Maryland’s season came to a screeching halt with an 89-70 loss to Memphis Saturday in the 2nd Round of the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers were outstanding in all phases of the game; and possibly inspired by questionable comments made earlier in the week by Maryland star Greivis Vasquez.
The season ends for the Terps with a 21-14 record; highlighted by 3 wins over Top 10 teams and the 3rd trip to the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament in their last 3 appearances. But that’s where the good news ends.
Critics will point out that the Terps again finished their season without reaching the Sweet 16; making it a 6th straight season they’ve failed to reach that plateau. They will also point out that the team suffered another double digit loss to end the season; their 7th such loss this season. The Terps were considered a “bubble team” right up until Selection Sunday; finished under .500 in ACC play (even including a pair of wins in the ACC Tournament), and failed to produce a first team All-ACC Selection.
Those who defend this Maryland program will likely point out that this was arguably Gary Williams’ best coaching job of his career at his alma mater; taking a team that lacked much in the way of special talent and coaching them into being one of the final 32 teams competing for a National championship.
The season will be remembered by all as a season of great ups and downs; which kept fans and detractors entertained throughout. But with the end of the season; the Terps will now face a number of questions….
-Will Greivis Vasquez return for his senior season?
-Will high school superstar Lance Stephenson choose to join the program?
-Will Braxton Dupree or other underperforming players choose to transfer elsewhere?
-Will players who showed unpolished talent (Landon Milbourne, Adrian Bowie, Sean Mosley) progress into more all-around players with leadership capability?
-What will incoming freshmen James Padgett and Jordan Williams do for this team’s almost completely absent frontcourt?
-Will there be any changes to the coaching staff?
There will be one question no one will have to bother to ask; even though some will undoubtedly want to anyway….
-Will Gary Williams remain the head coach?
Whatever happens between now and Midnight Madness will be supervised by Gary Williams (save for some completely unlikely turn of events); and he will be able to do what he chooses without answering questions about his passion, desire, and ability for……at least a couple of days.
It will be an interesting stretch for this Maryland program; and will likely lead to another interesting season.
Tyreke Evans lead the Tigers with a game high 19 points. Doneal Mack scored 17, Robert Dozier 17 with 8 rebounds. Shawn Taggart added 14 with a game high 11 rebounds; Roburt Sallie scored 13. Antonio Anderson finished with a game high 11 assists; the Tigers tallied 21 as a team to go with 3 blocks. The Tigers out-rebounded the Terps 33-23. They shot 31-53 from the field (58.5%), 10-19 from beyond the arc (52.6%), and 17-22 from the free throw line (77.3%).
Greivis Vasquez lead the Terps with a team high 18 points and 4 assists. Adrian Bowie added 11 points, Eric Hayes 10. Dave Neal finished his college career with 9 points and a team high 4 rebounds. Landon Milbourne added 8 points and Sean Mosley 7. The Terps finished with 9 assists and collected 3 blocks. They shot 27-62 from the field (43.5%), 5-14 from beyond the arc (35.7%), and 11-19 (57.9%) from the free throw line.
5:24-Adrian Bowie finishes scoring; Terps fall 89-70. Terps finish the season with a 21-14 record. I’ll wrap this up in a second.
5:21-Braxton Dupree in the game; you wonder if this is his final minute in the Under Armour threads. Preston Laird into the game for the Tigers. Yeah, me neither.
5:20-My good friend and former Raven Tommy Knight chimes in via text-”Tickets for NCAA Tournament in Glendale? You coming?” Thanks for rubbing salt in the wounds pal….
5:18-Is Tim Brando calling Jin Soo Kim “Jun Soo Kim”? Really? Hoop from Mosley gets the Terps within 20; they can put some polish on this turd in the last 2 minutes by getting it under 15.
5:14-I will certainly miss these live blogs. I have enjoyed doing them all season; even when it was just me & Rich bouncing stuff off each other. They have been a lot of fun. I will likely miss Maryland’s Spring Football Game due to the NFL Draft; so our next blog probably won’t happen until Maryland visits Cal in the fall to open football season. (Of course; given the state of sports media; let’s just hope we’re all still here in August!)
