Two Games In – A Tale of Two Statistics

1. 20 and 22 vs. 11 and 15

2. +17 and +16 vs. +1 and -11

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.

What are these numbers you ask? The first line is the number of turnovers MD committed in the first two games of 2007-08 compared to the turnovers MD committed in the first two games this season.

Actually, MD averaged 5 turnovers per half through the first three halves of this season before committing 10 turnovers in the second half last night. To be fair, many of those TOs were the result of some sloppy play after MD had put the game out of reach. You may recall that during the Hampton game last year there was no garbage time. The Terps werre pushed to the limit in that game and only won by six points, 70-64.

The dramatic decrease in turnovers in the early going is incredibly encouraging. Turnovers KILLED the Terps last year. Clearly, moving Vasquez off the point and rotating in our young skill players has worked. Assists are up as well.

Now for the bad news. The second line represents the rebounding margins from the first two games in 2007 vs. 2008. Wow. That is ugly. It’s not quite time to sound the alarm bells but our starting center, Braxton Dupree (all 6’8″ 260 lbs of him) garnered a grand total of 4 rebounds against Youngstown State last night. Getting outrebounded by double digits against cupcakes like Youngstown State spells doom in the ACC.

How does one explain such anemic frontcourt play? Dupree should know his role by now. He does not need to score to be sucessful. Just box out and defend paint. That is his job. If he can do that successfully; Maryland will be good. If not, it is NIT Part IV.

As fans, we have to be realistic. We can’t expect an inexperienced frontcourt like Maryland’s to dominate in the paint. But, here’s the thing: we don’t need them to dominate. All the Terps need is for our bigs to keep the rebounding margin relatively close.

Maryland’s deep bench and loaded backcourt should be able to make up for the rebounding margin by causing turnovers. That should keep the total number of offensive possessions relatively even over the course of a game.

So which is better? A team that can rebound but turns the ball over too much; or a team that can’t rebound but takes care of the rock?

It’s impossible to say this early in the season; but my gut tells me we are better off taking care of the ball. These may turn out to be famous last words; but I’d rather see a functioning offense as opposed to giving up too many second-chance points.

Besides, hopefully the interior players will toughen up a lttle as the season wears on. Let’s just hope we don’t take too many lumps before then.

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54 Comments

  1. What kind of PT is Burney getting? I haven’t been able to watch any of the games in person yet. I enjoyed his athleticism last year.

  2. During the game Holiday and his analyst credited Dupree with 3 blocks and 5 rebounds but the final stats only give him one block.

    Listening to the pregame last night, Gary said he wanted Dupree to forget about scoring, and for whatever mts he was playing to go fullout on the boards, and defensively…

    Dupree in the paper earlier this week, said it was mental… that he is thinking too much…. I hope Gary can reach him, and get something out of him…. Even if that involves very limited scoring. Everyone on this team has to help with rebounding. Fortunately we’ve got guards that are good at rebounding.

    I’m happy for GV. He played the one, two, and three in the first half. When a player is moving from position to position it can take a while to get comfortable. I like that he didn’t try to do too much and stayed within the offense. He may be “getting it”.

    From post game quotes, GW is happy with the effort in practice and how the team is progressing. This team is young (3 freshman, 4 true sophomores, 1 redshirt sophomore) even Milbourne is only in his 2nd year of getting real playing time. Let’s not expect too much too soon.

    It will be fun to watch this team grow and improve.

  3. MASH.

    Burney got 5 minutes against Youngstown St. and 10 minutes against Bucknell.

  4. Good Analysis, Jeremy. You made me go back and look at last year’s statistics to get an answer.

    Based on last season’s stats, I compared the TO ratio and the Rebounding ratio to shot defiicit ratio. For example, against Missouri the Terps took 58 shots and Missouri took 68 shots – resulting in a -10 shot deficit. This ratio correlates with the Terps’ TO deficit in that game, but did not correlate with the Terps’ rebounding advantage in that game. On a season wide basis, the team that took the most number of shots was the team that took better care of the basketball (i.e., few TOs) 77% of the time. The team that took the most number of shots was the team that had the most rebounds 65% of the time. My conclusion is that both statistics are important, but a slight edge goes to Turnovers.

    You need to look at a game-by-game run down to determine which stat was more important on that day and you need to also consider comparitive FG% and 3 pt %. However, if either TOs or Rebounding is decisively in favor of one team, then the other team has an advantage that is hard to overcome. Too frequently, last year, the Terps were out of balance in the TO stat line. I thought these match-ups from last season were particularly interesting:

    1. Against UCLA, UCLA outrebounded the Terps by 15. The Terps had 21 TOs, but that was largely offset by UCLA’s 18 TOs. UCLA won by 12. In this game, rebounding mattered because neither team took care of the ball.

    2. Against Missouri, the Terps were +12 in rebounding but -13 in Turnovers. Missouri won that by 14. Shooting percentage was similar, so you’d have to say that TOs killed the Terps in this game.

