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Maryland OC Locksley says RB’s Brown, Pickett making fewest mistakes

Posted on 10 October 2012 by WNST Staff

Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley

 

On how the offensive players performed:

“Obviously we didn’t run the ball very well, so it’s hard to say if any of them did well. Whether it’s in the run game or pass game, we have a lot of work to do on the offensive side of the ball. It starts with executing our techniques and executing the fundamental things that we teach. When you go back and watch the tape as a play caller, you see that plays are there but then a guy shows up. It’s not just one guy, it’s a guy on each play, maybe not doing their job or not taking care of their responsibilities. As coaches we have to find a way to get our guys to find a way to the things they’re coached to do in games.”

 

On whether the breakdowns in the running game are different each time or something particular:

“That’s the point. You can’t say that it’s this type of play that we’re running. It’s individual technique and fundamental technique things that we just have to get cleaned up. The positive side of it is that our guys, especially on the offensive side of the bal,l have had a chance in every game in the fourth quarter to win. Three of the five games we found a way and made the plays whether it be in the run game, or the pass game to win the ball game and that’s a positive. That’s something that we’ll build on but the next step for us is the execution has got to be a lot better.”

 

On how frustrating it’s been to see the running game struggle:

“It’s frustrating, but the thing is when you’re starting young players up front, and young in the middle of your offense, you have guys who don’t have a lot of game experience. So the thing you’d like to be able to do is find a way to run the football to take some pressure off of the young quarterback. We just haven’t been able to do it consistently. There’ve been times, the opening drive of the second half, we had a series where we had been moving the ball down the field. Wes [Brown] did a good job coming in and getting the ball downhill, and I can recall having at least a drive of some plays where we were able to cover people up. If we can do that consistently than we’ll have a chance.”

 

On giving Wes Brown and Justus Picket the bulk of the carries:

“They make the least amount of mistakes. That’s the thing for us, when you look at us across the board, and it’s not just one guy or one position, I think that during the course of the game we have enough what we call ‘mental assignments’ where a guy goes the wrong way, blocks the wrong guy, or doesn’t take care of his responsibility. For us right now everything we call and how we go about our game plan on offense we have to be pretty perfect. Those two guys have been the most steady in terms of knowing their assignments. Albert [Reid] still has a role, and you’ll see him. He came and filled in when Wes went out for a minute, and I still think he’s in the mix as well.”

 

On the importance of Justus Picket:

“He’s been the guy who’s been out there when we’ve had to do it. I know in the William & Mary game Kevin Dorsey made the big run after the catch on the screen play, and Justus came back and put it in. The Temple game where we let them back in the game, and had to put a drive together, Justus was the guy who scored the touchdown. Again this past weekend, he’s been a guy who’s been pretty steady and I think it starts with his game experience. He’s only a sophomore, but he played a lot of ball last year and that lends itself to help and be able to handle the things that happy through the course of this year. Whereas a guy like Brand Ross, it’s only been his second ball games for us. Wes Brown has still only played in his fifth ball game, same thing for Albert Reid. There will be a light at the end of the tunnel for these young guys with each game gaining a ton of experience that will be fruitful for us in the future. Unfortunately now we have to get these guys to play better.”

 

 

Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart

 

On the goal line stand vs. Wake Forest:

“That was awesome wasn’t it? I don’t know how I could break it down; it was just great all across the board. The defensive linemen cut their offensive linemen, which made it easier for the linebackers and secondary players to see the [running]back take a leap. I think it was [Demetrius] Hartsfield who hit him first below, and then it was Cole [Farrand] who came from the other side. They got a hit on him, and then next thing you know Dexter [McDougle] comes flying all out with his best impression of Troy Polamalu without the hair and then just did a good job of hitting. It was just an awesome play, I think that was a spark for us, a big play that was huge and it kept us rolling and I think it affected the offense also.”

 

On preparing for Virginia using two different quarterbacks:

“Yeah, [Phillip] Sims has had an opportunity to play in almost every game. We got a chance to see him and how he handles the offense. They’re going to run the same stuff, they do the same things, there’s not a big difference. I’m just glad I don’t have to make that quarterback decision.”

 

On the play of Anthony Nixon:

“Anthony has done a good job of asking questions that don’t just pertain to him, but pertain to the whole scheme. So he can understand where he fits and how he fits. At practice, when you correct him, he’ll look at it on tape and say ‘coach that’s the one you were telling me about.’ So he’s always thinking, and that’s just a testament to his high school coach, his parents, and that everything is important to him.”

 

On how much he’s seen Jeremiah Johnson improve:

“I just think Jeremiah is another guy where everything is important to him. When you talk to him about football, he sees it. You can talk to him and he sees it. He’s just a smart kid, good grades, and that’s probably why he’s a god football player. He knows how to study, does what he’s supposed to do, and I’m excited for him.”