Drew Forrester chimes in via text…..”This one is over.” Forrester FOR THE WIN! I guess I’ll let my friends in Arizona know they don’t have to get me any Spring Training tickets for next weekend.
Jin Soo Kim into the game.
5:13-Dave Neal with the 3; he’ll enjoy the final few minutes of his college career. It was a special season for Neal; who Gary Williams wants to remind you was “All-Met.”
5:11-The “bucket and the bruise” for Bowie (thanks Lamont Germany!). Tyreke Evans exits to a nice ovation; and Bowie completes the 3 point play. If the Terps can somehow get this below 20 in the final 4 minutes, they might confuse people into thinking this one wasn’t as bad as it was.
5:10-Memphis fans with the “A-C-C” chant FTW. That’s good stuff from them; knowing that the ACC will now have just two teams left in the NCAA Tournament (North Carolina and Duke).
5:09-Add another 3 from Mack; and Memphis’ lead is 29. Gary needs to go to the bench to get Memphis to call off the dogs too.
5:07-Antonio Anderson finally gets on the board; and Shawn Taggart reaches 10 rebounds while sitting on the floor. Unreal.
Rich; I have heard many of the same things about Memphis; but certainly have to say I am impressed by what John Calipari has done there. He proved a season ago that it is possible to win a National Championship from outside the power conferences; and may one day do so. I doubt it will be this season however.
5:03-I haven’t flipped on the radio to hear what Johnny Holliday is talking about; but you imagine he’s trying to sell fans on what this team will look like next season with Jordan Williams and James Padgett joining the frontcourt.
The bigger question would be who the scoring responsibility falls on if Greivis Vasquez does indeed end up in the NBA Draft. Obviously Maryland fans are hoping Lance Stephenson will be the option (or a returning Vasquez); but the reality is that a combination of Milbourne, Mosley, and Bowie might have to be where the scoring goes. None of them are good shooters.
4:58-Maybe I should take it as a sign of mercy that my internet isn’t working. Sallie with another 3 to re-extend Memphis’ lead to 22 at 77-55. Vasquez called for a technical; he’s clearly showing his frustration here. I wonder if Vasquez is doing what Steve Francis allegedly did in his final Maryland game (a Tournament loss to St. John’s); and talking about how much money he’ll make in the NBA next season. About 8 minutes left in the season for Maryland; and Gary sends Vasquez to the bench.
4:45-Greivis now with 16 on the day; and might put up a pretty number before it is all said and done. But if it comes in a blowout; it might not mean much.
By the way; when I said “hoop and the harm” recently; I couldn’t help but think of Morgan State Play by Play voice Lamont Germany. If you haven’t had the pleasure of hearing Lamont call a game; you’re missing out. His voice is outstanding; and goes with “the bucket and the bruise” as his basket and foul call. LOVE hearing Lamont call a game; and especially loved hearing his excitement as the Bears clinched the MEAC title.
4:44-Lead right back to 20 after a 3 from Sallie. Evans fouled on the floor on the other way by Hayes. Terps with some fury; but still trail by 20 at the first official timeout of the 2nd half.
4:41-Doneal Mack FINALLY misses a 3. Vasquez feeds Milbourne inside on the other end; and Milbourne misses badly. Vasquez is fouled; then finally feeds Milbourne for the hoop. Vasquez drills a 3 after a Memphis turnover; but Memphis gets an alleyop. Terps and Tigers trade buckets before another 3 by Greivis; then two more traded hoops. 65-48 Memphis; and Maryland is pressing too hard and getting exposed in the halfcourt right now.
4:40-Ed; please refer to my blog from Friday. Vasquez put himself in this position. This is who he is; and it will certainly be part of his legacy.
4:36-Tyreke Evans with the hoop and the harm; but misses the free throw. 59-34 Tigers. Vasquez gets his first bucket of the 2nd half; and then the Tigers have to call a timeout when they can’t inbound the ball. Terps trail by 23.
4:35-Mosley called for the travel; he’ll sit down in favor of Hayes. We’re not too far from seeing Jin Soo Kim and Braxton Dupree……I think.
4:34-What did I say about Mosley and Bowie needing to make their free throws? Mosley makes just one of 2 this time. Taggart fouled inside by Dave Neal; and the Terps appear to be just about willing to accept their fate thus far in the 2nd half. Taggart makes both; and Memphis now has their biggest lead at 24; 57-34.