    3. Against UNC, Carlina was +8 on the rebounding side. Both teams had 10 TOs. The Terps won that one – largely because they shot 47% vs. UNC’s 38%.

    4. Twice against dook last year, the Terps had more rebounds and more TOs in both games and lost both. Once because of TOs and the other because of effective 3-pt shooting from dook.

  5. There’s little room for error with this team. In every game against real competition MD needs to count on certain things from each position:

    Mibourne or Tucker – double digit points.
    Burney or Dupree – double digit boards.
    Hayes – consistent 3pt threat (40%+)
    GV – go-to scorer without forcing it (good job last night).

    Kim, Mosley, and Gregory are wildcards. The scoring, defense, glasswork they add is a bonus. How fast can they fill some of the preceding roles?

    Goins (this year) and Neal give the bigs a breather.

    TOs – 15 or less would be nice, but is determined by pace of the game.

  6. Not getting offensive rebounds does not worry me UNLESS Md continues to shoot pretty poorly, which they have through 2 games thus far. MD is shooting 41.7% through 2 games (33% from 3), while holding opponents to 32.5% and 10.3% respectively. They need to be a 45%+ shooting team this year to offset the lack of rebounding. That will be very difficult to do but not out of this world impossible (especially if they can generate layups of TOs).

    Giving up offensive rebounds worries me. MD is -7 on offensive rebounds (23-30) and -1 on defensive rebounding (59-60). Now, given that the opponents are missing so many shots and that MD is forcing so many TOs (43 through 2 games), only giving up 15 offensive rebounds a game isn’t too terrible. Imagine if MD was + on rebounds…they’d be a force this season.

    Right now, MD is playing lights out on D. We have to hope that their shooting comes around. So far, Gary has them playing 40 minutes of hell. D is about intensity, about desire. The focus has to be there.

  7. gbx

    get back to the espn board, dullard.

  8. This just in …. gbx just got a vicious teabaggin’ …. herman veal style.

  9. Like any other stat, you can’t look at TOs in a vacuum. If you are pressing a lot and playing up tempo you will commit more TOs. You will also cause the other team to turn the ball over. Gary will take that trade off. Last season we didn’t cause many turn overs. We just turned it over ourselves.

    I want offensive rebounds as much as the next guy. What I really want though is good defensive rebounding. How many times last season did we get killed by the other team having extra positions towards the end of the game. I remember both VT games and the Clemson one for starters.

    Getting GV off the point helps. He is a two guard by nature and the team just plays at a better pace with him off the ball. We need him to score. We also need everyone else to stay involved and that didn’t happen at times last season.

  10. One of the many great things about this site is the diverse talent as evidenced by the above posts. and many others. Most everyone brings a different perspective (and contribution) that tends to reveal the character of the coaches and players, their successes, struggles and failures. Many of your “contributing editorials” help us rationalize the teams wins, losses and individual struggles. Collectively, you make it easier to be supportive fans. Our National Championship was not a fluke and neither will our next one. I was struck by Gary’s post-game appeal last night e.g., “if you know
    fans that have tickets that aren’t using them, tell them to give this to someone who will come out and support us” …..or something like that.

    I believe his remarks extends to us as well. Even though many of us can’t get to the games in College Park we aren’t silent fans. Every year we draw more terp fans to this site. The word gets out. I live just North of Jacksonville Fl and always fly to Miami when we play the Hurricanes and this year am going to Chapel Hill and Charlotte to
    see our terps play. At the Miami game last February we were amongst about 75 Md fans there. In short, I luv the site and your posts. Keep it coming.

    I have always believed you can’t “hope” for a better team or hope that they improve. You can’t hope your way to the top. Whoever Yanik Maguaua is (I had not seen or read his posts before yesterday) he presents a convincing argument to take the terps to the next level, albeit he seemed a little “toasted”.

    We know GW’s teams are defense oriented. We’ve led or near the top of the ACC for years in Steals, Blocked shots, Rebounding and holding opposing teams well below their average production levels. This year we surely can do the same.

    It’s not easy to replace Boom and Gist and their defensive contributions but like many of you have said…..someone has got to come forward right now!!!! Personally, I hope it’s Burney. I’m pissed that Dupree said he ‘s struggling “mentally and thinking too much”.WTF, that’s where he was last year. He better not run into Yanik, who likely will tell him to take his sorry ass attitude back to Baltimore. Now I really hope he comes to his senses asap because he had all Spring and Summer to work his way out of that.

    I’d like to think 9 guys each getting over 10 minutes PT last night wasn’t helpful. Clearly, Tucker, Bowie, Mosely, Hayes and GV on the floor created unnecessary anxiety and there just weren’t enough balls to go around Last night it created opportunities to
    “get lost in the mix”. Even Milbourne was caught standing around or just not playing his normal game.

    My starting 5 for Vermont would be :

    Burney, Milbourne, Tucker, Bowie and GV. Hayes would be the 6th man. I really believe we’d at least get off to a better start. GW needs to keep them out their for at least the first 8-10 mins.

    I’m still excited and have high expectations for this years team. I also believe GV will be back for his Sr. Year. I’m betting he wants his Jersey in the rafters.