 

On the play of Darin Drakeford:

“He’s done a good job. He’s been drawing some double teams. He’s been either drawing double teams or the backs come and chip him. So that’s slowed down his production, but it also helps the guy who plays right inside him. So whoever is on his side gets the opportunity to get a single block.”

 

 

– Terps –

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Edsall doesn’t expect Virginia QB decision to make much difference

Posted on 09 October 2012 by WNST Staff

Head Coach Randy Edsall

Opening statement:

“It will be good to get back out there and practice this afternoon for Virginia and the guys are looking forward to it. We know we have a tough challenge going down to Charlottesville for the game on Saturday. We see a talented team in Virginia and we have to prepare well.  I like how our guys are competing and how they are finishing, playing hard for 60 minutes and winning games in the fourth quarter. We’ve lost our games by a total of 13 points. That bodes well but we must continue – especially when we are playing all the young guys we are playing – to be patient and understand there are going to be mistakes.  We have to go out to work today and rectify those mistakes on all three phases.  That approach is what we are going to take this week and work to get a little better. We have a quarterback who is very tough and when you look at it, when we needed to make drives in our games in the fourth quarter, he’s stood up tall.  That’s what you look for in a quarterback.  There are things we have to approve upon with Perry (Hills) as well. When the time came in the games we have won, he’s stood up and made those drives he’s needed to make and I think that says a lot about our quarterback.”

 

On what the running back corps needs to improve on: 

“It’s just a matter of getting better with guys and their footwork and hat placement and running backs making sure they’re reading their keys correctly in terms of who we are reading whether it’s a one technique or the three technique or a five technique.  It’s just that consistency part with everybody.  We have to push on the line of scrimmage, we have to get movement, we have to sustain blocks and receivers need to get in sometimes and dig people out.  Backs need to make the right read. I think when you take a look at the offensive line, we’re going through some growing pains there with those guys playing together and meshing.  Add to that the young guys who are still learning and those are things that take some time. We need to keep working at it and get better at it.  We need to be able to run the football because I want to be a physical team.”

 

On what makes Demetrius Hartsfield good and what he is like off the field:

“I think that the biggest thing with [Demetrius] is that he puts the time and effort into studying the game and watching film. He wants to be good, so he will do what he has to do physically and mentally to make himself better. Off the field, he’s just a really quiet guy. He’s a great guy to be around. Never gets too high, never gets too low, very steady. I see a big difference in him from last year in the knowledge and the confidence that he has been playing with. He understands the importance of practicing hard. Watching him practice, you can tell that he is very competitive and wants to win.”

 

On which direction they’re going in with the running backs:

“That’s one thing that we are going to look at again this week. I have some ideas in mind about the direction we want to go in, but we have to see how the guys go about their business and how we practice.”

 

On how much of an influence Bennett Fulper his on the line:

“We expect a lot out of him. He’s an experienced guy that all of those guys on the line can look to. He’s a guy that should be helping them out with the little adjustments. He really helps Mike out on the left side with the experience over there. He is a guy that who played center but we moved to guard because we felt he would be stronger there. He works hard in the weight room and is a smart guy. But again, he has to do a little bit more than everyone because he’s like the shepherd looking over the flock.”

 

On whether or not he’d like to play multiple running backs:

“I’d like to have it where we’d have three guys: two that would carry the bulk of it and maybe a third as a specialist for those certain situations that come up in the game. I think that we are getting closer to that and hopefully we’ll have something like that worked out going into the game on Saturday.”

 

On if he is looking at avenging last year’s loss to Virginia:

“We have been able to avenge two; we were beat by Temple and Wake Forest last year but we beat both of them this year. We weren’t able to do that with West Virginia. You have the past there to look at, but I just want our guys to go out, play hard and execute to the best of their ability. If we practice the right way, go out and compete for sixty minutes, and play hard every play, then we will give ourselves the opportunity to win at the end of the day. Every week we are just trying to get better at what we do. We are trying to minimize mistakes and improve fundamentally and with technique. We talk to the guys about certain things from past games, but ultimately, what has to happen is we have to go out and earn it during the week on the practice field. Then we will be able to put ourselves in a better position and beat those teams that we didn’t beat a year ago.”

 

On who they might see as QB for Virginia, and if there is anything different between Michael Rocco and Philip Sims:

“You really don’t see anything different in terms of what they do offensively. You watch film and see what Rocco does in there and then what Sims does in there, and you don’t notice much difference in their offense. They are pretty much the same type of guy. I’ve read some things the past week and they are expected to change some things up with their running or passing games, but again, I think that they have a bit of a dilemma. They’ve got two quarterbacks down there and how do you decide who plays because it might affect the outcome. You might have guys that are in the Rocco camp and some that are in the Sims camp. So they might have a bit of a controversy themselves in terms of playing time. We will make sure that we are ready to defend Virginia, regardless of who the quarterback is.”

