first time I’ve seen him look fairly confident and assertive.

    Vas needs to be the off guard where he can do his Manu Ginobili slash-to-the-basket thing that he did so well last year. He should not be chucking up off-balance 3’s left and right.

    Dupree is the new Lonny and should be the starting center. Dupree brings it on both ends. I am really impressed with his soft hands and soft shot touch. He inspires confidence.

    Tucker looked fabulous last night in every way. His shooting form is a thing of beauty. He should be starting ASAP.

    I’m surprised I haven’t seen any love for Burney. He was wicked at times! That rebound jam was a thing of beauty. And he made a great rejection. He has major upside.

    This team has no great players at the moment but a great many talented ones. The announcers stressed that it would be hard for Maryland to ever be in foul trouble this year. The only lack of depth I see is at guard, where Bowie has some maturing to do. Luckily, Hayes and Vas don’t foul very much.

    Gist is hanging out beyond the 3-point line too much. It is nice that he can make the shot but he is a forward and a great leaper. He should be inside where he can make moves and grab rebounds. He seems to be trying too hard, as the “team leader”.

    We’ve got to improve the rebounding. The Illini got way too many offensive rebounds.

    The Illini could not shoot straight, so it is hard to get too excited, but this was definitely a progression over the previous week. I wonder if the Big Ten could win a challenge against the Atlantic Sun Conference. What would really be interesting would be an ACC/Big East challenge.

  12. Stevend and Kaze: great analysis. Thanks for this. Any chance Gilchrist will suit up in January?

  13. frustrated fan,
    i’m not writing off bowie. to the contrary, he’s been the most pleasant surprise of the freshman. i knew that dupree and tucker were very good, but i didn’t expect bowie to be this good. his defense is phenomenal….he just keeps making god awful passes on offense. milbourne, however, is a different story. i’m very close to writing him off. granted he hasn’t been in the system very long, but i just don’t see anything special about his game on the offensive or defensive side of the ball. i have a feeling that i’m going to be echoing this sentiment throughout the season….i just don’t see him being the kind of contributor that we’re looking for. cliff tucker, on the other hand, does look like he can fill that void. i would love to see those two switch places in the line-up, with tucker starting.

    on a similar note, does anyone think that dupree starting is going to last throughout the season or is boom coming back in the starting line-up? i like boom coming off the bench, but gary seemed to suggest last night in the post-game report that he may have still been a bit under the weather and it was just a temporary change in the line-up.

  14. oh yeah, adam, i agree 100% with you that gist has no business hanging out behind the arc taking 3 pointers! absolutely no business….he should be inside in the post rebounding and dunking the ball.

    i also agree with samster that more love should go out to burney. he had a very solid performance last night and the dude is very intimidating, in terms of his physical presence.

    frustrated fan, last i heard (which was recently) gilchrist said he would definitely not suit up for january, but would start practicing and officially begin next fall, which i think is a good move. no need to waste a full year of eligibility on half a season.