    Go Terps

  11. Nice work StevenD!

    Not controlling defensive boards is almost like turning it over especially considering that the other team will usually wind up with a layup attempt. With that said, I think limiting TOs is substantially more important than dominating the glass. Making the most of every possession will be very important for this team. Making a lazy pass, failing to catch the ball, or careless ball handling could crush this team. Not just because of the immediate result, but also for the confidence of the players and coaches. Gary’s got enough to worry about without his team continuing to make silly mistakes. Plus, we’ve got so many young guys that turning it over won’t inspire their confidence in the system or their teammates. We need this team to be as confident as possible. While dominating the glass and getting easy buckets is a great way to build it, I think TOs are much more demoralizing.

    Took a second look at the game against the Penguins today and it was pretty sloppy. I’m actually surprised we had ONLY 15 TOs. Youngstown State was a very athletic team at every position.We would definitely lose a foot race against them so it’s not too surprising that some of our passes were cut off. However, our competition will be just as quick in upcoming games so it’s discouraging that we didn’t look a bit more composed. Granted we were up by 25 for much of the 2nd half (when we committed a bunch of silly TO’s) but still!

    Let’s just keep up the defensive intensity and see what happens as the season progresses.

    A quick note on Kim. As aggressive and quick as he looks with AND without the ball on offense, he looks a little slow and lost on defense. He got burnt badly on several occasions and barely tried to recover. Hopefully he will get better defensively because we need him badly on offense. I like this guy a bunch! He could be a huge asset.

  12. At the risk of sounding certfiable, I am getting excited by this game against Vermont.

    Vermont has former Terp Matt Hahn as an assistant and Mike Lonergan, former Terps assistant coach, as their head coach.

    Vermont is 1-1. They lost to George Mason in overtime. They are averaging 35 rebounds/game and 21.5 TO’s/game.

    Vermont has a 6-5 SF named Marqus Blakely who last year led the America East in points (19.0), rebounds (11.0) and blocks (2.72) on his way to being named the America East Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. In two games he’s averaging 16 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks and 4 steals per game.

    Their other top scorer this year is Colin McIntosh, a 6-8/210 senior forward in two games he’s averaging 14 points and 8 rebounds a game. It will be interesting to see who guards him and how they do defensively against him

    Their PG is Mike Trimboli. When the Terps played Vermont in ’06 Trimboli had 15 points, 5 assists, 4 TO’s and 3 steals in 35 minutes.

    Vermont outrebounded the Terps in the ’06 game. That ’06 Terp team had much more experience on the court than the current team. This game could be quite competitive.

    GO TERPS!

  13. JSK does tend to lose his man on defense a bit. In HS JSK was able to use his quickness on defense to get steals, but he’s finding that at this level it’s harder to get a steal and he’s putting himself in bad position defensively or committing an unecessary foul.

  14. HAYES
    good head. keeps it real. keeps it steady. has a great ability to score that he will have to exercise…and looks like he is willing to do. penetrating guards will be starting by january.

    VAS
    not at point = less turnovers. stay controlled bro and do your thing. he puts up the numbers but i don’t like emotionally eratic leaders. 12 people following a spaz ulimately ends up as 13 spaz’s. (which is my long time #1 beef with gary) vasquez will have to trust his teammates or they will revolt emotionally and a chemistry imbalance will result. he is our leader.

    MILBOURNE
    last year and this year, i have milbourne as my rock. he’s even-keeled, smart and fearless. he will not be the best in any category and therefore not receive the fanfare, but watch…he will be in the top 3 in every category. as milbourne goes, so the terps go. biggest asset out of the gate is his slashing ability, which still needs work, but small teams cannot survive without the ability to penetrate and dish out. i will say this alot.

    SOO-KIM
    over anyone, i am most excited about jin, and i see him already as our most versitle weapon. like vasquez, but calmer and smarter (and younger of course). his biggest team role is much like milbourne’s, and i will look to see them rotate in and out for each other all season. he can penetrate and create his own shot and the 3 point touch is a bonus, because like dook, we’re living and dying by the jumpers. biggest asset out of the gate is a versatility that other teams will have to respect and plan for.
    it would be psychologically best to use him as a 6th man.

    BOWIE
    love him. back up point that can easily start, and sometimes should. bowie is above average at everything and my favorite thing about him is that he very well may be the most focused person out there. biggest asset out of the gate is that he is a solid part of a solid, six headed rotation that, used and mixed properly, can uttery exhaust opposing teams mentally and physically. use him at will with confidence.

    MOSELY
    biggest upside out of the gate is that only one kid in the history of highschool ball in the state of maryland has scored more than mosely. better carmelo, durrant, gay, beasly and 50 more. you can’t fake that. i can’t wait to see it.

    TUCKER
    he’s my magic man. i don’t know why…he’s just freaking good and mabey i like him becasue he remids me of juan. i would give him as many minutes as he could handle. i would fill him with as much confidence as i could. i would encourage him to lead. if i could give one person the ball at any given moment, it would be tucker.

