I was prepared to write about how shaky the Terps looked today, but as the headline suggests; the season moves forward as planned. What’s more, the Terps outscored FSU by 18 points in the second half and notched 52 points while doing so. Maryland did what good teams need to do. They followed up a poor half with good half.
However, it is safe to say that Maryland has played much better this season. I’d like to blame the flu bug going around campus, but Cliff Tucker was the only Terp listed as having the flu. If, as rumored, Gist and Hayes are sick as well then I will forgive their lackluster first half performances.
Again GreivisVasquez rose to the occassion today. Greivis hit big bucket after big bucket. His partner was Landon Milbourne, who played the finest game of his career today. He was 6-9 from the field and totaled 18 points. If Gary Williams can get that kind of consistent production from Milbourne, then the Terps will indeed win out.
Jim Gist and Eric Hayes need to wake up. Hayes’s tentative play really cost the Terps in the first half. How many weak entry passes is he going to throw? Gist continues to settle for fadeaways instead of taking it strong to the hole. He could learn a thing or two from his froncourt mate, Boom Osby. That man takes it hard to the rack every time.
The bench production needs work. I can’t discuss Dave Neal rationally as his presence on the court makes me feel like I am watching an intramural game. I understand that Cliff Tucker’s illness took away our only bench scorer, but was Jason McAlpin the best alternative?
Where are the big men? Braxton Dupree was a four-star recruit. Jerome Burney’s relatives have asked that a judge declare him legally deceased. It’s been that long since anyone has seen him alive. The same is true of Dino Gregory.
There is simply no excuse for Jason McAlpin and Dave Neal to be getting minutes on this team when there are legitimate D-1 players languishing on the bench. Are they that bad? Is their grasp of the offense that tenuous? More than anything, our bench production scares me the most as we head toward March.
The Terps can’t get to March without finishing February strong. Momentum is key as the season makes its turn towards the home stretch, and the Terps need to keep building it. Another weak opponent, Virginia Tech, comes to Comcast on Wednesday. The Hokies got massacred at UNC today and the Terps can’t give them any hope out of the gate on Wednesday.
Maryland should have plenty of motivation after the unreal loss that Va Tech dropped on the Terps in Blacksburg back in January. Here are the Terps marching orders: continue to take care of business and lock a Tournament before I head to Argentina on 2/29. I don’t want to be sweating out that Clemson game while chowing down at a Buenos Aires bistro.