While the Terps struggled in their 75-54 win over IUP on Wednesday night, the biggest story was the absence of Dino Gregory.
The projected starting center did not play in the Terps’ lone exhibition game due to an undisclosed violation of team rules. Head coach Gary Williams refused to comment on the suspension, which could mean the benching stems from more than just a minor violation.
Freshman James Padgett started in Gregory’s place as the Terps were sluggish against the Division II Crimson Hawks.
“I don’t think we were ready to play today,” senior forward Landon Milbourne said about the 21-point win.
Williams cited the team’s poor rebounding, as IUP grabbed 17 offensive rebounds and led the Terps in total boards, 36-35. The Maryland coach acknowledged Gregory’s absence as a major reason for the Terps’ struggles on the glass.
“You just need all your players to be your best team,” he said. “We’re fine. We’ll be fine.”
Sean Mosley and Milbourne led the Terps in scoring with 14 points apiece. Mosley was 7 of 9 from the field, including a few shots from the perimeter. The Baltimore native worked on his shooting in the offseason, trying to create more arc on his shot.
Both players commented on a need for the Terps to play better team defense. Maryland played more press in the first half, forcing several turnovers, but shied away from it in the second half in favor of working on its half-court defensive sets.
“Good teams learn,” Williams said. “It doesn’t matter how good you are, but you want to change to get better, so hopefully we learned a lot from tonight. A lot of guys had a chance to play, which is always good. We got through the first-game jitters, so we’ll just go on from here.”
Maryland’s two freshmen forwards had their moments in Tuesday’s exhibition. Padgett scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds, displaying some impressive moves in the post.
Jordan Williams grabbed three offensive rebounds and six total while scoring seven points. The 6-10 forward immediately provided a much bigger presence than any the Terps enjoyed last season.
“They were both a little nervous, but they did some good things too, so I think that was a big step for them,” Williams said about his two newcomers.
Maryland struggled with its outside shot, going only 2 of 13 from three-point range. Long-range shooting will be one of the team’s biggest question marks entering the regular season, as the team will need another perimeter threat in addition to Eric Hayes and Greivis Vasquez.
While the shaky performance will stir up concern, Vasquez, who chipped in 13 points, was quick to remind everyone the team still won by 21 points and will use the exhibition game as a learning tool to prepare for the games that actually count.
“Tonight we learned what we need to work on in practice,” he said. “Now that we know what to think, we really have to be prepared. We have to get ready to play. I thought overall, we did okay.”
And for a little perspective, Syracuse was upset by Division II school Le Moyne, 82-79, at the Carrier Dome Tuesday night.
It could have been A LOT worse than what we saw Tuesday night.
The Terps open their regular season against Charleston Southern next Friday night at the Comcast Center.
Quick Stats (points-rebounds-assists):
Team FG – 53.6% (30-56)
Team 3FG – 15.4% (2-13)
Team FT – 81.3% (13-16)
9:46 p.m. — It will be interesting to see if Gary Williams has any more to say about Dino Gregory.
The expected starting forward sat out tonight’s game due to a violation of team rules, leaving the door open for James Padgett and Jordan Williams to play more minutes.
9:44 p.m. — Milbourne is fouled on the shot and will go to the line for two.
David Pearman and Ersin Levent have checked in for the Terps in the last 30 seconds of play.
Levent gets the last bucket of the game.
This one’s over. Maryland 75, IUP 54.
9:43 p.m. — Vasquez FINALLY hits a three-ball for the Terps, and they’re up by 15 with a minute to go.
This one is over, but it’s hard to feel too warm and fuzzy with the sloppy performance in the second half.
James Padgett gets the lay-in, earning a final cheer from the Comcast Center crowd.
9:42 p.m. — Julian Sanders misses the three but gets his own rebound and lays it in.
That won’t make Gary Williams very happy.
Vasquez is fouled by Webb, and the senior guard will go to the line for the 1-and-1 and misses.
It’s a 12-point game, but only 1:39 remains.
9:40 p.m. — Following two Landon Milbourne free throws, the Terps bring the full-court press, forcing IUP coach Joe Lombardi to burn a timeout.
After pressing for much of the first half, we’ve seen very little pressure in the second half.
9:38 p.m. — After the under-4 timeout, the Terps lead, 64-50.
The Terps turn it over, leading to a layup for Sanders.
Vasquez tries the behind-the-back pass to Padgett, but the freshman cannot handle it.
