9:10-It would be easy to question whether or not Maryland just proved that they are significantly better than we expected them to be; but that shouldn’t be the response to a win like this. Maryland took advantage of a team lacking their usual strong advantage inside; and got a win that could end up being VERY good.
Maryland was able to put a team away with a decisive run midway through the 2nd half. Unlike their football counterparts; they did not panic when things weren’t going their way. Gary used a timeout when Michigan State took a 3 point lead; and the Terps calmed down from there. That’s a strong trait from a young team. Sean Mosley gave the Terps good minutes, and Dave Neal was strong on both ends. The Terps should be somewhat fresh tomorrow night; as the last 6 minutes weren’t the run and gun style of hoops the first 20 were.
Make no mistake; this is a major win for Maryland; as Michigan State should easily win the depleted Big Ten with only Purdue offering particularly strong competition. If Michigan State can win the next two in Orlando; they should be in good shape to stay near the Top 10 nationally. More importantly; Maryland is in great shape to try to finish their trip to Florida with 2 wins.
That’s it for tonight; I’ll be back tomorrow night. Maryland improves to 4-0, Michigan State falls to 2-1.
9:06-Hopefully Maryland will get more from this win then they got from their win at then #1 Florida a few years ago. That win could have done wonders for the Terps; but the Gators struggled just to get to the NCAA Tournament that season. If Michigan State continues to win; this will be a MASSIVE win for the Terps.
9:04-Dave Neal misses a short turnaround that would have extended his career high; but instead hits a 3 in the final minute; his new career high will be 17. Michigan State can’t get a hoop before the buzzer; and Maryland will finish with an 80-62 thumping of the Spartans that will certainly reverberate throughout college basketball.
9:00-The Terps will become Michigan State fans IMMEDIATELY after this game ends. If the Spartans can remain near the top 5 this season; it will DRASTICALLY improve Maryland’s RPI. They have North Carolina in Detroit this week; which will be a good place for them to start bouncing back. Maryland will get another chance to improve their strength of schedule and RPI tomorrow night; with a likely game against Gonzaga should they beat Oklahoma State. Hayes gets 2 free throws, Michigan State responds with a jumper; lead is 17 again, less than 2 minutes to play.
8:58-2 from Milbourne inside; and Maryland’s lead is 17 with 3 and a half to play. A block from Bowie on the other end; and this one looks like it will be headed to Maryland as we go to the final official timeout.
8:56-Spartans resorting to long shots from the outside to try to cut the lead with less than 15 to play. They get one from Locious to make the lead 15 again.
8:53-Mosley with the steal; he’s fouled going to the hoop but makes just one of two. Maryland’s lead is now 18 at 71-53; their biggest lead of the night…..again. Walton cuts it back to 16 with a jumper; but Mosley makes it 18 again with a pair from the line.
8:51-Big night for Neal continues, as he gets two thanks to a goaltending call. He now has 14 on the night; and the lead is back to 15. Maryland doing a nice job of shooting free throws during the single bonus; as Mosley gets both of his; making the lead 70-53 with 6 minutes left.
8:50-Instead Hayes settles for a flat attempt from outside; and Walton hits a jumper on the other end with a foul from Vasquez to boot. Walton misses the free throw; the lead remains 13.
8:49-Izzo is forced to go back to Raymar Morgan trailing by 15. Dave Neal continues his huge night with a pair of free throws; and the lead is 17. Morgan responds with a jumper to cut the lead back to 15. Terps should go right at Morgan every time down the floor.
8:45-They do a good job of running the clock; but Vasquez throws up a wild airball from beyond the arc. Half of what they did on that possession was good. They need to continue to drive as the shot clock winds down for the rest of the game. Vasquez called for a foul on the other end; and we hit the 3rd official timeout with 7:47 to play.
8:42-Allen hits just one of 3 at the line; and Milbourne responds with a quick hoop inside to give Maryland a 64-49 lead; once again their biggest of the game. Things are going very well right now for the Terps; who could be in shape for a signature win early in the season. Less than 9 minutes to play right now; and the Terps can start trying to run the clock.