    DUPREE/ GOINS/ BURNEY
    same for the past 6 years. weak paint presence. keep it simple gary. it’s a confidence game. it’s a mental game. being a beast is purely mental. make these kids beasts in their minds, give them one purpose and teach them one thing. how to box out. that’s it. period. box out. rebound. basic basketball that is easy to teach and easy to learn. even if they score 0 points a game, whoever masters this one simple thing will be in the last 5 minutes of every tight game this year. i guarantee it.

    scoring should be dunks only for these 3. DUNKS ONLY! and hard dunks at that. break that glass bitches! it’s a high percentage shot that increases cheering, which increases confidence, which increases strength and rhythm, which increases momentum, and so on. 1 viscious dunk can change a game, and one master rebounder gets 10x the chances to dunk visciously. just – fucking – rebound. just – fucking – rebound. just – fucking – rebound. everything else will follow. i promise.

    we are like ty cobb here guys. an average player who used every single psycological and strategic advantage he could to win. and this average dude psyched his way into every conversation about baseball’s best. we now have the same team dook does oddly enough. we need cutters and dunkers to free up the outside shooters. we need to use diversions and mental warfare. time management and picks and curls and asses and elbows. our defense must be 12 kinds of ferocious for every second of every game. we need a constant and consistant rotation of fresh players to create a never ending perpetual wave of unceasing, relentless fervor and gut wrenching passion that annoys the opponent by minute 2, gets under their skin by minute 10, pisses them off by minute 20 and wears them out my minute 30. sweet sixteen is guaranteed if you just see it clearly enough. gary can shine if he keeps it simple for the people who need it simple and complex for the people who can execute the complex. if every player knows their role, understands their role, embraces their role and executes their roll, this can be gary’s finest coaching job ever. that is all.

  15. Wow! Some great posts guys! Since most everything has been touched on, I’ll add just one simple observation to the conversation: we need Burney to step up and be the beast . Dino to be beast #2 that gives beast #1 a breather.

    If this happens, I believe a whole lot of things will gradually begin to fall in place and we’ll have a good team. We have got to have a paint presence this season or we’re sunk. As talented as our perimeter players appear to be, I don’t think they can make upmfor this deficit.

    We need GW to get in Burney and Gregory’s head RIGHT NOW. Later on in the season Goins may join them and give us a three man beast rotation. Dupree and Neal, as far as I am concerned, they are ten extra fouls until proven otherwise, especially Braxton. Neal will probably be good for a quality bucket every now and then; however roughing up the opposing frontline and using his five fouls will be his main value to this team.

  16. I agree with DBR that Vermont will be a good test and I want to second Gerry’s suggestion on shaking up the starting 5. To me, only Milbourne and GV have earned the right to be automatically assumed as starters (Hayes is a maybe). Until the Terps show consistency, I’d like to see GW experiment to find out what works best.

    Yanik, I like yoursummary of the players, too, but why no mention of Neal. He’s a “glue” guy if there ever was one. Also, I need to add to your commentary on Milbourne – Too many times last year (especially in that 2nd dook game), he left a wing player open for a 3. I haven’t seen the Terps play yet this year but Milbourne needs to be a more of a shut-down defender on the wing….not a huge criticism, but an important part of the game that does not show up on a stat line.

  17. Neal a “glue guy”.

    Neal is a certfiable bum. I don’t know what Stevend is watching but he should return to the “hookah” party.

    Neal is slow and lethargic. Only the biggest “homer” would sing the praises or intangibles of Neal.

    Neal is not a glue guy. Rather, he is an abysmal “stiff” that is only here to pad the graduation rate. Keep this gunk riding the pine.

  18. Neal is not some great athlete, that’s been discussed over and over, but he can shoot and rebound. Can give the team some minutes/fouls and leadership. He also knows the offense and defense well and is almost like another coach to the younger guys. And yes he’s a great student.

    Meanwhile…check out this article http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/columns/story?id=3710807

    It will give you a better idea why UMD is rarely involved with the so-called Top 10 guys or the true blue chippers. We all get frustrated with it at times, especially when local 4 & 5-star guys go elsewhere but at least our guys plays by the rules and don’t sell out to get a kid.

    I’ve learned ALOT about the nuances of b-ball recruiting in the past 12 months…shady stuff going on in some programs.

  19. Pad grad stats. Doesn’t there have to be stats in order to pad them? Don’t blame GW’s lazy effort by claiming foul play everywhere else. GW held up the 2002 championship and hoped the recruits would just flow to him.
    To comment of the rest of the guys is fruitless. If you look at the top 25 they all have three things: good guard, athletic swing, and one banger. The Terps have 2 of 3 and it doesn’t seem the hopes of the banger anywhere at college park. Until someone steps up this is gonna be a hard one to watch fold out. No 4 guard lineup can run when they are forced to play in the paint to help out weak ass bigs get rebounds. Don’t praise anyone just yet until the Michigan State game. Show up against a prime time squad and I will buy in, get shut down and abused and I will again call for GW to find a retirement home

  20. Very good article DBR. So Kentucky is cheating and sucks, not an easy task :)

    There is a lot of distance between Belmont and Mich State. They are a top five program so there is no shame in a well played loss to them.

