Maryland opens season with win over Bucknell

November 14, 2008 | Glenn Clark

10:33-It is difficult to ignore that Cliff Tucker, Adrian Bowie, and Landon Milbourne appear to offer this team the best all-around game of any players on the roster. Milbourne and Tucker were particularly outstanding tonight; and are likely the best athletes on the team. Tucker’s size (he’s 6’6″, 190) SHOULD allow him to get looks against the better wing players in the country. As long as he can keep things up defensively; he should have great opportunities to make an impact all year long. Milbourne also has the athleticism to play with the ACC’s better strong forwards; but must be able to win rebounding and defensive battles.

If those two players can continue to develop game in and game out; this Maryland team WILL have the chance to compete in the ACC. A team lead by Greivis Vasquez and playing big man by committee is not enough. But a team using athletic forwards to lead the way and getting strong contributions from their guards can be a very good team. It is MUCH too early to determine which team Maryland will be; but it is at least nice to see the possibilities.

Maryland is back in action Tuesday night against Youngstown State; continuing the early season stretch that will give them the chance to develop an identity against lesser opponents. By the time they head for Orlando Thanksgiving week; we will hopefully know who this team is trying to be.

I’ll talk to you tomorrow at Byrd for what certainly appears to be a very big game. I got some video of Baltimore’s own Sean Mosley discussing his first game as a Terp; expect that up on WNST.net shortly.

-G

10:26-Gary is a funny guy. As the assembled media was working their way into the locker room; Gary humorously quipped “how come you only beat Bucknell by 29?”, followed by “Kentucky lost to VMI.” Trust me when I say that Gary knows what is going on around him.

Gary didn’t seem to be particularly thrilled about tonight’s game; but not unsatisfied either. He mentioned that he thought both teams came out ‘nervous’ in the first half; but that he liked some of the things his team did defensively.

Gary spoke very highly of Cliff Tucker, who he said ‘earned’ tonight’s start with his play in practice. Tucker certainly delivered in that start, pouring in 14 points and 5 boards. Gary said Tucker’s strongest improvements this season have been in shooting; and his confidence in his shot; which Gary said was evident when Tucker took 3 consecutive shot attempts in the 2nd half.

Gary said the big men are still working to prove themselves, and mentioned again that they all still have ‘opportunities’ this season. He said Dave Neal played the best game of any of the big men; as Neal had 6 points and 6 boards.

9:55-Gary tells Johnny and Chris after the game that he expects the Terps to “work hard”, and he hopes fans will “stay with us.” I’ll be back with more shortly.

9:53-Zach Evans is 1-2 from the line; and that will do it for the opener. Maryland wins 81-52; and they’ll improve to 1-0 on the season. 48 2nd half points for the Terps; and Landon Milbourne is the game’s high scorer with 16.

9:52-David Pearman is into the game for Vasquez in the game’s final minute; the crowd will want him to shoot.

Steve Goins gets his first point as a Maryland Terrapin; knocking down 1-2 free throws. Pearman gets the chance to take a shot following an offensive rebound; but wildly misses a 3.

9:49-Vasquez goes 1-2 from the stripe to make the lead 24 again with about 2 minutes to play. Steve Goins has checked in; making his Maryland debut.

Adrian Bowie attempted to throw home an alley-oop; but the ball rolled out. Dave Neal was there to clean things up; making the score 77-51. Bowie then adds a 3 to extend the lead to a game-high 29.

9:47-Castleberry and Andoh get buckets for Bucknell; but Adrian Bowie gets the strip and stuff to make things 74-48 with 2 and a half to play. Shazier follows with a 3 for the Bison; who have things back to 74-51.

Virginia has used 2 2nd half goals to move ahead of Wake Forest in Cary, NC. If this 2nd half score holds; the Terps will face the Cavs for the ACC Title.

9:45-GW manages to put away Boston U; 63-58 in overtime.

The arena has named Cliff Tucker Player of the Game; that’s a pretty good selection.

9:43-Vasquez with the no look to Milbourne; who uses the finger roll for an easy hoop and a plus one. Maryland now leads by 28 with under 4 minutes to play; and the crowd is leaving satisfied that the Terps will be 1-0.

9:41 Andoh gets a short jumper; then Jin Soo Kim follows by making the first three pointer of his Maryland career. The celebration is loud in College Park; but is short lived after Bryan Cohen gets a field goal of his own. 69-44 Maryland with 4 and a half to play.

9:39-Dupree does some nice inside work to get an easy hoop; he has 6 points and the Terps have a 64-38 lead. Behan responds with a hoop of his own; and Tucker is fouled after missing two shots but coming up with rebounds.

Mt. St. Mary’s knocked off Jimmy Patsos’ Greyhounds 84-76; UMES fell 60-44 to Stony Brook.

Tucker makes both of his free ones. 66-40 MD with just over 5 minutes left.