  15. Hey Jeremy it’s Kevin from L.A. First off congrats to the Terps for the W. This game was a big improvement and here are the positives:
    – Turnovers were improved (Milbourne needs to have better hand concentration)
    – Team didn’t have one of those 5 minute spans without scoring a basket that Gary’s teams have had a habit of doing over the past few years.
    – Solid freshman play against a decent opponent on nat’l TV at home (Big confidence booster). They showed some good moving without the ball that created scoring opportunities.
    – Hayes started dropping some shots, yet only really looked confident when he hit the driving layup
    – Osby- gotta love his effort. He plays hard and it ALMOST makes up for his lack of basketball skills. His energy is contagious though and I respect his effort every game. He is a decent passer when he recognizes the double team, but he plays with his head down too much sometimes and gets trapped by the defenders.
    Now the bad
    – First off, Vasquez will never be another Juan. His (and also Hayes) footspeed and hand quickness is waaaaaaaaaaay too slow, and he’s not a great finisher like Juan was. He has talent and plays hard but is a very poor decision maker, constantly dribbling into other players defenders. It’s good to see the freshman guards with some speed and quickness as ultimately a balance between them and Hayes and Vasquez will be the right formula.
    – One of the problems with being a great shot blocking team is that they tend to let the other team get the ball uncontested down on the blocks and then try to block it as opposed to denying them the ball. They block a lot of shots, but the ones they don’t block come too easy.
    – Dupree played very well, but he has to stop taking that dribble. He was able to score with it last night but future games with teams scouting will start to strip that ball from him everytime he puts it on the ground.
    – Gist needs to create some of his own shots, however, he will be neutralized in games unless there are other scoring options i.e. outside shooting to open up the inside game.
    – Milbourne is a good athlete but has to prove he can play and finish. He completely disappears in the game and when I saw the box score I was surprised that he played as many minutes as he did.
    Overall, I am much happier about this team than I was before this game. Hayes particularly has come out flat this year and seemed to have lost his confidence and some ability from his freshman year. It’s good to see him starting to come around. He’s not as good a ballhandler as I’d originally thought, but then again neither is Vasquez. With improvement every game I think we may have a decent season. The thing that stuck out in my mind last night was it was the first game that MD didn’t look like they had 5 scared, confused, mistake prone freshman out on the floor all the time. That is good.

  16. Gist behind the arc….

    Last season’s 3-point shot stats: Hayes was 22-56 (39%); GV was 31-98 (31%) and Gist was 9-21 (43%). Gist’s 3-point shots last night (If I remember correctly) were all open looks from the top of the key. I say if he’s in that situation, he’s got the green light to shoot. He took 3 shots like that last night, which is a lot, but I did not notice him hanging out back there.

  17. “I predict a win if the following happen: Vaz take 8 fewer shots, Gist gets 10 more shots, turnovers are cut by 8, and the bench offers 16 points.”

    Vaz still shot a bunch.Gist got 11. Turnovers down to 12 from AVG of 20 and the bench offered 16. See I am not stupid or all negative and might sit in 214 but nonetheless I know the recipe for wins.

  18. You are one smart Vampire.

  19. Most of the obvservations and comments were right on the money. There truly is an abundance of upside potential for this team, not just this year but increasingly so onward.

    Eric Hayes as point Guard seems to be the consensus.

    However I see disatvantage in that and it’s this based on observations/results first 7 games.

    When Hayes plays point he doesn’t/won’t get the looks he needs to launch a three. Both he and GV
    dribble waaaaaay too much.

    Based on Hayes play last night from the 2 spot that just might be the best place for him . I certainly would like to see him play the 2 spot another game or two.

    That leave a possibility with GV at the point. I’m undecided if his shots are not dropping or he’s just not a good (consistent) scorer from outside. Yes, he made some clutch 3’s this year but he hasn’t proven to be a 35-40+ % shooter from beyond the arc.

    There’s a place on this team for GV (as a starter) just not sure where/when. Hope he proves me wrong.

  20. Ok, I missed seeing the game last night, but I’ve read all the blogs. Dupree has been referred to as a bigger version of Lonnie Baxter. That’s very encouraging! Who do Tucker, Burney, and Bowie remind anyone of, either from past Terps or other ACC players? Also, have we given up on Milbourne? If so, is Tucker our future 3 for sure? Very important issue as we get ready for ACC play. We’re going to need more points from some where. If Cliff is going to deliver, especially in the transition game, that would be a definite plus. On another note, this whole “who should be the 1 and 2” has me confused. It seems most of you are moving back in the direction of Hayes as the 1 and Vas as the 2. Is this consensus?

