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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 02 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s a Happy Tuesday for me because Bear Grylls did a “heli-oop” in a recent Degree commercial (Thanks Deadspin/YouTube!)…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AytBhd_NwH8[/youtube]

In a related story, I once rode in a helicopter. I was so nervous I peed a little. Bear Grylls once drank his OWN urine!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2zITvSp0Hk[/youtube]

You see, he and I have so much in common!!!

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ravens LB Tavares Gooden, WR Donte’ Stallworth don’t expect to find out status for Week 9 until Sunday

My gut says both guys will play, but I feel stronger about Stallworth than Gooden right now. The Ravens not only need a different option at WR (Stallworth POTENTIALLY gives them a speed threat), but they really need a punt returner-especially with Tom Zbikowski still out of practice while he remains in a walking boot.

As far as Gooden is concerned-there is at least a chance the Ravens could choose to hold him out for another week given the depth they now have inside with Brendon Ayanbadejo healthy and with Jason Phillips having played well on Special Teams. But if Gooden is fully healthy-and he looks like he’s pretty close-he plays.

At that point, the Ravens have to find seven true scratches again to go with an injured Zbikowski. The likely names are Scott Kooistra, Dennis Pitta, Ken Hamlin, Arthur Jones, Lamar Divens, Jason Phillips and David Reed, as they’re the guys who have been inactive at times during the first seven weeks of the season.

2. The AP’s David Ginsburg says Ravens came back to Owings Mills in 1st place in AFC North

Which is better than the alternative, but clearly doesn’t matter much.

The bottom line is that there is little chance the Ravens make it through the rest of their schedule without at least two more losses. They have tough games at the Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans; as well as dates with the Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints and Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium. A more realistic expectation is probably an 11-5 finish.

The Steelers’ schedule doesn’t appear to be quite as tricky. The Ravens are the only team with a .500 or better record that they still have to face away from the Steel City. They do have to welcome the New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders and New York Jets to Heinz Field; but that schedule sets up much better.

That’s why the Steelers’ loss to the New Orleans Saints Sunday night was significant. If they had won that one, they would have been in UNBELIEVABLE shape to win the division. At this point, it looks like the two teams will be in a dogfight.

(Note: This is Week 9. In a month, all of this could be different. In fact, it probably will be.)

3. BaltimoreRavens.com’s Ryan Mink says CB Fabian Washington watched Buffalo Bills tape 3 times, ready to move on

We’ve all had bad moments.

During one of my first overnight DJ shifts back at WHFS, I forgot to turn my mic off after introducing a White Stripes record (I think it was “Seven Nation Army”) and listeners throughout the Old Line State were blessed with the opportunity to hear my variation of Jack White.

Why would I ever listen to that aircheck again? Mostly to make fun of myself. Why would Fabian Washington watch the tapes of getting abused by Lee Evans? He probably did it to get BETTER.

If the Ravens for some reason choose NOT to return Fabian Washington to his starting spot Sunday against the Fins, I would have to recommend they consider Ximena Navarrette. (Thanks Guyism!)

navarette

4. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says TE Todd Heap ‘feeling better’ after aggravating shoulder stinger in win over Bills

Before we move on from the Ravens, a few things…

-Did you miss former Ravens head coach Brian Billick (NFL Network/Fox Sports) with Drew Forrester Tuesday on “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST? Make sure you hit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net today to check it out. Some other things you can hear in the Audio Vault include…

  • Nick Faust (City Guard/#25 ranked prospect)-who joined Drew Tuesday morning to discuss his commitment to head to College Park in 2011
  • Andrew Perloff (SI)-who joined Drew Tuesday morning to talk Randy Moss and all things NFL
  • Patrick Stevens (D1scourse/CSNWashington.com/Fanhouse)-who joined Drew Thursday morning to talk Terps hoops and Terps football
  • Our “Tuesday Top 7″-which this week was a look at the Top 7 NFL MVP candidates thus far this season
  • Plenty of audio from 1 Winning Drive Monday, including Head Coach John Harbaugh, WR Derrick Mason, Heap and Stallworth
  • Postgame audio from last night’s Maryland-Florida Southern game, including Jordan Williams, Cliff Tucker and Sean Mosley
  • Tommy Polley (Former Ravens/Dunbar LB)-who joined Thyrl Nelson Monday on “The Mobtown Sports Beat” to discuss Week 8 NFL action
  • Brad Edwards (ESPN)-who joined Thyrl Monday to talk all things BCS and College Football
  • Tim Layden (Sports Illustrated)-who joined Rex Snider Monday on “The Afternoon Drive” to discuss Ray Lewis’ legacy and more

It’s all in the Audio Vault. So your day…for the millionth time…is planned well in advance. Just go ahead and thank me now so you don’t have to do it later.

5. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Jordan Williams lead Maryland with 18 points in exhibition win over Florida Southern

And coming from someone who ventured down to Comcast Center, it was a real thriller. Trust me.

That being said, it was certainly MUCH better than it could have been.

This team is going to be able to get up and down the floor quickly and they will certainly be able to find ways to score points. There’s an argument that Jack McCallum might write his follow up to “Seven Seconds or Less” about Gary Williams’ team.

The real question is whether or not the team is going to be able to shoot. Last night they were just 4-12 from beyond the arc and 18-30 from the free throw line. It goes without saying that those numbers will need to improve.

That being said, they look like they have an identity post-Greivis Vasquez. That’s good news thus far.

6. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Terrapins appear to be loaded with “athletic ability”

I wholeheartedly agree. Patrick made a comment last night that this might be the most athletic group assembled in College Park since the Steve Francis/LaRon Profit/Juan Dixon/Terrence Morris team in 1998-1999.

That team was most remembered as being a team that never minded throwing up an alley-oop; no matter where they were on the floor. Of course, that wasn’t necessarily always a good thing.

If we remember, that team was eliminated (in semi-embarrassing fashion) by St. John’s in the Sweet 16 because the Red Storm were an OUTSTANDING defensive team lead by Ron Artest. Should this Maryland team figure out a way to reach a similar level in the NCAA Tournament, it would be an incredible overachievement.

7. UMTerps.com says Maryland QB Danny O’Brien named ACC Rookie of the Week after throwing 4 TD’s against Wake Forest

What’s more? A handful of fans even recognized him as he was sitting at Comcast Center Monday night watching the Maryland basketball game.

It’s really been a surprisingly good start for O’Brien this season. He’s not Scott McBrien just yet, but he certainly appears like he’s a much more naturally able QB than say Chris Turner.

He’s been good. Good enough that if Holly Peers were on campus in College Park, he’d probably be able to get a date with her. (Thanks Busted Coverage!)

peers

8. ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich says Terrapins face much more difficult schedule down stretch in ACC play

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

-On the basketball side, it was announced before last night’s game that Sean Mosley and Dino Gregory would be the team’s captains this season. It was a LITTLE bit surprising considering Mosley is only a junior and both Cliff Tucker and Adrian Bowie are seniors; but Mosley has a reputation for being a solid practice player and might have more “emotional leader” in his blood.

It also means that the Terps now have two captains from Charm City to go with two of the three assistant coaches on their staff (Bino Ranson, Keith Booth). But someone without a brain will still try to mention that Maryland “cares more about DC than Baltimore.” Lord.

-Also in basketball, the team will hang a banner honoring last year’s ACC (Co) Regular Season champions before next Monday’s season opener against Seattle.

-In football, the ACC announced kickoff times and TV for the team’s next two games. They’re game against the Miami Hurricanes this Sunday will kick off at 12pm and will air on ESPNU. Next Saturday’s trip to Charlottesville to face Virginia will kickoff at 3:30pm and will be seen on ESPN3.com. Hard to generate interest when no one is seeing the games…

9. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Rick Kranitz accepted job with Houston Astros, Texas Rangers special assistant Mark Connor expected to be Orioles pitching coach

Well, if he could help a lowly team like the Rangers win the World Series, just imagine what he could do with the Birds!

(Edit from GMC: Apparently the Rangers did NOT win the World Series. I will be forced to admit that I didn’t watch last night. I chose fake college basketball and Monday Night Football instead.)

I’d offer an opinion here, but it would be misinformed. I don’t REALLY know how much Rick Kranitz did for this team. I do know that the Orioles young pitchers steadily improved last season, so Kranitz might deserve some credit there.

I know LESS about Mark Connor-other than the fact that he shares a name with my 7th grade history teacher. Don’t ask me why I knew my 7th grade history teacher’s full name-and DEFINITELY don’t ask how I remember it.

10. The Sun’s Steve Gould says Baseball America named Manny Machado, Zach Britton top prospects in O’s organization

Yet somehow “JWoww” from Jersey Shore was left off the list despite wearing this for Halloween…

jwoww

Finally, I leave you with this.

