Tag Archive | "Adrian Bowie"

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Terps flatten NJIT as Howard steps into starting role

Posted on 23 December 2010 by Luke Jones

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Rarely has the focus of Maryland athletics been solely on football so late in December during Gary Williams’ 22-year tenure in College Park, but the drastic changes of the last week would overshadow any top basketball program.

The lack of buzz is also due in part to the utter mystery surrounding Gary Williams’ young team as it plays out a string of three nondescript games before traveling to Durham to face Duke on January 9. The Terps have competed well with top-25 teams, but they haven’t beaten any either. Through the season’s first dozen games, Williams continues to search for the right combination in the backcourt to complement the dominating inside presence of sophomore Jordan Williams.

Returning to the hardwood Wednesday night after a nine-day layoff, the Terps cruised to a 89-50 victory over lowly NJIT that highlighted the shortcomings of the Highlanders more than any real potential of this Maryland team. In the final 3:54 of the first half, Maryland used a 20-1 run to turn a comfortable 16-point lead into a comical 53-18 halftime deficit.

However, the significant story to come from the blowout victory was a new lineup sent out by Gary Williams after weeks of speculation that change was coming to the backcourt. Freshman Pe’Shon Howard replaced Cliff Tucker in the starting lineup and ran the point as Adrian Bowie slid to the two-guard position against the Highlanders. Williams had used the same starting lineup in the team’s first 11 games, deferring to his senior backcourt with Howard and fellow freshman Terrell Stoglin coming off the bench.

In his starting debut, Howard finished with four points and four assists, at times looking hesitant running the halfcourt offense but earning praise from Williams and his teammates. Bowie scored 13 points, including three 3-pointers in an impressive shooting night by the senior.

“Everything depends on practice this year, and that is why Pe’Shon was out there tonight,” Williams said. “A lot of it is how we play different people on the court. He came in [in previous games] and Adrian was playing well at the off-guard, so it made sense to put [Howard] into the game.”

In contrast, Tucker responded well to the demotion, posting nine points, five assists, and four steals in only 12 first-half minutes. The senior looked comfortable in a similar role to the one he held for his three previous seasons as a collegian.

“You never know how subbing a player is going to affect them,” Williams said. “You may lose a player, or you may motivate them. I really thought bringing Cliff off the bench would help him.”

Whether the move results in a stabilization of the backcourt or is simply another blip on an already-inconsistent radar, a change hardly comes as a surprise. The Maryland coach has never hesitated to start freshmen guards, with Eric Hayes and Grevis Vasquez the most recent examples. It was only a matter of time before Howard or Stoglin broke into the starting lineup; the better question is whether both freshmen will be there at some point this season.

Despite last year’s ACC regular season co-championship feeling like a distant memory and the early-season struggles of this season, the Terps find themselves in nearly an identical position to where they were at this point a year ago. The 2009-10 team’s only notable non-conference win came against Indiana, a team not much better than the dreadful Penn State team the Terps defeated a few weeks ago.

The ACC looks like a one-horse race with Duke blowing all competition out of the water, but how the rest of the conference standings will look is anyone’s guess as we approach January. Maryland could easily find itself fighting for one of the top four or five spots or languishing in mediocrity.

We know how dominant Jordan Williams can be — the sophomore posted his sixth straight double-double — but the fate of the Terps’ NCAA tournament hopes rests with their backcourt.

“A large part of the point guard’s deal is to get us to play well offensively, whether that is making the shot or the pass,” Williams said. “It is a tough position, and that is why a lot of coaches were point guards because you have to be so intelligent.”

Perhaps the Terps took a step forward with Howard sliding into the spot, but if not, Williams will continue rearranging the puzzle pieces.

“It was good to see if [Howard] could take that role, and I think as a freshman it’s kind of tough,” said junior Sean Mosley, who started 16 games as a freshman forward two years ago. “I think he came out and did a great job. And no matter if Cliff is starting or Pe’Shon, we’re a team, and that’s the thing coach is trying to see. He’s trying to see what’s the best five out there for him. He’ll probably switch it up next game.”

It’s an answer Gary Williams needs to find sooner rather than later.

NOTES: Maryland’s 39-point win was its largest margin of victory this season. The Terps’ 58.1 percent shooting from the field was also a season-best clip. … Dino Gregory has scored 14 points in back-to-back games, matching his career high. The senior also grabbed nine rebounds, narrowly missing a double-double. … The Terps set a season high with nine 3-pointers. … Six Maryland players scored in double figures, the first time since the Illinois game earlier this season. … The Terps will now have a week off for the holidays before hosting North Florida on December 29.

***Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear from Gary Williams, Adrian Bowie, Jordan Williams, and Sean Mosley about the Terps’ easy victory over NJIT.***

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 09 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because I left “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” playing on a loop on my DVD player the other night, which means I’ve seen THIS scene play out about twenty times now since Thanksgiving. It hasn’t gotten old.

(Edit from GMC: You know damn well there’s an “F word” in this clip. Act accordingly.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk74WprmZxY[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says John Harbaugh didn’t intend to direct Tuesday night comments to all Baltimore fans

But there’s no doubt how folks in Charm City TOOK the comments, and that’s what Harbaugh is going to have to keep in mind moving forward.

I’m a little spent on Harbaugh comments following my column yesterday comparing him and former Ohio State coach John Cooper (you should go here and read it). I’ve talked to a number of football fans in town over the last 24 hours and there’s no question the comments stuck with fans.

I understand where John Harbaugh’s emotion came from Tuesday night. I understand that he’s as frustrated (if not more) than anyone in town right now.

But he HAS to be more respectful to fans-even when they’re insane. (Edit from GMC: Says the guy who loses his mind on football fans on a regular basis.)

