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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 21 February 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: NHL-Washington Capitals @ Ottawa Senators (Wednesday 7pm from Ottawa live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS), Montreal Canadiens @ Washington Capitals (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on NHL Network/Comcast SportsNet), Washington Capitals @ Toronto Maple Leafs (Saturday 7pm from Toronto live on NHL Network/Comcast SportsNet); Monster Jam (Friday-Sunday 1st Mariner Arena); Tennis: ATP Tour Regions Morgan Keegan Championships (Saturday 12pm & 4pm Sunday 4pm from Memphis live on Tennis Channel); Boxing: Marcos Maidana vs. Devon Alexander (Saturday 10pm from St. Louis live on HBO), Friday Night Fights-Juan Carlos Burgos vs. Cristobal Cruz (Friday 9pm from Dover live on ESPN2); High School Basketball: MPSSAA Playoffs Opening Round-Games include Catonsville @ Mergenthaler, Paint Branch @ Dulaney, Poly @ Blake, Perry Hall @ Sherwood, Chesapeake-AA @ South River, Great Mills @ North County, Leonardtown @ Broadneck, Severna Park @ Meade (All games Friday); Women’s College Basketball: North Carolina @ Maryland (Friday 8:30pm from Comcast Center live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS)

10. Blake Shelton (Saturday 7:30pm Patriot Center); Mr. Greengenes (Friday 7:30pm Rams Head Live), Several Species: The Pink Floyd Experience (Saturday 7pm Rams Head Live); Citizen Cope (Friday 7pm Recher Theatre); Guns N Roses (Thursday 10pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Flogging Molly (Friday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Estelle (Wednesday 7:30pm Birchmere); Rick Ross (Thursday 7pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Fun. “Some Nights” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I’m not really a Blake Shelton fan.That said, I wish I could tell you I didn’t enjoy this tune…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGoiiwxTWeE

I am particularly bitter that my trip to Indy this weekend will prevent me from getting to the Cope show Friday night. If you’ve never seen him, shame on you…

What’s happening in Silver Spring won’t ACTUALLY be a GNR show, but it doesn’t mean you can’t sing along…

Just in case you forgot, Flogging Molly is the one that ISN’T Dropkick Murphys…

9. Portlandia The Tour (Tuesday 7pm & 9pm 9:30 Club); Jeffrey Ross (Saturday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Jim Gaffigan (Thursday-Saturday Warner Theatre); Rodney Carrington (Friday 7:30pm Meyerhoff Symphony Hall); Rich Vos (Thursday-Saturday Magooby’s Joke House); Donnell Rawlings (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); “J. Edgar” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); Act of Valor” and “Wonderlust” out in theaters (Friday); 2012 Academy Awards (Sunday 7pm from Los Angeles live on ABC)

Can someone ask Jeffrey Ross if he’ll come on my show this week and make fun of me? It’s that good…

Also funny? Jim Gaffigan. It’s just a very different type of funny…

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Top 10 Games In Comcast Center History

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Top 10 Games In Comcast Center History

Posted on 12 November 2011 by Glenn Clark

The University of Maryland will open their tenth season of basketball play at Comcast Center Sunday night when they face UNC Wilmington. The 2002-2003 campaign was the first at the new arena in College Park, as the Terrapins moved after claiming the only NCAA Championship in school history during their final season at Cole Field House.

In honor of the start of the tenth season, I decided to put together a list of the Top 10 Games in Comcast Center history (at least in my humble opinion). And while both the men’s and women’s basketball teams call Comcast Center home, this list will focus only on the men. I will admit that I missed a few women’s games along the road.

10. Pe’Shon Howard plays savior (November 10, 2010)

I’m not sure which is more memorable about the Terps’ win over College of Charleston-Howard’s winning shot or the look on Gary Williams’ face that said “we probably shouldn’t have won this one.”

Either way, it was a surprisingly exciting night in a 2K Sports Classic victory over the Cougars.

9. Morgan State shocker (January 7, 2009)

morgan

If Greivis Vasquez is the greatest player in the history of the building, perhaps there is an argument Reggie Holmes checks in at Number 2?

The Bears guard was brilliant while the Terps fell apart in one of the more stunning losses in program history.

I still can’t believe this actually happened.

8. Great Vermont escape (November 21, 2008)

vasquez

I would assume then Catamounts coach Mike Lonergan (now at George Washington) probably still hasn’t figured out why he didn’t just have his team give a foul late instead of allowing Greivis Vasquez to knock down the game-tying three.

It was all Terps in the extra frame, and Dave Neal’s ten points in the game were a sign of positive things to come for the senior.

7. Florida ends Maryland streak (December 14, 2002)

gators

I remember this game for my introduction to John Gilchrist, my beliefs that Ryan Randle might be a pretty good player and my realization that I didn’t much care for Anthony Roberson.

