Just When I Thought I Was Out; They Keep Pulling Me Back In!

I admit. I jumped the gun a little. Here’s the post (unedited) that I started writing with 10 minutes left to play. I’m still standing by most of my comments; but boy that Vasquez sure has a way of seizing the moment, eh? Shades of Drew Nicholas!

Overtime illustrated what confidence can do for a team. They looked like a powerhouse out there. I have to keep telling myself that they are just kids.

I Hate Sports, Life….

This is awful. Another embarassment in what has become a long line of embarassments. There are 10 minutes left to play as I am writing this; yet I am already sure of the outcome.

Maryland has no offensive flow. Maryland has no inside presence. Maryland looks like Towson University out there tonight. This is not the same thing as losing to American University, but it is damn close.

Can we just fast forward to next November please? All of my hope for the season just went out the window.

Aside from the horrific play; the fact the Dave Neal is playing crucial minutes tells me all I need to know about the rest of the season. How bad is Braxton Dupree that he is losing minutes to this guy? Where the hell is Jerome Burney? Are you telling me he could play better defense than Dave Neal?

Dave Neal is not a borderline ACC player. He is a borderline Division I player. Yet there he is– catching passes on the elbow and front rimming 10 footers. What did I do to deserve this fate?

Gus Gilchrist can go to hell; that is for sure.

The defense on Blakney was non-existent. How many times can he pull out that baseline spin move before someone stops him?

Vasquez is up to his old tricks again. Dishing out turnovers left and right; getting frustrated and bull-rushing to the basket.

At least last year we knew that the Terps were underachieving. Gist was an NBA prospect. This year, Maryland fans are just hoping against hope that all of our interior weaknesses don’t kill us as badly as we know they probably will.

I’ve officially added a new “tag” for my posts. Historically, I categorized all of my posts after bad losses unde the tag “Frustration” (Notice how big it is on the right hand side). Tonight, with this post, I christen a new tag: “Despair”. It is no longer frustrating to lose to teams like Vermont and American. It is pure despair. the program is at rock bottom and we all know it.

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45 Comments

  1. Big time come back, something we didn’t do much of last year. I know, it’s Vermont but this may give this young team some much needed confidense.

    Neal did hit a big three no matter what we all think of him. I was saing NOOOO, then Yessss.

    On to Mich State…

  2. Good to get a win. But man, our bigs are a lost cause.

  3. I feel ya Dean, no one has stepped up on the front court all year. Someone has to or we are cooked.

  4. Who needs big men? We are outrebounding them by 14 anyway. GV and Bowie are excellent rebounders.

  5. My heart can’t take this. While it’s only Vermont, the ray of light is that they showed heart. We’ve got a long way to go; we don’t even have a solid rotation yet. How much of a beast was Bowie in OT, though. We didn’t see much of Mosley or Tucker ( I missed most of the 1st half). Braxton is probably already a shattered player; too tentative/no confidence. I don’t know how Burney manages to rack up the PF’s that he does. Kim saw a lot of time after L.M. fouled out, but didn’t really touch the ball much. His D needs some work.

    All the Greivis haters should shut up, but they won’t. But I ask you, what would this team have been without him over the past two years?

    Personally, I like Chic and Ron, but they are not good announcers.

  6. Where is DBR! Mark the tape (aside from 10.35)… No production from our bigs vs Mich state… and we won’t steal one.

  7. Hey i understand the frustration i was ready to write a fairly negative post but then HOLY VASQUEZ!!! Despite how bad we looked at times we showed alot of heart and the ability to come back and win a game that we never would have won last year. Vasquez showed why he is the leader, never afraid to take the big shot. Bowie was most impressive for me today he took over that overtime. Didnt see much from KIm or Mosley but on their behalf they didnt get a whole lot of time. Hayes looks much improved from last year in my opinion, making quicker decisions and it doesnt appear he is hesitating as much on his shot i like what i saw from him.
    Milbourne, GV, Hayes, Bowie, and Tucker will have to carry this team scoring wise it looks like there will be little contribution from others at least for a little bit.