9:37-A pair of free throws by Milbourne is answered by an inside basket from G.W. Boon. 62-38 Maryland with just under 7 minutes left.

9:35-Towson finished off Navy 86-68; a good win for the Tigers to start the season. VMI stunned Kentucky 111-103 in Lexington. Barack Obama’s brother-in-law (Craig Robinson) is a 47-45 loser to Howard in his first game as Oregon State head coach.

Braxton Dupree misses the front end of a 1 and 1. That will kill you in ACC season.

9:32-Milbourne adds a pair of free throws, then a short hook off the glass to make Maryland’s lead 60-34. Milbourne now has 11 on the game.

Former Duke star Johnny Dawkins is a winner in his head coaching debut; leading Stanford past Yale 75-67.

Behan gets a tough 2 to make things 60-36 with 7:57 to play in the game.

9:30-Cohen’s 3 gets Bucknell back withing 22 at 56-34.

Wake did finish of NC Central, 94-48. All ranked teams in action so far tonight have been winners (Florida, Pitt and UConn all won easily).

9:26-Official timeout with 11:26 to play and Maryland leading by 23. This is not the same Bucknell team that beat Kansas in the NCAA Tournament.

Sean Mosley adds 1-2 from the free throw line; then two tough boards-one on each end of the floor. A nice turnaround jumper from the free throw line by Milbourne makes Maryland’s lead 56-31 with 9 and a half to play.

9:25-In what could have impact on Maryland’s pursuit of the ACC Championship; Bobby Bowden has suspended 5 WR’s for Florida State’s game with Boston College tomorrow following a campus incident in which a woman was struck in the face with a chair. Should BC beat Florida State; the game at the end of the season in Chestnut Hill will have added significance.

9:22-Bowie hits the plus one attempt to extend Maryland’s lead to 24. Jason Vegotsky follows up with a nice looking outside jumper of his own to cut the lead back to 21. Vasquez then gets a nice leaning jumper in the lane to make things 51-28 with 12:25 to play in the half.

Sean Mosley still can’t get on the board, missing yet another jumper, but he finally gets the first points of his Maryland career on a cutting lay-in to make things 53-30.

9:18-You could tell the crowd wanted to explode; but Cliff Tucker simply decided to put in a soft lay-up instead of emphatically throwing the ball home on a breakaway. The Terps enjoy a 46-25 lead; and Tucker has been the star of the game.

I don’t fault Vasquez for taking looks from the outside; as he is playing the role of “SHOOTING” guard. Hopefully his shot will continue to improve from outside throughout the season.

Bowie takes the ball hard to the hoop and hits the layup. The plus one attempt will come after the timeout; with the Terps holding a 48-25 lead.

9:16-Behan connects on 1-2 from the line; and the Terps’ lead is 44-25 with about 15 and a half to play.

9:15-Tucker and Vasquez have 10 apiece to lead the Terps right now; who know they need to get the bulk of their scoring from their guards this season.

The crowd actually managed to file in somewhat nicely; as despite the fact that their are empty seats in every section; this is a fairly packed house.

9:14-Castleberry knocks down a pair of free throws to get the Bison back within 17 at 41-24; but Vasquez answers with a patient outside jumper to extend the lead back to 20.

9:12-Dave Neal’s outside jumper is equalled by Bryan Cohen’s putback to make the lead 19 again for the Terps at 41-22.

It’s a final in the Lone Star State; where the #3 Lady Terps will open their season with a bitter defeat at the hands of TCU, 80-68. The Terps gave up runs of 11-0 to open the first half and 9-0 to open the 2nd half to seal their fate.

9:10-Cohen misses two more free throws; the Bison are now 3-10 from the stripe. Greivis follows up by finding Dave Neal inside for an easy 2; but Behan responds with two of his own.

9:08-Bucknell gets an early free throw; but Maryland responds with a tough leaner from Landon Milbourne; then a coast to coast hoop from Cliff Tucker to make the score 37-18. If you were to ask me which Terps offered the most complete game; I would be hard-pressed to choose between Tucker and Bowie.

9:04-Drew has been praising Towson heading into tonight’s season opener, and the Tigers are making his words count with an 81-61 advantage over Navy late in the 2nd half. The Tigers will face an uphill battle in the VERY tough CAA; but this has to be a positive sign for Pat Kennedy; who is dealing with some early season disclipline issues.

9:00-Depth is a GREAT thing. But sometimes depth can also hurt a team. The Terps have the advantage of using their depth to their advantage to allow for 9-10, maybe even 11 players getting a number of minutes on the floor. However, using so many different rotations sometimes hurts players who are trying to always know their individual roles. It will take a few games to get comfortable in knowing who is supposed to be doing what while they are on the floor; which is why it is a good thing the Terps opened with a softer start to their schedule than they have in past years.