It’s clearly been an ugly half of basketball for the Terps, as they’ve only scored 20 points in just over 17 minutes of play.
9:35 p.m. — Milbourne goes inside STRONG and hits the shot, putting the Terps back up by 16 points with four minutes to play.
Yes, Milbourne is undersized for the 4, but he’ll continue to see significant minutes there—at least until the two freshmen become more comfortable at the collegiate level.
Hayes misses a three, and the Terrapins cannot buy a bucket from downtown.
Outside shooting is definitely going to be another question mark for the Terps, regardless of tonight’s meaningless game.
9:29 p.m. — Jordan Williams tries to grab the rebound off the Young miss but cannot handle it. IUP will keep it.
Hayes then steals the ball and dishes to Tucker, but the junior guard is whistled for the player control foul, his second foul and sixth team foul of the half.
McLain hits a baseline jumper, cutting the lead to 14 with 5 minutes to play.
9:27 p.m. — Thomas Young is at the line and makes one of two.
Vasquez is stuffed on the inside shot and then commits the foul in the backcourt—something you don’t want to see out of your senior leader. It’s Vasquez’s second foul.
McLain hits the jumper, and Indiana Pa. only trails by 16. This one’s much closer than I expected it to be.
9:24 p.m. — Mosley is whistled for the foul, only the Terps’ third team foul.
After an IUP miss, Maryland comes the other way with Vasquez running the point. Bowie misses the three, and the Terps’ outside shooting struggles continue.
Thomas Young takes it inside and is fouled by Choi.
We’ve reached the under-8 timeout, and Maryland leads, 62-43.
9:21 p.m. — Vasquez pumps on the three and takes it inside to score with the right hand. I think we’ve seen that move JUST a few times over the last three years.
The Crimson Hawks take a full timeout as Maryland is beginning to pull away in this one. Terps lead, 62-43, with 9:09 to play.
Vasquez has 10 points in the game.
9:19 p.m. — Jin Soo Choi is now in the game, and Vasquez has returned. Gary Williams is definitely playing around with as many lineups as possible despite this still being a relatively close game.
Remember, it is ONLY an exhibition game.
Jordan Williams is fouled on the shot and makes both of his free throws. The 6-10 forward has a very nice shooting stroke from what I can see.
Maryland gets the ball back as Choi fakes the three but then misses the jumper. After an offensive rebound, Choi scores a few seconds later, earning loud cheers from the student section.
9:16 p.m. — Julian Sanders hits the bucket inside and is fouled by Cliff Tucker.
Timeout on the floor with 11:00 remaining in the game. Maryland leads, 56-42 as Mosley continues to lead the way with 14 points.
9:13 p.m. — Bowie is running the half-court offense as the Terps have definitely slowed the pace in the second half.
With the shot clock winding down, Tucker bricks the three, but Mosley gets the offensive board and puts it in—and the foul.
Mosley is unable to complete the three-point play.
*Side note, the student section has fallen in love with IUP’s Scooter Renkin. I can’t imagine why with a name like Scooter.
Mosley scores inside again off the feed from Milbourne.
9:11 p.m. — Mosley is back in the game, and Williams and Tucker check in for their first action of the second half.
Milbourne misses the three, but Mosley immediately announces his presence inside with the offensive foul.
Jordan Williams is fouled by Estrella and goes to the line for two. The big freshman hits both free throws to put Maryland up by 12.
9:07 p.m. — Darryl Webb hits the short jumper with Padgett in his face.
A few moments later, Milbourne hits a driving layup on the pass from Hayes.
Following another IUP miss, Bowie is unable to hit the three. The Terps have struggled from three-point land tonight with Hayes making the only trey of the night for Maryland.
Thomas Young then makes a nice cut and scores inside, cutting the lead to 10 points again.
We’re definitely seeing a slower pace at the start of the second half.
Maryland leads IUP, 50-40, with 13:49 remaining in the half.
9:05 p.m. — Vasquez misses a three, and it’s followed by several misses on the other end.
Very sloppy start to this one, as we’re almost four minutes in, and we’ve had a total of five points scored.
After Julian Sanders commits the foul, Vasquez finds an opening inside and Bowie hits him for the layup. 48-36 Terps with 16:09 to play.
9:03 p.m. — Padgett finishes underneath with the left hand, and the lead is back up to 10.
After Milbourne misses a jumper, Mosley takes a nasty elbow to the face, and the sophomore is down on the floor. As he leaves the floor, he signals to the official that he missed the elbow.