  21. there are definite parallels between some of these freshmen and the recent graduating class. bowie reminds me a lot of strawberry. both quick, high energy guys that are fantastic on defense, good on the break, but struggle in the half court offense. burney reminds me of ibekwe. both big guys that can rebound and block shots, but limited offensive skills (aside from dunking). the only difference is that burney has 30-40 added pounds of muscle vs. ibekwe who was more of a bean pole. however, ibekwe seemed to be a more explosive jumper (probably because he was packing fewer pounds). the extra muscle mass will serve burney well in the acc. i always felt that ibekwe got pushed around because he was so skinny, especially against big bodied guys. like, what was the name of that big dude from boston college? craig something? he would toss ibekwe all over the court. burney should be able to hold his ground in similar circumstances. not sure about cliff tucker. he doesn’t really remind me of anyone yet.

  22. JohnE – I doubt there will be any consenses i.e Hayes or Gv as point guard. You’ve heard me opine that Hayes would be more effective as the 2 guard ….that way he can work at getting open looks because when he’s played PG he isn’t even looking for his shot….and we need him to shoot.

    Others have said GV is a decent shooter. Look at the last 4 games….most of his points have come from paint or Free throws.

    No concensus herel.

  23. Regarding Milbourne, he averaged 13.1 points and 3.6 rebounds and scored in double figures in six of the team’s seven games in that tour of Holland and Belgium with the East Coast All-Stars. But in the game agains Illinois he had a nice quiet 7 pts, 2 rebounds in 25 minutes. He shot 75% from the line though LOL

  24. Terp Grad, you’re thinking of Craig Smith (nicknames cookie monster). He plays for the Timberwolves now, and is like 6’8 280. He used to push Ibekwe all over the court.

  25. Did anyone catch the K-State/Oregon game last night on ESPN2? Beasley is something else: strong and graceful, a sort of Tyler Hansborough grafted onto Mikhail Baryshnikov. The announcers kept declaring Beasley would be no. 1 in the NBA draft, hands down, with Eric Love and the rest vying for the no. 2 spot. When K-State’s inept backcourt managed to get Beasley the ball, you could understand the drooling from the likes of Dukie V. Even in a triple team Beasley would pivot like a lynx and slip between a couple of defenders for an under-the-basket layup. He ran the court like a gazelle, as well, even stepping beyond the 3-point line to drill a basket. That being said, I’m not sure MD needs a one-and-done player right now, even one of Beasley’s enormous talent. Our grad rates are in the toilet, for one; and I’m excited about how our youngsters develop, for another. Still, Beasley, for all of his problematics, would sure be tempting.

  26. Terpgrad, The Illinois game was the first time I wathced Tucker, so my opinion may change. During that game, however, he reminded me of Chris McCray….without the super ego.

    JohnE, Re Milbourne – It would be a mistake, me thinks, to give up on an athletic sophomore this early in the season. I haven’t given up on him, but he was a big culprit on 4 or 5 of the turnovers Wednesday. As has been pointed out, and as one can see by reviewing the box, Tucker was way more productive than milbourne with half the minutes. I know there is a lot more to the game than scoring, but GW runs a meritocracy. If Milbourne does not pick up his game, Tucker will be taking more and more of his minutes as the season goes on. With the play of Burney and Braxton, however, I think there is another option…..GW could go BIG. Use Burney/Braxton/Osby at 4 and 5, and move Gist to 3. Thoughts?

  27. FYI – Just for fun, the Terps current RPI……82

    http://kenpom.com/rpi.php

  28. Awesome! Right behind 2-3 Morgan State!!! I know it’s for fun, but any kind of RPI at this time of year is absolutely absurd :)

  29. Transitive property: if A beats B and B beats C, then A beats C.

    MD beats Hampton who beat VCU…ergo MD beats VCU.

    Like geometry, the transitive property ALWAYS works…even in sports. Right?

  30. Hi Kiddies;

    This is Big Al — you don’t know me, but Jeremy may remember from a few years back — how are you Jeremy? — Well, anyway I’ve been looking in on your little Maryland lovefest here, and it occurs to me that you need a voice of reason — a counterpoint to the inbred, fantasy dreams you’re serving one another regarding Maryland basketball.

    So, to help you see the light, from time to time I will try to bring some sanity into your dreamworld.

    Let’s begin — what are the chances that Maryland will win either the regular season ACC tile or the tournament? I think there is a greater chance that the constitution will be changed so Bush can run for a third term, then Maryland winning anything this year.