The contest against Florida was the first ever battle between two ranked teams in the Terps’ new building and the loss would snap Maryland’s then 87 game home winning streak against non-conference opponents. It was a hell of a Saturday afternoon though.

6. Cliff Tucker the hero (February 20,2010)

This game was of course MORE awesome because Tucker’s game winner came after a would-be game winner from Greivis Vasquez was waived off due to a timeout.

Look, this is simple math. If a buzzer beater is involved, it will probably end up on the list.

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 18 April 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Mixed Martial Arts-Bellator Fighting Championships 42 (Saturday 9pm from Concho, OK live on MTV2); Arena Football: AFL Kansas City Command @ Chicago Rush (Friday 8pm from Chicago live on NFL Network); Soccer: MLS-New York Red Bulls @ DC United (Thursday 8pm from RFK Stadium live on ESPN2); Tennis: ATP Barcelona Open BancSabadell (Friday 6:30am, Saturday & Sunday 4pm from Barcelona on Tennis Channel); Golf: PGA Tour The Heritage (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday & Sunday 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Hilton Head, SC); Champions Tour Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf (Friday 12:30pm live on Golf Channel, Saturday & Sunday 1pm live on CBS. All golf from Savannah, GA)

10. Rush (Friday 7:30pm 1st Mariner Arena); Coheed and Cambria (Tuesday 7pm Rams Head Live, Wednesday 7pm 9:30 Club), Crack The Sky (Saturday 8pm Rams Head Live); Rooney (Wednesday 7pm Bourbon Street); John Popper & The Duskray Troubadours (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head On Stage, Thursday 8:30pm State Theatre), Bret Michaels (Thursday 8pm Rams Head On Stage); Michael McDonald (Thursday-Saturday DC Improv); Charlie Sheen (Tuesday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Stephen Kellogg (Friday 8:30pm Jammin’ Java-Vienna); Soulive (Saturday 9pm State Theatre); Local H (Sunday 8:30pm Rock & Roll Hotel), J Roddy Walston & The Business (Wednesday 8:30pm Rock & Roll Hotel); Saliva (Monday 7pm Jaxx); Gorillaz “The Fall” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I’m ABSOLUTELY done with the Charlie Sheen fascination. I’m done even with the morbid curiosity. Unless he’s donning a Cleveland Indians jersey and hurling fastballs, I’m simply not interested.

I AM interested however in a Charm City appearance by the holy trinity…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7DFsBcVMDA[/youtube]

Love Blues Traveler? You’re a good American. I loved Blues Traveler myself and will absolutely admit that I’m all in on John Popper’s new project…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6f5xq5bRaQU[/youtube]

Want to hear something that TOTALLY kicks ass? Here are Soulive and Robert Randolph doing Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JC_HXU-N3Ac[/youtube]

I’m not sure if anyone is still in the band, but I know Local H at least USED to be pretty awesome…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2Oe5YKhzCE[/youtube]

9. Glenn Clark’s Easter Plans (Sunday)

Here’s what I know. I DEMANDED Cadbury Cream Eggs Benedict from my girlfriend last year and she failed. It had better not happen again…

cadburycreameggsbenedict

This is proof that God exists…I think.

8. Mortal Kombat available on Playstation3/XBox360 (Tuesday)

11 year old Glenn Clark is FREAKING OUT RIGHT NOW.

If Streetfighter Turbo comes next, I might be in full blown panic mode.

While we’re on the subject of video games, how many folks do you know that are Grand Champions in NFL Blitz 2000?

The answer is at least one.

blitz

7. College Football: Navy Blue-Gold Spring Game (Friday 7pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on CBS Sports)

I won’t be able to make it out to Annapolis Friday night, but I do have a couple of thoughts related to College Football.

1-Alabama fans have to be at least a LITTLE embarrassed by the Nick Saban statue that was unveiled in Tuscaloosa, right? Of course, the more embarrassing part is that I’m SURE this means Auburn is rushing to get a Gene Chizik statue erected too.

2-Cliff Tucker is trying is hand as a receiver for the Maryland football team now that the whole hoops thing is over, huh? Seems like a good option, but I feel as though maybe I would have gone with Competitive Cheer…