8:40-Michigan State cuts the lead to 11 with a free throw; but Vasquez hits a 3 to make the score 62-48. Vasquez now has 17. Neal fouls Allen as he attempts a 3 of his own; so Allen will get three attempts from the charity stripe.
8:39-Short break in the action to determine who will be shooting free throws for the Terps. They’re in the single bonus; and Greivis extends the lead to 12 with the free throws. He has 14 with about 10 to play.
8:36-Gray with the nice move inside to cut the lead back down to 8. Mosley then finds Hayes inside after Hayes made a great cutting move without the ball to get to the basket. The Terps are undoubtedly better when they are going towards the hoop. Maryland’s lead is now 47-37.
8:35-Mosley with the HUGE save as the ball heads out of bounds; and he turns it into an outlet for a streaking Adrian Bowie; he hits a lay-in and gives Maryland a 55-45 advantage; their biggest lead of the game.
8:33-I don’t understand everything in the world, and you can add to that list that I don’t understand why the ESPN producers felt it necessary to do a phone interview with John Smoltz during the game. I guess it’s because he’s from Michigan; and the Braves hold Spring Training at the same Wide World of Sports Complex where tonight’s game is being played; but it didn’t do much for me.
8:31-A steal and a layup for Hayes; and Maryland has a 50-43 lead. Hayes has 9. Frischilla with the nice observation of how things have gone much better for Maryland since Morgan went to the bench. A Michigan State bucket is answered by a 3 from Vasquez; and Maryland has a 53-45 lead as we hit the 2nd official timeout. Vasquez now has 12. Don’t like the constant outside shooting; but certainly like the outcome.
8:29-Maryland takes consecutive offensive fouls from the Spartans; and in between get a 3 from Hayes. Vasquez called for an offensive foul; and Maryland takes a 46-43 lead.
8:27-Nope, Greivis was listening too! The nice drive ends with a dish inside to Dave Neal; who finishes to tie the game at 43. Neal now has 10.
8:23-We hit the first official timeout with Maryland trailing by 2 and the Spartans getting the ball back. Dave Neal apparently got my message about the Terps needing to do more driving; but I guess no one else did. You mean no one in the Milk House is reading my live blog????
8:21-Roe hits the free throw, and MSU extends the lead to 4. Dupree gets a bucket inside to pull the Terps back within 2.
8:20-Nice drive from Dave Neal; who gets a layup to pull the Terps back within 1. Michigan State gets 2 back from Roe, and a plus one attempt.
8:18-Raymar Morgan picks up his 4th personal foul, and Tom Izzo isn’t happy. The Spartans are already playing down inside, as they’re without senior Goran Suton. Terps throw the ball away again; and Milbourne picks up his 3rd foul going for a rebound.
8:13-Michigan State gets the first 4 points of the 2nd half; with Landon Milbourne settling for a 3 point attempt. Make it a the first six points now as Walton adds 2. Gary needs a timeout as a 3 point halftime lead has quickly become a 3 point deficit. Spartans on a 12-0 run that extended through the half. Not a good start here.
8:06-The Terps were mostly good in the first half; but I was not pleased with the way they handled the ball late. Greivis Vasquez should NOT be controlling the offense, although his emotions tend to take over in big situations. Somehow Gary HAS to reign him in….which is tough; because Gary would prefer that all of his players play with the type of emotion Vasquez plays with. The Terps are playing their first game outside of College Park this season; so they almost need the emotion; as they cannot just feed off the emotion of Maryland students at Terps fans. You have to LOVE what Adrian Bowie is providing thus far; he should get the chance to do more with the ball in the 2nd half; but he needs to drive more and not just rely on his outside shot.
As a team; the offense can’t settle for jumpers in the 2nd half. They need to continue driving; and get their better free throw shooters to the line. It’s a one possession game; so it’s basically even right now. It is frustrating that Michigan State was able to whittle away before the half instead of Maryland extending the lead to double digits; but the Terps have to continue to force THEIR issue and not get lazy. We will likely see more press in the 2nd half as well.
8:03-Adrian Bowie leads the way for Maryland with 11 points; Travis Walton has 10 for Michigan State. No Jin Soo Kim for the Terps yet; which could be an interesting indicator of what his minutes will be like in bigger games this season. He’s beloved at Comcast Center; but might not quite be ready for playing time against major opponents.