 

On what concern he has about Virginia:

“Offensively, they are going to run the football. They have good people there to run the ball. Perry Jones and Kevin Parks are two seasoned guys that run very hard and give them multiple looks from a personnel standpoint, especially with Darius Jennings who is their leading receiver. They have athletes that can make plays and they have a big offensive line. Two tackles are very good, and Morgan Moses is very good. They are rotating four guards in there. Because of the multiple personnel looks you have to be careful with what you do. Defensively, they are a team that is going to bring pressure and they are sound and solid up front. I have been impressed with Steve Greer, their middle linebacker. I have been watching him make a lot of tackles out there. They are going to play zones and bring pressures and they are going to bring both backers off the edge and bring coverage. You just have to be able to execute and if you do that you have a chance to stop them. And if you do that, you have a chance to put points on the board.”

 

On how Joe Vellano has played:

“I think Joe is playing a lot better this year from a fundamental standpoint. He might not be making as many tackles as he did a year ago but he is playing better this year. Because of what Joe is doing, other guys are being freed up to make plays. I think the biggest difference between last year and this year is that he is a better fundamentalist and is using better technique this year. I think he has listened to Greg Gattuso, his position coach, and he is understanding how technique is a big factor in terms of how well you can play and how it make you a better player.”

 

On the differences this year with the defense:

“Anytime you are successful, it is because, number one, everyone is buying into what you are doing and believes your philosophy and that everyone can do their job pretty well. The reason we are having the success that we are having is that our defensive coaches are preparing our players very well and the guys are really preparing themselves on the practice field and watching film and then taking all of the things the coaches are giving them so that when they go out on the practice field they are practicing that way. One of the things I talked to the team about after the game in the locker room is that defensively we are playing with a lot of confidence. We have some moxie. That is what we need to get on offense. We have to play with more confidence on offense. You get that by going out and practicing the right way. I think that is what the defense is doing; they are enjoying themselves and they are having fun. They are doing all of the things they are being asked to do and they are going out there and executing at a high level.”

 

On if it is a major difference that this team is competing for 60 minutes:

“I don’t like to look back, but we did not play for 60 minutes [last year]. When you have the chance the play the same teams this year that you played last year, you can watch some things on film and get a feel for the game. If you take a look at the game last year against Virginia, we went up 13-7, then it became a 14-13 game at halftime and I think we lost 31-13. To me, that is not finishing. That was one of the things we talked about during the offseason, and we need to learn how to finish and how to compete for those 60 minutes. So far, through our first five games this year, we have seen that. However, we have to do a whole lot more to elevate our level of play to our high standards on both sides of the ball.”


On the rivalry with Virginia:

“In terms of Virginia, they have played us second most among teams that they have played. It is a built-in rivalry in the ACC because it is the one game we are going to play every year with someone from the other division. We are bordering states and we compete for the same kids in recruiting and a lot of the kids know each other. So, to me, it is a rivalry and it is one of those things where there is a bit more meaning to it. “

– Terps –

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Wall Double Double Helps Wizards Past Cavs

Posted on 25 April 2012 by WNST Staff

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 24 April 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Mixed Martial Arts-Bellator Fighting Championships 67 (Friday 8pm from Ontario, Canada live on MTV2); Boxing: Friday Night Fights-Ismayl Sillakh vs. Denis Grachev (Friday 10pm from Austin, TX live on ESPN2), Thomas Oosthuizen vs. Marcus Johnson (Friday 11pm from Miami, OK live on Showtime), Bernard Hopkins vs. Chad Dawson (Saturday 10:15pm from Atlantic City live on HBO), Vyacheslav Senchenko vs. Paulie Malignaggi (Sunday 1pm from Donetsk, Ukraine live on Pay-Per-View); Tennis: ATP Tour Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell (Thursday 7:30am Friday 6:30am Sunday 10am from Barcelona live on Tennis Channel), WTA Tour Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (Saturday 8am & 12pm Sunday 12:30pm from Stuttgart, Germany live on Tennis Channel); Women’s College Lacrosse: Georgetown @ Maryland (Wednesday 7pm Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex College Park)