    Any takers??

  31. Big Al,

    According to this website, the odds are 10-1 on UMd winning the ACC regular season title:

    http://www.nsawins.com/college-basketball-futures-betting-odds.shtml

    Is that the question? Very strange for someone with so much bravado to ask such a dumbass question instead of looking it up himself…..just my opinion.

  32. BTW – what odds are you giving on passing a constitutional amendment in 6 months?

  33. Big Al, as in Big Gay Al from Big Gay Al’s Pet Imports from South Park? How are you? I’m super, thanks for asking.

    By the way, it’s “than” not “then.”

    E$, I expect you to do the taunting on all poor grammar posts. What is the wide world of sports is going on here?

  34. Hi Kiddies;
    The message from Wheels proves how badly you need some intelligent discourse — his immediate response is a personal attack –“Big Gay Al”. No wit, no repartee, just good ‘ol boy stupidity

    Is Wheels a Maryland guy, or a closet West Virginia hills fan.

    Wheels your perfect — at least Stevend responds with good sense and facts —

    Talk to you later

  35. Big Al:

    Your (Y-O-U-R) grammar makes me think that you’re (YOU ARE) from West Virginia. If I am not mistaken, you came to the site looking for a dust up. That’s what you want, that’s what you get. It’s not exactly like your first post was so insightful or revealing. Go pound sand.

  36. Wheels; thanks for pointing out my grammatical faux pas (there will be more in the future, so don’t bother) – but I guess those years in the secretarial pool served you well.

    Wheels, you miss the point, which is to have some back and forth fun regarding you’re Terpness – the other bloggers seem to get the point, but you lower yourself to personal attacks such as “Gay Al” (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and then top it off with “pound sand” — very clever. However, you have certainly put me in my place and I’ll try not to incur you wrath in the future.

    Now, let’s find out just how Terpful you are —

    Can you tell me what J.J.Bush, Spider Fry and Jack Scarbath have in common and in what capacity do they serve the University?

  37. Guys, guys, guys! Let’s get back to talking hoops! Ok, 10-1 odds on winning the ACC. Two questions, can they do it? If so, what do they need to develop and/or improve to pull it off? I’ll start: Dupree maining the pivot with Boom as his backup; that’s intriguing. How many ACC teams can match up with that? If Tucker turns out to be a high flying/high scoring 3, and can play some defense to boot, can ACC teams match up with that (i.e an athletic high flying 3? Couple a Tucker development with Mr. Gist continuing to “be the man” in the paint both offensively and defensively, that’s four quality bigs right there. Throw in Neal for some tough minutes and some beat downs on the opposition’s big man (think Hansborough), that’s five quality bigs. If Burney gives us an “Ibekwe like game” at an additional 30-40 pounds, that’s six good bigs right there. Can other ACC teams match it? I don’t think so! Of course, there’s a lot of ifs in there, however it seems the bigs might be moving in this direction as far as their recent development is indicating. Now, as far as the backcourt is concerned, you guys figure that one out for me. I’m still trying guess what might emerge from that bunch. The Vas/Eric, who’s on 1st and 2nd so to speak–I still haven’t figured that one out yet. I keep going back and forth. Bowie, not sure what we’ve got there. He’s a player, but exactly what will his best role be, it beats me. Thoughts?

  38. Wheels, I’m trying to turn over a new leaf and be a more tolerant E$. :)

    I’d say gimme a week or two and I’ll be back to critiquing sentence structure and correcting spelling.

    Honestly, I’m just really happy that we (The Terps) are who I thought we were.

  39. For the record, Al V. you are my favorite Al in this forum. Congrats.

  40. JohnE is right. No point en engaging Big Al he’s the devil and probably a Blue Devil at that.

    Does anyone know what team/Pet Big Al’s courting?