    You can’t make the Mich state game anymore of a litmus test than you can Vermont. We have two teams in our conference that would be equated with their talent level. If we beat Vermont by 30 or lose to MSU by 15, that won’t define this team.

    We need a big man, that is obviously the concern. So far no one has stepped up to take that position. Hopefully by January that is no longer the case.

  21. Tuesday night GV may have had his most complete, under control, game in his UMD career.

    In 30 minutes GV was 7-7 from the foul line, pulled down a team-high eight rebounds, handed out four assists and had four steals along with shooting 10-17 from the field for a game-high 28 points.

    At one point in the game GV scored 18 points while Youngstown State, as a team, had 18.

    Al, many of us have had issues with recruiting. We can go back-and-forth forever on GW’s recruiting efforts and I’m not here to defend him. Sometimes kids don’t work out for whatever reasons. But here’s how things look going back to 2002.

    In ’02 the recruiting class included two 4-star (Travis Garrison & Jamar Smith) and three 3-star (NCM, John Gilchrist & Chris McCray). One PG, three PF, one SG.

    In ’03 the recruiting class included one 5-star (Mike Jones, two 4-star (Ekene Ibekwe & Hassan Fofana) and two 3-star (DJ and Will Bowers). Two SG, two C, one PF.

    The ’04 class had one 4-star (James Gist)

    The ’05 class had David Neal and Parrish Brown. Unfortunately we couldn’t get Shane Clark into UMD.

    The ’05 class had two 4-star, two 3 star and one 2-star JuCo transfer (Boom)

    If you’re going by the “star” system alone UMD wasn’t doing too shabby.

    But you are right, we’ll learn alot from the Michigan State game.

  22. In that same time period North Carolina has had 9 five star players.

    On the flipside, Virginia has has none. Gary’s recruiting is not awful, it’s just not elite. If this program was ever going to become one that attracted elite recruits, building off the national championship was the opportunity. Syracuse has suffered a very similar fate, with slighly more heralded recruiting classes. Paul Harris and Onuako would look great in our frontcourt, though.

    That said, I keep reading great things about the two bigs we have coming in next year, even if they aren’t 5 star players.

  23. Dean-o
    ???? not that I give a squat what sets u off, but chill.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/columns/story?id=3710807. Gary has suggested more than a few times his dislike for recruiting through AAU channels.

  24. I don’t what you guys think, but put me on the record as believing we’re gonna get waxed by Mich State. “Tiny Tot” Tom Izzo stresses hitting the glass coupled with simply having some talent in the frontcourt. That being said, we lose this one by at least 10.

    Dupree is an absolute bust. Personally, I think Burney is the best frontline player we have. Other than him, our cupboard is completely bare. Dupree lost weight, big deal. He ‘s ’bout as soft and worthless as Travis Garrison sans the outside shot.

  25. Michigan State almost lost to IPFW last night, btw. That’s Indiana Purdue – Ft. Wayne for those keeping score at home. Let’s not start chalking up losses before the balls tipped.

  26. Methinks it’s too early to call Dupree a bust, but that’s just me. It’s the 2nd game of the season and somethnig was up with his shooting hand in the latest game. Had a wrap on the wrist and thumb.

    It’s MUCH different recruitng at UNC than at UMD. MUCH different. Right now there’s a Baltimore kid that already has an offer from the Terps, but he’s waiting on an offer from UNC that may not come if UNC gets Harrison Barnes.

    But you know what? Eff UNC. They get those 5-star kids all the time and it makes beating them that much sweeter. Remember “go back to the ghetto” LOL Terps haven’t lost to UNC in the regular season since ’05-’06 season.

  27. I think it goes with out saying that recruiting at UNC is much different than recruiting at Maryland. UNC has a basketball tradition rivaled by few programs in the nation.
    I used UNC and Virginia as opposing examples to show the range of 5 star recruits committing to those ACC schools over the past 6 years to prove my point that Maryland falls somewhere in the middle.

    Schools do overcome a lack of basketball tradition to reach elite recruiting status, USC, Ohio State, and Texas come immediately to mind.

  28. I think it goes with out saying that recruiting at UNC is much different than recruiting at Maryland. UNC has a basketball tradition rivaled by few programs in the nation.
    I used UNC and Virginia as opposing examples to show the range of 5 star recruits committing to those ACC schools over the past 6 years to prove my point that Maryland falls somewhere in the middle.

    Schools do overcome a lack of basketball tradition to reach elite recruiting status, USC, Ohio State, and Texas come immediately to mind.