It’s part of the job, whether he wants it to be or not.

2. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ravens LB Jameel McClain will appeal $40k fine

There’s no doubt McClain’s fine was a bit excessive for a first time offender who had no intent to hit Pittsburgh TE Heath Miller in the head. But something tells me the NFL has decided they need to make a statement in this case because the game was seen by a HUGE audience on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

Make no mistake. This will absolutely be a significant issue as the NFLPA enters labor discussions this offseason and we head towards a potential lockout in 2011. If the league wants any concessions from players regarding revenue, they are almost certainly going to have to concede this outrageous fines even if they are simply trying to protect their players.

It’s not going to be an easy fight.

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Ed Reed believes Steelers WR Hines Ward deserved fine as well

Speaking of fine, here’s a picture of Danielle Dwyer. (Thanks Brosome via Busted Coverage!)

danielled

4. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens lost CB Prince Miller to Detroit Lions, signed CB Danny Gorrer to practice squad

And before we move on from the Ravens, a couple of things…

-The Ravens return to the practice field at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills today. Harbaugh, QB Joe Flacco, RB Ray Rice, LB Ray Lewis and others are scheduled to address the media. We’ll have full coverage, so make sure you stay tuned to AM1570 WNST, follow us on Twitter (@WNST) and keep checking back at WNST.net.

-Did you miss Ravens TE Ed Dickson with Drew Forrester Thursday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net today to check it out. Some other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Sean Salisbury (“Sean Unfiltered”-Voice America Sports Radio)-who went around the NFL with Drew Thursday
  • Michael Bradley (Philadelphia Magazine)-who talked about his decision to not give his Heisman Trophy vote to Cam Newton with Drew Thursday
  • Our Morning Reaction “Cheap Shots From The Bleachers”, as Drew took a shot at Cam Newton winning the Heisman, and Glenn Clark took a shot at fans who don’t “get” the Army/Navy Game
  • Vinnie Iyer (Sporting News)-who went around the NFL with Rex Snider Wednesday on “The Afternoon Drive”
  • Barry Barnes (Fanhouse)-who went around the AFC North with Rex Wednesday
  • Jean Fugett Jr. (Former Washington Redskins & Dallas Cowboys TE)-who discussed the loss of Todd Heap with Rex Wednesday
  • Lee Hull (Terps WR Coach)-who joined Thyrl Nelson Wednesday for “The Terrapins Coaches’ Report”
  • Steve Beck (Military Bowl Executive Director)-who discussed the Maryland-East Carolina matchup with Thyrl Wednesday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat”
  • Mike Bauman (MLB.com)-who checked in with Thyrl Wednesday from the MLB winter meetings in Orlando
  • Plenty of audio from 1 Winning Drive Wednesday; including Dickson, Jameel McClain, Le’Ron McClain, Todd Heap, Derrick Mason, Anquan Boldin and Kelly Gregg
  • Post-game audio from Maryland’s win over UNC Greensboro last night; including Gary Williams, Jordan Williams, Cliff Tucker and Adrian Bowie

It’s all in the Audio Vault, so make sure you take a few minutes today to check it out. You know you want to.

5. MLB.com’s Kelly Thesier says Orioles, Minnesota Twins could finalize deal for JJ Hardy today

Between this and Mitch Atkins, I’m not sure how the Birds CAN’T win the World Series next year!

If they’re still looking to make a splash before the end of the meetings, I have a suggestion for Andy MacPhail. Consider Alina Vacariu. (Thanks Guyism!)

vacariu

(Edit from GMC: UPDATE-CBSSports.com now says the deal is done. Hooray!)

6. The Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec says O’s agreed to terms with Koji Uehara on one year deal

I don’t know if this has ever happened before, but if I were the Orioles I might go ahead and consider a ticker tape parade BEFORE Spring Training.

The Orioles made other news Wednesday, as they distanced themselves from comments made by Luke Scott in an interview with Yahoo! Sports.

I can’t imagine why…

7. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Adrian Bowie, Cliff Tucker respond to adversity as Maryland crushed UNC Greensboro

The Spartans stink. That being said, even they could beat Penn State.

Gary Williams said after the game he considered making lineup changes following the Terps’ poor offensive output against Temple in the BB&T Classic.

Cliff Tucker said he didn’t know he was starting until earlier in the day Wednesday.

Gary Williams WANTS to stick with Tucker and Bowie all season. Fans want to see Terrell Stoglin and Pe’Shon Howard in the lineup.

What ends up happening will have everything to do with whether or not Tucker and Bowie can play with consistency over the next few weeks.

Maryland opens ACC play Sunday afternoon (4pm on Comcast SportsNet/Fox Sports Net) when they host Boston College at Comcast Center.

8. TowsonTigers.com says Josh Brown and Rashawn Polk scored 18 points each, but Towson couldn’t hold off George Washington in DC

A loss to the Colonials probably won’t impress anyone, but a six point game against GWU at the Smith Center is likely a sign of progress for Pat Kennedy’s team. One major problem from last night? They got just one point from Troy Franklin. I don’t think they’ll win many games that way.

Towson now heads to Catonsville next for a contest with UMBC at RAC Arena Saturday night. The Retrievers had a rough night last night, as they were pounded by Rider 81-39. I’d tell you something about that game, but what the hell is there to say?

9. The AP says Shane Walker & Robert Olson each scored 14, but Loyola lost to George Mason in Fairfax

Tough night for Jimmy Patsos’ Greyhounds last night at the Patriot Center.

In honor of the holiday season, I’m going to try to make some spirits bright here. Here’s a picture of Tehmeena Afzal. (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

afzal

10. Washington Post’s Eric Prisbell says Terrapins Offensive Coordinator James Franklin finalist for head coaching gig at Vanderbilt

This COULD end up being helpful for Kevin Anderson and the folks in College Park.