    Our bigs truly suck. I hate to be negative but its border line pathetic. GW must hate Burney with a passion because there is absolutely no way he is not a better option than any of the other 3 bigs we have (Dupree, Neal, Gregory). Burney showed more athleticism in the pregrame than i saw from Neal and Dupree combined. I know the kid from Vermont was a good player inside, but he is freakin 6’4 and he dominated whats gonna happen when we get into ACC play. Put Burney in he is our strongest and most athletic big man he has gotta get more than five minutes per game.

    Hey we stole one and we are 3-0. This team might be a tournament team out of their conference. Its early on there is room for improvement, we have plenty of areas we need to get better in hopefully this win will give our team confidence as we move forward.

  8. I said it in June, I’ll say it again: Bowie will average over ten points a game, and by the end of the year, will be everyone’s favorite Terp. If he were 6’5, all of our big man worries would be over.

  9. Thats why I love college basketball. You couldn’t write a script to equal that drama. What a game! Some of it wasn’t pretty, but you had to love the ending.

  10. Wow. That sure was a gutsy win. There are still gaping holes, but here are my thoughts on the game:

    – Say what you want about Neal and when he missed those two bunnies in the first half, I was ready to drive 500 miles and punch him, but if it were not for him, we would have lost this game. He was the only player to hit a field goal in the final 6 minutes of the game until Vaz hit the miracle. He hit his free throws as well. The guy plays very hard and they could have worse guys in the game if Gary feels the others aren’t getting it done.

    – I’ve watched the last 2 games and I have to say that while Vaz will still throw wild passes and take some dumb shots, he seems to be more in control overall. His offensive foul on the hook late in the game was a bonehead play, but he sure was clutch and as he goes, the Terps will go.

    – I wonder why Eric Hayes did not take a 3 pointer in the second half after drilling 2 from NBA range in the first. We need him to be an outside threat, especially with teams going to the zone against us. We either need him to hit those shots or at least drive to the basket to loosen up that zone.

    – Dino Gregory showed me something today. He had 3 big blocks in the first half, but obviously he has a lot to learn because he made many mistakes on the defensive end. Burney must have done something wrong.

    – We will have troubles with fast teams that have a good inside player. So Thursday will be a major test against Michigan State.

    Overall, this was a very good win as far as confidence. This team knows it can hit some big shots and make some big stops late in games now. They know they can turn it up in overtime and even though it should have never been that close, the confidence gained can only help in close games later in the season.

    Now let’s go beat up on those Seminoles!!!

  11. Let’s take the “W” and move in. Just get ready for Michagan State. 3-0 is what we need to be at the moment and that is what we are. It is now time to move on to the most important football game in CP in a long time.

  12. Mark the tape! Mark the tape!

    I hate that stuff.

    Never give up on the Terps. Honestly, if you give up with 10 mins to play, how can you be happy, in good conscience, with a win? Does everybody steal hate Dave Neal? The hero? Does his night not signify all that is good about sports? Instant redemption? Let’s all just enjoy this win and worry about M. State on Thanksgiving.

  13. Oops. And Fla. State tomorrow…

  14. Bowie-17 pts, 6 reb(4 off.) and just 1 TO
    Hayes-11pts,7ast, 1 TO
    Vaz- 26 pts, 9 reb, 5 ast, 5 TO

    THe lines that jumped out at me tonight. As someone mentioned get off Vazquez’s back now and stay off of it. He is the heart and sould of this team, erratic at times and brilliant at times. You gotta take the good with the bad because he is the one guy who will show up and score night in and night out. He will force the issue sometimes but more times than not he will be a major positive for this team. Now that there are more players capable of handling the ball (Hayes-much improved, Bowie, Tucker) Vaz wont have to do everything and we will be able to utilize him in a much better fashion than last year. Coming off screens, in the low post on smaller guards, and taking guys off the dribble. He is gonna be a tough matchup for most guards. Our backcourt looks like it has potential to be one of the best in the leagues, Our frontcourt…..well the complete opposite. Thats why this team is so intriguing the question is gonna be can you win with a very good frontcourt 6-7 good 1’s 2’s and 3’s, but no good big men. I guess only time will tell.

  15. RT- I was trying to post as the game ended. I started writing the story that was unfolding. We looked awful for 19 minutes of that second half and my post illustrated that.