He must have been the only one in the building not to see it.
Bowie takes Mosley’s place in the lineup.
9:01 p.m. — Vasquez handles the ball to begin the half as Milbourne misses the 15-footer.
Akida McLain then turns it over for IUP.
After a Vasquez miss, Sanders hits a three for Indiana, and the Hawks are within eight points.
8:58 p.m. — We’re ready for the start of the second half. Milbourne, Hayes, Vasquez, Mosley, and Padgett will once again be the starting five.
The Terps will receive the ball to begin the second half.
8:57 p.m. — Both teams have returned to the floor, and we’re minutes away from the start of the second half.
I look for the Terps’ starters to go on a serious run early in the second half to put some distance between themselves and the Crimson Hawks.
8:53 p.m. — Not that anyone really cares (my apologies to a couple friends of mine who attended IUP), but Thomas Young leads the Crimson Hawks with 10 points.
8:51 p.m. — Sean Mosley leads the Terps with 10 points at the half. Bowie has 8 points and Vasquez and Milbourne each have chipped in six.
James Padgett has played 11 minutes and has scored 4 points (including a thunderous dunk) and grabbed 2 rebounds.
In nine minutes, Jordan Williams has 3 points and 3 boards (2 offensive).
Leading assist man is Greivis Vasquez with four while Bowie and Eric Hayes each have three dimes.
8:46 p.m. — One of the halftime contestants is sporting a nice Len Bias jersey. Anyone out there watching the ESPN special tonight?
I have it programmed on the DVR, and it’s definitely one I’m looking forward to watching.
8:42 p.m. — Vasquez is back in the game and is running the point. The senior misses a three-pointer, but Williams is inside and grabs a couple of offensive rebounds before putting one in for his first field goal.
After Young makes a basket for IUP, the Terps hold for the last shot. Tucker takes the three, but it’s an airball.
Not the greatest way to end the half, but the Terps lead IUP at the half, 44-33.
8:39 p.m. — The freshman Williams goes to the line for two shots, and the big man shows off a decent-looking stroke as he makes one of two.
On the other end, McLain hits the three-pointer. The senior forward has 8 points for IUP.
After a Terps turnover, Julian Sanders puts one in for IUP as several players from each side were battling for the rebound.
Gary Williams takes a timeout with 1:37 remaining. Maryalnd leads, 42-31.
8:37 p.m. — Jordan Williams has checked back into the game, and the Terps are now up by 15 points after a Hayes layup.
As expected, Maryland is simply more athletic and faster than the Div. II Crimson Hawks.
It’s 41-26 with 2:27 remaining in the half. Mosley leads the Terps with 10 points.
8:34 p.m. — Mosley misses badly on the jumper, but Milbourne is there with the offensive rebound and the putback.
Maryland is forcing IUP to settle mostly outside shots.
8:32 p.m. — Gary Williams has brought full-court pressure for much of the first half, and IUP has struggled, turning it over several times.
Thomas Young scores inside for IUP, cutting the lead to 29-24.
However, Mosley hits another perimeter shot, putting the Terps back up by 7. It would be HUGE for the Terps if Mosley can hit the deep jumper. We know he can play bigger than his 6-4 frame.
Padgett scores inside, earning his first points of the night.
After another IUP miss, Padgett slams home a missed jumper and the crowd EXPLODES. Very impressive athleticism.
8:30 p.m. — Thomas Young hits the jumper from the top of the key with Mosley right in his face.
On the opposite end, Bowie drives to the basket and is fouled by Darryl Webb, IUP’s sixth team foul.
Bowie drains both free throws, as Milbourne checks back in for Choi.
8:27 p.m. — Tucker grabs the long rebound off the missed three and starts the fastbreak, finishing with a nice dime to Bowie for two points.
McLain answers on the other end for IUP, and it’s 27-20, Terps.
Bowie now running the point with Hayes at the 2, and Vasquez getting a breather. It’s definitely an advantage having three guards that can handle the point guard position.
As I type it, the Terps turn it over, and we’ve reached the under-8 timeout. Maryland leads, 27-20.
8:24 p.m. — Tucker hits the baseline jumpber to give the Terps a 23-18 lead with 9:00 remaining.
Padgett is back in the game replacing his freshman counterpart Williams.
Bowie picks off the pass and slams it home, earning a roar from the Comcast crowd. Thirty-second timeout called by IUP, and the Terps are up 7.