James Franklin did a HELL of a job with Danny O’Brien this season. Should he leave for the Commodores, his leadership would be missed.

But the Terps have a MESS on their hands with this transition. Either they’re going to have to force Ralph Friedgen out and give the job to Franklin (which didn’t seem so unlikely a season ago), or they’re going to have to dish out a million bucks they don’t have.

If Franklin heads to Nashville, Maryland avoids that problem. Either they can extend Friedgen should he have another good season or they can hire whatever available coach they want to hire.

But bear in mind-the leadership at the University of Maryland WANTED James Franklin to be the next head coach. The move wasn’t just made to keep him from going back to Kansas State. They ABSOLUTELY thought Franklin represented what they wanted in a head coach.

It’s just become a much stickier situation than they originally expected.

And finally, I leave you with this.

Time for a few new versions of “The Greatest Song(s) of All Time This Week.”

It’s a Christmas edition this time around.

The retro version of TGSOATTW is “Christmas Song” by Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds. WIN.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x33XlnWWfaI[/youtube]

The new version is the version of “Last Christmas” they did on GLEE. Please don’t judge me because I like this.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoNvv7hq364[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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With ACC Opener Looming, Gary Williams Sticks With Starters in Maryland Win

Posted on 08 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Despite rumors a lineup change could be coming, Maryland Head Coach Gary Williams kept his starters together Wednesday night as the Terrapins (7-3) cruised to a 99-56 victory over UNC Greensboro (0-8) at Comcast Center.

The only player whose starting role has not been questioned by fans or analysts is center Jordan Williams, who lead the way for the Terps with 23 points and 13 rebounds in the easy win over the Spartans.

Guard Adrian Bowie and Forward Cliff Tucker have both been subject to the most criticism in recent weeks but responded in big ways against UNCG. Tucker tallied 13 points and a team high five assists in the victory while Bowie added 16 points. Guard Sean Mosley also filled up the stat sheet nicely, scoring six to go with four rebounds and four assists.

Maryland’s lineup (which also includes forward Dino Gregory) has been effective at times over the first ten games of the season, but fans have hoped to see emerging freshmen guards Terrell Stoglin and Pe’Shon Howard slide their way into the lineup, as well as sophomore big man James Padgett.

After a poor performance from a number of the starters in a 64-61 loss to Temple in the BB&T Classic over the weekend, there was a thought Gary Williams might shake the lineup to get going offensively. Williams had benched a number of starters during the game at Verizon Center.

“I considered everything” said the head coach after the win. “I watched a lot of video and things like that. A lot of times it’s a gut feeling. You hope you make the right decision because you don’t want to hurt anyone, you don’t want to make an unfair choice. I think it worked out well tonight.”

Gary Williams was particularly defensive of Tucker and Bowie.

“I really believe in them. They’ve been loyal four year players. That means a lot to me, I don’t know if it means a lot to everyone else. I’ll kinda go to the wall for the guys like that that have stuck with the program and played behind some good players and now it’s their turn. They struggled a little bit in a couple games, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be outstanding players for us this year.”

Tucker said Williams challenged the starters following Sunday night’s loss to the Owls, not letting them know they’d start against the Spartans until earlier Wednesday.

“I think we all practiced great” said Tucker. “(Gary Williams) put a lot of pressure on us, we all stepped up to the challenge.”

Maryland will open ACC play Sunday afternoon in College Park against Boston College, and it is unlikely any lineup changes will be made before the Terps battle the Eagles. Following their contest with BC, Maryland will take a 10 day break for final exams before returning to the floor December 22 against NJIT.

Should any changes to the lineup be coming, that might be the most logical time to make them.

Gary Williams may not have a lengthy history of midseason lineup changes during his tenure at his alma mater, but a move certainly wouldn’t be unprecedented. Memorable changes include Mosley’s insertion into the lineup as a freshman during the 2008-09 season, and the decision to replace Danny Miller with Byron Mouton in 2000-01, a move that would help the Terps reach their first Final Four in school history. Just two years earlier, Gary Williams benched All-ACC big man Obinna Ekezie in favor of freshman Lonny Baxter.

Sunday’s conference opener could be that much more significant for Tucker and Bowie as rumors of changes continue to swirl.

“(Gary Williams) knows how much ability I have to perform” said Bowie. “He’s been with me for four years now. It’s more of a challenge than anything.”

While most starters played well in Wednesday night’s win, their opponent did not provide the best level of competition possible. And while players like Bowie and Mosley are trying to reassure Gary Williams that they can perform at a consistent level, the younger players on the team are trying to take advantage of what might be an opportunity to crack the lineup. In the win over the Spartans, Stoglin tallied 18 points and Padgett added nine boards.

Maryland will get a much better level of competition Sunday. It will be a great opportunity for veterans and underclassmen alike to state their case.

As Gary Williams said Wednesday, “we’ll find out where we are against Boston College.”

-G

Hear from Gary Williams, Jordan Williams, Tucker and Bowie following Wednesday night’s win NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net!

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Sluggish Terps awaken in 2nd half to top Elon, 76-57

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Sluggish Terps awaken in 2nd half to top Elon, 76-57

Posted on 27 November 2010 by Luke Jones

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Chalk it up to a turkey coma the day after Thanksgiving or Gary Williams failing to major in psychology as the coach quipped after the game, but Maryland sleepwalked through the first half Friday night at Comcast Center before turning up the intensity to run away from Elon, 76-57.

Trailing 20-9 midway through the first half, the Terps looked sluggish and out of sync on both ends of the floor against a motivated Phoenix team that made six 3-pointers in the first half and controlled the tempo before Maryland trimmed the lead to 34-31 by halftime.

