Terps Have A Center

February 10, 2010 | Tom Federline

There was  game on this past Sunday, besides the Super Bowl and it came in loud and clear through my TV and radio. The Maryland mens basketball team is hot. The Comcast Center was a rockin’! And there is a star a rising in College Park, Jordan Williams, not to be confused with Lonnie Baxter Jr. anymore. He is improving leaps and bounds faster than I had imagined. In the past two months this young lad has gone from a tentative, softy to a blooming freshman to be reckoned with. What a pleasure it is to watch him grow.

Sunday afternoon, after Shoveling Round – 3, I was lucky enough to catch one of the best Terp basketball games I have seen in quite some time. It also didn’t hurt that they rolled Carolina. In fact, they have actually won 5 out of the last 6 against them. The Terps were up by 10 at half, the “powder blue” got to within 4 at the 12 minute mark  of the second half, then all of a sudden BOOM! Terps go on a 14 -2 run and never looked back. Final 92 – 71. Turns out it is the worst loss of the year for UNC – the defending National Champions. Isn’t that nice?

The best move wasn’t on the court though. Someone with common sense (so hard to find now-a-days), from the Terps Athletic Department or who knows where, decided to open up Comcast to the students. This was in reaction to a potential 50% no-shows from alumni and the general public due to weather and travel conditions. Well it worked! The students posted and almost filled Comcast to capacity with a report of the attendance being 70% students. Something the football program ought to do with that empty upper deck monstrosity at Byrd. The place was LOUD! So loud my TV was shaking. But that also might have been due to me having Johnny Holiday and Chris Knoche, at level 10 coming out of my Bose speakers.

With 5 minutes left, Comcast erupts….NIT, NIT, NIT. Simply beautiful. Seize the moment you young Terrapin fans. You were snowed in, the Super Bowl was coming on in a couple hours, you had the arena to yourself and the Terps could do no wrong. Man, I miss college (not really). It did bring back fond memories of Cole Field House though, ’79 – ’83. The Buck, Albert and Lefty years. The crowd played well on the tube. Red, White, Black and Gold surging, cheering in unison……….and they weren’t cursing! The crowd (kids) actually showed some couth. Guess they were glad just to get out.

Vasquez and Hayes reminded me a little of Dixon and Blake. They know where each other are. There is confidence coming up the court. When Vasquez is cookin’ and the boys are hittin’, it’s good for the blood pressure. I know, I know, they’re only halfway through ACC Season, but they are 6 -2. “They haven’t beaten a quality team.” Well the teams in the ACC are never any slouch and there is a nice test coming up Saturday vs. Duke. Actually they are going to have quite a week with the Virginia game getting postponed from tonight to Monday (2/15), then NC State (2/17). Right now the boys are rolling. Jordan Williams looks comfortable, he doesn’t give in. Milbourne and Mosely are a presence and Dino Gregory comes off the bench with an attitude.

At the moment, coach Gary Williams has them believing in themselves and it shows. It may come crashing down; the young center gets targeted/foul trouble, Vasquez has a temper tantrum for a few games, Hayes and Milbourne go cold. All that is probably going to happen, but it appears Gary believes in these guys also. During the post game interview Sunday, Gary got all choked up talking about the teams effort, how proud he was of them and the crowd. Now that’s either Garys passion that we all know and love or he done took to many pain killers from shoveling for 2 days. Yeah right, Gary shovel? All I know is, if you get the chance check out Terp basketball. What else are you going to do? Watch it snow? Shovel? Drive in this mess, when you shouldn’t be?

Speaking of the white stuff and the Winter of 2010, “No More, No More” – Aerosmith. Play it loud! GO TERPS!