8:20 p.m. — Hayes returns to action, and Cliff Tucker is on the floor for the first time tonight.
Bowie with the steal, but Milbourne’s pass is stolen, and the senior commits his second foul.
Into the game is Jin Soo Choi who earns a nice cheer from the student section.
8:18 p.m. — Mosley gets the steal, and he and Bowie run a beautiful fastbreak with Mosley getting the easy bucket and Bowie assisting on the play.
We have another timeout on the floor with 10:24 remaining.
Terps lead IUP, 21-18. Mosley leads the Terps with eight points in the early going.
8:16 p.m. — Vasquez is running the point with Hayes on the bench, and the senior hits another inside field goal.
However, Ashton Smith answers for IUP with a trey.
On the other end, Mosley hits a jumper with his foot on the line. It would definitely be a major plus for the Terps if the sophomore can become a threat from the perimeter.
Maryland leads, 19-18, as Bowie drives inside for the bucket.
8:13 p.m. — The Terps steal the inbound pass and Hayes hits the three.
Jordan Williams has checked into the game, but the big man is called for a charge after getting the ball inside.
Thomas Young gets the lay-in for IUP as there looked to be some miscommunication on the switch.
After another Terps miscue, Young hits another bucket.
We’re tied at 13, as Hayes takes a seat on the bench, and Bowie checks in.
8:10 p.m. — Akida McLain hits the three to give IUP a 9-8 lead, and we have a timeout on the floor with 15:20 remaining.
The Terps have allowed two early three-pointers, something we saw quite a bit last year with the undersized Terps being forced to crash the boards so aggressively.
Milbourne is at the line for two after the timeout, and he sinks them both.
8:09 p.m. — Hayes drives to the center of the lane but dishes out to Milbourne who hits the baseline jumpber. We’ve seen that a lot from the 6-7 senior forward.
Milbourne is then whistled for the foul on Darryl Webb as he goes up for the shot. Webb is a junior from Elkridge and makes one of two freebies.
After another Terps turnover, Sanders hits the three-pointer, and we’re tied at 6.
Quick pace to this one early as Mosley answers with a jumper at the other end.
8:05 p.m. — Hayes tries to find a cutting Vasquez, but the Terps turn it over.
Sanders tries to take it up inside, but Padgett is there to force the missed shot. The freshman certainly brings a strong presence.
On the other end, however, Padgett, cannot control the pass and it’s another turnover.
Webb then slams one in on the other end and it’s tied at 2.
Mosley answers on the other end with a short jumper. 4-2 Terps.
8:02 p.m. — Terps are dressed in white and the Crimson Hawks are wearing, you guessed it, crimson.
Starters for IUP are Julian Sanders, Darryl Webb, Thomas Young, Akida McLain, and Ashton Smith.
IUP wins the opening tip, but Vasquez with the steal and the lay-in.
Terps lead, 2-0. Hopefully, that’s as close as this one is the entire night.
8:00 p.m. — The spotlights are on and Zombie Nation is blasting through the Comcast Center speakers as the Terps are being introduced.
Gary Williams will send out Greivis Vasquez, Landon Milbourne, Eric Hayes (not Adrian Bowie), James Padgett (who earned a monstrous ovation), and Sean Mosley to start the game. We had previously assumed Bowie and Dino Gregory would be the other starts, but again, this is ONLY an exhibition game.
7:55 p.m. — After two intrasquad scrimmages, we’ll finally get our first look at the much-hyped freshmen forwards Jordan Williams and James Padgett.
Padgett has been especially impressive in the two scrimmages with Gary Williams even comparing the 6’8 freshman to Chris Wilcox in terms of his athleticism. Not to be outdone, Jordan Williams drew comparisons to Lonny Baxter from the Terps coach.
We can only hope.
7:52 p.m. — Well, I’m FINALLY at the Comcast Center after some ridiculous traffic and an adventure trying to find the media lot (go ahead and laugh, Glenn).
After continuing to suffer through an abysmal 2-6 football season, it’s time for Terps fans to turn a hopeful eye to the hardwood as Gary Williams and the Maryland basketball team has high expectations entering the season.
We’ll get our first look at the Terps in an exhibition tonight against Indiana University—no, not the Hoosiers, but the Crimson Hawks of Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Division II). I’ll be calling them IUP for short, and it’s the acronym that its students use.
We’re just a few minutes form game time, and I’ll be blogging and updating Twitter (@WNST) from courtside through the game.