10. Rammstein (Wednesday 8pm 1st Mariner Arena), Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Sunday 8pm 1st Mariner Arena); Shinedown (Wednesday 6pm Rams Head Live), All-American Rejects (Sunday 7pm Rams Head Live); Bob Schneider (Saturday 8pm 8×10 Club); Pat McGee Band (Friday & Saturday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Punch Brothers (Friday 8pm 9:30 Club); Creed (Tuesday 8pm Warner Theatre); Kottonmouth Kings (Wednesday 6:30pm Sonar); Chuck Berry (Saturday 8pm Howard Theatre); Mac Miller (Thursday 6:30pm Pier Six Pavilion); Nellie McKay (Thursday 6:30pm Birchmere); Candlebox (Monday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Sweetlife Festival feat. Kid Cudi, Fitz and the Tantrums, Fun. (Saturday 12pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Death Cab For Cutie (Monday 8pm Strathmore); Nickelback/Bush/Seether (Monday 6pm Verizon Center); Jack White “Blunderbuss” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

TSO didn’t post in Charm City this Christmas, and you know someone who was bitter. I’d be willing to go see them Sunday night though, their Beethoven stuff is also awesome…

Does anyone just want to GIVE me tickets to the Punch Brothers show Friday night? Most of you haven’t given me a birthday present in years.

Enjoy skateboarding? Hip-hop? Marijuana? Here’s Kid Cudi…

Jack White is sorta becoming that “I don’t care what he does I’m just going to like it” man for the 21st century. Are we still in the 21st century?

9. The Raven” and “The Five-Year Engagement” out in theaters (Friday); Contraband” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Tom Brokaw (Tuesday 8pm Meyerhoff Symphony Hall); Sugarloaf Crafts Festival (Friday-Sunday Timonium Fairgrounds)

I’d love to dissect Jason Segel’s new flick (I think it actually looks good) or try to figure out what the hell they do at the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival, but I don’t know where else in T10BD I’d be able to post this picture of a frog sitting on a bench like a human…

We all agree this is the greatest picture of all time, right?

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Cavaliers Pull Away Late to Beat Wizards

Posted on 14 April 2012 by WNST Staff

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Hopkins Bests Virginia in Thrilling 1-2 Showdown

Posted on 24 March 2012 by WNST Staff

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – Few games that receive as much hype as Saturday’s men’s lacrosse matchup between top-ranked Virginia and second-ranked Johns Hopkins actually live up to the advance billing. After regulation and all but five seconds of a full overtime, it’s safe to say that the Blue Jays’ 11-10 win over the Cavaliers did – and then some.

Johns Hopkins trailed by as many as three in the first half, led by two early in the fourth quarter and trailed by a goal with just over a minute to play in regulation – while playing a man down.

That’s when things really got crazy.

Virginia turned the ball over with 11 seconds remaining on its extra-man chance and the Blue Jays needed one timeout and 27 seconds before junior Lee Coppersmith slipped inside a pair of defenders and scored from the high slot with 44 seconds left in regulation.

Failed extra-man chances and turnovers by both teams over the remainder of regulation and the first three plus minutes overtime eventually led to Hopkins isolating junior John Ranagan at the top of the box as the first overtime ticket away. After getting a quick step on his defender, he beat Virginia goalie Rob Fortunato low for his eighth goal of the season and the Blue Jays had exorcised yet another demon they had carried – and heard about – for far too long.

Ranagan’s goal lifted the Blue Jays to their first win in Charlottesville against the Cavaliers since 1998. Earlier wins at Princeton and last week against Syracuse had stopped losing streaks against the Tigers and Orange that had stretched to three and five games, respectively.

Winning at Virginia – that was an entirely different monkey on the back; or gorilla as JHU head coach Dave Pietramala has referred to it a week earlier.

That the game went to overtime should surprise few. During the losing streak in Charlottesville the Blue Jays had alternated blowout losses in 2002, 2006 and 2010 with overtime defeats in 2004 and 2008. Eventually one of these had to break Hopkins’ way.

After Virginia built an early 4-1 lead on lengthy possessions and back-to-back goals by Chris Bocklet that bridged the first and second quarters, the Blue Jays slowly began to work their way back into the game.

The Blue Jays grabbed the momentum midway through the second quarter as they scored consecutive goals in a three-minute span midway through the period. Sophomore Brandon Benn one-timed home a pass to the crease from junior Zach Palmer to make it 4-2 and freshman Wells Stanwick made it a one-goal game with 4:34 remaining in the first half as he dodged hard to the crease from behind the goal and beat Fortunato from in tight.

A Steele Stanwick goal into an empty net gave the Cavs a 5-3 lead at halftime and the teams traded goals in a 35-second span early in the period to make it 6-4. Nearly 15 minutes would pass before Virginia would score again. During that time the Blue Jays scored four times to build their two-goal lead.

Benn completed his third consecutive hat trick 29 seconds after a Ryan Tucker goal to ignite the four-goal run, which included the first career goal by sophomore Jack Reilly and back-to-back extra-man goals by Rob Guida in a span of just over five minutes bridging the third and fourth quarters.

Virginia, as it does so often, struck back quickly with two goals in a 50-second span shortly after Guida’s strike made it 8-6. A Rob Emery extra-man goal drew the Cavs within one at 8-7 and Matt White’s highlight-reel behind the back shot from the crease tied it less than a minute later.

