Some Post Georgia Tech Perspective

I am reposting my thoughts after the GT game because due to a miscommunication, Gregg posted over top of my comments. Besides, as many have pointed out, the Vasquez issue has been beat to death. This is a nice segue to Miami on Wednesday……

At first glance the win against GT felt more like a stay of execution than a victory. A loss would have effectively ended the season, and it was discouraging to see the Terps struggle against the worst team in the ACC.

However, consider the following:

1. MD matches up poorly against the Yellowjackets. GT has a massive frontcourt and MD is well, challenged up front. So, it is not all that surprising that MD struggled. Some teams will just pose match up problems for the Terps (see Georgetown) and the fact that we won anyway should be encouraging.

2. MD clearly suffered from a hangover stemming from the Morgan State game. Vasquez shot terribly and what’s worse, his shot selection was awful. The whole team was pressing too much and GT took advantage. Yet, Maryland eked out a victory.

3. The Terps came to their senses down the stretch and executed (like good teams are supposed to do). Some role players had nice games (Mosley, JSK, and yes Dupree), so the Terps should be feeling better heading down to Florida this week.

Maryland does not make the dance without Vasquez becoming a 1st team All-ACC performer. Everyone knows this. But today, the rest of the team picked him up and gutted out a victory mostly without Vasquez. This should give everyone confidence.

Miami is now tremendously important. A win and the Terps can start to believe. A loss and they are on the outside looking in. Hopefully, Greivis will stop jawing with his own team’s fans long enough to realize what happened this afternoon.

(Editor’s note:   When I wrote this, I had no idea that Vasquez made those post game remarks, nor did I know the alleged content that Terps fans supposedly were spouting.)

It won’t be easy. Miami just went up to BC and won. MD will be a significant underdog on Wednesday night.

I may be crazy or suffering from irrational exuberance after watching the Ravens improbable win; but I think the Terps can leave Coral Gables with a W.

Some Post Georgia Tech Perspective

At first glance the win against GT felt more like a stay of execution than a victory. A loss would have effectively ended the season, and it was discouraging to see the Terps struggle against the worst team in the ACC.

However, consider the following:

1. MD matches up poorly against the Yellowjackets. GT has a massive frontcourt and MD is well, challenged up front. So, it is not all that surprising that MD struggled. Some teams will just pose match up problems for the Terps (see Georgetown) and the fact that we won anyway should be encouraging.

2. MD clearly suffered from a hangover stemming from the Morgan State game. Vasquez shot terribly and what’s worse, his shot selection was awful. The whole team was pressing too much and GT took advantage. Yet, Maryland eked out a victory.

3. The Terps came to their senses down the stretch and executed (like good teams are supposed to do). Some role players had nice games (Mosley, JSK, and yes Dupree), so the Terps should be feeling better heading down to Florida this week.

Maryland does not make the dance without Vasquez becoming a 1st team All-ACC performer. Everyone knows this. But today, the rest of the team picked him up and gutted out a victory mostly without Vasquez. This should give everyone confidence.

Miami is now tremendously important. A win and the Terps can start to believe. A loss and they are on the outside looking in. Hopefully, Greivis will stop jawing with his own team’s fans long enough to realize what happened this afternoon.

It won’t be easy.  Miami just went up to BC and won. MD will be a significant underdog on Wednesday night.

I may be crazy or suffering from irrational exuberance after watching the Ravens improbable win; but I think the Terps can leave Coral Gables with a victory.

Georgia Tech: ACC Opener Thread

This afternoon’s game is a must-win.  The Terps have to bounce back and prove that Morgan State was an aberration.  The ACC schedule is too tough to give up a win at home against a bottom division team.  I don’t care how big GT is, the Terps must beat them.

I don’t see Maryland blowing any ACC team out and GT is no exception.  However, Maryland is capable of playing better basketball than all of them.  Dedication, concentration, teamwork.  The keys to success.

Maryland – GT Thread

This morning’s game (It starts at 11 AM CT), is going to be a tough one for me. Not only are the implications huge for Maryland, but I am getting my 52″ HD TV delivered today. The delivery time is scheduled for right in the middle of the game. Ugh.

The game of course, is the top priority. They need to play consistent for 40 minutes. Just win, baby.

Halftime

The Terps turned in another fantastic half. They hit threes, assisted on 70% of their baskets, and played great defense. Everyone was involved in the offense. They looked like one of the best teams in the country. I’m not kidding. They way Maryland played in the first 20 minutes, would have outpaced just about every team in the NCAA.