  16. Dupree had 6 boards in 8 minutes of play. He is completely lost on offence and can’t defend but at least he hit the glass tonight. The fact the Gary only gave him 8 minutes is the ultimate verdict. He is just not getting it done in just about every facet. Give Burney and Goins a look. What do we have to lose?

    At this point, I wish we had a guy like Serge Zwikker in the middle.

  17. I’m here dean but about to call it a night.

    Greivis also had 2 steals.

    Terps gotta get the frontcourt on the right track. Padgett and Williams are gonna get every opportunity to play early next year LOL.

    Braxton still having his struggles obviously, HOWEVER, last Thursday Gary said he wanted Dupree to rebound for us and not put so much pressure on himself to score. Mission accomplished…6 rebounds in 8 minutes and 2 blocks but 3 TO’s. Dang it I’d like to see us get 10 points/6 rebounds/2blocks 1 TO in 22 minutes from Dupree.

    Don’t know what is up with Burney. This is his 3rd year here. Needs to step up. It is simple as that. And yes, he should be held to a higher standard than Dino or Braxton. Jerome showed tremendous flashes last year he needs to be more intense and consistent particularly on D since he’s not a scorer. Knowing GW’s rep, Burney must not be showing that in practice. It sounded like Dino was all kinds of intense/aggressive tonight and got minutes.

    Just got a text that Terp recruits Will and Antonio Barton were at the game.

    Got a week to get ready for MSU, meanwhile need a win against FSU in football tomorrow and the Field Hockey team plays for the NC on Sunday (I think it’s Sunday).

    GO TERPS!

  18. the good doctor has only one thought to share tonight, but
    don’t pull an asss muscle trying to undrstand it. it’s from a
    distant and very flowery realm. a purple realm.

    vasquez, is not as good as he knows he is.

  19. DBR.. and the rest… Mark the tape…

    I loathe Neal, and am gravely disappointed in Dupree. I thought Burney had the most potential… but sadly I must be wrong. I’m a jerk for sure too. Honestly didn’t expect much individually outta the ‘bigs’ but thought we’d be doing better ’til next yrs silver lining lands into CP.

    You know, duh, if we had mediocre front line players… even by commitee… this could be a darkhorse type of team.

    I’m excited about the rejuvenation in recruiting… with the depth at guard… and some quality frontline players… well, I think we’ll be dangerous.

    Well guys, I’m glad for this win. Nonetheless, in spite of Mich States close one this week, I’m highly concerned about this one in Old Spice. We simply don’t match up well.

    That being said, let’s take out that perennial cheat Bowden tomorrow.

  20. GV pulled a mini Blake-vs-UConn when Gary drew up the final play in regulation last night:
    ” ‘They’re either going to love me or they’re really going to hate me,'” Vasquez said. “I’m taking the shot. If I miss it, it’s on me.”

    MSU will be a tough one. But any lingering questions about MD’s front line should be answered by OK ST in the Old Spice and Michigan in the B10 matchup. After watching Vermont’s zone slow MD down in the first half last night, it will also be interesting to see how MD handles Beilein’s 1-3-1.

  21. If Gus Gilchrest and/or Terrence Jennings didn’t backout on Maryland, we’d be top 5 in the ACC no questions asked. Braxton and Burney have done nothing, everybody knows Dino won’t provide more than 8 points and Dave Neal is Dave Neal. Burney really impressed me with his defensive presence last season and I thought he was going to come on strong this year. He either hasn’t improved his game or Gary isn’t digging his attitude; perhaps a mixture of the two. JSK’s presence was minimal to say the least. I know there’s a pretty big learning curve for a South Korean freshman who speaks little English, but we need him to step up.
    Pulling of the W last night was key for the Terps. They’re next three games are pretty tough ones, especially the games versus the two Michigan squads. Last night’s overtime showed what confidence can do to a team. Maybe staring defeat in the face and coming out with a win can spark the Terps for this tough stretch. I couldn’t get too upset if they only won one of the next three, but a win against Michigan at home would be a resume win without a doubt.