If White’s shot was destined for play of the game, it was quickly bumped by Zach Palmer’s goal 52 seconds later. Working from behind the goal, Palmer drove up the side and scored on a one-handed wrap-around shot from goal line extended that gave the Blue Jays a 9-8 lead with more than 10 minutes remaining.

The one-goal lead didn’t figure to hold – and it didn’t. Steele Stanwick scored from in tight after defenseman Tucker Durkin lost his footing to knot the game with just over four minutes remaining and Tucker fired home his second of the game with 2:44 on the clock to give Virginia a 10-9 lead.

The one-goal lead held for exactly two minutes, when Coppersmith fired home the game-tying goal that forced overtime and led to Ranagan’s game-winner that lifted the final proverbial monkey off the Blue Jays’ back.

Benn led the Blue Jays with his three goals, while Guida notched a career-high four points on two goals and two assists. Wells Stanwick (1g, 2a) and Palmer (1g, 1a) were JHU’s other multi-point scorers, while freshman Drew Kennedy won 8-of-14 faceoffs and junior goalie Pierce Bassett posted nine saves.

Virginia, which had its 14-game home winning streak snapped, was led by Steele Stanwick’s two goals and three assists, while Emery, Bocklet and Tucker added two goals apiece for the Cavaliers, who also got 11 saves from Fortunato.

Johns Hopkins, which figures to take over the top spot in the national rankings when the new polls are released on Monday, will play North Carolina in the Konica Minolta Big City Classic next Sunday night (6:30 pm) at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

 

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Maryland Hosts Virginia For Senior Day Sunday

Posted on 04 March 2012 by WNST Staff

#24/rv Virginia (21-8, 8-7) at Maryland (16-13, 6-9)
Sunday, March 4, 2012 | 2 p.m. | Comcast Center
ACC Network | Terrapin Sports Radio Network

  • Maryland plays host to Virginia on its traditional Senior Day, when the Terrapins honor the graduating seniors of the Class of 2012. The game also has an effect on the standings in the Atlantic Coast Conference, with Maryland in eighth in the league with a 6-9 record and Virginia in fourth at 8-6 before the Cavaliers’ Thursday-night game at home against Florida State. Maryland is 13-3 this season at Comcast Center.
  • Based on the standings prior to Thursday’s games (Florida State at Virginia, Virginia Tech at Clemson), the Terrapins could finish in either the seventh or eighth spot in the league. A climb to seventh would need a Terps’ win Sunday over Virginia and a pair of Clemson losses (Tigers close Sunday at Florida State).
  • Sophomore guard Terrell Stoglin had 16 points on Wednesday against the Tar Heels. That brought his season total to 610 points, marking the 18th time in school history a player has had 600 points or more in a season. The last one to accomplish that plateau was Greivis Vasquez, who had 647 in 2010. Stoglin also comes into today’s game with 986 points in his career and has a chance to become only the third Terrapin in school history to reach 1,000 points in his first two seasons. Joe Smith had 1,290 points from 1993-95 and Tom McMillen had 1,283 from 1971-73.
  • Freshman Nick Faust had a career-high 17 points on Wednesday at North Carolina. Faust has been playing his best basketball of the season down the stretch and has five games in double figures in his last six outings. His previous season-highs have come against some of Maryland’s best competition of the year, with 15 points at Duke and against Colorado at the Puerto Rico Tipoff. Faust leads the Terrapins in assists (63) and is second to Sean Mosley in steals (28).
  • Junior forward James Padgett had his second double-double of the season with 13 points and 13 rebounds against the Tar Heels. The 13 boards were the most of the season by a Terrapin player. He also had five offensive rebounds, giving him 102 for the year. It marks the eighth time in school history a player has grabbed 100 offensive rebounds in a season.
  • With 16 wins, Maryland has most likely advanced its string of consecutive winning seasons to 19. The last time a Terrapin team finished below .500 was 1992-93, when the Terps went 12-16 in the final year of crippling NCAA sanctions. Each school in the ACC has had a losing season since the Terps (including Duke, 13-18 in 1995 and North Carolina, 8-20 in 2002).
  • Maryland lost to Virginia, 71-44, in the first meeting of the season between these two teams on Feb. 18. The Cavaliers have won two straight in the series, including a 74-60 win in last year’s game at Comcast Center. Maryland still leads the overall series between the teams 106-69.
  • Virginia comes into the game 24th in the most recent Associated Press poll. The Terrapins’ last win over a ranked team was a 79-72 win over then-No. 4 Duke on 3/3/2010 in Comcast Center.
  • The men’s basketball program today will pay tribute to senior players Sean Mosley, Berend Weijs and Jon Dillard, along with managers Donald Darang and Phil Baldwin. Ceremonies will be held during pregame.