“The problem is you have to play at a certain level for 40 minutes,” Williams said. “We didn’t do that. That bothers me. And you know there’s always excuses out there, but the bottom line was Elon came here ready to play, they gave us their best shot.”

Perhaps the clearest example of the Terps’ listless first-half performance was sophomore standout Jordan Williams, who scored only four points in the first half before exploding for 20 points and nine rebounds in the final 20 minutes to lead the second-half comeback.

Maryland used a 19-5 run to begin the second half to gain a 50-39 advantage and held the Phoenix to a meager 25 percent from the field and 3 of 16 shooting from beyond the arc after intermission. Point guard Adrian Bowie (seven assists) demonstrated perhaps his best command of the half-court offense all season, leading the Terps to 51.4 percent shooting in the second half and repeatedly working the ball into the paint.

“We had more energy and played with more passion,” Bowie said. “We got the ball inside to Jordan, and he played well today.”

The slow start by the Terps and Williams can easily be understood given the circumstances, though Gary Williams will hardly accept it as an excuse. A post-Thanksgiving meeting with a mid-major school is bound to have players looking ahead to the next opponent and wishing they were at home with their families for the holiday. There was little to gain in terms of recognition no matter how many the Terps won by over the Phoenix.

On the other hand, an upset over Maryland would be a program-defining moment for Elon, and the Phoenix were the epitome of a team playing with everything to gain and nothing to lose, particularly in the first half.

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The developing problem is how the slow starts are becoming habitual for the Terps and Williams. We saw it last week in Madison Square Garden when Williams battled foul trouble and struggled to get into the flow of the game as a result. On Friday, Williams used assistant Rob Ehsan’s halftime message as motivation for his dominating final 20 minutes of play.

“It really touched my heart,” Williams said. “You could really tell how passionate he is about coaching. He told us that we weren’t playing to our potential and we needed to step it up. What he was talking about really hit me and made me play a lot better.”

Motivating words from Ehsan or Gary Williams — who surprisingly spoke calmly at halftime — are beneficial at crucial times, but why is a member of the Naismith preseason watch list having so much trouble getting going?

In a season in which the Terps lack the perimeter shooting or dynamic leadership in the backcourt, they must lean on their dominating presence in the paint. They did it in the second half against an inferior opponent, turning a perilous situation into a convincing win with Williams scoring 20 of the team’s 45 second-half points.

But it’s a formula begging for trouble as Maryland inches closer to the ACC schedule and the harsh reality of January and beyond.

“We have to come out with the mindset that we are playing a top team every game,” said Sean Mosley who finished with 10 points and seven rebounds, “and not worry about the name on the jersey because anybody can beat anybody on any given day. We have to come out and play with the same intensity that we played with in the second half and we will be alright throughout the season.”

It’s a lesson a team in transition must learn quickly with opponents on the horizon that will be far less forgiving than the one the Terps encountered Friday.

NOTES: Friday’s win marked the 14th straight victory for the Terps at Comcast Center where they’ve lost just once in their last 21 games. … Maryland had lost its previous two games this season when trailing at the half. … Jordan Williams’ 24 points and 13 rebounds gave him his 13th career double-double. His point total was just two shy of his career high, which came against College of Charleston earlier this season. … Cliff Tucker finished with eight points, marking the first time all season the senior had not reached double-digit scoring. … The Terps will not return to Comcast Center until Dec. 8 when they host UNC Greensboro.

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 24 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because I (like every Wednesday), can add two songs to the “Greatest Song of All Time This Week” category.

The new honor goes to Dave Matthews Band, who KILLED “Squirm” when I saw them in Charlottesville last Friday. As I’ve said before, there was a time when I didn’t think “Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King” was deserving of the Album of the Year nod it was given by the Grammy Awards. I was TOTALLY wrong…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_0cTJF5vw8[/youtube]

And TGSOATTW “Retro” version is a nod to the “family” event that is Thanksgiving. Here’s “Dance to the Music” by Sly & The Family Stone…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiIBwu2mjs0[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Mike Duffy says Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Michael Oher, Le’Ron McClain, Haloti Ngata leading Pro Bowl voting at respective positions

Of this group, only McClain and Ngata have REALLY been the best players at their position in the AFC this season. Lewis has played at a Pro Bowl level but is leading in votes by reputation. Ed Reed has barely played but also has a reputation. Oher has had an up and down season, but there was a movie made about him.

Duffy points out that other Ravens are deserving of consideration for a trip to Hawaii. Joe Flacco, Anquan Boldin, Ray Rice and Billy Cundiff are certainly deserving of being in the conversation, Terrell Suggs might be as well.

The good news (for people who care about this type of thing) is that the reputation of the organization alone will get more players to the Pro Bowl.

I don’t necessarily care much about which players make the Pro Bowl, unless a deserving player comes up short (like was the case with Jarret Johnson a year ago). Only Ngata and McClain really look like “must” Pro Bowlers this season, so I don’t think I’ll be disappointed when the teams are announced.

2. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens signed former Kansas City Chiefs OL Colin Brown to practice squad

Unreal.

You mean to tell me there was an open spot on the Ravens’ practice squad (after they promoted Bryan Mattison and released Scott Kooistra) and yet they DIDN’T sign Emanuela de Paula? RIDICULOUS! (Thanks Guyism!)

depaula

3. ESPN.com has Ravens 3rd in power rankings

And at 3rd, the Ravens are ahead of every other 7-3 team and even the 8-2 New York Jets. Just keep that in mind.