  41. Okay. I give up. What’s the “go pound sand” supposed to mean?

  42. The Urban Dictionary has the answer to all questions:

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=pound+sand

  43. A new one on me.

  44. Big Al,
    I appreciate the Bush-bashing, but your “voice of reason” is uncalled for. I’ve followed every post on this site and I don’t recall anyone predicting that we’d finish first (or anywhere close to first for that matter) in the ACC. In fact, I don’t recall anyone making predictions about where we’ll finish up this season to begin with (which is kind of surprising). Nothing wrong with getting excited about the young talent the team undoubtedly has. I’ve predicted that we have a great shot at the ACC maybe next year and definitely in two years. However, no one is suggesting that we’re a dominant ACC team in 2007-8.

  45. I predict we will finish the season…in March or April, but more likely March.

    What, you were expecing something more substantial? I’m no swami!

  46. JohnE, you’re right about a couple of things: (1) let’s talk b-ball, and (2) based on the Illinois game, the young guys are looking like they CAN play. I’m nervous though, because frosh are untested and may do silly things. Dupree/Burney could easily get into early foul trouble, for example. In the ACC, the refs give freshman no love, so they have to be double careful.

    Looking at the competition, UNC is the team to beat and Clemson looked very good to me when I saw them in the Big 10 challenge game. dook has had phenominal outside shooting, but seem to have zippo inside presence….if they get a good shooting performance, they can beat anyone on any given night (they can also loose to anyone on any give night). And remember, too, that UVA has a superman in the backcourt who is a Terp-killer.

    Luckily, our first three ACC opponents are BC, VT and WF. We have the capability to win those 3, which, if we can, will help build lots of confidence. Then, we have showdowns with UNC, dook and UVA….we should know where we stand after that.

  47. J.J.Bush, Spider Fry and Jack Scarbath are all on the Hall of Fame Committee.

    I know J.J. Bush was a trainer. I met him in the 70’s when I was in Jr. High School. Isn’t his nickname “Jumpin’ Jack” or something?

  48. DAVE NEAL UPDATE
    From Terrapin Times

    Two weeks ago Maryland reserve forward Dave Neal injured his shoulder against Hampton but ever since he hasn’t just been sitting around watching.

    Although he’s limited to riding an exercise bike at practices, it’s in the games where he’s been a key to coach Gary Williams.

    Neal has had two previous surgeries on the same left shoulder, once in high school and last summer. Even though he knows it will be at least another week before he is cleared to play, he’s taken on a role of bench coach while healing.

    “I try to tell the guys what I’m seeing,” said Neal in the locker room after the win over Illinois. “It’s amazing how much I just pick up, and I try and point out the little things. I’m not yelling at them like the coaches but just pointing out some things that will help them with a move or a weakness that I see from the other team.”

    It’s also become something of a ritual for Williams to pick Neal’s brain at halftime the last six games.

    “He comes to me and just asks me what I’m thinking or what I see the players doing,” said Neal. “It’s only for a minute or two and he asks me questions.”

    On the bench Neal isn’t afraid to speak up when a player comes off the floor.

    “I give the guys advice and when I see something wrong I tell them about it, too. Like when I saw James [Gist] hand-checking instead of just moving his feet. I’ve been telling Eric [Hayes] to shoot the ball more for the last three games and I guess he finally got the hang of it today. I’m doing whatever I can to make my team better even though I can’t play. I may as well sit there and give them some advice.”

    “He’s a steadying influence. He knows everything we do,” said Williams. “His way to succeed is to execute really well and it’s contagious and that’s what I think he’s trying to do with the guys while he’s on the bench hurt. Dave is the teacher on the court, which we don’t have and we miss. He’s keeping the younger kids’ heads in the game.”

    It’s fair to say that Neal has not been blessed with the same athleticism of some of his teammates. So he has to play smart, which he does.

    “He was one of the top scorers in high school, but he did it by getting in position and using his screens. He doesn’t have the ability to just drop it over anybody,” Williams added. “So if he can teach that to those who have great athletic ability, then all of a sudden they become great players and Dave is willing to share his knowledge and not be jealous of losing minutes or not even being dressed for the games. That’s what I pick up on and that’s why I go to him during halftime because a lot of times coming from another player is better than coming from a coach. Your peers sometimes have more influence than I do.”