    Scouting the Cavaliers

  • Virginia comes into the game 24th in the most recent Associated Press poll, with a 21-8 overall record (8-7 ACC) following a 63-60 loss to Florida State at home on Thursday.
  • Senior forward Mike Scott leads the team in scoring (17.3 ppg) and rebounds (8.2 rpg), and is shooting 57.4 percent from the field, best in the ACC… Sophomore guard Joe Harris is also scoring in double figures with 11.4 ppg and is shooting 39 percent from 3FG.
  • Virginia ranks highly in several defensive categories, coming in at second nationally in scoring defense (52.6 ppg), 14th in field goal percentage defense (.390), and second in the ACC in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.287).
  • The Cavaliers are also third in the conference is turnover margin (plus-1.62) and assist-turnover ratio (1.1), with junior guard Jontel Evans leading the team and ranking fifth in the league with 3.8 assists per game.

    Upcoming

    The Terrapins will leave Tuesday, March 6 for the 2012 ACC Tournament, to be played at Philips Arena in Atlanta, with its open practice day coming on Wednesday… Maryland will be the No. 8 seed in the tournament and will play the 9th seed at noon on Thursday… The winner of the opening first-round game will face the No. 1 seed at noon in Friday’s quarterfinals.

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With Little to Play For, Maryland Offers Woeful Effort in Charlottesville

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With Little to Play For, Maryland Offers Woeful Effort in Charlottesville

Posted on 18 February 2012 by Glenn Clark

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — As a tie game at halftime turned into a blowout loss to the University of Virginia Saturday, University of Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon decided he couldn’t sit back and watch his scholarship players go through the motions anymore.

With roughly three minutes to play in the game, Turgeon inserted five walk-on players into the Terrapins’ lineup and stuck with them for the rest of the game. It only made a blowout loss more lopsided, but the head coach was in need of making a statement.

“I just had enough” Turgeon said. “Selfishness, not boxing out, not defending. I wanted to do it earlier. You can go down our whole list-if you can tell me one guy that played well today, I’ll argue that you’re wrong. We were 0-14 or however many guys we played today.”

The number actually was 14 players, and none had anything to offer in the second half of the Terrapins’ 71-44 loss to the Cavaliers at John Paul Jones Arena. The Terps (15-11, 5-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) had managed to erase an early deficit and tie things up at intermission thanks to 14 points from G Terrell Stoglin. Stoglin wouldn’t score again after the break, and the Cavs (20-6, 7-5 ACC) outscored Maryland 40-13 the rest of the way.

It was as ugly (if not uglier) than I’m sure it appeared on television. Maryland shot a putrid 5-24 (20.8%) from the field and turned the ball over 12 times after returning from the locker room. Those 12 points resulted in 20 points for the Wahoos, while the Terps forced just one UVa turnover after the half (which actually did result in two points).

There’s no silver lining to Maryland’s second half effort. It was abysmal. It made spectators wonder why the team even bothered to return to the floor after the break. It was so frustrating that the coach compared it to Maryland’s previous season low point.

“This reminded me of Puerto Rico today. I thought we looked like we were disinterested as far as trying to be tough on defense and rebounding. Our execution was poor.”

Turgeon was referring to the team’s early season trip to San Juan for the 5-Hour Energy Puerto Rico Tip-Off, where they lost two of three games-including a blowout defeat at the hands of Iona. After the stretch, Turgeon referred to his team as “the biggest challenge I’ve ever had in coaching; it’s not even close.”

Similarly, Maryland played the three games in Puerto Rico without sophomore PG Pe’Shon Howard, who missed his third straight game Saturday (and will be out for the rest of the season) with a torn ACL. The Terps were also without freshman C Alex Len in Puerto Rico due to suspension. Len tallied zero points, zero rebounds, zero assists, zero blocks and zero steals to go with one turnover and two missed field goals in 20 minutes Saturday. It’s difficult to determine which scenario would have been preferable.

This is the part of the column where I note that Maryland was playing a second game in roughly 40 hours after recording a win over Boston College Thursday night in College Park. Neither Turgeon nor senior G Sean Mosley would use the turnaround as an excuse, but Turegon was willing to admit the span “was hard” on his team. Now I’ve noted it.

I should also probably note that a tip of the cap is warranted for Virginia F Mike Scott, who bowled over four different Maryland defenders en route to a 25 point, seven rebound performance. Scott’s dominance of the Terrapins was perhaps “Plumlee-esque” Saturday. Consider that noted as well.

Sitting nearly an entire level away from the JPJ Arena floor, I started to wonder if the Maryland players had quit in the second half. For what it’s worth, the coach disagreed.