In honor of Election Day, I’ll pass along my favorite sign from Saturday’s “Rally to Restore Sanity” at the National Mall in DC. This guy literally made this sign and brought it to a rally. If there wasn’t a legal definition for “awesome” before, there is now…

fajita

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Tuesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 23 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Tuesday!

It’s another one of those “I THINK it’s a Happy” days today, as season allergies hit me like 6 tons of bricks last night. I have to get healthy before tomorrow night, because “The Luckiest Dang Gal on the Face of the Planet” and I are supposed to go see Alicia Keys at 1st Mariner Arena.

I can’t miss that.

I need your remedy ideas. What will get me healthy again? I’ve been taking the Benadryl Allergy stuff at night, but it makes me drowsy-so I can’t do it during the day. Or at least not when I’m working.

I need ideas. Apparently blood spinning won’t help me, but I’m willing to give it a try. Hell, I’m willing to try anything if it will make me feel better. So far I’ve tried this….

moosehead

And while it’s made me feel better…I’m not totally certain it’s working.

Let’s see what everyone has to say…

1. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Ravens added veteran DL Cory Redding with 2 year deal

This appears to be a good acquisition.

Although nothing is guaranteed, Redding has a (mostly) solid track record-and we have reason to believe he might well be BETTER than Dwan Edwards. That being said, Edwards CERTAINLY had a better 2009 season than Redding did.

It appears as though Redding will slide in at Edwards’ position, possibly rotating out for Trevor Pryce in obvious passing situations.

I still expect the Ravens to pursue pass rush help in the NFL Draft-either at DE or OLB. BUT-I think this is a good addition for a team that needed D-Line help.

Although, my first choice of people to steal from Seattle would probably have been this guy….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Pt03oU6RHI[/youtube]

Damn.

2. Seattle Times’ Danny O’Neil says Redding struggled to start season in Seattle last year, but was one of Seahawks’ ‘better linemen’ down the stretch

I’ve heard a few people say something along the lines of “are we sure Redding was always giving his all in Detroit?”

For the record, I’m not.

That being said, I’m not sure I expect someone playing for the Lions to always give it everything he has on every play. I also know that things were VERY awkward in Seattle a season ago, with Jim Mora finally taking over, struggling, and going on to be fired.

It’s REALLY hard to judge what happened last season there.

I’m certainly willing to give Redding the benefit of the doubt, especially knowing that he’s coming to a MUCH better system. In talking with Redding yesterday, you could certainly sense the excitement he had about playing alongside the likes of Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, etc. If you missed Redding on “The Bob Haynie Show” With “Hoops” & Mark Suchy yesterday-check it out in the Audio Vault at WNST.net.

(Edit from GMC: That makes back to back times that the Ravens have acquired a player and I was the first reporter in town to talk to the player, after Anquan Boldin a few weeks back. I don’t say that to brag or boast. I say that because I hope you’ll continue to turn to us for Ravens information-as well as information on all local sports.)

3. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says Ravens receive no compensatory picks in NFL Draft

Which we knew was coming. Unfortunately-for all of the players they lost (Jason Brown, Kyle Boller, Bart Scott, etc.); they also signed their own free agents (Domonique Foxworth, Matt Birk, LJ Smith, etc.).

The Ravens will still look to acquire 3rd or 4th round picks between now and when the Draft starts about a month from now.

I’ll look to acquire Olivia Munn’s phone number myself. I just can’t guarantee that either of us will be successful, but I probably have more faith in Ozzie Newsome and company. (Thanks Busted Coverage.)

munn

4. Philadelphia Daily News’ Bernard Fernandez says Zbikowski would consider boxing return if NFL has work stoppage

zbi

I had never thought about this.

First of all, I GENUINELY don’t believe there will be a work stoppage in the NFL. I really don’t. I think this will get worked out.

BUT-should there be a work stoppage, I just can’t see Tom Zbikowski REALLY use the time to step inside a ring; unless his relationship with the Ravens is somehow damaged between now and then.

Just because they might have to step away for a short time doesn’t mean they won’t ever have to play football again. While I doubt Tom Zbikowski WOULD be injured in a boxing ring, he’d certainly be putting himself at risk.

It would be pretty freaking cool, though.

5. The Sun’s Jamison Hensley says Bisciotti currently AGAINST changes to OT rules

In fairness, I don’t necessarily think that the new OT rules are perfect, but I DO think they’re a better option than the current system.

