Back at the start of the season, I originated the Pick n’ Roll blog to highlight the Terps and college basketball; then the Ravens suddenly got too hot and heavy, and there went that idea. So now here is a long overdue hoops blog.
Pick: Before the season, I said the Terps were headed to a Sweet 16 season and 20-win season. Come the end of December, I looked like a fool. The way Gary Williams’ bunch has played the last month of the season makes me look like a prophet once again. So I am sticking with my original pick. Terps go to the Sweet 16, even after last night.
Roll: I don’t know what Williams said to both Bambale Osby and James Gist, but they have been playing like legitimate NBA players for the last month. Gist has finally showed his All-American form, while Osby has become a force down low. Together, these two thoroughbreds have become one of the most productive inside tandems in the country.
Pick: I still think Braxton Dupree will be a very good college player. I think right now poor conditioning and this level of competition has him very unsure of himself. Hope his support staff stays with the young man and keeps on him. I know Williams won’t give up on him.
Roll: During the last month, Williams has played the starters more and shortened his basically all freshman bench. Looks like he is going to ride with his best five as long they hold out.
Pick: This is the best freshman class I have seen in college basketball in a long time, even better than last year with Greg Oden and Kevin Durant. This one has more depth.
Roll: The change in Greivis Vasquez’s game is simple with theimproved play of the front line; he is letting the game come to him. Where Vasquez gets in trouble is when he tries to be the man too much.
Pick: My February Final 4: Kansas, Memphis, UCLA and Michigan State. I think in the end Duke will be exposed for lack of inside play and North Carolina is a little too soft to make it into this group.
Roll: Love the three point rule, and I am even gladder they are moving it back to the international line next year. Maybe, some day they will wise up and put in the international free throw lane as well, it would make the game even better than it is now.
Pick: Maryland finishes 11-5 in the ACC, a remarkable turnaround given where they were in December.
Roll: I love the role David Neal plays for Maryland; every team needs a guy who gives you 10 minutes and does the sound fundamental things.
Pick: Michael Beasley from Kansas State is the player of the year for 2007-08. This freshman is a double-double machine. Hello NBA draft.
Roll: Here is hoping the roll that Morgan State and UMBC are on continues all the way to March Madness. They are the only two local schools not to make it into the NCAA tournament. I can’t say enough about the job Todd Bozeman and Randy Monroe have done at these two schools.