“We didn’t quit, we just hung our head. I wouldn’t say we quit, we just kind of felt sorry for ourselves and weren’t competing as hard as we can compete. I know it might have looked that way a little bit, but I don’t think we quit.”

Perhaps the players never actually quit, but it was a brutal effort that came at a time where it would be easy to see the team give up a bit. This is a difficult stretch for a Maryland team that has frankly overachieved with a thin roster. The players are smart enough to know that there’s no hope of a NCAA Tournament at-large bid and even slim NIT hopes aren’t enticing enough to maintain a high level of energy until March. The only tangible difference between winning and losing at this point is the reaction generated from coaches and fans.

When things aren’t going their way, it is understandable that players may be a little more willing to pack it in down the stretch. It’s not a condemnation of the collective heart of this group of players, it’s just more a look at reality for a team that is too thin in both quantity and quality.

It’s also not an excuse for poor effort down the stretch. Maryland’s second half performance was absolutely unacceptable even against a Virginia team in need of a strong effort to hold on their place in the nation’s Top 25. Things won’t necessarily get any easier for Maryland, as bubble dwelling Miami invades Comcast Center Tuesday and the final three games of the regular season include a return contest with Scott and the Cavaliers plus trips to North Carolina and Georgia Tech.

If Turgeon thought the stretch after the Puerto Rico trip was going to be a challenge, it would be hard to find the right word to describe the rest of the season.

The word is definitely not “easy”. That much I know.

-G

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Terps Make Quick Turnaround for Saturday Visit to Virginia

Posted on 18 February 2012 by WNST Staff

MARYLAND (15-10, 5-6) AT #22/22 VIRGINIA (19-6, 6-5)
Saturday, February 18, 2012 • 1 p.m. EST
Game #26 • Road Game #7 • Charlottesville, Va. • John Paul Jones Arena
Radio: Terrapin Sports Radio Network – Johnny Holliday (Play-by-Play), Chris Knoche (Analyst)
TV: ACC Network – Tim Brant (Play-by-Play), Cory Alexander (Analyst)-Locally on WNUV-TV.

• Maryland travels to Charlottesville for its first matchup of the season but the 176th all-time with Virginia, which is currently ranked 22nd in both polls. The Terps are tied with Clemson for seventh in the ACC with a 5-6 mark, just one game behind the fifth-place tie between the Cavaliers and Miami. Maryland and Virginia close the regular season on Sunday, March 4 at Comcast Center in a 2 p.m. matchup.
• Maryland scored its most lopsided victory of the season on Thursday in an 81-65 victory over Boston College. The Terrapins took control with a 14-0 run over a 2:45 stretch of the first half that gave Maryland an 18-10 lead. All 14 of those points were by sophomore guard Terrell Stoglin. The streak extended to a 29-4 run over 7:51 that put Maryland ahead 33-14 with 7:53 left before halftime. Stoglin had 19 of his game-high 24 in the first half.
• Stoglin set the sophomore record for 3-pointers in a season against BC, with his five giving him 68 for the year. Greivis Vasquez had 64 during the 2008 season for the record. Stoglin became the 16th Terrapin with 100 3-pointers in his career in that game and has tied Terence Morris (1995-99) for 15th on the all-time list with 101. Stoglin has accomplished that milestone in only 58 career games.
• Junior forward James Padgett came off the bench against BC for the first time in 14 games and played well. His 15 points (one off his career-high) came on near-perfect shooting, as he went 5-for-5 from the floor and 5-for-6 at the line. Padgett also had eight rebounds for the Terrapins.
• Maryland is in a tight stretch of quick turnarounds, with less than 48 hours between the BC and Virginia games. The Terps play three games in six days, including Tuesday’s home game with Miami.

Scouting the Cavaliers
• No. 22 Virginia enters Saturday’s game with a record of 19-6, including 6-5 in the ACC… However, the Cavaliers have dropped three of their last four and sit in a tie for fifth in the standings… Virginia is 12-1 at home with the lone blemish a 47-45 loss to Virginia Tech on Jan. 22.
• Senior forward Mike Scott, an ACC Player of the Year candidate, leads the team in scoring at 16.9 ppg, third in the league… He is also first in the conference in field-goal percentage (.596) and sixth in rebounding (8.2 rpg)… Sophomore guard Joe Harris is second on the team in scoring (12.0 ppg)…. Junior guard Jontel Evans is fifth in the conference in both assists (3.7 apg) and steals (1.6 spg).
• Virginia is the top defensive team in the ACC… The Cavaliers are allowing a league-low 52.2 ppg… Opponents are shooting just 39.2 percent from the fl oor which ranks third in the ACC… The Cavaliers
also shoot the ball well, connecting on 46.1 percent of their field-goal attempts, fourth in the ACC
• Tony Bennett is in his third season as head coach… Prior to his stint there, he spent three seasons as head coach at Washington State, where he led the Cougars to two NCAA Tournament appearances.