    Neal was the surprise of the first two games of the season. He was averaging 5.5 points and 3.5 rebounds a game but more importantly logging quality time. In his first career start, filling in for James Gist, who was suspended against North Florida in the opening round of the O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic, Neal went 3-6 from the field and pulled down four rebounds in 20 minutes.

    It was in the next game that he injured his shoulder after scoring four points, pulling down two rebounds and recording two steals.

    “I dislocated my shoulder and the doctor told me that I needed surgery but I wanted to try and rehab it first,” said Neal. “I go back to see the doctor December 10 to try and get cleared. I hope to be back on the court for the Ohio game on the 12th.”

    Neal’s rehab is aimed at adding strength to his shoulder.

    “I have pretty good range [of motion], it’s just giving out on me and it’s weak right now. My labrum isn’t very strong right now. It’s the exact injury that has haunted me since high school and I’m just not beating it yet.”

    Neal first developed a shoulder problem while playing football as a freshman at Bishop O’Connell.

    “I had to get surgery then and I had surgery again this summer. The plan this time is to keep from missing the entire season. When I come back I’m going to try and use a brace, which will keep my shoulder in a position where it’s not supposed to pop out. If it comes out again I’ll need the surgery.”

    The limitations of the brace hopefully will not affect Neal much.

    “It’s on my left arm so I don’t think it’s going to be too bad. I put it on and it’s tight but I think I can get used to it.”

    The play when Neal went down was normal contact while defending a guard in the lane.

    “The point guard was driving the lane on a fast break. I stopped him and when he turned I tried to reach behind him and my arm got caught under his arm and his chest and I tried to yank it out. I knew what happened as soon as I did it. It’s not painful, it’s just frustrating that I can’t use it.”

    Neal shows up for games with a tight sling on his shoulder. He is getting treatments on campus both in the Comcast training room and in the football training room at the Gossett Team House.

    “Right now I do it every day starting at around noon and it lasts for about an hour and a half. I’m using the elastic bands and some light three-pound weights for arm raises. I’m doing wall punches where I just punch the wall and different exercises like that.”

    Before Neal went down he was taking on a role that no one, not even Williams, expected.

    “I never thought I would be playing 40-minutes but I was doing some good things. It was just like this summer when I was playing well and getting into good shape and I got hurt,” said Neal. “I’ve missed some good games but hopefully I can get back to full strength when the ACC games come around.”

    At this point in the season Williams is getting a pretty good idea of what combinations are working and a possible rotation.
    The 6-6 junior Neal is among the smartest players on the team, a strong free throw shooter, and always a steadying influence.

    “When Dave comes back I have to get him on the court. We both have to find a way because he gives us a great lift when he’s in there. It’s just like tonight. Late in the game he would have been taking the ball out of bounds for us. That’s what he does and he’s got a lot of leadership to go with not making mistakes in those pressure situations,” Williams said.

  49. Maybe Neal is a future assistant coach a couple of years from now? Does Gary use guys directly after they graduate, or do they go away for a few years and then come back to coach for the Terps? It seems most go away and then come back.

  50. Hey, where did we leave off on the who should be the 1 vs 2 analysis? Also, what kind of guard rotation might we see evolve- Hayes, Vas , Bowie and who else?

  51. Two points Gents;

    First, Diamondback Russ is right on knowing the affiliation of Bush, Fry and Scarbath — well done.

    Second, Gerry suggests I might be a Blue Devil — if you say it again, I’ll find out where you live, and kill you.

    Well, perhaps that’s a bit extreme — I’m no Duke lover, but I don’t have the deep seated level of hate that I preceive that most Terps do.

    Now, here’s my question, I believe that over the past 15 years Maryland has played Duke 38 times; they have won 13 times and have lost 25 times — my numbers may not be exact but they are close.