cheer

6. NBA Playoffs: Eastern Conference Quarterfinals-New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics (Game 2 Tuesday 7pm from Boston live on TNT, Game 3 Friday 7pm from New York live on ESPN, Game 4 Sunday 3:30pm from New York live on ABC); Atlanta Hawks vs. Orlando Magic (Game 2 Tuesday 7:30pm from Orlando live on NBA TV, Game 3 Friday 8pm from Atlanta live on ESPN2, Game 4 Sunday 7pm from Atlanta live on TNT); Chicago Bulls vs. Indiana Pacers (Game 3 Thursday 7pm from Indianapolis live on NBA TV, Game 4 Saturday 2:30pm from Indianapolis live on TNT); Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers (Game 3 Thursday 8pm from Philadelphia live on TNT, Game 4 Sunday 1pm from Philadelphia live on ABC); Western Conference Quarterfinals-Portland Trailblazers vs. Dallas Mavericks (Game 2 Tuesday 9:30pm from Dallas live on TNT, Game 3 Thursday 10:30 from Portland live on TNT, Game 4 Saturday 5pm from Portland live on TNT, Game 5 Monday from Dallas TBD); Denver Nuggets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (Game 2 Wednesday 8pm from Oklahoma City live on TNT, Game 3 Saturday 10pm from Denver live on ESPN, Game 4 Monday 10:30pm from Denver live on TNT); Memphis Grizzlies vs. San Antonio Spurs (Game 2 Wednesday 8:30pm from San Antonio live on NBA TV, Game 3 Saturday 7:30pm from Memphis live on ESPN, Game 4 Monday from Memphis TBD); New Orleans Hornets vs. Los Angeles Lakers (Game 2 Wednesday 10:30pm from Los Angeles live on TNT, Game 3 Friday 9:30pm from New Orleans live on ESPN, Game 4 Sunday 9:30pm from New Orleans live on TNT)

Let’s be honest…NBA basketball is AWFUL in the regular season and just sorta okay in the playoffs.

But Dwyane Wade and Jalen Rose (and Kyle Korver) did some pretty impressive things over the weekend…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC9H66odmrk[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=748HJrUPuys[/youtube]

5. NHL Playoffs: Washington Capitals @ New York Rangers Game 4 (Wednesday 7pm from New York live on Comcast SportsNet & VERSUS), New York Rangers @ Washington Capitals Game 5 (Saturday 3pm from Verizon Center live on NBC), Washington Capitals @ New York Rangers Game 6 if necessary (Monday TBD from New York live on Comcast SportsNet)

I know there are a few folks in Baltimore who have gone to the dark side and are rooting for the hockey team down in the Nation’s Capital.

That’s their choice…I won’t judge them. Much. I MIGHT however buy them a new Washington Redskins shirt to wear this football season while we’re all donning purple at M&T Bank Stadium.

To those that are still on the fence, I encourage you to root for the Rangers. If you’re not familiar with Sean Avery, let me introduce you to a few young ladies who ARE familiar with Mr. Avery…

Hilary Rhoda

rhoda

Elisha Cuthbert

cuthbert

Lake Bell

lakebell

And “Stacy’s Mom” herself, Rachel Hunter

rachelhunter

You seriously don’t think this guy is worth rooting for?!?!?

4. Charm City Heroes (Friday-Saturday Pikesville Hilton)

With no offense to Frank Robinson, Mike Curtis, Jim Palmer, Eddie Murray, Earl Weaver, Cal Ripken Jr., Brooks Robinson, Roberto Alomar, Lenny Moore, Gino Marchetti, Art Donovan, Raymond Berry, Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis, Brian Roberts, Buck Showalter or anyone else scheduled to attend this event (holy hell that’s quite the list), it’s not complete.

I mean…seriously…how about our city’s greatest Olympic champion?

phelps

Could anything say “hero” more than that picture?!?!?

3. Ravens Pre-Draft Luncheon (Tuesday 12:45pm 1 Winning Drive, airing 5:30pm on AM1570 WNST), Brian Billick Live! Pre-NFL Draft Show (Tuesday 7pm Mother’s Federal Hill)

I guess the excitement surrounding the NFL Draft has been a bit dampened because of the lockout. But that’s only because we haven’t spent time watching NFL DRAFT PORN!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkLG6LHNdXk[/youtube]

I want all of them.

2. Boxing: Top Rank-Roberto Marroquin vs. Frankie Leal (Saturday 11pm from Thackerville, OK live on Fox Sports Net nationally, Comcast SportsNet locally); Joseph Agbeko vs. Abner Mares (Saturday 10:30pm from Los Angeles live on Showtime); Friday Night Fights: Breidis Prescott vs. Bayan Jargal (Friday 8pm from Uncasville, CT live on ESPN2)

Of course this makes the list because Ravens S Tom Zbikowski is scheduled to fight on the undercard of the Marroquin-Leal fight.

By the way, if you haven’t seen “The Fighter”, you might as well just admit you hate America. How AWESOME is this clip?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oln0_q_x1lw[/youtube]

1. College Lacrosse: Navy @ Johns Hopkins (Saturday 8pm from Homewood Field live on ESPNU); Hobart @ Loyola (Saturday 12pm from Ridley Athletic Complex live on ABC2/ESPN3.com); Vermont @ UMBC (Saturday 1pm UMBC Stadium); ACC Lacrosse Tournament: Maryland vs. North Carolina (Friday 5pm from Durham, NC live on TheACC.com), ACC Championship Game (Sunday 3:30pm from Durham, NC live on Comcast SportsNet); CAC Tournament: St. Mary’s @ Stevenson (Wednesday 4pm Caves Athletic Complex), CAC Championship Game (Sunday 2pm from Caves Athletic Complex if Stevenson wins Wednesday)

I’ve posted this before I’m sure. I don’t care. Suck it, UNC!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0SnOgHx3eg[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Maryland misery: What happened and what’s next for the Terps?