Osby has been terrifi, as have Hayes and Milbourne. For the most Greivis has steered the offense well. However, he still had three unforgiveable shots in the first half. He went 15 minutes before he tallied his first field goal and you could tell that it was bothering him. He jacked up three ridiculous threes and completely inappropriate times. He needs to stop worrying about scoring and concentrate on his decision making. His points will come.

So here we are again. Another dominant first half. Can the Terps complete the game? They more or less did against UVA and failed miserably against Duke. Which is it going to be?

Postgame

Georgia Tech made its run. They cut the lead to two points. Maryland lost its composure. Vasquez’s alter ego made his predictable appearance. Nik Caner Vasquez began to force passes and take ill-advised shots. Gary ushered him to the bench and Hayes took control. He steered the offense and hit some big shots.

Then it happened. Jim Gist and Boom Osby each picked up their third foul. Gary responded by taking them both out and sitting Eric Hayes. The resulting lineup included Vasquez and four freshman (Turker, Turner, Bowie, and Dupree). Only leading by two, this became the game’s key moment.

Somehow, the Terps extended a two point lead to a 10 point one. It was inexplicable. Dupree kept putting the ball on the floor and turning it over. Vasquez took stupid shots. But somehow, the lead got extended.

That sealed the game. Of course, there was the obligatory collapse within the last two minutes (Vasquez andHayes both missed clinching FTs. Inexcusable!), but thankfully, the Terps held on.

Aside from the UNC game, the Terps have yet to play a complete game for 40 minutes. But here they are: 4-3 in the ACC with two big road wins. Their confidence is growing. Look at what happened today. They blew a 12 point lead on the road and they held on to win. This team is become a force in front of our eyes.

Up next is a revenge game against BC. Can our road warrior mentally continue? It needs to. Bring on BC!

Maryland vs. GaTech Preview

I am going to be flying to NYC tomorrow and I will not have access to the Internet for most of the weekend. Thus, I am posting a preview of tomorrow’s decisive tilt against the Yellow Jackets now. The Jackets have some nice wins in their favor, most notably at Notre Dame (I don’t care how bad they are, that was the first game of the season in a hostile environment and Tech torched them.) and against Clemson, but Maryland has a few things going for it:

1. We nearly beat Tech in Atlanta last year (we fell apart at the end a la Wake this year), so there is no fear. The Terps know that they can play with these guys.

2. Tashard Choice is one of the best backs in the country and he is the centerpiece of their offense. Well, the Terps handled Ray Rice soundly last week, and we should be able to keep Choice in check as well. Rice and Choice. Choice and Rice. What great last names, eh?. When I am reincarnated, I am coming back with a last name that is a noun, I swear it. Or at least one that isn’t so darn Jewish.

3. The Terps are at home. Byrd Stadium is our friend except when WVU is involved.

None of the above may matter because this game has wildcard that will essentially determine the game and the season: Chris Turner. Is what we saw in the second half against Rutgers, the real deal? Has the Fridge finally found a QB who can run his offense? I am extremely cautious because you would think that two months of practice would have given the Fridge time to discover Mr. Turner. He was third string until Quiz Maestro, Josh Portis cheated in his discussion class, so maybe it is just a case of being buried on the third team and not getting a solid look from the coaching staff. Regardless, tomorrow we will know if Turner can be relied upon to lead the team.

One thing is for sure, and that is that Steffy is not the answer. Even before that Rutgers player committed battery against him with that helmet to helmet hit, Steffy was killing us. He simply can’t throw down the field and get it into our playmakers hands. He took too many sacks and made awful decisions. He is D-U-N. If we are forced to rely on Steffy at any point the rest of the way, you can forget about a bowl game. Count on it.

The good news is that Maryland has all of the other pieces in place. Solid run defense and a punishing rushing attack usually translates into 8 or 9 wins at the collegiate level. Throw in a QB who won’t kill you with mistakes and can keep defenses honest by going down the field, and the Terps could be a tough out as we get into the meat of the ACC schedule.

Show you got what it takes, Mr. Turner. The Terrapin Nation-State is watching.

On a final note, how much would you pay to see a Biggest Loser: Celebrity Edition with The Fridge, Charlie Weis, Frank Beamer’s Goiter, and that coach from Kansas (I think his name is Mangino)? Now that’s a riveting Final Four

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