    Now, that is a two to one ratio on the pleasure/pain meter with pain the winner. Why suffer like that? why not just ignore them

  52. Two points, Gents;

    First, Diamondback Russ is absolutely correct in indentifying Bush, Fry and Scarbath as members of the hall of fame selection committee.

    Second, Gerry suggests I may be a Blue Devil fan; if you say it again Gerry, I’ll find out where you live and kill you.

    Well, that may be a little extreme — but it does raise a question which I’ll get to in a second. I’m no Duke lover, but I don’t have the incredible hatred that I percieve in Terp fans. Now, over the past 15 years, Duke and Maryland have played 38 times; Duke has won 25, Maryland 13. I may not be exact, but I’m close. So, the pleasure to pain meter is 2:1 in favor of pain. My question is why don’t you just ignore them, treat them like any other team and not get caught up in a frenzy which more often than not causes pain. Why not think of them as Butler and Indiana State?

    Educate me

  53. Hey douche bag, since you are obviously looking to stir things up, let’s have some fun. As you are apparently gifted enough to type g-o-o-g-l-e, fill me in on some other facts. What is the count for MD vs. Duke over the last five years? How does that stack up against the rest of the teams playing Division I ball? Same question, but specific to wins at CI?

    Next, why don’t you grace us with some of your immense basketball knowledge, and break down the rest of the ACC for us. In particular, feel free to pitch your favorite team (I am assuming that you are an ACC fan)

    Lastly, as you smugly enjoy dicking around on the board here (yes I know I am feeding the fire, but I just can’t help myself), I want to make sure that we are all clear on one thing: you’re a moron. I don’t mean that in a purely insulting way, I am simply making an observation. So the rest of the time you are here enjoying our company, remember your station and forgo any unnecessary pretense. Feel free to use all lowercase letters and small words, and by all means please don’t worry about silly things like spelling and grammar. We all understand that you need to ration what little mental gifts God has granted you.

    So you are here and you’ve been challenged, let’s see what you got. Show us all how wise and insightful you really are. I know I speak for everyone else here when I say that we will wait with baited breath to learn why we are hopelessly lost in our interest and support of the mighty Terrapins.

  54. Pardon my BCS vent here, but if LSU jumps VT and KU to play in the national title game against OSU, the BCS folks will have basically admitted that the system is rigged. It means that last week’s polls really didn’t matter because the voters can always decide to put a team (LSU) in the championship because everyone thinks that they are the best team in the country regardless of their 2 losses. What a farce.

    As for BA (Bad Attitude) Al, I think all Turtle Soupers should shun you. You are dead to me.

  55. I’m with Wheels and JohnE – There are far more important things to dialogue than what BA offers up.

    Avoid the trap.

    He has nothing better to do………………….we do.

    He probably has some other ACC Blog’s he’s
    “hitting” on.

    Baaaaaad to the Bone!

  56. Wheels, aren’t you forgetting that LSU put a 48-7 hurtin’ on VT back in September, and that both of LSU’s losses were in triple overtime? Or that the SEC, far and away, is the best FB conference this season? My quibble is not with LSU being jumped over VT of KU, but with OSU being in the title game. I’d rather see USC play LSU, arguably the best two teams this season. You’re right about the BCS mess. Only vested interests in the world of holiday bowl high finance can deny the time has long passed for at least a four-team playoff.

  57. FF:

    You’re right about the head to head LSU-VT games, but why then was VT ranked ahead of LSU last week to begin with? Last week everyone knew that UGA couldn’t win the SEC but still had them ahead of LSU. If Tennessee and the Great Pumpkin Phillip Fulmer had beaten LSU yesterday, would they then have jumped everyone to play in the BCS title game? After all, Tenn beat down UGA 7 weeks ago.

    I’m all about the 8 team playoff, which means that the current bowl system can still be kept.

  58. Wheels, the BCS system is broken. You won’t get any argument from me on that score. And an 8-team playoff would be ideal, which is probably we won’t see in our time. My response to your posting was mainly about LSU. Even if the Bengal Tigers lost twice, they are still the best or second best team in the land, IMO.