Before we move on from the Ravens, a couple of things…

-We’ll be out at 1 Winning Drive in Owings Mills today as the Ravens return to practice. We’re expecting to hear from John Harbaugh, Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis and more around noon. Make sure you’re tuned in to AM1570 WNST, following us on Twitter @WNST and checking out WNST.net throughout the day!

-Did you miss Ravens Director of Player Personnel Eric Decosta with Drew Forrester Wednesday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you head over to the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault today to check it out. Some other things you can hear in the Audio Vault today include…

  • Johnny Holliday (Legendary Terps PBP Voice)-who talked Terrapins football and basketball with Drew Wednesday
  • Sean Salisbury (“Sean Unfiltered”-Voice America Sports Radio)-who went around the NFL with Drew Wednesday
  • Joe Beninati (Washington Capitals Play by Play-Comcast SportsNet)-who talked puck with Drew Wednesday
  • Our Morning Reaction “Cheap Shots from the Bleachers”, as Drew resorted to BEGGING for the Orioles to get better players, and I got soft as I reflected on the community at Thanksgiving
  • Postgame audio from Maryland’s win over Delaware State Tuesday night, including Gary Williams, Cliff Tucker, Adrian Bowie and Dino Gregory
  • Jamey Eisenberg (CBSSports.com)-who talked Fantasy Football with Rex Snider Tuesday on “The Afternoon Drive”
  • Jorge Ortiz (USA Today) and Craig Calcaterra (“HardballTalk”-NBCSports.com)-who joined Allen McCallum and Rex Tuesday on “The MLB Report”
  • Andrew Perloff (Sports Illustrated)-who went around the AFC with Rex Wednesday
  • John Rallo (Shogun Fights)-who joined Thyrl Nelson for “The MMA Report” Tuesday

It’s all in the Audio Vault, so I’d get over there…like…ASAP…to check it all out. You’ve got a long weekend ahead. ENJOY!

4. WNST.net’s Ryan Chell says Orioles add bench coach Willie Randolph to staff

There’s a natural “I’ve heard of this guy so I’m excited about him” mentality that comes with hiring a former MLB manager for a coaching position.

My gut says that Willie Randolph will be a nice addition to Buck Showalter’s staff. That being said, we don’t really have any tangible reason to expect that Willie Randolph will make any sort of significant difference in Charm City.

Unless of course he could play first base and hit 40 home runs.

Of course, the Orioles were looking at Victor Martinez to do those things, right? Ummm…..

5. WNST.net’s Drew Forrester says Victor Martinez passed on O’s offer, signed with Detroit Tigers

Argh.

As I said this morning, I’m not going to give Andy MacPhail a pass here. If everything we’ve been told is true (the O’s offered 48 million and Martinez accepted 50 million in Motown without giving the O’s the chance to counter), I hope MacPhail learned a lesson.

That lesson is that no player REALLY cares about the team’s late season growth under Showalter and their decent young nucleus.

REAL players want to win and want to make money.

Simply competitive offers won’t get it done. The team is going to have to OVERPAY.

The Tigers themselves had to do it to get Magglio Ordonez and Ivan Rodriguez a few years back. It didn’t seem like smart business at the time, but it eventually helped the Tigers reach the World Series.

They knew what they had to do to get players. Andy MacPhail and the Orioles will have to do the same thing this year.

6. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Birds chose not to offer arbitration to Koji Uehara, Kevin Millwood

Obviously Millwood was never coming back, but I don’t know what to make of the Koji decision.

The good news here? With one (or both) of these guys gone, maybe the team can consider F.P. Santangelo…..’s future wife Michelle McLaughlin. (Thanks Busted Coverage!)

santangelo

7. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Cliff Tucker lead way with 15 points as Maryland topped Delaware State at Comcast Center

A lot of folks were upset that last night’s tilt with the Hornets wasn’t available on TV.

Don’t be upset. You didn’t miss a DAMN thing.

This one was never pretty, and seemed downright strange in the second half. DSU actually outscored the Terps 33-32 after halftime, but that was mostly because Gary Williams decided to play with some strange lineup combos, including one stretch where he had nothing but reserves on the floor.

Berend Weijs had a nice night last night. I don’t think Berend Weijs is REALLY an ACC player however. Then again, I didn’t think Dave Neal was an ACC player either.

Maryland returns to action Friday night against Elon, Luke Jones will host a “Turtle Power” live chat during the game.

8. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terrapins OL Pete DeSouza hoping to return from accident in time for spring practice

This would be a very cool story if it were to play out that way. There was a thought that DeSouza’s football future wasn’t guaranteed in ANY way when he suffered the accident.

Should he return in the spring, it could provide a MAJOR lift to the entire program.

9. The AP says Aric Brooks scored 17 points to lead Morgan State past Western Illinois in Cancun

Kudos to Todd Bozeman and the Bears. If I was in Cancun, I’m not sure how focused I would be on the task at hand. Then again, the “Palace Arena” might help to humble me…

arena

A ballroom. An effing ballroom. Unbelievable. Eh…you’re still in Cancun.

10. The AP says Michael Harper lead way with 21 points as Coppin State topped UMBC as CSPEC

A couple of games today featuring local teams. Morgan plays a second game in as many days at the Cancun Challenge, as they face North Florida. Towson hosts Navy tonight at the Towson Center-that game tips at 7. Loyola visits Mike Lonergan and Vermont, that game tips at 7 as well.

And if all of that isn’t enough, here’s a picture of Monica Leigh, too! (Thanks The Smoking Jacket!)

monicaleigh

And finally, I leave you with this.

The Miz won the WWE Championship?!?!? AWE.SOME.!!!!!!!!!!!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmiF16nE9YI[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Through Six Games, Maryland Unquestionably Better With Tucker on Floor

Posted on 23 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Don’t think I’m getting ahead of myself. In no way is this column going to suggest that there is anyone on the 2010-2011 Maryland Terrapins basketball roster who could somehow replace a player like Greivis Vasquez.

