Why is it that I feel the same after tonight’s win as I did after the first Wake game? If you’ll remember, the Terps and Deacons played a turnover and foul filled contest that left fans of both teams demoralized. If you go back to my post (entitled “When Winning Feels Like Losing”) and comments from that game, you will remember what I’m talking about. Tonight is different, we are all smiles, but I still see much to be concerned about.
For the third straight game, Maryland could not find the bucket in the last 8 minutes. It cost us W’s against Va Tech and Miami and should have cost us tonight (Wake missed plenty of open looks). A disturbing trend, our Terps need to figure out how to score down the stretch. Watching Hayes and Vasquez chuck up threes when the Terps had a commanding lead was maddening. Vasquez owned Teague on the low block all night. Not going there down the stretch bordered on a criminal act!
Milbourne was a no-show tonight and so was Osby. Osby was so bad that I actually think something was physically wrong with him. He didn’t start the second half and lacked his typical emotion. Between the Milbourne, Hayes, and Osby one of them needs to be a scorer each game. Tonight, none of them stepped up in a significant way (Hayes’ scoring was negated by his turnovers and 0 assists. Yes, that is right. 0 assists). Somehow the Terps still won.
Maryland was willed to victory tonight by our leaders. Jim Gist in particular, refused to lose. Why can’t he play with this attitude every night? This I will never know, but suffice it to say that we need another big performance from him against Clemson. Combined with Vasquez they totaled 55 of Maryland’s 74 points. I’m no math major but that is too much. We need production from other players.
The season now rides on the Clemson game. To date, Maryland has exactly one win against the RPI Top 50. Sunday night’s game represents Maryland’s last chance in the regular season to improve on that stat. That should provide us with the necessary motivation. If the noise emanating out of the Comcast Center is not registering on the Richter Scale on Sunday night, then the Terps don’t deserve to win.
Of course, if we go back to the first Wake game, Maryland followed that lackluster win with its most inspiring performance of the year: beating UNC. Here’s hoping they play with similar fire on Sunday. After all, the season only depends on it.
Finally, a little housekeeping. Turtle Soup is temporarily relocating to Buenos Aires. Yes, for the next 9 days, I will be in sunny South America with Mrs. Soup. Rest assured, I will still follow the Clemson game. Turtle Soup will still have regular posts, so please continue to make us your gameday headquarters.
Buenos dias, mis comprades. Vamos Terps!