7:55-Locious travels; and Maryland gets the ball back with 6.7 seconds left. They throw it away; and Walton hits a jumper at the buzzer to pull Michigan State within 37-34. Gary continues his “us against the world” mentality in his halftime interview with Andy Katz; defending their late struggles do to the team’s youth; and reminding Katz that the Terps will still ahead. I’ll be back shortly with analysis.
7:53-Sloppy play from Maryland right now heading towards the intermission. Korie Locious hits a jumper; then Vasquez misses an unnecessary quick 3. Roe then hits one of two from the free throw line; Bowie travels again, and Michigan State gets the ball back trailing 37-32 with the chance to take the last shot of the half.
7:51-Summers hits one of 2 at the free throw line; pulling Michigan State back within 8. Missed shots on both ends of the floor.
7:49-Greivis hits one of 2 at the line; and Maryland’s 37-28 lead matches their biggest of the game. Funny that after Jon and Fran discuss Vasquez needing to take better care of the basketball; he is continuously wild on both sides of the floor. Gregory picks up his 3rd foul; and now Michigan State is also in the double bonus.
7:48-Lucas misses BOTH free throws; and Vasquez is fouled moving to the hoop. Maryland now in the double bonus with over 3 minutes to play in the half.
7:46-Michigan State comes into the game ranked Number 5 in the country; but struggled last week against Dane Fife’s IPFW squad. You may remember that Dane Fife was on the Indiana team Maryland beat in the ’02 title game. Note: the Spartans are 5th in the AP poll; but if you’re watching the broadcast tonight and see them ranked 6th; it’s because ESPN uses the Coaches’ poll.
7:44-We hit the final official timeout with Maryland holding an 8 point advantage-about 3 and a half to play. Lucas will be headed to the free throw line.
7:42-Summers again throws his muscle around inside for a rebound; he’ll head to the line. Jimmy Patsos continues to get publicity for his unorthodox defense against Stephon Curry the other night; as Jon and Fran are discussing Loyola right now. It might not have been a win, but more and more people across the country are learning about Loyola. Summers hit 1 of 2 from the line; then Dave Neal hits his 2nd 3; and Maryland leads 36-28.
7:41-Kalin Lucas hits a floater in the lane; then Adrian Bowie hits a DEEP 3 with the shot clock running down; and Maryland leads 33-27. Bowie has 11.
7:40-I guess Braxton heard me; as hits both from the stripe; and Maryland re-takes a 5 point lead at 30-25.
7:39-One of two free throws from Dupree; then Gary hits a 3 after Bowie is called for traveling. Lots of fouls being called so far, which is slowing down the pace of the game. Dupree back to the line; where he needs to continue to improve; especially while the Terps are only in the single bonus.
7:37-Always an interesting question of who should be calling these games. Both Fran Frischilla and Len Elmore are working as analysts in Lake Buena Vista for the Worldwide Leader; Frischilla was a former assistant of Gary’s at Ohio State; Elmore is one of the greatest players in Maryland history. Both will call the Championship on Sunday; hopefully Maryland manages to be involved.
7:36-Both teams in the bonus at this point; and Austin Thornton gets fouled after a rebound. He hits one of two; and Michigan State cuts Maryland’s lead to 4.
7:33-Delvon Roe made just one of two free throws; but Braxton Dupree missed the front end of a 1 and 1 on the other side. Dupree was fouled by Morgan; that’s his 3rd personal. Austin Thornton hits one of 2 the next trip down; then Dupree missed a layup; and Walton hit down another jumper. Gary calls timeout as Michigan State gets within 27-22.
7:31-Georgetown and Tennessee will meet in the semifinals on the other side of the Old Spice bracket; the Hoyas held off Wichita State 58-50; while the Volunteers beat Siena 78-64.
7:30-Just because Maryland has a nice lead right now doesn’t mean Greivis needs to start chucking outside shots. He needs to stay within his game. Maryland called for a foul with the 9 point lead as we hit the 3rd official timeout.
7:28-Only one other ACC team in action today; as Wake Forest had to hang on to beat Cal State Fullerton 75-69 in Anaheim. Arizona State is the other marquee team in the 76 Classic; and Herb Sendek might know a thing or two about Dino Gaudio’s Deacons if they meet in the final.