But something struck me Tuesday night as the Terps (4-2) polished off MEAC foe Delaware State (1-1) 72-54 at Comcast Center.

It seems as though Maryland is best when G/F Cliff Tucker is the most focal point of the offense.

Maybe this was to be expected. After all, Tucker is a senior, and his 6’6″, 200 pound frame with deceptive quickness make him a unique matchup problem on the wing for any team in the Atlantic Coast Conference or elsewhere in the country.

On Tuesday, Tucker was an effective 6-7 from the field, scoring a team high 15 points in just 24 minutes.

He hasn’t become an offensive “star” by any stretch of the imagination, but he’s clearly stood out as the team’s best wing.

“Cliff’s a very important part of our team, obviously” said Head Coach Gary Williams. “He’s one of our best shooters, he’s been a double figure scorer.”

Digging deeper into Tucker’s effectiveness; the senior played 14 minutes in the first half of Tuesday night’s game. He lead Maryland with 11 points on 4-5 shooting and added three rebounds. Maryland outscored Delaware State 40-21 in the half.

In the second half, Tucker played just 10 minutes, scoring only 4 points. Maryland was outscored by the Hornets 33-32 in the half.

It seems to be a bit of a trend.

D1scourse author Patrick Stevens keeps a running tally of the team’s performance when each player is on the floor during a given game. For the season, Stevens tallied a 64 point advantage for Maryland when Tucker has been on the floor. The “plus” 64 points matches center Jordan Williams (the team’s leading scorer) as the biggest differential of any player through the first six games.

He’s not Vasquez (nor should he be expected to be), but he’s certainly been the team’s best offensive wing early on the season. It’s also particularly evident that the team has been better with Tucker on the floor.

With all of that being said, it seemed a bit strange to see Tucker sitting on the bench in the second half Tuesday, especially after having sat for much of the second half in Maryland’s previous game against Illinois at Madison Square Garden.

“We’re just trying to find combinations right now” said Williams. “I thought the guys that were in there played great together.” Williams went on to add “we have a lot more guards than we have inside players too. I gotta get some guys on the court this time of the year. Cliff’s gonna be there in big games.”

For his part, Tucker seemed completely understanding of not seeing much of the second half in a game that wasn’t particularly in doubt.

“There’s time’s where I wanted to be in the game, but coach probably wants to rest me a little more” said the young man from El Paso. “We kinda had the game in hand. I’m not upset, I’m on the bench supporting my team.”

If Maryland is going to be a power in the ACC this season, it looks like they’re going to need Tucker on the floor in every stretch.

Tucker entered the season needing to prove himself as more than just the player who hit “the shot” against Georgia Tech (a buzzer-beating three pointer to stun the Yellow Jackets at Comcast Center) in his junior season.

He’s already shown himself to be capable of consistency during his senior campaign. As that continues, Maryland will have a much better chance to perform at a similarly consistent level as a team.

-G

Hear from Williams, Tucker, G Adrian Bowie and F Dino Gregory following Maryland’s win NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault right here at WNST.net!

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Maryland mauls Maine, looks ahead to Madison Square Garden

Posted on 14 November 2010 by Luke Jones

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Resisting the urge to peek toward two big games at Madison Square Garden later this week, the Terrapins used a strong first-half finish to blow out Maine, 89-59, and move their record to 3-0 through the first week of the season.

Jordan Williams continued his early domination, scoring 20 points and grabbing 11 rebounds for his third consecutive double-double to begin the season, and senior guard Cliff Tucker scored 16 points in the first half to pace a 23-6 run that put Maryland ahead by 23 points at intermission.

Having played at Utah Valley on Friday night, the Black Bears were playing their second road game in less than 48 hours, committing 17 turnovers and shooting just 32.7 percent from the field in a sluggish performance against the athletic Terrapins.

“The big thing today is that I thought we executed a little better in the half court, which we were looking for,” Gary Williams said. “But nobody is where they want to be Nov. 14th, you have to keep improving. If you can’t play in March, then it doesn’t matter.”

The Terps’ performance from the free-throw line was an encouraging sign for the Terps in the win against Maine. After shooting an atrocious 27.8 percent from the line against Charleston, Maryland shot 75.8 percent (25-for-33) against the Black Bears, including an impressive 19-for-22 in the second half.

Maryland has shaved its number of turnovers to 14 after committing 47 turnovers in their first two contests.

Concerns remain, however, especially with the inconsistency of junior captain Sean Mosley, who went scoreless after dealing with foul trouble in 16 minutes of action Sunday. After scoring 21 points against Seattle in the season opener, Mosley has scored a combined three points in the two games since, not exactly the performance you want  from your leading returning scorer and a key player the Terps are counting on to pick up the scoring slack left behind by the three graduating seniors from a season ago.

“He’s struggling a little bit, but [Mosley's] a competitor,” Williams said. “He’s gotten where he is by being a great leader and great competitor.”

Following the game, Williams eluded to his tentative eight- or nine-man rotation he’ll use when the competition stiffens this week. The head coach specifically mentioned Stoglin, Howard, Berend Weijs, James Padgett, and Haukur Palsson — in that order — when asked about whether he had settled on an early rotation off the bench.

“I want to be able to play people at different positions and have interchangeable parts.”

With three nondescript opponents now out of the way — and the Terps having survived a scare against the College of Charleston Wednesday night — the road becomes far more difficult this week when Maryland travels to Madison Square Garden to take on No. 5 Pittsburgh Thursday night and either No. 13 Illinois or Big XII power Texas on Friday night to conclude the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer.