4:33-Vasquez misses his first jumper of the half; while Evans connects again. 17 for Evans; Tigers by 22. Mosley fouled going to the hoop next time down.
4:27-Seth Davis tabbed Adrian Bowie with the “Ba-Ba-Bowie” nickname during CBS’ halftime show; and I have to admit I chuckled. Although I imagine Davis didn’t exactly come up with that one. Greg Anthony dismissed Maryland’s chances before the game; and thus far he’s dead on.
This game is reminding me of the last Maryland-Memphis game (in 2004) I spoke of before tip-off. Except of course for the fact that MEMPHIS is playing the flawless basketball.
This might very well be the last 20 minutes of Greivis Vasquez’s career in College Park; and you can’t help but wonder about his legacy in comparison to his numbers. I guess I shouldn’t get ahead of myself; but………
Halftime stats: Tyreke Evans lead Memphis with a game high 15 points and 3 assists. Doneal Mack added 14. 8 points and 4 boards from Robert Dozier; 6 points and a game high 5 boards from Shawn Taggart. Roburt Sallie added 6 off the bench; and while Antonio Anderson was scoreless; he has a game high 7 assists. The Tigers out-rebounded Maryland 15-13. The tallied 11 assists and 1 block. They shot 19-27 from the field (an UNREAL 70.4%), 8-11 from beyond the arc (an even more unreal 72.7%), and 7-8 from the free throw line (87.5%).
Dave Neal and Greivis Vasquez each had 6 points ot lead the Terps; Adrian Bowie, Cliff Tucker, and Eric Hayes all added 5. No Terp had more than 2 rebounds or 1 assist. The Terps tallied just 2 assists and 1 block in the first 20 minutes. They shot 14-36 from the field (38.9%), 1-9 from beyond the arc (11.1%), and 4-6 from the free throw line (66.7%).
None of those numbers are pretty.
4:11-Eric Hayes FINALLY gets Maryland’s first 3; and Memphis will take a 53-33 lead to the break. I will say this much……Maryland is NOT playing as poorly as they played in the blowout loss at Duke. Memphis is just playing VERY inspired basketball. I’ll be back shortly…..because I have to. Glad I didn’t book my flight to Phoenix!
4:09-Vasquez and Tucker miss 3′s; Tucker’s was an airball. 1 minute to play after Tyreke Evans is called for the offensive foul. Terps BADLY need to score here; but Vasquez will turn it over instead.
4:08-Mack gets the roll on the floater inside; Vasquez goes to the hoop the other way. Kemp knocks down a 3; and Gary needs ANOTHER timeout. 53-30 Memphis; and this Tigers team can’t do ANYTHING wrong so far. This one is UGLY.
4:07-Willie Kemp makes one of two at the line; then Vasquez misses a 3 badly. Vasquez hears it from the Memphis fans; Terps trail by 20.
4:03-Rich; we might have to entertain ourselves in the 2nd half.
Sean Mosley misses the front end of the 1 and 1; then Mack nails ANOTHER 3. Mack gave Vasquez a look after the 3; you think the Memphis players heard what Greivis said yesterday?
Putback dunk for Gregory gets the Terps back within 19; then Neal misses another 3 after stepping up. Terps 0-5 from outside so far; and frustration is setting in as Gregory is called for a foul.
4:01-Sallie hit with the foul before the final official timeout of the first half. This story has played out one too many times this season. One team is just MUCH better than the Terps. This one looks like it will be the same story. Unfortunately; that’s the problem with not have the same talent level.
3:59-Neal hits both at the line; cutting the Memphis lead to 13. Tigers break the press again and get a dunk from Dozier. WAAAY too many easy buckets. Tigers by 15. Neal misses a turnaround; Mack drills another 3. Just when things were going right for a minute…..Tigers 44-26 now. 9 for Mack. Timeout Terps; and Drew Forrester might as well let us know this one is over. Tigers can’t miss.