  22. Terrence Jennings backed out because he wasn’t going to get admitted to UMD.

    JSK didn’t fill up the stat sheet but was causing Vermont some problems on the defensive end with his length. He guarded their 3-point shooters well for someone with as limited amount of practice time as he’s had. Altered several shots. Also the Vermont defense was playing him tight out on the perimeter because of his 3 point shooting ability. That opened up things for other players and helped Bowie get inside position for those big rebounds.. Also, his presence on the court at the end of regulation meant that Vermont had to be concerned with Vasquez, Hayes and JSK as options for a 3-point shot. JSK definitely contributed to the win last night.

  23. A quick comment about last night at Comcast.

    Though it was obviously no sell-out, I saw no embarrassing gaps of empty seats. And the reaction of the crowd after GV’s “Nicholas” moment and all through the OT sounded straight out of an ACC nail biter. I for one have difficulty managing much more than a “let’s go RED!” while watching the Terps do their best impression of the Washington Generals. But when the team shows that they’re as excited about playing as we are about cheering, the fans respond. I remember Cole Classics like South Carolina in ’71 and UNC in ’72 and ’97 where the crowd seemed to impose its will on the game.

    I hope this was the first of many times this year that we crank Comcast up and show the opposition that we will “Protect This House”.

    Can’t wait for 7:45. GO TERPS!!

    If we handle the ‘Noles, we belong in the Bowls! (Jeez, was that cheesy or what?)

  24. Slightly off topic but I noticed that James Padgett’s HS (Lincoln) is ranked #3 in the Nation in the USA Today’s Preaseason HS B-Ball Poll

    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/preps/basketball/poll/2008-09-super25m.htm?csp=34

  25. Jeremy–

    I liked your post; exactly how I felt. My quasi-wrath was directed at the Deanster.

  26. Well, I watched the game last night from a few rows behind the Vermont bench. Every time the Terps tied the score running down the stretch, and the crowd got into it, they would come back with a jumper or a slashing layup while the Terp Defense fell apart around the perimeter to increase their score. The entire crowd went silent except for the 20 people wearing green. It was kind of a cryptic see saw action.

    Anyway, yes, Neal hit a huge 3 pointer near the end to enable the Terps to need Vas’ three-pointer with 6 seconds left, but I honestly don’t think the Terps would be in the situation if it weren’t for him. In the beginning of the game, the Terps started out okay, and played pretty good defense, too. Braxton had a bunch of rebounds a few blocks and even showed some force coming down the will ball a few times, the crowd was into him. Along comes Neal – by the time he sits down, the Terps are neck and neck with Vermont. Let me continue to paint the picture. For the entire time that Neal is sitting, the Terps extend their lead to about 11 a few minutes to play in the half, but then, Neal gets the call. He lumbers into the game and by the time the half is out the Terps are winning by all of 2 points.

    In the first half, I would bet that Vermont scored more points when he was in the game than when he was not, and not by a statistically insiginificant amount either.

    I think Dave missed the first 4 or 5 shots he took, and as expressed by someone above, they weren’t exactly low percentage shots, either. They were short jumpers, or easy layups. I’d say he cost us about 10 points in the first half, combining offense and defensive gaffs.

    BUT hes a Terp – he wears a jersey and actually puts the ball on the court, which means that he has an exponentially greater effect on the game than I do, no matter how loud I yell. I can’t ignore the fact that he hit that big three near the end, but I’m not willing to forget all of the missed buckets near the beginning. He’s a Terp, and therefore I’m not going to boo him, I’m not going to make it harder for him to help our entire team to win.

    BTW, Bowie is pretty amazing, I think Gary said something about how he cemented his spot in the lineup after this game.

    Landon fouled out for the second straight time. He is forced to play inside to help our bigs, and he usually gets called for little things. The more the Bigs mature, the less he’ll have to play so far in, and the fewer fouls he’ll rack up.

    The refs were calling fouls a little suspiciously last night, for both teams. At least they were being fair, but the game’s momentum was lost multiple times because of it. At one point the terps were 12/12 from the free throw line. Bowie missed a bunch, but otherwise, I’ve seen that our free throw shooting this year is much better than it was last year at this time. (A lot of that has to do with Boom, i think)

    Someone (Yanik ?) keeps saying how they don’t like that Vas is so energetic and erratic – you should have seen how much Chuck D. was pumping him up during time-outs. The coach was jumping and yelling and screaming, and Vas was given a few moments to voice his opinion in the circle. I don’t know what to make of that.

