The Maryland Terrapins are not making their road to the NCAA Tournament this season a very smooth ride. With the team losing their last three games, the most recent defeat coming this past Saturday on ‘Senior Day’ to the University of Virginia 74-60, they will have to travel down to Greensboro, North Carolina and knock off some heavy weights in the ACC Tournament to even be considered for the ‘Big Dance.’
With the players and coaches frustrated over their dismal performances, University of Maryland’s Men’s Assistant Basketball Coach, Bino Ranson, joined Thyrl Nelson and Glenn Clark on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” Tuesday to discuss how the team has responded following these disheartening losses.
“They responded in a positive way, a way in which you want them to respond,” Ranson told Nelson. “They want to win…their main focus is going down Greensboro and beating North Carolina State.”
Having emotions play a major role towards the end of the season, especially for the seniors, Adrian Bowie, Dino Gregory, and Cliff Tucker, this is their last opportunity to make a run at something special. Coach Ranson expressed his feelings about seeing his players upset and distraught at practice this week.
“You want to see that… as a coach when you see that, it gives you things to work with… if no one is showing any type of emotion then it’s hard for you to get up,” Ranson said, “so when they show emotion and show they’re upset… it shows us that they are here and want to do this.”
Head Coach Gary Williams, in his 21stseason at Maryland, realizes that at some point you have to look towards the future of the program and see what players you have that will make you a championship caliber contender consistently. Ranson acknowledged this fact, but was also quick to point out that there are still games to be won this year.
“You have to be careful, but also have to play to win. And Coach [Williams] is going to play the guys that is going to give us the best opportunity to win and I think that is what coach has been doing all year long,” Ranson went on to say. “Who are the five going to be out there to give us the best chance to win.”
One of those five has been freshman forward Mychal Parker, from Washington, North Carolina. A 4-star prospect according to Rivals.com last year, Parker looks to play a larger role in the upcoming ACC Tournament, and Coach Ranson agrees too.
“What Mychal has done is that he has worked hard, he has never gotten frustrated in terms of upset with us [the coaching staff]. He has come to practice every day and did what we asked him and now he is getting the opportunity,” Ranson explained.
With Parker showing signs of greatness for the future in College Park, two other players have been recognized for their outstanding play this season for the Terps.
Freshman Terrell Stoglin was named to the ‘Freshman All-ACC Team’ and sophomore Jordan Williams was named to the ‘All-ACC First Team’ and also ‘Third Team All-America’ by FOXSports.com & Yahoo! Sports this week.
Terrell Stoglin (11.6 PPG, 3.3 APG) has stepped up this season for Gary Williams and the folks down at Maryland in a big way. “From day one, I have seen Terrell grow,” Coach Bino Ranson told the guys. “In practice… we played one-on-one, he kind of got the best of me and I was like ‘That’s a fluke!’ But he kept doing it over and over and over again in terms of coming to practice and competing. I’ll tell you what, Terrell is a competitor and I love coaching him and I think the best is yet to come for him.”
The sensational Jordan Williams (16.9 PPG, 11.6 RPG) has lived up to the expectations this season, and then some. He was the only underclassman to be selected to ‘All-ACC First Team’, and was the second leading point’s receiver behind Duke’s Nolan Smith this year. With his nearly 12 rebounds a game (Side Note: He led the ACC in rebounds and was ranked 3rd nationally during the regular season), Williams has flourished for the Terps, and into a top NBA prospect in the near future.
“First of all, Jordan is a great kid,” Ranson explained to Clark and Nelson. “When you have those kind of expectations and you have to go live up to them and you actually live up to them, that’s a testament in itself of how Jordan has handled it.”
With all the personal accolades passed out, it is now time to focus on the job at hand, playing for an ACC Title, starting with NC State.
Upcoming Game Notes:
Maryland (18-13, 7-9 ACC), the 7th seed will face North Carolina State (15-15, 5-11 ACC), the 10th seed Thursday night at 7:00pm in Greensboro on ESPN 2 in the First Round of the ACC Tournament. The winner will play the Duke Blue Devils (27-4, 13-3 ACC), the 2nd seed Friday night at 7:00pm in the Quarterfinals.
These two teams are limping into the ACC tournament as the Terps have lost their last 3 games and the Wolfpack have lost 4 out of their last 5 games.
In the last matchup between these two squads, Maryland was victorious with a 87-80 win on February 20th in the Comcast Center.
The last time Maryland faced off against NC State in the ACC Tournament was in 2009, when the Terps edged the Wolfpack 74-69.