3:57-Doneal Mack shoots over the zone; and he drills the 3. 36-21 Tigers. Tucker goes to the hoop this time down; he finishes and is fouled by Taggart. Tucker appears to have a black eye; don’t know what the story might be there. He hits the free throw; he has 5 points and heads to the bench for Hayes. Terps might need him on the floor for offense. Tigers break the press and get ANOTHER 3 from Mack. Neal fouled inside by Dozier. 39-24 Memphis.
3:55-You imagine this will be the only year Memphis has a player like Tyreke Evans; but it is certainly worthwhile. Evans puts home the layup after the alley-oop pass wasn’t there; he has 15. Mosley then blocks Evans in transition the next time down. Mosley gets the ball inside on an offensive rebound and is fouled by Sallie. 33-19 Memphis. Tucker tips one back in off a Milbourne miss; and the lead is 12 for Memphis again.
3:54-I will admit that I have really enjoyed the State Farm commercials during the Tournament. The hot dog vendor that doesn’t have buns; and the popsicle vendor that doesn’t have sticks-that’s good stuff. Much better than the game thus far.
3:51-CBS tells us that Memphis has an 11-7 rebounding advantage so far. You get the feeling that number would be more lop-sided if Memphis was actually missing a few shots.
Terps to the zone; and Bowie called for the foul away from the basket. We hit the 3rd official timeout of the half; Terps trail by 12.
3:49-Putback slam from Robert Dozier; and Memphis has their biggest lead at 31-15. Lots of Memphis fans in KC today apparently; and Maryland is doing little to quiet them.
Tough hoop from Dave Neal; then Bowie with the layup off the steal. John Calipari will take a timeout as the Terps cut the lead to 12. 5 points for Bowie to lead the Terps so far.
3:46-As a reminder; Tyreke Evans is NOT the troubled player Maryland recruited before problems within the athletic department kept him from getting to College Park. That player was TyREE Evans, who ended up at Tennessee.
TyREKE Evans makes both freebies; he has 13; Tigers by 14. Pierre Henderson-Niles called for the offensive foul on the other end. Bowie misses one inside; then Anderson is fouled driving. Cliff Tucker into the game; he HAS to give the Terps some offense.
3:45-Roburt Sallie AGAIN from 3…….is there a Roburt Sallie on Maryland’s bench somewhere??? Evans drives and is fouled by Hayes; Evans will go to the line with Memphis ahead by 12. Things don’t appear to be getting better. 6 for Sallie.
3:43-This will be another key today. A guy like Bowie CANNOT struggle at the line the way he has in the past. They can recover from things like that against lesser teams; but Bowie and Mosley have to get to the line; and they have to connect.
As I say that, Bowie front-irons his first attempt. He makes his 2nd; 24-15 Memphis.
3:40-Badly missed hook from Dino Gregory there. If he wants to be an ACC big man; that has to be in his arsenal. Bowie fouled; Tyreke Evans will re-enter. Bowie to the line with the Terps trailing by 10; 9:53 to play in the half after the 2nd official timeout.
3:39-Just when I mentioned Roburt Sallie…….there’s his first 3. Vasquez answers with a runner; 22-14 Memphis. Terps have to get a better defensive option. Can’t give a guy like Robert Dozier the room to hit a jumper like he just did. 24-14 Memphis.
3:37-Rich, too many missed layups all season. If you can’t shoot from outside; you can’t fail at the basket as well. They have done that WAAAY too much.
Brando and Gminski say Neal must be the “X Factor”; but I think they need to find a way to get Neal and Gregory both on the floor.
Jumper from Milbourne, then a drive and finish from Bowie; and it’s 19-12 Memphis.
3:35-A reminder that Tigers’ reserve guard Roburt Sallie went off for 35 points the other day thanks to hitting TEN 3 point attempts. Sallie has been a minimal factor throughout the season; but if he starts getting shots; this could get REALLY brutal. Of course, if the Terps don’t settle down, they might not even need that.
3:33-Vasquez into the lane for his first bucket; 17-8 Terps. Evans finds Taggart inside for a hoop the other way. Mosley steals a rebound from Anderson and Vasquez splits the defenders; but he misses the layup. I haven’t been counting the misses at the bucket in recent games; but I might start. Maryland gets the ball back after the first official timeout; but they already trail 19-8. Not good.