  29. Methinks you’re talking about Roscoe Smith, DBR.

  30. Hey Al,

    Two things:

    1. I expect you to be a man and live up to your comment about “buying in” if we beat Michigan State.

    2. People react negatively to your posts because of your style much more than your content. You are so utterly dismissive of others here that have a positive slant on the program that it can’t help but get under people’s skin. Understanding that there are plenty of Soupers that have permanent red stains around their mouths from some of the koolaid that is served up here from time to time, most of them aren’t as nearly as dismissive as you to the opposing viewpoint (I said most not all). Maybe you could tone down your cynicism a bit and participate in the conversation, maybe you like it this way, or maybe you don’t give a Sh%t. If its either of the later, kudos to you.

    For the record I think that more than likely this will be a long year and our record will not improve much (or at all) from last year. Though I hope I am wrong, even if they aren’t killing it I will still be at the games cheering.

  31. You usually have to dig a little deeper than the star system on these recruits. It is common knowledge, for instance, that a Duke recruit jumps up a star just because they are now a “Duke recruit”. So by the time Duke signs them they are now a five star recruit. If UMD had signed the same player they would have stayed a four star.

    On our championship team, what level of recruit were they? The only one I know was pretty high was Wilcox.

  32. Steve Blake was pretty highly recruited, and was ranked the 6th best PG in his class coming out of Oak Hill, and was runner up Mr. Basketball in Virginia.

    Wilcox was a beast, I remember stealing him out from under UNC.

  33. I think the future looks live a vast improvement over the last couple of yrs. I do feel, however, that we should make the tourney every yr as a reasonable expectation.

    – I like our depth at guard, no doubt. Once again, I think Dupree is awful and has the ‘hops’ of “Fat Albert”. I’d much rather have Will Bowers in the lineup.

    So what is the scoop on recruiting? Padgett etc is now old news. Does DBR have any inside “intelligence” on close commits etc?

  34. I’m no DBR, but my understanding is that 09 is in the books mol.

    2010 targets are Taran Buie, Isiah Epps, Roscoe Smith….I’m sure DBR can add to this list.

    Maybe Will Barton (another Baltimore guard)?

  35. Yes E$ you are correct I was referring to Roscoe Smith. Already has a Terp offer but is waiting for UNC. I’m sure some fans here and elsewhere will slam GW if Roscoe winds up not coming to UMD even though he’s been offered and love has been shown. The 2010 list is longer and does include Will Barton, as well as Will Regan who visited for the Bucknell game. More on him another time. Coaches are also already working on the class of 2011

    Last year at this time, we beat Hampton by only 6 and Northeastern took us to OT before we won by 2. So far this season we have blown out the 2 teams we are supposed to blow out. And yes, our post position is a definite work in progress no doubt about it.

    Ironic because last year we had an inside game, but didn’t have a consistent perimiter game. This year we have shooters but don’t have a proven inside game. College hoops gotta love it.

  36. for stevend — milbourne and neal….

    i have been a fan of neal over the years for three and a half reasons. 1] he was the smartest player we had. 1.5] being smart, he actually knew how to box out 2] he was big(ish) which we needed 3] when called, he hustled

    at maryland, neal is known for his marlboro and coors diet and uncanny ability to drink anyone under the table. in that light he has cemented his legacy. if you want a big, slow body that can hustle for 2 minutes and give your guy a breather, then dave neal is your huckleberry. that is his role and he fills it. i got no problem with that.

    starting with the class of vasquez and hayes..neal is no longer the smartest player. gary is no longer recruiting dumb players. Low basketball IQ had ben i BIIIIIIIG problem for us. our new players are a class smarter and there are several of them. which is good. dupree is not one of them, which is why his role needs to be both simplified for him and very clearly defined.

    milbourne — my confidence in him is innate and not based on any evidence. he’s more flawed than i want him to be and less skilled than i think he is. i saw him as the gyroscopic unit of this team last year and this year as well. he is the pin on which the team balances. he is the litmus. the median.

    i am an energy guy. i watch the energy of things, which is why i don’t like vasquez being the leader and why i didn’t like john gilchrist as the leader and why i have spoken at gary innumerous times about toning down the freak show. eratic leaders create eratic followers creates eratic teams.

    it’s not a coincidence that we’ve had 15 years of eratic teams (save 1) that are great one minute, horrendous the next. great on half, shit the next. great one game, crap the next. it’s the same every year and there’s only one person on every team ever year.

    i tell you this in order to paint my picture of milbourne. maryland is perenieally a team of ups and downs. we never know what teams gonna come out of that locker room. jekyl or hyde. they are like a teeter-totter, balancing back and forth, up and down, to and fro. milbourne — he is the stone in the center of the teeter totter that the board rests on. he is the middle. the center of the team energetically and otherwise. he is the microcosm and will let you know if the board is steady or uneven. just watch him and feel his movements. if greivis’ energy is running all over the board, you will see milbournes energy maneuvering in sync trying to keep the board balanced. you will feel the same from tucker who is the backup stone. the last great stone — byron mouton.

    if that makes no sense, imagine the terps as a spinning top. milbourne/tucker is the point at which the top touches the table, and upon which the team rotates. vasquez would be the handle. spin a top and see the relationship between the point and the table. it’s beautiful. it’s vasquez and milbourne. that is all.