    I’m a tad nervous about tonight’s game with VCU, which is no slouch. Wouldn’t be surprised to see the Terps play poorly, even lose. I guess I’m steeling myself for the two-steps-forward, one-step-back, trajectory progress typical of young teams. Still hopeful about the season, though. DBR’s posting about David Neal was reassuring, as much for what it confirms re: Neal’s court smarts, as it what it reveals about GW’s late-in-life maturation as a teacher of young men.

  59. Terps FB going to the Emerald Bowl in San Fran Dec 28th and playing Oregon St.
    Too many turnovers in the first half, Osby looks good as well as Tucker.

  60. Md vs. VCU – at the half- Real good game. 12 TO’s for MD.

    Another sensational scoring outburst from an opponents “shooter”. VCU’s Schuyler 19 pts at the half. Must admit he is shooting with confidence but MD’s letting him get the shot off while during exceptional game on Maynor.

    Quick Looks on Md-

    GV doing great job getting ball ove half court with a
    ferocious press.
    Hayes – Real worried about his ability to get open looks, especially against a pressing team. Also, his
    passing not good right now.

    Tucker – Impressive and improving.

    Gist- Needs to face the basket.

    Osby – playing real well but STILL bounces ball once before a shot. Totally useless move.

    Bowie- Not progressing.

    Md – Frosh not looking for shots when they’re open and telegraphing passes.

    Burney – Looking good.

    This is going to go down to the wire.

  61. Vasquez keeps on pissing me off. When the game is close he puts up the STUPIDEST SHOTS and a few mins ago we we were down 6 and he made a stupid pass that prob kills us in this game.. Terrible!

  62. At the 19 turnover mark I had to switch off the XM radio. I half expected the Terps to lose, but this is hard to take. Where is Gist?

  63. Painful to write this one- Here goes.

    3 pointer’s- VCU made more 3’s in this game than we have all year….it seems.

    Md has 1 maybe two players that can make a 3- Hayes is one, the other one hasn’t appeared.

    Another opponent has a player that has a “career” game playing us.

    Terps defensive lapes painfully apparent.

    Terps score 76 pts- 32 (+/-) of which come on
    FT’s. Horrible…..just f…king horrible.

    Terps rookies too tentative- They telegraph passes and have expressions that say ” I’m not going to shoot what the f…k do I do now”?

    Critical piss poor ref call at 3:45. We tied ball up and ref allows time out. Few seconds later VCU kicks ball out of bounds but feeble refs give it back to VCU.
    GV still making bad passes and poor shot selection but outcome would have been worse without him.
    Dupree better player than Osby but Osby getting floor time and making best of it but he’s a liability with ball in open floor.

    Milbourne can play and should get better.
    Terps desparately need a player that can shoot a jumper and make it once in awhile.

    This was one of those games we lost that we really could have won but Schuyler and Maybon (?) took our guys to school. Got to hand it to VCU
    that’s the best pressing against our team/any team I have seen in a long time.

    Best positive is “what did our guys learn from this”?

    We will win a bunch of games and this is valuable experience. Our weaknesses are being exposed now we just need to fix them.

  64. Jeez…MD’s guards are slow. Totally exposed again by a quicker team. Two point guards on MD’s team? Not really.

    VCU lost to Hampton last week, and it wasn’t even close. I don’t care if VCU beat Dook last year. Losing to mid-majors is still a big deal. You can’t tell me that VCU has more talent than MD. MD plays stupidly, and more dangerously, they play to the level of their opponents.

    Bubble team all year, fellas. Gist wants to be a leader…hmmm. Gotta do more than his stat line. I say they move Bowie to the point, Hayes to the 2, and Vasquez to the 3. That will present more problems for teams in the ACC. Might as well grow with Bowie. Obviously, MD can’t use their size against smaller teams.

  65. I’m sorry but Vas is stinking up the joint. Maynor abused him on defense, and he was a liability on offense.


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