Pick: I think the Terps return to the NCAA Tournament again this year. Look for Gary Williams’ crew to ride Senior All-American Candidate James Gist and Greivis Vasquez to a possible Sweet 16 trip and another 20+ win season.
Roll: Eric Hayes will need to look for his shot more as Maryland doesn’t have another reliable outside shooter on the team. Look for Maryland to get a heavy dose of zone in the early season.
Pick: Look for freshman Adrian Bowie and Braxton Dupree (Calvert Hall) to be first off the bench in the eight or nine man rotation that Gary will use. Dupree may even push Bambale Osby for a starting position by the end of the year. At least four of the six freshman must contribute in the regular rotation.
Roll: Bowie’s athletic ability along with the development of either freshmen Shane Walker or Jerome Burney as a shot blocker will be needed on the defensive end. Vasquez and Hayes aren’t the swiftest of foot back-courts. Maryland lost its premier shot blocker in Ikene Ebekwe and its best defender in DJ Strawberry.
Pick: The 2007-08 Terps will be Gary Williams’ best basketball IQ team and his best passing team since Steve Blake, Taj Holden and Drew Nicholas left College Park after the 2003 season. The last few teams just seemed to lack the chemistry and basketball smarts to be consistent.
Roll: Ten seconds left in the game, down one, who gets the shot? I am thinking Vasquez will be the one taking the shot, not Gist. He seems like the type of kid that just wants the ball and pressure.
Pick: Vasquez will use the lessons he learned this summer against Kobe Bryant and the USA in the Tournament of the Americas and push for All-ACC honors.
Roll: Every team needs an Osby, a wide body who will take the charges, hit the offensive boards, and guard the other team’s top low post threat. Hopefully, he can stay out of foul trouble.
Pick: Look for the Terps to finish anywhere from third to fifth in the ACC and make the second round of the ACC tournament.
Roll: With up to 11 scholarship players who might see time, everybody but Vasquez and Gist needs to check his ego at the door, because few will get 30 minutes a night.
Pick: Warning to the Terps ACC opponents: get them this year. With 6’11 Augustus Gilchrist and Baltimore’s Sean Mosley already committed. Plus foreign import 6’10 Ater Majok supposedly.coming next year. Gary Williams’ program is back and ready to compete for a Final Four berth in the near future!
Roll: Debbie Yow needs to start putting some thought into how to blend the need for revenue with the need for home court advantage. It’s a fact: the Comcast Center is not as rowdy as Cole Field House was. I have been to both and can make that statement. Maybe it’s too comfortable? The students although somewhat muzzled are still great and do most of the heavy lifting. The rest of the crowd seems to have caught Oriole Park disease. Come on people, it’s supposed to be a crazy college basketball environment, not the ballet.