Freshman guards Terrell Stoglin (14 points) and Pe’Shon Howard (5 points) have easily been the most impressive of the Maryland newcomers, but no one knows how the pair will respond under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden and a top-5 opponent in Pittsburgh.

The trip to the Big Apple figures to be a good litmus test to gauge where the Terps stand presently after two easy wins against Seattle and Maine and a surprising thriller against Charleston in the opening week of the season.

“Especially in the game against Charleston, you can see what we are made of,” guard Adrian Bowie said. “The first three games were a good tone-setter and now we have a really good team that we’re going to play and potentially a really good team after that too.”

A disappointing performance in the championship rounds of the preseason tournament, however, shouldn’t discourage too much in projecting how competitive the Terps will be in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season. One only has to think back to last Thanksgiving when the eventual ACC regular season co-champions went to Maui and laid eggs against Cincinnati and Wisconsin to remember how quickly fortunes can change in the college basketball season.

“I think every team is hoping you’re at a pretty good level now,” Gary Williams said. “We’ll see where we are [this week].”

NOTES: The Terps have won their first three games five seasons in a row. … Williams had his fifth straight double-double dating back to last season, the first Terp to accomplish that since Joe Smith in 1995. The sophomore also scored 20-plus points for the second time this year and third time in his career. … Despite facing heavy pressure for playing time from Stoglin and Howard, Bowie finished with nine points, eight rebounds, five assists, and no turnovers. … Tucker has scored in double figures in three straight games, the first time in his career he’s done that.

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Freshman Howard saves day for Terps in last-second 75-74 win over College of Charleston

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Freshman Howard saves day for Terps in last-second 75-74 win over College of Charleston

Posted on 11 November 2010 by Luke Jones

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Gary Williams had to be having flashbacks for much of the second half Wednesday night.

Maryland hadn’t played the College of Charleston since 1997, a disappointing first-round upset that sent senior — and current assistant coach — Keith Booth and the Terps home early in the NCAA Tournament.

Current freshman Pe’Shon Howard was only six years old at the time, but his game-winning shot with 4.6 seconds left prevented lightning from striking twice in a thrilling 75-74 win over the Cougars. The point guard scored 14 points and handed out four assists on the night, but no shot was bigger than the falling-away jumper he took after Charleston double-teamed center Jordan Williams in the closing seconds.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvZFbTDL_uI[/youtube]

“I knew I took care of the ball [on the last possession], so I know I got a good shot,” Howard said. “And I’m just glad it went in.”

Though a November loss for an inexperienced team would not have had the same crushing impact as that defeat in mid-March 13 years ago, it’s never good losing to a non-conference opponent on your home floor. Just ask the Terps, who have fallen victim several times in recent seasons, including once to William & Mary last season despite going on to win a share of the ACC regular season title.

With three seniors graduating from that championship team, including ACC Player of the Year Greivis Vasquez, the question of who would emerge with the Terrapins trailing by six with less than three minutes to go begged to be asked.

No one expected the answer received, however, as Howard didn’t blink in his second collegiate game. The freshman from Oak Hill Academy played the point for much of the second half and was entrusted with the ball after senior Adrian Bowie left with an undisclosed injury at the 3:27 mark. With Maryland trailing 74-68 with 2:42 remaining, Howard hit two field goals to lead a 7-0 run to close the game.

“He never flinched, and that is hard to do as a freshman,” the coach said. “He is a great point guard. I really trust him, and he has confidence in himself. He worked, he scored, and that is great for his confidence. He wanted to come to Maryland for a long time, and he has high goals for himself and the team.”

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Before Howard’s heroic moment, Williams was the star of the night in the paint for Maryland, scoring 26 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. For much of the evening, Williams and Charleston guard Andrew Goudelock (27 points) put on an impressive show at opposite ends of the floor. Cougars coach Bobby Cremins’ team led from the 10:30 mark in the second half until Howard’s shot, looking more like one of the teams Cremins coached as the head man at Georgia Tech against the Terps over a decade ago.

Much will be said about Maryland’s struggles against a Southern Conference team that hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament since 1999, but most expected an uneven season for a transitioning Maryland squad that includes six newcomers. The Terps will undoubtedly need to work on their foul-shooting (5-for-18 on the night), a major factor why the Cougars led for much of the second half.

We learned Wednesday the Terps may have found a gem in the 19-year-old from Los Angeles. Perhaps more impressive than his game-winning shot is his work ethic and tenacity. Instead of basking in the glow of being the big man on campus, Howard was practicing his free-throw shooting (1-for-5 from the line Wednesday night) for over 30 minutes after the victory on the Comcast Center floor — at the same end where he hit the game-winner.

He was certainly smiling — as were the rest of the Terps — but you get the sense the freshman believes he’s only scratching the surface.

“It was a great game to get early in the season, but we have a long way to go.”

Howard raised eyebrows in fall practice when he took Vasquez’s No. 21 jersey only months after the senior graduated. His strength and passion has drawn comparisons to a young Vasquez by some, and his heroic shot was an early, convincing statement trying to justify his jersey number choice.

“Right when I made [that shot], I knew that was going to be a big deal, a lot of people talking about [Vasquez's number],” Howard said. “It’s just fun; I’m going along with it and just taking it all in stride.”

Time will tell whether Howard’s shot will prove more an anomaly than an opening chapter to greatness in College Park, but it was the exact kind of moment Maryland fans are looking forward to this season — a hint for a bright future.

The win over Charleston easily could have been another shocking loss to Morgan State, Ohio, or American like we’ve seen the last few seasons, but the Terps made sure it didn’t happen despite their deficiencies throughout the night.

“Our players fought through a lot of adversity like throwing the ball away a couple of times and poor free-throw shooting,” Williams said. “These were reasons we should not have won the game, and I am very proud of this team.”

