Terps Ranked #26 in Latest AP Poll

Can you believe that?  Just three weeks after getting embarrassed by Middle Tennessee State; the Terps have risen to elite status.  Sure, they are not in the Top 25 yet, but the writing is on the wall.  Not only that, but the Terps seem to be playing their best football in years.  I guess that is what a competent QB will do for you.

Both the defense and the offense played at a peak level in one of the most hostile environments in the country during the 2nd half on Saturday.  At 4-1, the Terps have positioned themselves for a special October and November.

Back in July, I predicted that at this point in the season, the Terps would be 4-1. Of course, how exactly they got to 4-1 was beyond my predictive abilities. No matter.  The Terps face three winnable contests as we look ahead on the schedule.  A road game against a pathetic UVA (the lost to Duke!); then home games against suddenly vulnerable Wake Forest (a home loss to Navy?); and NC State.

You don’t need to be Steven Hawking to figure out that the Terps could be sitting at 7-1three weeks hence.  Now of course, we don’t want the team or the coaches getting ahead themselves (they are focused on UVA); but I am neither and I will look ahead.  7-1 would be incredible.  The schedule really starts to get tough after that as they close the year out with Va Tech, UNC, FSU, and BC (is there anything worse than an ACC school going up to Massachussetts in late November?).  Any thing can happen, but a 2-2 finish and the Terps are sitting at 9 wins with a realistic shot at the ACC title depending on how everything shakes out.

As juicy as that feels; it wouldn’t be Maryland if there wasn’t a dark lining to the silver cloud.  How can you avoid thinking about what would have been if the Fridge had started the season with Chris Turner–as everyone else in the entire state of Maryland had wanted.  The Terps would likely be 5-0 (Yes, I realize Turner started the MTSU game, but he was rusty and I’m sure if he had been named number 1 in early August; the Terps would have won that game.)

5-0 and the Terps are in rarified air.  We would likely be in the Top 20 and if 8-0 came to pass; they would have been in the BCS conversation.  Of course it is fancy and no one in their right mind would expect the Terps to hang with USCs and LSUs of the world.  However, being in that conversation; albeit for only a week or two, would have meant so much to the program, its fans, and alumni.

Hopefully, the Fridge has learned his lesson.  Chris Turner is the man now and he starts the rest of his career.

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40 Comments

  1. Terps would be in the top 25 if not for that loss. MTSU is 1-4 or 2-3 or something. That loss will hurt down the road. Meanwhile….

    Ever wonder what happens on a recruits ‘official visit’? Well, here’s what happened on Jordan Williams’ visit to UMD:

    He and his parents arrived at Maryland Friday morning, and took a tour of Comcast with all the assistant coaches, and then had lunch with them. (GW was at a clinic and arrived later). Then JW & family met with some academic advisors and talked to someone connected with the criminal justice department, which is the major he’s interested in.

    Dinner at Bentley’s with all the coaches, then JW went to the soccer game with Eric, Sean, and Dino.

    Saturday: breakfast with the coaches, toured Comcast again, and then took a tour of the entire campus. In the afternoon, he and his family went to DC, and had dinner at Ruth Chris’ Restaurant.

    Saturday Night: JW hung out with Landon, Sean, Greivis and Braxton. They hit a few spots on Route 1.

    After meeting with the coaches one last time on Sunday, JW and family left to return to Connecticut.

    JW had promised the coaches at St. John’s that I would visit there next weekend, and he’s going to keep his word.

    JW said, “The coaches did not put any pressure on me, but it’s pretty clear they want me at Maryland.”

    JW claims other schools are already telling him that with the verbal commitment of James Padgett he should forget about Maryland. Schools are telling him that he and Padgett are the same player.

    Congrats to the UMD coaches. They identified Jordan Williams this spring and got on this kid quickly during the AAU season. A great deal of love has been shown and will continue to be shown as they try to close this kid.

    GO TERPS!

  2. After the recruiting carosul (or should I call it a circus) of the last six months, it’s draining to be thinking about next years class already. I don’t trust that what we are being told this far in advance.

    I need some games to break the strain. Three weeks till midnight madness!