Upcoming
Maryland has a little better than a 36-hour turnaround before its 1p.m. tipoff at Virginia on Saturday…The Terps then return home on Tuesday for their rematch against Miami (2/21)… Maryland has five
regular-season games on the schedule, two at home and three on the road… Of the five remaining, three are against nationally ranked teams, including the home-and-home with the Cavaliers.

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All Too Familiar Ending For Maryland Lacrosse

Posted on 30 May 2011 by Glenn Clark

BALTIMORE — To his credit, John Tillman said exactly what I probably would have in the same situation.

Following the University of Maryland’s heartbreaking 9-7 loss to the University of Virginia in the NCAA Championship Game at M&T Bank Stadium, Tillman’s postgame comments were fair.

“Obviously, I am very disappointed for the 48 guys in our locker room ” the Terrapins’ head coach stated. “I couldn’t be more proud of the group that’s in there, not only as players but as people – the way they handled, really, the last 12 months. I’m just so disappointed for them. For all they’ve sacrificed – not only on the field and the time commitment, the things we’ve asked but for the way they’ve looked after each other. I think that’s probably the hardest thing is thinking about what they’ve invested and how they’ve done things.”

Tillman of course has every right to be proud, as his Terps reached Memorial Day for the first time since 1998, playing in the title game for only the 10th time in school history.

That being said, perhaps the comments of senior attackman Grant Catalino more appropriately reflected the emotions of Maryland fans throughout the region.

“Making the final was not our goal” said Catalino. “(Our goal) was to win it.”

It is important to point out the many good things that happened for the Maryland lacrosse team in 2011. In his first year since coming to College Park from Harvard, Tillman guided the Terps to their first Final Four since 2006. He claimed just the 5th ACC Tournament title in school history and beat all three other conference teams (Virginia, Duke and North Carolina) at least once during the campaign. By reaching the title game, he did something his predecessor (Dave Cottle) failed to do in nine seasons as head coach.

Frankly, the only things Tillman didn’t accomplish during his first season were a win over Johns Hopkins and a NCAA Championship.

Of course, those goals are probably the two Maryland fans are most desperate for.

The Terps should have an immediate bright future on the field, too. Despite losing senior contributors like Catalino, Attackmen Travis Reed & Ryan Young, Midfielders Dan Burns & Scott LaRue and Defenders Max Schmidt & Ryder Bohlander, they will return a talented team. Most notably, goalie Niko Amato will be just a sophomore and face-off specialist Curtis Holmes will be just a junior. Attackman Owen Blye will also just be a junior and will likely have the opportunity to see the team’s offense run through him.

Yet the reality is that despite the significant accomplishments of this Maryland team, the fact that they again fell short of claiming a NCAA Championship will leave an already fickle fan base even more frustrated.

There was a special amount of heartbreak in Monday’s game, as the game had the feel of a final title culmination for a long suffering program. In their last title game appearance (’98 at Rutgers), Maryland never showed any signs of life in a 15-5 blowout loss to Princeton. In their most recent trip to the Final Four (2006 in Philadelphia), the Terps looked particularly lethargic in an 8-5 loss to Massachusetts.

Monday’s game was much different than those.

Maryland lead for the bulk of the first two quarters before allowing the Cavaliers to score the final three goals of the first half and take a 5-3 lead. When things started to look bleak in the second half, the Terrapins put together a stretch of three unanswered goals to even things up at 6.

In front of a crowd of 35,561 fans that was predominantly made up of Maryland supporters, there was a real sense that “this team is different than those teams. This team can’t lose.”

Obviously that wasn’t the case. After tying things up, Maryland lost the next three face-offs. Virginia scored the next three goals. The Cavs whooped and hollered on the Charm City field when the clock read zero.

It was a feeling all too familiar for Maryland fans.

For Maryland lacrosse fans, a calendar is set by May heartbreak. Since defeating Navy in that 1975 title game, Maryland has lost NCAA Tournament games in seemingly every possible way. They’ve lost games as favorites. They’ve lost games as underdogs. They’ve lost games in blowout fashion. They’ve lost games that game down to the final possession. They’ve lost games where they blew big leads. They’ve lost games where they never had a lead.

The only type of game they haven’t experienced in the time period is a Memorial Day game that ended with a trophy hoisting.

It’s much too familiar.

Tillman will set about preparation to end the streak again in the Fall. Tillman made waves in his first offseason as head coach by installing new discipline-including early morning drills. He’ll likely continue those this Fall with the hopes that they can finally reach the Championship goals they rightly set for themselves every season.

For Maryland lacrosse fans, the offseason will be spent trying to look past another May heartbreak.

It won’t be easy. It never is.

-G

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