7:26-Bowie gets another hoop to give the Terps their largest lead of the game at 7; score is 25-18. A Vasquez layup makes it 27-18; Maryland on a 11-2 run; and Tom Izzo needs a timeout.
7:24-Hope the kids didn’t notice; but as Mosley turned the ball over underneath the basket, he exclaimed “Oh S**t”. Michigan State returned the favor on the other end; and Milbourne gave Maryland another 5 point lead. Walton hit a jumper; then Braxton Dupree got his first basket and the Terps lead 23-18 with just under 10 minutes to play in the 1st half.
7:23-When they created a College Basketball Tournament at Disney World; it was only fitting that the Tournament would be broadcast on Disney-owned ESPN networks. Mickey’s company is making sure to do plenty of advertising for their resort during the games.
7:21-Gary has said that Bowie was a much more confident shooter; and that was evident in the Vermont game when the Catamounts had hit a big 2nd half 3 to answer one of Dave Neal’s big outside shots. Bowie told me after the game that the shot was the type of shot he wouldn’t have taken last season. His confidence is on display early, as he knocks down his 2nd 3 of the first half. That’s the difference right now; as Maryland leads 19-16 at the 2nd official timeout.
7:18-Mosley appeared to get a nice putback layup; but offensive interference was called-it looked like a good call at first; but was more questionable the second time I looked at it. Spartans out-muscling the Terps inside thus far; and Durrell Summers gets a pair of free throws after being fouled by Dino Gregory on a 2nd chance look. Hayes and Walton exchange jumpers; and we’re tied at 16.
7:16-Chris Allen knocks down a long 2; but Dave Neal responds with his 10th career 3 pointer; and Maryland re-takes a 14-12 lead. Sciambi notes that there have already been 7 lead changes in this game. Terps don’t want to get into a shooting contest though.
7:14-Durrell Summers makes just 1 of 2 at the line; but the Spartans get the offensive rebound; and Summers knocks down a 3. Sean Mosley, Adrian Bowie, and Dave Neal into the game; Bowie answers with his own 3 to give Maryland the lead back at 11-10.
7:11-Terps maintain the lead at the first official timeout; 8-6. As is the story with many preseason tournaments; coaches were encouraged to dress casual in Orlando for the Old Spice Classic. Like John Thompson III and Bruce Pearl earlier today; Gary Williams is going with the polo shirt; while Tom Izzo is wearing an untucked button down shirt. With Mr. Blackwell no longer with us; I figure someone has to make fashion comments.
7:10-Seems like a pretty decent contingency of Maryland fans in attendance; but Sciambi and Frischilla say the Spartans’ fans were the heavy travelers. Vasquez adds a long 2 to give the Terps an 8-6 lead; we should be approaching the first official timeout.
7:08-Hoops for Travis Walton and Marquise Gray; then a deuce for Eric Hayes and we’re tied at 6 about 3 minutes into the game. Jon Sciambi and Fran Frischilla are on the call; and they think the running start is advantage MSU.
7:04-Decent start for the Terps; as Raymar Morgan was given a gift layup early on a questionable goaltending call. Greivis Vasquez responded with a pair of freebies; then Landon Milbourne got a stick back to give the Terps an early 4-2 lead. Vasquez taking bad shots early.
7:00-I’ve never been to a game at the Milk House; but it seems like a strange venue for a College Basketball venue. Looks like a decent crowd tonight; for some reason Gonzaga fans always tend to travel well.
Looking back on recent Terps-Spartans history; the Terps’ quest to defend their national championship in 2002 was derailed by Maurice Ager’s Spartans in the Sweet 16 60-58. Maryland defeated Michigan State 2 seasons ago in Madison Square Garden 62-60 to claim the 2K Sports title.
6:58-So I’ve already had my first turkey sandwich of the post-Thanksgiving era. Life is good. Hopefully the hoops game will be closer than today’s football action. As Drew would say; who laid the bigger turd today; Calvert Hall or the Lions? Loyola might have beat Detriot by the way. Just minutes from tip-off in Orlando; but i’m here on my couch; having just finished my tryptophan-induced nap.