  3. I hate to say it but…Do NOT sleep on Duke.

    Coach Cut has already changed the culture of that program. They’re 3-1(half way to bowl eligibility) and averaging 30 pts a game. Granted they haven’t left Durham to play a game yet. But we’ll see what happens over their next four game stretch: at Ga Tech, at home vs Miami, at Vandy and at WF.

    Duke is really getting it done in the 2nd half. They’ve outscored their opponents 76-14. Coach Cut’s staff and players are definitely tryna bring back the fun in Duke football. Just in time for them to end up on UMD’s schedule next season probably.

  4. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves in regards to Dook football…weren’t they really good in 94, before sucking the next 13 years?

  5. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not expecting a team that until Saturday hadn’t won an ACC game in 3 years to suddenly become a “factor”. I’m just saying that coach Cut will have his teams in shape and prepared come game day. And if teams are not prepared to play against them they’ll find themselves trying to grind out a win.

    Whether or not he can recruit enough talent to Duke to be a consistent winner is another subject all together. Currently Duke’s 2009 recruiting class is ranked 8th in the ACC (UMD’s is ranked 7th). But if they consistently win 6-7 games AND continue with their high graduation rate at Duke he’ll be a freaking hero there. But enough about them…

    Our boys need to get themselves ready to beat UVa so we can be 5-1 and 2-0 in ACC play.

  6. I dig that Jeremy is talking football on The Soup. Gregg has always seemed to have a bit more passion on the football front compared to Jeremy, but no more…Jeremy is into this.

    Which scares me a bit. It makes me uneasy when Jeremy sheds his well worn pessimism. We can’t have him believing that the footballers will do well…he’s our balancing weight. He’s not only the The Soup founder, he’s our contrarian.

    Thus, I don’t believe a word he writes about the Turtle footballers. I can’t believe him. If he gets hopeful, then I’ll get hopeful and increase the chance of a letdown. I can’t have that.

    Jeremy…please amend your post to state in no uncertain terms that MD will lose this weekend to BooVA. Your disbelief is my belief.

  7. UVA is a tricky game. It would be so easy to come out flat for this one. Talent-wise, we are similiar to UVA so we need to be careful and play with the right mind-set from the get-go. If we come out strong on both ends, we should win comfortably. But this could definitely be a tougher game than it shows on paper.

    You gotta love ESPNU. I think this is the 3rd game this year already they’ve had the Terps. I live in the NYC area so no local TV for me. I generally hate ESPN (especially all of their NFL garbage shows) but ESPNU and ESPN Deportes are really great.

  8. DBR,

    You mentioned that other schools are telling JW to forget MD cuz Padgett and JW are the same player.

    What is the counter-argument to that for the Terps to say to JW?

  9. EdDC I wish I knew what the coaches were saying to him about how JW and Padgett fit on the same roster. I’m sure that Padgett’s commitment on Friday was a topic of discussion between JW, his family and the coaching staff.

    Maryland needs a player who can score on the low blocks, and JW can do that. People that have seen him in AAU action describe JW as a bigger, more athletic Braxton Dupree. They tell me that JW has nice drop-step and up-and-under moves with both hands, can putting the ball on the floor to create his own shot and get past defenders. He is a true insider/low post prospect

    Padgett is not yet polished on the offensive side of the court (his HS team has one of the best Guards in the country and the ball goes thru him), but is a very good rebounder, defender, and competitor.

    It’s possible they wouldn’t play the same position with JW getting some time at Center.

  10. I don’t think Stephen Hawking knows all that much about football.

  11. Nice write-up DBR. How much of those dinners etc. can Maryland pay for on those recruiting trips? Is there a limit?

  12. Ricksterps I’m not sure if there is a maximum number of meals, or a maximum $ amount on the meals during an official visit. But I do know that the school must limit the entertainment, meals and lodging on an official visit to the prospect, the prospect’s parents (or guardian) and spouse (if the prospect is married).

  13. DBR,
    Thanks for all of your informative posts. I was hoping you could give a general update on the ’09 recruiting propsects. Besides Padgett and J.Williams, who else are the Terps looking at and what is the likelihood we will get them?

    Thanks in advance and keep the great posts coming!