NOTES: The sophomore Williams earned several career highs, including points (26), field goals (12), and tied his career high with two steals. … Maryland outscored the Cougars in the paint, 56-26. … There were 13 ties and four lead changes in the game. … When Goudelock made a 3-pointer to give Charleston its largest lead at 37-28 with 2:32 left, the Terps went on a 9-0 run to close the first half and tie the game. … Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear from Howard, Gary Williams, Jordan Williams, and Cliff Tucker following the 75-74 win at Comcast Center.

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New-look Terps have room to grow after season-opening win over Seattle

Posted on 09 November 2010 by Luke Jones

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — If a season-opening 105-76 win Monday night is any indication, the Maryland Terrapins will be an exciting and, at times, frustrating team to watch in the early stages of the 2010-2011 season.

In a sloppy game featuring 56 turnovers and 51 fouls between the teams, Maryland showed superior athleticism to an outmatched Seattle team, yet struggled against the Redhawks’ press, committing 29 turnovers.

A 14-2 run put the game out of reach midway through the second half after Seattle had shaved the lead to 66-56 with 11:56 remaining. The Terps shot 80.5 percent from the foul line (33 for 41) in response to 31 fouls by the Redhawks.

“We saw some things that we need to work on,” said coach Gary Williams. “We can be a very good defensive team. We are very quick and have the size; we just have to keep working. It’s not one of those things that will change tomorrow. We just have to get a little better every time we go out there.”

The Terps were led by their only returning starters Sean Mosley (21 points) and Jordan Williams (17 points and 15 rebounds), who will be relied upon most heavily to increase their scoring averages. Senior Cliff Tucker chipped in 16 points as he now steps into a starting role after being a complementary player in his first three seasons in College Park.

The sloppy — but convincing — win also revealed an intriguing battle at the point guard position that might bring change earlier than anyone anticipated. Plagued by early foul trouble, senior Adrian Bowie played just three minutes in the first half, as freshmen Terrell Stoglin and Pe’Shon Howard received the lion’s share of the minutes and didn’t disappoint. Stoglin finished with 15 points — including a 9-for-9 performance from the foul line — and Howard handed out a game-high eight assists.

Despite Bowie starting 28 games as a sophomore, it’s apparent Gary Williams won’t hesitate to play the two freshmen, who both bring dynamic traits to the floor. Stoglin is the quicker of the two, showing a flare for the dramatic already with several behind-the-back passes and the confidence to take the ball to the basket despite his stature (6-foot-1, 185 pounds).

Howard appears to be the steadier, stronger player of the two, committing just three turnovers in 24 minutes and showing an ability to slide to the shooting guard position when both are on the floor.

“They came out with a lot of confidence and they are going to try some passes that they probably got away with in the past and you won’t at this level, but they will learn,” Williams said. “That’s where you see if they are making progress if they don’t go back and do the same mistakes again.”

With a team featuring six newcomers and previous role players trying to fill bigger shoes, it’s difficult to gauge whether the early-season appearance in the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer is a benefit or disadvantage to the team’s development. It is the earliest start to the season a Williams-coached team has ever had, at least in terms of the amount of practice time leading into the opener.

“It’s just a learning process,” said Bowie, who rebounded from his first-half stay on the bench to score nine points despite seven turnovers. “We need to work harder together as a team, and we need to work on getting our presses set right and not turn the ball over as much.”

A learning process indeed for a team in transition, but one that figures to be very interesting to watch, as the Terps search for an identity while blending together a plethora of new talent.

NOTES: Maryland scored over 100 points for the first time since Feb. 27, 2010 against Virginia Tech, the 104-100 double-overtime victory in Blacksburg. … The Terps have now won 23 consecutive games when leading at halftime. … Maryland outscored Seattle in the paint 56-44 and 22-14 in fast-break points. … Hosting the College Park Regional of the tournament, the Terps will now host the College of Charleston on Wednesday night. The Cougars eliminated Maryland from the first round of the NCAA Tournament, back in 1997, which happened to be current assistant coach Keith Booth’s senior season. … Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear from Gary Williams, Adrian Bowie, Jordan Williams, and Sean Mosley following the 105-76 win.

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Maryland tips off season against Seattle: Turtle Power chat at 8

Posted on 08 November 2010 by Luke Jones

**Join us in the Turtle Power chat at 8:00 for live coverage from College Park!**

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Good evening from Comcast Center as the Terps are set to tip off the 2010-2011 season by hosting independent Seattle University in the College Park Regional of the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer. Maryland will also host the College of Charleston on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m.

The Terps dominated Div. II Florida Southern in a 106-58 exhibition win last Monday. Seven players scored at least eight points for the Terps, and eight grabbed at least five rebounds in the lone preseason game of the season.

Of course, the Terps will try to replace the massive scoring hole left behind by the departing senior trio of Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes, and Landon Milbourne. Seniors Adrian Bowie, Cliff Tucker, and Dino Gregory will now join returning starters Sean Mosley and Jordan Williams in the starting lineup, but don’t sleep on a talented freshmen class that includes guards Pe’Shon Howard and Terrell Stoglin who are both expected to be a part of the rotation — at least early in the season.

While Seattle (17-14 last season) doesn’t pose much of a threat on paper, you might recognize the head coach from NCAA Tournament lore. Cameron Dollar was a key member of the 1995 champion UCLA Bruins and begins his second season as coach of the Redhawks.

Tonight’s game will be televised on Comcast SportsNet with Michael Reghi and Ron Thompson calling the action. Be sure to join us in the Turtle Power chat, starting at 8:00, as Glenn Clark and I will bring coverage from College Park. As always, follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the latest updates and analysis.

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