Yesterday was a bleak day for Maryland basketball and its fans. First we are told that the first blue chip recruit the Terps had a serious shot at brining to College Park since Mike Jones is opening back up his recruiting process. After this sobering news the Terps go out against a mid-major (a very good team but a mid-major none the less) and lose 83-77 to William & Mary in a game in which they were down by double digits for most of the second half.
Throughout the course of the game everything William & Mary did on offense seemed to be easy and smooth, while Maryland REALLY struggles in their half curt sets. W&M was draining threes from all over the court and when they weren’t raining down jumpers they were getting easy dunks and layups.
Maryland’s token press did nothing to stop W&M; and in fact became a detriment as they passed the ball down court and had two on one situations that ended in numerous open shots. Gary is probably one of the top-5 X’s and O’s coach in the nation but it just seemed like a 3-2 zone would have at least gave W&M a little resistance on offense. The Terps are a team that struggles to defend the perimeter as well as the paint and struggles to score when they are not creating turnovers and getting in the open floor; this is a recipe for disaster once ACC play begins.
I will give the Terps one minor excuse; the officiating was as bad as I have seen in a college basketball game this season. The refs routinely gave the ball to W&M when they were clearly the last team to touch the ball. There were also a lot of bad foul calls that went against the Terps including a play where Greivis was called for a foul after making zero contact with the ball handler as he fell down. But an elite ACC team shouldn’t even need to worry about the officiating against a CAA team; they should have the game in total control and be able to shrug off the bad officiating on their way to an easy win.
Now I will give W&M a lot of credit; they had beaten Wake Forest ad VCU earlier in the year and they look like they have a lot of good players. Quinn McDowell is a very good player and simply took over the game down the stretch. They also have a great inside-out game and have shooters that are just deadly from behind the arc with range for days.
With that said the University of Maryland should never lose to William and Mary at home EVER! But Maryland simply doesn’t have the players to dominate good mid-major teams.
Dino Gregory not only gives the Terps zero offense he blows defensive assignments way too much. I counted at least five times when he was out at the free throw line leaving the paint wide open and allowing W&M an easy dunk or layup. He needed to be planted under the basket to defend the backdoor cuts and cleanup the boards.
Adrian Bowie is another player that has no effect on the offense whatsoever. It seems like this season he refuses to use his athleticism to get to the rack for easy buckets. Instead he is settling for one or two perimeter shots a game; which is evident by the fact he is averaging just 3 points a game in fairly significant minutes.
On the positive Sean Mosley is really coming into his own as a player and has kept the Terps in a lot of games. Without Mosley I wonder if the Terps would even be .500. He hustles more than any player on the team and he has really put in the work to improve his offensive game. At just 6’4” Mosley is also a tenacious rebounder that gets at least two boards a game by simply ripping the ball from bigger, stronger post players under the basket.
Another player that should be stepping up is Cliff Tucker. Whenever he is on the court you see glimpses of the offensive spark he is capable of giving this team. Unfortunately he doesn’t look for his shot enough and seemed to fade into the background instead of stepping up and taking the game over.
As for the seniors they show up when they want. Greivis is Greivis and he is going to put up wild shots and make poor decisions with the ball but he also “brings it” on most nights. As for Landon he shows up against inferior competition but is a non-factor against teams that have any type of post presence. He is also a player that is easily thrown off his game and if he gets knocked around a little early he is pretty much useless for the remainder of the game. And Eric is going to be what he is; the lone perimeter threat on a team of poor shooters. With Eric if he has it going he is a dangerous cog in the Terps offense but when his shot isn’t falling he is pretty much useless.
I know it is the same song and dance every year but Maryland doesn’t have the type of players it takes to be one of the elite teams in the nation; in fact Maryland has a lot of top tier Mid-Major talent. We have not had that once dynamic player who can score at will and take over a game down the stretch; in fact we haven’t had that player since Juan Dixon graduated after the National Championship run. The fact that we can not take any of the really good players away from UNC, Duke, UConn and other powerhouses is something I think we are going to have to come to terms with under Gary.
The prospect of Terrence Ross the 39th prospect in the nation going to a different school combined with the graduation of Greivis, Eric, and Landon make the outlook for next season grim. I have no idea what kind of season we would be looking at without those four players but an NIT birth may not even be in the cards for that team.
It looks like we will be sweating it out on selection Sunday; but honestly as a Terps fan it is something I have become accustom to over the past few years.
After crapping on the Terps for a majority of this article I am not jumping off the bandwagon, I just think Gary is going to have to do one hell of a coaching job to navigate this collection of “talent” through a difficult ACC schedule.