    Good win – close game – Go Terps!

  27. 3-0 is 3-0

    Vermont’s gonna win a lot of games so this win will be valuable in RPI standings.

    I know it sounds crazy, but I was more nervouse about this game than the Mich. State game. The Terps will beat Michigan State.

  28. The fact that we were a Vasquez fall away three pointer away from losing to Vermont at home frightens me. We have 11 pre-ACC games left. We better win at least 9 of those, because I can’t imagine us doing better than 8-8 in conference with the ACC as strong as it is right now.

  29. I wonder if Dupree has played his way out of the starting line up. Could we see Dave Neal starting against MSU?

  30. If Braxton needs more bench time, maybe Neal is a better alternative than Burney. I guess we have a three-headed non-monster, but if they can play defense and rebound, we could be OK. Dupree did get a lot of rebounds in few minutes of play.

    BTW, I don’t think Burney has ever made a foul shot in his entire career as a Terp.

  31. For the record, Neal was +6 when he was in the game last night. Not a great stat considering the overtime blowout, but it was a +. He has a +37 in the 3 games so far which is the third highest on the team behind Vaz and Hayes.

    We better get used to him being out there because Gary loves the kid.

    Oh, and let’s please win at least one game against the Michigan schools. I would get roasted out here in Mich. if we get swept.

  32. WOW, Gary speaks out on Gilchrist/Woody. The goodness is near the end of the article.

    http://www.carrollcountytimes.com/articles/2008/11/21/sports/bsports112108.txt

  33. More Neal = bad. For one he doesn’t play big. He loves to hoist up the long ball.

    I like lots of kids, that doesn’t mean they should be starting for our Maryland Terrapins. Neal should be a stop gap measure, not a person we count on to win games.

  34. I think Gary is going to rotate Neal, Burney, Dupree and Goins around a lot over the next 5 games to see what combinations work. He said that al he asked of Dupree was to rebound and he did that. Hopefully Burney will work harder in practice and be able to contribute rather than sit for 38 minutes a game.
    Go Terps beat Free Shoes University

  35. I’ll say it again. Vermont is an excellent team, much, much better than American, which makes last night’s improbable come-from-behind win sweeter than had the Terps rescued victory from embarrassment in a win over, say, Youngstown.

    Dupree may yet develop. I saw some aggressive elbows from the big guy midway through the first half. I’m hedging my bets on this season.

  36. The bottom line is that Gary actually has to play some other big men. I have some confidence that given the opportunity Burney can make some signifant contributions on this team. I dont see how some believe he will get more minutes over the next five games??? If he is barely getting off the bench in the first few games i dont see his minutes significantly increasing during this stretch of tough games that lies ahead. I hope im wrong because we need Burney, we all saw glimpses last year of what he can do now please lets just let him have a chance.
    =Also agree on Neal i dont mind him getting ten minutes a game, but 20-30 minutes for that caliber of player is far too much. I dont care whether or not you love him or hate him that guy doesnt deserve that many minutes at this level period.

  37. I haven’t heard anyone mention Sean Mosley. His stat line: 4 minutes played; 0-1 FG attempts. Clearly Gary doesn’t trust him yet against tougher opponents. He has not shown much in three games. I get the sense that he is a bit intimidated at the moment. Definitely cause for concern

  38. Well, football Terps have to win out now. Wake gives up a TD with just over a minute remaing and loses by 3…

  39. Ban the blackout. I can’t recall a time we’ve ever played well when the students have done a blackout.

  40. In my Friday update I mentioned that Sean has some lingering effects of missing practice time with the sprained ankle. As he gets more practice and playing time he’ll adjust quickly enough.

  41. great link dbr gilchrist mystery solved.

  42. Braxton Dupree may be the worst post player this decade to start for the Terps. Still, I’ll take him over Gus Gilchrist and his entourage.

    This year’s bigs make me yearn for the days of Mike Mardescich. Maybe even Will Bowers. OK, maybe not Will. But these guys make Sleepy Randall seem intense.

    Props to Garyland on his speaking out about Tyree Evans. Dictator Yow won’t like it though.

    I agree with previous posts saying we would’ve lost this game last year. 100%.