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Maryland misery: What happened and what’s next for the Terps?

Posted on 15 March 2011 by Luke Jones

As you settled in Tuesday night to embark in this new era of the “First Four” and tried to figure out what channel truTV was on, or if you settled for the ho-hum action of the NIT, the noticeable absence of Maryland basketball leaves many in the area pondering the same question.

What’s next for the Terps?

After failing to qualify for the NCAA tournament or NIT for the first time since 1993, Maryland finds itself in territory not seen in College Park since the inky shadow of NCAA probation was still lingering. But after a couple days to digest the duel rejection that ended a season of disappointment, are you really that distraught over missing out on the NIT, a tournament nobody wanted to go to anyway?

In retrospect, what did you really expect entering the 2010-11 season?

Losing three key seniors, including ACC player of the year Greivis Vasquez, not only left a 54.5 percent hole in scoring, but also valuable leadership difficult to replace. Beyond the anticipated improvement of Jordan Williams — who blossomed into the best big man in the ACC as a sophomore — coach Gary Williams would bestow his hopes on three seniors who combined to score 14.7 points per game as juniors to lead the Terps back to the NCAA tournament for the third straight year.

Repeating as ACC regular season co-champions seemed out of the question, but reaching the tournament was a possibility if the ball bounced Maryland’s way.

It proved to be too much to ask of a disappointing senior class — which originally included forwards Braxton Dupree and Shane Walker who left the program for Towson and Loyola respectively — that never lived up to lofty expectations. Ironically, it was Baltimore’s Dino Gregory, the least distinguished of the trio through three seasons, who showed the most improvement and outshone his veteran counterparts. His leadership and 9.1 scoring average was the bright spot of the senior class.

The first half of Adrian Bowie’s career was stronger than the finish, starting 28 games as a sophomore, but the Greenbelt product struggled to shoot consistently enough to make a significant impact in his final two seasons.

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And, of course, there was the curious case of Cliff Tucker. Entering his senior season, many envisioned a Drew Nicholas-like senior season for Tucker after playing behind the likes of Vasquez and Eric Hayes. Instead, despite a strong start in which he reached double figures in narrow losses to Pitt and Illinois, he turned out to be, well, Cliff Tucker, the athletic and frustratingly inconsistent figure who could take over a game one moment and dribble the ball off his foot the next.

It’s a group that will be remembered for not being good enough, a description befitting the entire season.

Unlike most teams during Williams’ tenure at Maryland, this one never improved collectively, the curse of poor long-range shooting, inconsistency from the line, painful scoring droughts, and shoddy perimeter defense dooming the Terps countless times against the better teams on the schedule.

It was the improvement of freshmen Terrell Stoglin, Pe’Shon Howard, and Haukur Palsson that was often needed to counter the decline of Tucker and the inconsistency of Bowie and junior Sean Mosley down the stretch as Maryland held on to slim hopes of reaching the field of 68. The trio showed promise for the future, but growing pains escorted that development as the Terps dropped four of their last five games to end the 19-14 campaign.

For the fourth time in seven years, Maryland has fallen short of the NCAA tournament, and the detractors are once again pushing for change at the top. The effects of an underwhelming senior class are the responsibility of the man who recruited them.

What now for the iconic coach?

Regardless of where you stand with Williams, who has two years remaining on his current contract, the end is approaching some time in the not-so-distant future. For perspective, the legendary North Carolina coach Dean Smith stepped down at age 66, the same age Williams reached earlier this month. Crediting his good health, Williams has appeared re-energized since a not-so-secret attempt to push him away from the Maryland sideline two years ago. Still, Father Time waits for no one, and Williams’ departure is a reality for which athletic director Kevin Anderson must plan.

Despite the decline of the program since a national championship in 2002, the collective success of Williams’ 22 years at Maryland cannot be diminished, regardless of how entitled or disenchanted some might feel. He has earned the right to decide, within reason, when he’ll walk away from a Hall of Fame career, but you have to wonder if the hourglass has expired for him to guide the Terps back to the consistent top-25 — and even better — status they enjoyed a decade ago.

Even being in the November of his coaching career, I’ll still take Williams, the in-game coach, against anyone with comparable talent. But therein lies the problem. The Maryland coach cannot continue to bring a knife to a gun fight and expect favorable results over the long haul. A program cannot afford to have recruiting classes such as the one graduating in May without experiencing major bumps in the road.