  37. Toombootom- Thanks…..Al V needed that.

    This year’s team and AL V have a lot in common……they are both a work in progress.

    To all….these are some of the best posts ever.

    go Terps.

  38. WOW…#20 USC just lost to Seton Hall in Puerto Rico. Seton Hall, who only has 7 scholarship players on their roster.

  39. Yanik- I’ve missed those posts from two years ago. Welcome back!

  40. Guys, forget Roscoe Smith. Not going to happen. He’s going to UNC. And there’s the problem … another nationally top rated local kid not going to Maryland. It wouldn’t be so frustrating if we could get one occassionally. But never, just sucks!

    Maybe the University needs to do a better job of marketing itself. Create an image that kids want to be part of. I don’t live back there anymore … I live in Columbus. If you don’t have the charismatic recruiter (like Ohio State now has and gets recruits), then you hope the University can market itself well.

    It’s frustrating to see Ohio State out recruit the Terps in basketball. Give me a break. People in Columbus can’t even spell basketball.

  41. At the same time, I haven’t seen a game yet this year. Looking forward to the Mich State game next week, although that is going to be a tough one. As someone posted earlier, this year’s team appears to be better if you go by the results of the first two games year over year.

  42. I watched that USC game. They were up 13 at the half and came out in the 2nd half thinking they already had it won. Seton Hall was scrappy. Bobby Gonzalez totally out-coached Tim Floyd. For those of us that get frustrated with Garyland at times, think about guys like Tim Floyd. We are lucky, very lucky.

    It will be very rare for us to beat out Ohio St for a blue-chipper. They are a school fully willing to play the recruiting game in the gray area. Dictator Yow makes sure we don’t do that for anyone. Don’t you guys remember Koufos two years ago? We recruited him hard, he went to Ohio St for a year and now sits pine in the NBA.

    Bobby Knight did color commentary for the Duke/So Illinois game. I found this fascinating on two counts. First, Dookie V did the second game between UCLA and Michigan. Usually they use the same announcers for both games in a tournament. Did ESPN use The General because of all the flak they receive about Dookie V hyperventilating about the Dookies? Second, The General was pure joy to listen to. Every time he opens up his mouth he points out nuances in the game rarely heard on TV.

    Byron Mouton was originally very highly-rated out of HS.

    The last 3 McDonald’s All-Americans that came to Maryland are Mike Jones, Travis Garrison and Danny Miller. For whatever reason, we don’t have the best luck with the supposed top, top guys. The only McDonald’s guy that Gary had a lot of success with is Keith Booth.

    I saw an earlier post about boxing out. That was right on the money. Rebounding is positioning and desire but the most basic necessity to rebound is BOX OUT. Gary’s teams, even the good rebounding teams we’ve had, just don’t box out well. I have been frustrated about 1,001 times over the years with this.

    I’ve watched about 30-35 college basketball games so far this season and I haven’t seen a team that we can’t beat yet. :-)

  43. I only speak plain truth and summarize what I see on tv, highlights, read in the papers, and read in the police blotter when I talk. I think college sports should be pure and fun and a resume for the next level whether is be in sports, playing or coaching, or the professional world. I want to see hustle fight and moxy with no off court issues. I hate dirty recruiting and lazy ass players who think McDonalds means they are winners. The star rating is only potential not performance. Blake, Dixon and the others were good players who delivered with all they had. A sweet “Team”. Since then a bunch of me me mofo’s have blessed college park. The lack of graduates, the police blotters, the GW cussing tirades, and the kids leaving the area for just about any school pisses me off. My buddy has a son 6’2″ sophomore, great skills, high upside, good grades, refuses to let GW near him. Will drive the 4 hours to Chapel Hill for the school, the program, and the tradition. That is why I spew bitterness about the program. Lefty started this when he tried to use his heart instead of his head and it hit hard times. GW clawed it back and got lazy. Fine he did a great job so did Dean Smith and he is still there as an ICON but not the coach. Give GW a nice leather chair and an office with a good box seat and let him go. Get Keith Booth and Driesel to bring the fire back and move forward. Is that being a cynic?

  44. I passed out with a couple minutes left, but Michigan beat UCLA last night too. I believe we play them coming right out of the Old Spice Classic for the ACC – Big Ten Challenge, could be very tough. John Beilein….another solid coach who wins with out big name recruits.

  45. Al, I usually don’t do the back and forth with you but your characterization of “police blotter” is misleading

    I am not sure how long you have been out of college but this just in…kids still drink in college. The drunk in publics and underage drinking is not he same as getting popped for possession or stealing. The only things I remember happening recently were Canter-Medley on some drinking in public charge and McCray on something similar. This stuff happens on campuses all over the country. Some of it is also how the campus police and local law enforcement handle it. It is common knowledge down here in Raleigh that Coach K’s boys have been driven home by the boys in blue on more than one occasion over the years. It is a different attitude when you are a “college” town. They look out for their own.

    As far as the graduation rates, you need to blame those guys you just named on our championship team. Those are the ones that counted in the last report. From everything I have read, the guys we have had the last three years or so have been graduating. They may not have played that well I guess they were hell in a classroom.

