Last night was one of the biggest nights in James Gist’s four-year career at Maryland, and after a couple of games of playing as Mr. Invisible, the senior came to play with a career high 31 points and 10 rebounds in the Terps 74-70 victory at Wake Forest.
Like the NFL, any win on the road in the ACC is good. Last night’s was not only good; it came at the right time. Maryland, I think, probably has no room for error if they are to make it to the NCAA tournament. The win gives the Terps 18 victories on the season and an 8-6 mark in the conference.
I think they need to win their last two regular season games vs. Clemson and at Virginia to ensure themselves a spot in the Big Dance come March Madness. A loss last night, or in either of these two games, would have probably required the Terps to win either one or possibly two games in the ACC tournament for them to advance.
Greivis Vasquez also had a good night with 24 points, including seven straight points in the second half as the Terps pulled out to an 11 point lead before Wake made their own run in the second half. It was a good thing these two showed up because Bambale Osby and Landon Milbourne must have missed the team flight; neither player came to play.
I will say it again and again–when either Gist and Osby shows up, it makes Maryland tough to beat; when both come to play, they can challenge anyone in the country. When both don’t come to play, then it becomes the Greivis Vasquez show, and the Terps are flat out just not that good. When Gist and Osby aren’t on their game, it makes the team become stagnate on offense, and Vasquez does too much, leading to careless turnovers.
Osby was so ineffective (0 pts) that Jerome Burney, who had his second straight good night off the bench, actually started the second half. Milbourne, who played so well a couple of weeks ago, got his fourth foul early and was ineffective, as he fouled out with just two points and six rebounds. This bunch is so wildly inconsistent; you have no idea what Maryland team will show up from game to game or half to half.
Talk about Maalox moment: this season has caused quite a few cases (no field goals last 9:00 minutes of the game) of heartburn and acid reflux (20 turnovers). Today, at least they are still very much in control of their own destiny for an NCAA berth. Hang on folks, and stock up on your antacids. It promises to be a very bumpy ride the rest of the season.