Consistently falling to Duke and North Carolina in their best years is understandable. Finishing 0-5 against Virginia Tech, Boston College, and Miami — three NIT teams — and compiling a 10-20 mark against the three former Big East defectors since 2005 is unacceptable. Nobody knows that more than Williams.

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Late collapse to Duke paints (im)perfect picture of Maryland’s season

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Late collapse to Duke paints (im)perfect picture of Maryland’s season

Posted on 12 March 2011 by Luke Jones

If you’ve been seeking the abridged version of a frustrating season for Maryland, the final 10 minutes of an 87-71 loss to Duke on Friday night revealed everything you needed to know about the Terps.

After an impressive performance over the first 30 minutes against the second-seeded Blue Devils in the ACC tournament quarterfinals, the Terps were in position to challenge the No. 5 team in the country, trailing 63-60 after a Dino Gregory layup at the 10:13 mark.

All-ACC senior Nolan Smith was ineffective throughout the night and left the game with a toe injury with just under seven minutes left. The normally sharpshooting Blue Devils were a paltry 3-for-15 from beyond the arc. And despite a huge night from  all-conference senior Kyle Singler (29 points for the game), the Maryland defense swarmed the ball on nearly every possession, leaving a perimeter-dependent team with few open looks.

Opportunity was sitting right there as Maryland had essentially made it a 10-minute game against one of the best teams in the country. It wasn’t the near-perfect performance they needed to secure the upset, but Duke’s struggles had allowed an energized Maryland team to hang around.

And then, like we’ve seen all too many times this season, the Terps completely crumbled and Duke clutched them by the throat, squeezing the final breath out of their far-fetched NCAA tournament hopes and leaving them to wait for the NIT selection show on Sunday night.

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The Blue Devils outscored them by a 24-11 margin over the the final 10 minutes as the Terps would go scoreless for nearly six minutes after Gregory’s layup, failing to bank another field goal until Pe’Shon Howard’s bucket with 4:03 to play. Maryland turned the ball over at crucial times, looking confused and out of its league as Duke seized control.

Poor free-throw shooting (15-for-28) throughout the night was magnified as a manageable deficit became too much to overcome with the Terps turning ice-cold and Duke making its free throws (14-for-15 in the second half) in the final minutes.

Despite 16 points and 16 rebounds from Jordan Williams, the sophomore’s 2-for-10 showing from the line made it a fruitless effort to get him the ball inside to draw contact. Cliff Tucker chipped in 12 points while Gregory and Howard added 10 apiece, but no one could spark the struggling Maryland offense late as the scoring drought grew longer and the deficit wider.

Terrell Stoglin continued his struggles against Duke, scoring six points and turning it over five times. His late-season maturity reverted back to the look of a frustrated freshman for much of the evening, but one would hope better days are ahead for the talented point guard against the Blue Devils.

And just like that, it was over. What had been an entertaining first 30 minutes transformed into a 16-point defeat, Maryland’s third of the season to Duke.

Truthfully, no one expected the Terps to pose much of a threat to Mike Krzyzewski’s group, who is aiming for another No.1 seed in the NCAA tournament and a possible rematch with North Carolina in the ACC tournament championship. Duke will play Virginia Tech in the semifinal Saturday while North Carolina takes on Clemson.

In contrast, Gary Williams will now lead an underwhelming group to the NIT for the fourth time in seven years. A rivalry that was once more competitive than Duke’s storied war with North Carolina — for several years, mind you — has dissipated to the sound of nine losses in the last 10 games to the Blue Devils.

After losing the ACC Player of the Year and two other key seniors who accounted for more than half of the team’s scoring a year ago, the Terps just weren’t good enough to play a full 40 minutes against the better teams in the country this season. The results speak for themselves.

The effort was there Friday night — a refreshing change after lifeless showings against Miami and Virginia to close the regular season — but the talent wasn’t there to finish the job.

As Gary Williams said following last Saturday’s loss to Virginia, “close doesn’t count, especially this time of year.”

It’s a lesson the Terps are painfully familiar with this season.

One they’ll take with them to the glamourless NIT.

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Maryland’s J. Williams, Stoglin grab ACC honors

Posted on 07 March 2011 by Luke Jones

Having completed one of the most successful seasons by a big man in the history of Maryland basketball, Jordan Williams was selected to the all-ACC first team on Monday afternoon.

The sophomore from Torrington, Conn. received 210 points from the 75 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association, second-most overall behind Duke’s senior guard Nolan Smith who was the only unanimous choice. Virginia Tech senior — and Baltimore native — Malcolm Delaney, Duke senior Kyle Singler, and Boston College junior Reggie Jackson round out the first team of all-ACC players.

Williams led the ACC and was third nationally in rebounding (11.6 per game) and posted a single-season school record of 23 double-doubles in his second season in College Park. His 16.9 points per game average was sixth in the conference and 54.1 percent field-goal percentage was second in the ACC.