  14. Correct me if I am wrong, but do we not only have 1 schollie left for ’09? That of course is assuming that GV stays for his senior year

  15. Is Ron Jeremy being recruited at this point? Even the ol’ hedgehog would probably cry when looking at the competition in the shower.

  16. Thanks, DBR.

    Here is a “free” article on JW from Scout.

    http://maryland.scout.com/2/795550.html

  17. Jeremy & Gregg, this is a great site, but I’ve got to say, DBR with his insights and updates takes it from great to fabulous! We need some honorary category for him. If you guys are the Creators, DBR is the…….

    DBR, I can see the coaching staff talking to JW about him getting the 4 and Padgett the 5 spots, but what do you think GW is telling him about the PG position? I would think any big man would be very interested in who will be feeding him the ball for the next few years.

    I’ll say one thing about the Terp f-ballers, if they just keep on winning, the luv and the rankings will follow. To resurrect one of Terp mantras from the hoops posting last year, Just Win Baby! We need to take down UVA…then take down Wake…and keep on trucking from there. The polls will not be able to ignore us forever with the Ws piling up.

  18. Currently the Terps have one schollie left for ’09. But I expect one more to become available.

    Terps need inside scoring in the class of ’09. Padgett, Jordan Williams and Arsalan Kazemi are the top targets there. Make no mistake, Jordan Williams is a key, key, KEY recruit. I believe the Terps have a very good shot with Williams. He could make a decision soon after his visit with St. John.

    MEANWHILE…

    NYCHoops.net caught up to Taran Buie and asked him which schools are on the top of his list, Buie responded, “Right now, I’m looking at Maryland, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame Virginia, Syracuse, Rutgers and a couple others”. Regarding the commitment of Lincoln HS big man James Padgett to Maryland, the Albany native said, “I heard about that. I like the fact that Maryland looking to get talent. They want to win. My man Isiah Epps is looking at them to so…”

    Taran is going to Notre Dame next week.

  19. FWIW……..Terps v. Clemson re-play is on CSN right now!

    Go Terps!!!!!!!!

  20. “Currently the Terps have one schollie left for ‘09. But I expect one more to become available.”

    Dr. DBR (he obviously has a doctorate in UM recruiting), That is a loaded comment. Why do you ‘expect’ that?

  21. I hate to even touch on the subject since Maryland Madness hasn’t even begun, but if a certain junior has another good year (17 ppg, 5 rpg) he will probably leave for $ in Europe or the NBA thus opening up another ship.

    Meanwhile, I was emailed a couple of pics of Braxton Dupree from pick up games. And all I can say is WOW! He looks great. Is there a way I can post pics in the blog?

  22. If not you can upload them to photobucket or something and just give us the link…

  23. dc1984us I saved them to photobucket and copied the links and tried to post them here but the post didn’t show up. Tried it twice. Can’t figure out wut I’m doing wrong LOL

    If you’re interested email me at HOBBYIST908@AOL.COM, I’ve got a pic of Dupree on a fast break and one of him posting up Burney during recent pick up b-ball action.

  24. BTW…according to NYCHoops.net, James Padgett is ranked the #4 nyc area recruit (which includes, Long Island and Westchester) for the class of 2009. His teammate Lance Stephenson is ranked #1. No wonder Abraham Lincoln HS is winning league championships :)

  25. So essentially GV thinking about leaving this past season was no joke. He somehow decided to stay but he’ll leave pretty much no matter what after this season. And usually if the team is talking that its true.

    I once got to have a brief 15 minute convo with Gary after they had won the ACC tourney. Just casual convo and he said, IF gilchris can keep his head right he’ll do well as a junior and that he’d leave after that no matter what.

    basically, this to me means, GV is gone. So enjoy the farewell tour

  26. Hopefully this will be a blowout year for him then! In a way I am actually glad that he will be leaving. I do not want him to, but we need our younger guys to develop. If GV stays around another year, then Bowie, Tucker, Mosley etc will not get any significant playing time until their senior and junior years…

    I could be totally off base but just my initial thoughts……

  27. My boy Greivis, the Lion of Caracas, whom I love like the son and never had, will leave MD next spring if and only if he can shed some glory on the program before he leaves. That means cutting down the nets at some venue come March. And that would mean growing a a player. He’s still a guy without a position at the NBA level. If he grows into a more consistent ball handler and/or defender and/or shotmaker and thereby defines what he has to offer the pros, then we’ll talk.