    Michigan St is not a good matchup for us this year. Izzo’s teams are traditionally one of the best rebounding teams in the country. I hope we don’t give up 30 second-chance points.

    I hate Terps football today.

  43. great to hear about gilchrist from gary’s own mouth. love it. thanks. and great rundown jacob from the good seats. yes, i said i don’t like that vasquez is eratic…but i did not say i don’t like him being energetic. energy, passion, intensity, drive, vigor, gusto, gumption…..all good good good.

    erratic = bad for a leader, unless you want erratic followers. gary says he likes emotional leader. i don’t. emotion by nature moves in a wave pattern — up, down, up, down, up, down. you ever notice that pattern with the terps? did you ever see juan dixon whining and making sour puss faces during a game. no. he was a focused, stoic, one pointed assassin. every time i see vasquez pouting and whining i want to reach through the screen and smack him…and now i see milbourne whining. not good. never buckle, and if you do, never let them see you buckle.

    that said. vasquez is noticablely less ruffled this year. and he surprised me. i didn’t believe in him. i didn’t think the terps would pull it out…not by a long shot. i can’t remember the last time i saw them pull one out of their ass…john gilchrist? i was wrong and i was glad to be wrong.

    yet i did not see a team with a strategy in that game. i saw a team looking for a strategy. i saw a team searching…winging it…shooting from the cuff. i suppose that’s what the first few games are about, but it won’t work for long. i don’t have super high hopes, but i’m having fun….so i got that going for me. goonga galoonga… goonga galoonga.

  44. Hey guys I”ve been having trouble getting my posts to click on. Got lots to share about the VT game so this is a test that I’m getting through

  45. We needed OT to beat Vermont, at home – definitely not ideal. But we won. Remember AU and Ohio U last year. And a win like this – even against Vermont – gives the Terps a little extra confidence going into what is on paper a near impossible game against Michigan St.

    I echo the Vasquez sentiments. Despite his many faults, he is the leader of this team, and we have no chance offensively without him on the floor. Period. The last two minutes of the Vermont game provided the perfect illustration. Vasquez gets the rock in the post for what should have been our last shot, and he commits an egregious offensive foul (the hook was blatant) trying to go baseline against a smaller guard who he should have been able to muscle to the rim. Fast foward to the Terps’ next possession – Vasquez demands the ball with no time left and hits a 3 to tie, then contributes in large part to the Terps’ dominance in OT. I’m not saying he’s doing it by himself. But if you think we can be more competitive without Vasquez, you’re insane.

    Bowie played like a man in OT. If he can commit himself to crashing the boards like that for the rest of the year, we’ll be in much better shape. He’s got stupid hops and has obviously bulked up since last year, and he’s also proving to be one of our best defendes. Most importantly, he’s fearless, although I still get nervous when he goes hard to the rack (he’s often way out of control/position).

    Indeed, our front court is terrible. I actually feel sorry for Braxton at this point. He’s completely lost on offense, and you can tell he’s distressed about it. Go ahead, trash Neal, but we don’t win against Vermont without him. Might his play have contributed to Vermont’s runs in the first half? Maybe, but no more than anyone else on the floor (Braxton had just as many TOs as Neal did, I’m sure). Dino Gregory, although not much of a threat offensively, had a couple monster blocks and was much more aggressive than he’s been in the past. Not sure what’s up with Burney, but I agree he must have fallen out of favor with the coaches, because I’d take him 9 times out of 10 over Braxton, Dino, and Neal. He’s a ton more athletic, has crazy long arms, and can actually get to the basket.

    Jin Sook Kim is my hero. Please, get him more touches. “Go for it.”

    Finally, I think the missing link for this team is Hayes. He HAS to assert himself on offense if we have any shot of not embarrassing ourselves this year. And not just from outside. A lot of you might disagree, but I firmly believe that Hayes is one of the best threats off the dribble that we have on the team. Not because he’s very quick; rather, his length and solid dribble allow him to get a step on smaller guards and then rise over them once in the paint. And of course, he’s an automatic threat to shoot the 3, which gives him an advantage against guards who are susceptible to ball fakes, etc. Bottom line, if he or somene else doesn’t develop into an at least serviceable penetrator on offense, we’re just not going to score against better teams who lay the 2-3 zone on us.


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