The national recognition continues to pour in for Williams as he also earned third-team selections on the FOXsports.com and Yahoo! Sports All-America basketball teams.

Point guard Terrell Stoglin capped off a spectacular finish to the regular season by grabbing all-freshman honors, joining North Carolina’s Kendall Marshall and Harrison Barnes, Wake Forest’s Travis McKie, and N.C. State’s C.J. Leslie.

The freshman from Tuscon, Ariz. averaged 19.1 points per game over the season’s final eight contests, boosting his scoring average to 11.6 and overtaking Cliff Tucker for second on the team. Stoglin grabbed ACC Rookie of the Week honors on Feb. 21 after back-to-back 25-point efforts and again the following week by scoring 17 against Florida State and a career-high 28 in a loss at North Carolina.

Stoglin scored 20 or more points in four of the team’s final six games — starting the final five — and led the Terps in free-throw percentage (83.5).

2011 marks the second straight year in which a Maryland player received first-team all-ACC honors (Greivis Vasquez in 2010) and a freshman received an all-rookie selection (Williams in 2010).

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Terps’ late-season fade continues with 74-60 loss to Virginia

Posted on 05 March 2011 by Luke Jones

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Minutes after Maryland’s regular season concluded with a third straight loss, Gary Williams offered a remark that could summarize his team’s entire season.

“Close doesn’t count, especially this time of year. You have to figure out a way to win those games.”

It’s a mantra that rings true for a team that’s failed to close out victories against top opponents and to complete comeback efforts on several occasions.

It’s the reality the Terps now face, needing to win four straight in the conference tournament as their only means to make the NCAA tournament.

Continuing their late-season collapse, the Terps fell to Virginia, 74-60, in a game controlled by the Cavaliers all afternoon on Maryland’s Senior Day. The loss leaves Maryland (18-13, 7-9 ACC) with a three-game losing streak to finish the regular season for the first time since 2005 and Williams to search for answers before the ACC tournament in Greensboro, N.C. next weekend.

The Cavaliers (16-14, 7-9 ACC) slowed the tempo to their liking, turning it over just six times as Maryland’s full-court pressure failed to produce any points off turnovers. Virginia received career-high performances by junior center Assane Sene (15 points) and junior guard Sammy Zeglinski, who torched the Terps for 25 points on six 3-pointers. The pair combined for eight points in the teams’ first meeting, a 66-42 Maryland victory in Charlottesville on Jan. 27.

Virginia’s 8-for-17 performance from beyond the arc continued a disturbing trend for the Maryland perimeter defense that allowed wide-open looks to Zeglinski all afternoon.

“They did a better job of running their offense as opposed to us,” Williams said. “There’s no excuses in a situation like that.”

Even so, the Terps found themselves in a familiar position to what they faced at Miami on Wednesday, using an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to 63-58 with 5:12 remaining. However, Maryland could get no closer, scoring just two points the rest of the way as Virginia finished the afternoon with a 9-0 run to beat the Terps at Comcast Center for the first time since 2007.

Maryland shot just 37.5 percent in the second half, scoring 27 points in its attempt to erase a 37-33 halftime deficit. Williams pointed to missed shots in the paint when the gap was narrowed, allowing Tony Bennett’s squad to regain control down the stretch.

“It was close and then they pulled away, and then we had to fight back,” said Jordan Williams, who led the team with 17 points and six rebounds. “It was an uphill battle all night. We kind of just let them play with us early. We should have just taken them out of the game at the beginning, but we didn’t do that.”

The Maryland coach’s frustration level bubbled over in the second half when he drew his first technical foul in over two years. At one point, Williams sent the unconventional lineup of Dino Gregory, Pe’Shon Howard, Mychal Parker, Hawk Palsoon, and Berend Weijs to the floor in the second half, looking for the spark his regular rotation was not providing.

The Terps did get closer, but not close enough, as Gary Williams put it so bluntly.

After meek losses to Miami and Virginia, he’s looking for answers in every nook and cranny. And finding none.

“Monday’s practice will be interesting in terms of trying to find the right guys to go down there and represent us in the ACC tournament,” Williams said.

It’s the type of comment you expect to hear at the start of the season — not in March.

Maryland will now attempt to become the first team to win four straight in the ACC tournament since it was expanded to the current format in 2005. The Terps will play as the seventh seed in Greensboro should Miami fall at Georgia Tech on Sunday; Maryland falls to eighth if the Hurricanes defeat the Yellow Jackets.

In a down year for the ACC, it shows just how far the Terps have fallen from a year ago when they shared the regular season title with Duke and were led by ACC Player of the Year Greivis Vasquez. Unlike the Baltimore native Gregory, who’s been one of the few pleasant surprises in an otherwise disappointing year, the senior backcourt of Adrian Bowie and Cliff Tucker failed to elevate their respective games nearly enough to put the Terps in a position to make it back to the Big Dance.