  46. Yanik, you speak wisdom on Neal. If GW can find 3 or 4 spots for Neal to be on the floor, Neal can easily contribute 10-15 minutes a game. Since the Terps are searching for answers at PF and Center, Neal’s contributions will be valuable for the Terps to succeed.

    My mind is not nimble enough to catch all your ‘energy’ points, but I agree that Milbourne is a classic hot or cold player – with very little in-between. Last year, my problem with Milbourne was that when he was bad, he not only did not contribute on offense, but he disappeared on defense – leaving too many open 3-pt looks. Like many young players, I think he mopes on defense when bad things happen offense. He’s gotta grow out of that. I can live with a guy who has bad shooting nights, but he’s got to keep his head in the game on defense.

    Al V., your criticisms are stuck in the 2003-2007 era (particularly the Garrision, McCray & Gilchrist recruiting class that blew up). The last two years – since that class left – have been respectable in terms of team play, good student athlete behavior and graduation rates. This year will be even better. When the light bulb finally goes off in all you doubters’ heads that happy days are here again, I will welcome you back in the fold.

    That said, tonight is the first real test. I’m nervous.

  47. Neal stinks. He’s a lethargic, sloth-like turd. Don’t know what you’ve been watching, Oedipus.

  48. I have read a lot about people worrying about the development of Braxton Dupree, and as much as i hate to say it i believe there is reason to worry. I went to school with him and watched several of his games. I also know many people who played with and against him and most say the same about him. He is soft, i wish i could explain to you how many people have told me this based on first hand experience. His hands arent very good, not much of a shot, he is not a leaper or a real athletic guy, and he is not very big either just 6’8. Im not going to call him a bust yet but based on everything i know and have heard it doesnt appear to me that he has what it takes to be a significant contributer in the ACC. I hope i am wrong and i hope he can step up because we really need him and Burney to get it going to have any type of chance in competing in the ACC for a post tourney bid. Just dont be shocked if Dupree doesnt pan out.

  49. good to see other calvert hall grads posting.

  50. So there wasn’t a convict who was recruited to play this year Stevend? Oh yeah he needs a second chance and the Terps are that desperate for another guard. See it is not over but needs to be. I love it that Gist and Boom graduated because I swore I read that none of the championship team starters did.
    I just looked at Vermont and the matchup should be favorable except for their one big.

  51. First of all, let me tell all of you fine generic people that I found Yanik last night with his head stuck in a sewer. Literally. Right in front of Jimmy’s…we went through a half tub of crisco and 3 spatulas getting him out, the bastard. Stop presenting my player analysis as your own. You don’t tell it right.

    Braxton Dupree — he’s an enigma at best, and any cracker who still was waiting for Garrison to come out of his shell 10 games into his senior season has a right to consider Dupree suspect. Highly suspect….. neither of them can catch a ball and even the thought of another Garrison on the team makes my pubes straighten. Truth is though, Garrison was a face the basket wing man forced to play the paint with this back turned. It’s that simple folks. It was like trying to turn a gay man straight… Garrison just couln’t handle the taste of cock in his mouth, and who could blame him. Garrison was Gary’s fault. Lesson…If you want a center, recruit a freaking center.

    That’s our beam of light with Dupree. He’s a center. Back to the basket born and bred. Tha’t what we can hold onto, along with the fact that he wants to be good. If he didn’t care, he wouldn’t have changed his body. So he has the will, and just need s the way. The way is what Yanik (who has never had an original thought in his life) Mguaua said. Make his role small and achievable. #1 Box out. #2 Box out

    The mouth is the portal to the cognac bottle and the eyes are the window to the soul. Just look at Braxton’s eyes out there. Look a the glazed look on his face. You will see that he is just not understanding. He’s not getting things. He’s processing, processing, processing. This game should be second nature by now, so he must be having cogniztion problems with playbook, memory overload, or the like. Give him one task, one thought stream, one reason to exist. It’s the only way for him to become the badass we all want him to be. And yes there is still hope. Not Obama hope…real Hope, that Braxton Dupree will surely become Braxton Dupree. All aboard. Let’s raise a glass bitches!

  52. fred, as comical as it is to watch Neal run the court, as awkward as Neal moves, and is much as a cringe every time Neal takes a shot, I still think he’s good for 10-15 good minutes…..(I can’t believe I’m defending Neal)

    AlV, Over the course of last season’s recruiting melodrama, there were actually two guards with questionable ethics that almost became Terps….operative word is almost. Looking up and down this year’s roster, I can not remember a single incident from any of them that would deserve your scorn. Same goes for the last two years. Maybe I’m not remembering something. If so, remind me.

  53. DAVE NEAL

    a href=”http://i.neoseeker.com/ca/mario_party_8_conceptart_nXWfZ.jpg

  54. The Knoxville police don’t look out for the UT football players or B-ball players. You break the law in Knoxville and they’ll lock u up. They may ask for an autograph too, but they lockin’ yo azz up.


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