  28. GV has a family situation. Remember his folks are in Venezula and aren’t exactly ‘well off’.

    Someone told me that a big reason GV stayed for his Jr. year was Gilchrist. GV really wanted to play this season with him, they were roomates I believe and worked out alot together. GG got his release about 2 weeks before the deadline for GV to enter the draft so GV never really went to NBA camps, explored playing in Europe etc. Then he decided to stay at least another year because he loves GW and knew the team needed someone that had proven he could score.

  29. Of all the possible reasons for an additional schollie to open up in 09, GV going pro is the most acceptable. It is way, way, way, too eary to speculate on that. I refuse because I don’t want to jinx his (and the team’s) season.

    If GW can lock down two big men for 09, that would be totally acceptable and would set the program up nicely for the next few years.

  30. I hate to bring up GG, but any word if the NCAA has ruled on his eligibility? Or any word on JSK?

  31. I’m optimistic about Jordan Williams committing to UMD. Then us getting Buie, Epps and possibly Regan for 2010. Reading between the lines of a recent interview with Taran Buie, the Terps getting a commit from Padgett got his attention in a very good way.

  32. DBR: “Then he decided to stay at least another year because he loves GW…” Forgive my quoting you out of context just a little bit, but I gotta tell ya that part of the little motor that runs in my boy Greivis’s heart has nothing to do with the NBA and a whole lot to do with how he feels about GW and with taking ownership for his team’s accomplishments. Right now this basketball team is a loser by comparison with everything Greivis signed up for, by which I mean championships. My boy won’t leave early if he hasn’t brought home some kind of title for Maryland.

  33. Kaze:
    Do you know GV?

  34. With all this recruiting talk, I sort of forgot about GV. Any idea on how his game is progressing? I know he had the surgery, but I was under the impression he was back on the court now. I hope he gets his game more under control for 2008-09. That was one hell of a rollercoaster ride we went on with him last season. How’s EH looking?

  35. GV seems to have recovered from his surgery and is running the court just fine. Let’s all hope his game is more controlled/consistent. It will have to be for us to win some games.

    EH is looking physically stronger and more confident on the court with his shot and ball handling. That week with Steve Blake appears to have paid off, at least in pick up games with teammates.

    JSK’s status is still up in the air/in the NCAA Clearinghouse, for now he needs to concentrate on gaining some strength and getting his conditioning together summer shoulder surgery.

    Here’s a Balto Sun article on James Padgett with comments from his HS coach.
    http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/college/recruiting/

    I’m hoping to spend some time with ‘Onion’ from the Albany City Rocks AAU organization. That’s the AAU team Taran Buie and Will Regan plays for (JSK was also a one time City Rocks player). Keep your fingers crossed that I get some good info.

  36. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/01/AR2008100103193.html

    Reading this gave me a peek into why some of our play calling is the way it is. Franklin giving the 20 reasons he waited to call that reverse is a bit scary. He was worried about doing it on second down because that would leave us with a long third…he didn’t want to do it on third to stop a drive…etc. Just call the %$#@ play if you think it will work. Pull the trigger Franklin! Anyone who watches us can tell we call plays that way. Just really scared to make a mistake.

    Let this team loose on offense for god sakes. We have some play makers, let them make plays. We have a real shot at doing something this year. I am going to be really upset if we piss it away playing not to lose.

    Okay, end of rant…carry on

  37. DBR,
    Could you send the pics of Dupree/Burney my way?

    dc1984us@gmail.com

  38. dc I will email u after this post.

    Someone asked if James Padgett and Jordan Williams were the same type of player. I emailed that question to a B-Ball recruiting analyst and got this reply:

    They aren’t the same player, at all. Padgett is more of an athletic, bouncy four-man, where Williams will bang more and can play the four or five. Williams has a pretty solid skill set too.

    That info helps.

  39. Ricksterps, I’m right there with you on the frustration in play calling. DHB deserves better and there needs to be more than one “go to” play a game designed fo him. Go to him early and often!

  40. The guy I wanted the most for Terps basketball, Terrell Vinson, has just committed to Loyola Marymount – how can this be?


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