Senior Day was a painful conclusion, as the two combined for just 10 points while Gregory had 15 to continue his strong play down the stretch.

Unfortunately, it’s a senior class that will go down as one of the most disappointing of the Gary Williams era, with only Gregory raising his play substantially during his time in College Park. When you consider forwards Braxton Dupree (transferred to Towson) and Shane Walker (Loyola) had already left the program, the recruiting class of 2007 appears even more critical to the team’s downfall in 2011.

Gary Williams and the Terps will try to make the best of their trip to the Greensboro Coliseum, stating they expect to make noise in Greensboro and knowing their only option is to win four in a row.

But their recent play resembles a group that will struggle to survive Thursday’s first-round match-up, much less make it to Championship Sunday.

“We’re struggling right now, but next week I think it’s going to be a whole different team,” freshman Pe’Shon Howard said. “I think we’re going to do well in the ACC tournament.”

Valiant words, but it’s been the same result all season.

Close, but no cigar.

Why would it change now?

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Maryland-Virginia: Turtle Power live chat at 2:00

Posted on 05 March 2011 by Luke Jones

***Join us in the Turtle Power live chat as Maryland takes on the Virginia Cavaliers in the regular season finale***

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — It’s Senior Day at Comcast Center as the Maryland Terrapins (18-12, 7-8 ACC) close out the regular season by hosting the Virginia Cavaliers (15-14, 6-9 ACC) at 2:00.

Seniors Dino Gregory, Cliff Tucker, and Adrian Bowie will be honored as they play their final regular season game in College Park. The senior class has clearly been a disappointment this season with Maryland counting on the three to play bigger roles after losing over half of its point production from a season ago.

Despite an NCAA tournament bid looking to be out of reach unless the Terps win the ACC tournament, Maryland will look to close out the regular season on a high note by reaching the .500 mark in conference play and build some momentum heading into Greensboro, N.C. next Thursday.

This afternoon’s game can be seen on the ACC Network (WNUV-TV 54 in Baltimore) with Tim Brant and Dave Odom calling the action from Comcast Center. As always, join us in the Turtle Power chat beginning at 2:00 and follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the quickest updates and analysis from College Park.

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Maryland overwhelmed by UNC, 87-76, as at-large hopes go up in smoke

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Maryland overwhelmed by UNC, 87-76, as at-large hopes go up in smoke

Posted on 28 February 2011 by Luke Jones

In a game the Terps needed to win to keep their at-large hopes alive for a bid to the NCAA tournament, North Carolina was the bigger, stronger, and faster team.

Gary Williams called timeout after timeout — burning his last one with 10:32 remaining in the game — to search for the right words or combination of players to ignite a spark.

But short of finding Juan Dixon or Greivis Vasquez sitting at the end of the bench — or at least a Lonny Baxter to counterbalance the Tar Heels’ dominant frontcourt — it wasn’t going to matter.

The Terps ran into a buzz saw that was simply better than them in an 87-76 loss in Chapel Hill Sunday night. Short of a miracle run in Greensboro, N.C. in two weeks, Maryland saw its tournament hopes fade away in a similar fashion to many of their losses this season.

A respectable effort, but just not good enough.

North Carolina’s frontcourt combination of Tyler Zeller and John Henson combined for 35 points and 21 rebounds as the Tar Heels racked up 19 offensive rebounds, 14 coming in the first half to build a 43-31 lead at intermission. The Heels’ 46-42 edge in rebounding failed to tell how lopsided it was in that department, particularly in the first half when North Carolina thrived on second-chance opportunities.

The Tar Heels’ freshman combination of Harrison Barnes (21 points) and Kendall Marshall (10 assists) was terrific while sophomore Leslie McDonald came off the bench to add 15 points and three 3-pointers.

To be fair, North Carolina (22-6, 12-2 ACC) played like a group staking its claim as the ACC’s best team with a home rematch against Duke only six days away to likely determine the conference’s regular season champion.

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Maryland received another sterling effort from freshman Terrell Stoglin who scored a career-high 28 points, his sixth straight double-digit performance. Sophomore Jordan Williams, battling a stomach bug, added 16 points and a career-high 19 rebounds but was clearly not 100 percent against North Carolina’s massive front line.

After that for the Terps?

Not a whole lot.

The senior trio of Dino Gregory, Cliff Tucker, and Adrian Bowie combined for just 16 points on 7-for-19 shooting in a game the Terps needed to win to avoid ending up where the three played to conclude their first season at Maryland: the NIT.

The Terps went 2-for-12 from 3-point range, making a double-digit deficit too steep to overcome in the second half.

