Picking Up The Pieces From A Blowout

Tonight was an utter disaster. There really is no other way to say it. I can’t recall a Terps squad getting so thoroughly manhandled. When was last time Maryland lost by 27 points? Not only did the Terps get embarrassed by a local rival on national TV; but a blueprint for how to beat the Terps was unveiled. Smother Greivis Vasquez and force everyone else to beat you.

Maryland is a team with serious deficiencies. Our best three players are point guards (Vasquez, Bowie, and Hayes); and our worst player starts at center.

Let’s start with the big stiff. Braxton Dupree is horrible. I mean horrible. I have given up on him. He took a five-foot hook shot and missed the rim. He can’t play defense and does not rebound with consistency. His only offense comes from put backs or “thank you” layups from a cutting guard who has drawn the defense away– and half of those opportunities; Dupree fumbles away. To quote the great Roberto Duran, the kid has “manos de piedra” (for the spanish language-challenged that’s “hands of stone”)

I wish the problems ended there. Landon Milbourne has fallen off a cliff. He can’t shoot or do much of anything else right now. He has been terrible since the Youngstown State game. Maybe it’s the constant rotation of players that is knocking Milbourne of his rhythm; but he needs to adjust because right now he is a liability.

Sean Mosley scares me. I just don’t see the stud that everyone keeps talking about. He seems a step slow on his drives and he has a slow release on jump shot. What’s more, he is laying brick after brick with those shots. There are problems on the defensive end; but he is a freshman so I’ll be more forgiving in that department. However, a lack of quickness and a bad jump shot are not easily overcome. I’m just not seeing the talent that I expected out of this kid. Am I crazy? I read the comments from the game thread and others seem to like what they are seeing out of Mosley. What am I missing?

The Terps are teetering on the edge of disaster. The Michigan game is now of utmost importance. A third straight double-digit loss and our Terps could fall right into the abyss. I still believe that this team is better than last year’s squad; but I am recalibrating my assumptions.

I had said in a previous post that our floor was not as low as last year’s team. I no longer believe that. We are capable of playing terrible. If teams can shut down Vasquez; we have almost no chance of winning. Without his scoring and playmaking abilities; we can look like a high school team.

Where will the rebounding come from? Personally, I think Gary needs to banish Dupree to the back of the rotation and he needs to insert Jerome Burney and (gulp) Dave Neal as the two-headed monster down low. Burney can block shots and he is very active. Dupree is neither a shot blocker nor active. End of discussion. As for Neal; I think he is the only guy over 6’7″ who knows what he is doing. He has earned the playing time. Throw in a little Dino Gregory and that’s our frontcourt.

The Comcast Center crowd will have to help against Michigan. These kids will need the support of the home crowd if they are to overcome the embarrassment of being outscored by 49 points in two games. They don’t have much of a break. Tipoff is Wednesday at 7:30pm.

Georgetown – Maryland Thread

I do not have much time to write anything as I will be traveling most of the day; but I can’t let a Georgetown-Maryland game pass without commenting on the importance of this regional contest.

The first MD-Georgetown game of recent history signaled the rebirth of the program.  Joe Smith unveiled himself to the world and the Maryland program finally emerged from the depths of the Bias saga.

The second MD-Georgetown game of recent memory ocurred during the Terps first successful March to the Final Four in 2001.  If you will recall, the 1990s witnessed countless sweet sixteen appearances for the Terps; yet never any appearances beyond.  Yet in 2000; on the brink of our first ever Elite Eight appearance; the Hoyas stood in Maryland’s way.  Again, the Terps prevailed.

Today, Maryland will be meeting Georgetown at a pivotal moment.  The decline of our program has been well documented; yet the Terps have a chance to reassert our regional dominance today.  With a win, Maryland can put a stamp on this year’s team that says “we are going to the NCAA Tournament”.

I will weigh in after the game.  Go Terps