3:30-Vasquez gets into the lane; but misses the floater off the curl. On the other end; Evans goes right to the basket for a layup. Vasquez is stripped on the other end; and Evans gets another chip shot. 15-0 run for the Tigers; 11 points for Evans. Hayes FINALLY ends the run with a layup; and Maryland trails 17-6.
3:28-Greivis will have to be the man to carry the Terps through these tough stretches; although Memphis can neutralize that if they keep making every shot. Greivis is being defended by Antonio Anderson; who is amongst the best defensive guards in the country; and won the Defensive Player of the Year award in Conference USA.
3:27-Evans to the line; he hits both. 11-4 Tigers. Tigers go to the press; Eric Hayes into the game. Terps break it; but Milbourne misses a jumper. Dozier gets an easy hoop inside; and the Terps trail 13-4. I’ve seen one too many games start this way this season…..Gary takes his first timeout.
3:25-Mosley can’t find the jumper from the free throw line. I imagine he might get that shot a few times today. Evans banks in a long 2…..those are the type of shots that go in when it’s “your day.” Bowie drives and throws up a wild airball on the layup attempt; then Mosley fouls Evans as he drives. This one could get ugly quick…
3:24-Misses from Milbourne and Bowie on one end; then Taggart hits the jumper. Vasquez fouled in the backcourt; 7-4 Tigers.
3:23-Taggart makes both free throws; we’re tied at 2. Memphis is going to have a size advantage; the Terps will have to be scrappy on the boards. Mid-range jumper from Milbourne; then a 3 from Evans; and it’s 5-4 Tigers.
3:20-Maryland’s lineup remains Dave Neal/Landon Milbourne/Sean Mosley/Adrian Bowie/Greivis Vasquez. Memphis goes with Shawn Taggart/Robert Dozier/Antonio Anderson/Tyreke Evans/Doneal Mack.
Good defense from the Terps on the first possession; getting a steal at the end of the shot clock. Neal with the layup; and Brando calls him “The YMCA future star”…..brilliant. Vasquez fouls a driving Evans the opposite way; then Taggart is fouled by Neal fighting for a rebound.
Pre-game: After the debacle in Owings Mills the other day; I have returned to the Glenn Clark compound in White Marsh; where I will be joining you today.
The #10 seed Maryland Terrapins tangle with the #2 seed Memphis Tigers today in the 2nd Round of the NCAA Tournament; a quarterfinal in the Tournament’s West Region. The winner of today’s game will advance to face the winner of tomorrow’s Missouri/Marquette matchup in the Sweet 16 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ next weekend.
Gary Williams’ Terps bring a 21-13 record into today’s game; while John Calipari’s Tigers are 32-3. The teams have two common opponents on the season; with Memphis losing in overtime to Georgetown in December; and collecting a double digit win over Gonzaga in February. Maryland suffered double digit losses to both teams at the Old Spice Classic in November. Today’s game is being played at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.
To get here, Memphis tallied an 81-70 win over Cal State-Northridge in the first round; while Maryland beat Cal 84-71. The Terps have not reached the Sweet 16 since 2003; when Drew Nicholas’ Terps beat Xavier in the 2nd Round before falling to Michigan State in the round of 16.
The last time Williams and Calipari faced-off in the NCAA Tournament was in 1994; when Joe Smith and the #10 seed Terps stunned Marcus Camby and the #2 seed UMass Minutemen 95-87 in the 2nd round. Sound familiar?
The biggest storyline entering today’s game certainly has to be the comments made by Maryland’s leading everything Greivis Vasquez yesterday regarding the strength of the ACC in comparison to Conference USA. You can read about the comments in my blog from last night.
Today’s game can be seen on CBS-WJZ 13 in Baltimore (Channel 23 on Comcast in Baltimore County). The game is also available streaming online via CBSSports.com, thanks to “March Madness on Demand.” Tim Brando and Mike Gminski will call the action.
The Terps and Tigers have played just once in their long respective basketball histories. The game was played at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA to start the 2004-05 season. Maryland was thoroughly dominant in one of the most impressive basketball games the school has ever played; routing the Tigers 84-61. John Gilchrist and Chris McCray each had 16 points to lead the Terps; Gilchrist and Travis Garrison 10 rebounds each.