Despite the optimism created by consecutive wins over NC State and Florida State, Maryland reverted back into the team it’s looked like all season against tougher competition.

One that doesn’t have enough to make the NCAA tournament.

While optimists will point out that Maryland doesn’t have a bad loss to its name and will envision possible scenarios that might get the Terps invited to the Big Dance — short of the automatic bid that accompanies winning the ACC tournament, of course — they’ll only be grasping at straws.

An 0-6 record against top-25 teams and a lone win against top-50 RPI teams (1-9 overall) doesn’t warrant mention in the conversation, let alone recognition as a bubble team.

Two wins in Greensboro over an ACC bottom feeder and Virginia Tech or Florida State won’t do it for the selection committee. A trip to the final along with other bubble scenarios falling perfectly in Maryland’s favor might make the selection show worth watching, but still won’t leave the Terps in great shape.

Cutting down the nets at the Greensboro Coliseum — the same place where John Gilchrist and company did it in 2004 — looks to be Maryland’s only key to opening the door for a spot in the field of 68.

So what’s next for Maryland?

The silver lining in Sunday’s loss to the Tar Heels was another tremendous performance by Stoglin, playing his first game at the Dean Dome with everything on the line for the Terps.

Not only has Stoglin improved from his early season struggles to adjust to the college game, but it now looks like Gary Williams has the makings of a special player on his hands the next three years.

But now, Maryland (18-11, 7-7 ACC) must turn its attention to the final week of the regular season (a game at Miami Wednesday followed by Virginia at home on Saturday) and the near-impossible task of winning the ACC tournament to make it to the Big Dance.

The Terps’ three seniors must take a long look at themselves to determine how they want to be remembered in College Park. Aside from Gregory’s steady improvement, it’s been a terribly disappointing year for the group.

Entering the season, the biggest question facing the Terps would be how much the three seniors and junior Sean Mosley would step up to fill roles more critical to the team’s success. They — or some combination of the four — would need to provide the leadership and much of the production left behind by Vasquez, Eric Hayes, and Landon Milbourne.

With the Terps now finding themselves locked into the crosshairs of the NIT and needing to rely on a freshman as the only consistent scoring complement to Jordan Williams, the verdict to that question has become pretty clear.

It hasn’t been enough. And it’s why the Terps find themselves on the outside looking in with March on the way.

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Maryland-North Carolina pre-game notes

Posted on 27 February 2011 by Luke Jones

***Join us in the Turtle Power live chat beginning at 7:30 as Maryland takes on the Tar Heels at the Dean Dome***

With a final chance to make a loud statement for an at-large selection to the NCAA Tournament, the Maryland Terrapins (18-10, 7-6 ACC) are in Chapel Hill to take on No. 19 North Carolina (21-6, 11-2 ACC) tonight at 7:45.

The Tar Heels are bigger (with 7-footer Tyler Zeller and 6-foot-10 John Henson leading the frontcourt), love to play in transition much like the Terps, and will attempt to stifle Maryland with one of the best defenses in the nation. North Carolina has taken its play to a different level since freshman point guard Kendall Marshall (5.1 assists per game) took the reins of the Heels offense in place of Larry Drew II, who has since left the program.

Not to be outdone by Marshall, freshman Terrell Stoglin has exploded for the Terps in recent weeks and will need a big night at the Dean Dome for Maryland to pull off the upset. Stoglin (10.9 points per game) has emerged as the second-leading scorer on the team behind big man Jordan Wiliams (17.2).

This one could easily turn into a track meet given the teams’ respective profiles, but neither is strong from the perimeter, an area where the Terps have struggled defensively.

If you’re looking (hoping?) for a sleeper performance that could aid Maryland’s effort against the Heels, might this be the night Cliff Tucker snaps out of his late-season slump? The senior averaged 20 points per game in two games against North Carolina in 2009, including a 22-point performance to complement Greivis Vasquez’s triple-double in an overtime victory in College Park on Feb. 21, 2009.

Though the term “must-win game” gets tossed around far too much, this one absolutely fits the description after Virginia Tech knocked off No. 1 Duke on Saturday night, essentially locking up an at-large bid for the Hokies barring a major collapse. That leaves Clemson, Boston College, and Maryland currently battling for one potential — not guaranteed by any stretch — at-large bid as we enter the final week of the regular season.

A win in Chapel Hill puts the Terps in decent position to grab a tournament spot with wins over Miami and Virginia this week and at least a good showing (1-2 wins) in the ACC tournament. A loss to the Tar Heels likely means Maryland must win the conference tournament in Greensboro to punch a ticket to the Big Dance.

Tonight’s game will be televised on Comcast SportsNet with coverage beginning at 7:30 (tip-off scheduled for 7:45). As always, watch the action with us in the Turtle Power live chat and interact with WNST.net personalities about the happenings in Chapel Hill. Remember to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the quickest updates and analysis.

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