8:50-Greivis goes to the hoop and comes away with no more than air; and we’ll go to the half with the Terps holding a 33-17 advantage. Dave Paulsen certainly was hoping for more consistency from the Bison in his first half as Head Coach at Bucknell; and Gary Williams was certainly hoping for more consistency from his team in the first half of his 20TH SEASON as Head Coach at Maryland.

8:48-Probese Leo adds a deuce for the Bison; who then force a Maryland turnover and will be able to hold the ball for the rest of the half. An ugly half for the Bison continues as they throw the ball away with 11.5 seconds to play in the half. Maryland will get a chance to extend their 16 point lead.

8:46-Jerome Burney missed the front end of a 1 and 1; but Jin Soo Kim follows up with two of his own at the stripe; the first 2 points of his college career. 33-15 Terps with about a minute to play in the half.

8:42-Boston College was a 80-65 winner over Central Connecticut earlier tonight; Boston U. has a 41-38 lead over George Washington; and Kentucky trails VMI 73-58 in the 2nd half.

Castleberry makes 1-2 at the charity stripe; but Castleberry follows up the miss with a putback jumper. Vasquez responds with an open 3 to make Maryland’s lead 31-15. Jin Soo Kim re-enters the game to the delight of the fans.

8:38-Cliff Tucker nails a jumper to extend Maryland’s lead to 14 with 3:46 to play in the half (24-10). Patrick Behan hits a jumper to get things back to 12; but Dupree and Tucker add FG’s to make things 28-12 with about 3 minutes to play. The defense is certainly a bit ahead of the offense right now; and the defense is doing a nice job of creating offensive opportunities.

8:36-Enoch Andoh adds a 3 for the Bison to pull within 9 (19-10) with slightly more than 5 minutes to play before the half. Landon Milbourne responds with a pretty putback (plus one) to extend Maryland’s lead to 22-10. The Terps have successfully managed to get Bucknell to play at a more frenetic pace; which certainly benefits them more than it does the Bison.

8:34-Again the Terps are able to get inside to Tucker for an easy bucket; but Zach Evans responds with a 2 of his own. Tucker is technically playing the 3 for the Terps right now; so getting points inside is a MAJOR plus.

8:33-Terps go inside to Tucker for deuce near the hoop. Tucker can present a matchup problems for teams this season; as he plays like a combo guard but stands 6’6″. 17-5 Terps.

8:31-Sasho Cirovski’s soccer team has advanced to the finals of the ACC tournament, knocking off Boston College 1-0 in the semis thanks to an own goal from the Eagles. The Terps now await the winner of the Virginia-Wake showdown.

8:28-Eric Hayes has attempted field goals early; but hasn’t necessarily asserted himself as the quarterback of the offense. Bowie draws Bucknell’s 6th team fould; and responds with a pair of freebies to extend Maryland’s lead to 10 at the 3rd official timeout-7:49 to play in the half.

8:24-Adrian Bowie gets a tough shot to go; but can’t add the plus one; and Maryland’s lead is 6 at 9-3. Jin Soo Kim enters to a MASSIVE ovation; but misses his first shot. Bryan Cohen adds 2 for the Bison; but Greivis follows with back to back FG makes to extend Maryland’s lead to 13-5 with less than 10 minutes to play in the half.

8:19-If the Terps have been sloppy, the Bison have been downright dreadful. The Bison have just 1 FG made; and are just 1-4 from the free throw line. The Terps will go to the 2nd official timeout with the same 7-3 lead. Not pretty thus far.

Elsewhere, Towson leads Navy 45-30; Wake leads NC Central 61-30; Mt. St. Mary’s leads Loyola 45-41, and Stony Brook leads UMES 30-25.

8:16-It took another couple minutes for the Terps to get another FG; but after a Hayes miss from outside; the Terps were able to get a mid-range jumper from Dino Gregory to extend their lead to 7-3 with just under 14 to play.

8:10-To call the start to tonight’s game “sloppy” offensively wouldn’t be fair to any slop elsewhere. The Terps were 0-8 from the field until Braxton Dupree finally got them on the board. Eric Hayes has since added a long 3 to give the Terps a 5-3 advantage. Greivis included a miss on a long 3; and Tucker and Milbourne each missed badly on FG attempts. Mosley entered the game even before the first TV timeout.

7:59-No TV tonight; and I doubt many of you dropped the few bucks to check this one out on ACC Select online. Judging by the crowd assembled thus ar; some of you reading this right now likely are holding tickets to tonight’s game.

Sean Mosley did NOT crack the initial starting lineup, as Gary chose to go with 3 guards, not the 4 he’s previously suggested he’d use.

The Terps’ lineup includes big man Braxton Dupree, Forward Landon Milbourne, and guards Eric Hayes, Greivis Vasquez, and Cliff Tucker.

Boomer Esiason got a nice hand from the crowd before the game; he’s tonight’s honorary captain.

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