Really, I’m fine with just about any system (really, I am) as long as games don’t end in ties. As we all know, tying is like kissing your sister.

Which is only okay if your sister looks like Angie Quesada…

quesada

6. Carroll County Times says former managers Johnny Oates, Ray Miller elected to Orioles Hall of Fame

Johnny Oates is clearly getting in because he was a great guy who sadly met his demise due to a brain tumor. He ABSOLUTELY did not do enough as a manager or player to warrant consideration for the honor.

Ray Miller was a very good pitching coach and not a good manager. I guess someone had to get in this year.

And apparently this guy didn’t get a whole heck of a lot of consideration….

cordova

7. The Sun’s Dan Connolly says Bordick will try to teach Birds’ minor leaguers ‘little things’

Like…which town has groupies you might want to stay away from? (Edit from GMC: I’m looking at you, Pawtucket.)

It’s great to have Mike Bordick back with the organization. I’d like to see even MORE former players involved with the organization somehow. Bordick is a guy who can certainly bring a quality perspective on defense, bunting, timely hitting, moving runners over, etc.

All of those things are really good for young ballplayers. Or veteran ballplayers for that matter. Like the ones playing in Baltimore for example.

8. Washington Post’s Dave Sheinin says O’s ‘full of hope’ this season

I think we should play a game: “Who’s going to write this story tomorrow?”

I’ll say Stan McNeal from the Sporting News. But it wouldn’t surprise me if it was someone from USA Today…or CBSSports.com…or wherever.

Here’s my only question. What side of the hill does Mr. “Hope” throw from? Does he have a win-loss record better than Jeremy Guthrie’s?

If so, I’ll take him.

9. Carroll County Times’ Aaron Wilson says Jordan Williams, Sean Mosley will be ‘most integral’ parts for 2010-11 Terrapins

And the team is going to NEED scoring from Adrian Bowie and/or Cliff Tucker.

And they’re going to need Dino Gregory to develop into a more all-around power forward.

And they’re going to need James Padgett and Ashton Pankey to be able to give them some minutes up front off the bench.

And they’re going to need the freshmen guards (Terrell Stoglin, P’Shon Howard, Mychal Parker) to give them SOME sort of contribution. Parker is clearly the most likely to do that, but Stoglin could end up working into the rotation as the point guard of the future.

Of course, we’re some 7 months even from Midnight Madness. Maybe we should calm down a bit.

10. Inside Lacrosse says Terps 4th in poll, Hopkins falls out of Top 10

It is definitely WEIRD to see the Blue Jays outside the Top 10, but you have to beat SOMEONE of note to be considered a top-tier team. (Edit from GMC: I’m terribly afraid that win will come against Maryland.)

What’s also weird is that no other local team (with MAYBE the exception of Loyola) is even a threat to get NEAR the Top 10.

Let’s step it up boys. It’s about time this town is recognized for something besides selling X-Boxes that were once evidence in a major trial on eBay.

And finally, I leave you with this.

For whatever reason, my Facebook and Twitter feeds were taken up by comments on “Dancing With The Stars” last night. You people do know that wrestling airs on Mondays, don’t you???

Here’s Chad Ochocinco…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cw781NxOge4[/youtube]

And Here’s Erin Andrews…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2PX87DJRps[/youtube]

If I see your testicles lying around, I’ll try to return them to you.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Maryland Terrapins End of Season Grades

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Maryland Terrapins End of Season Grades

Posted on 23 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

Greivis Vasquez

Glenn: A

Drew: A
vasquez

Eric Hayes

Glenn: B+

Drew: B
hayes

Landon Milbourne

Glenn: B

Drew: B
milbourne

Jordan Williams

Glenn: A-

Drew: B+
williams

Sean Mosley

Glenn: C+

Drew: B
mosley

Cliff Tucker

Glenn: C

Drew: C
tucker

Adrian Bowie

Glenn: B

Drew: C
bowie

Dino Gregory

Glenn: C+

Drew: C
gregory

James Padgett

Glenn: Incomplete

Drew: Incomplete
padgett

Gary Williams

Glenn: A

Drew: A
gary

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Emotion Lacking in Terps’ ACC Tournament Loss to Georgia Tech

Posted on 12 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

Greensboro, NC It was going to be a tough match-up.

When the seedings for this weekend’s ACC Tournament were announced, Maryland fans were immediately concerned about the potential for the Terps to have to face Georgia Tech in the quarterfinals.

They were right to be concerned, as the Yellow Jackets had nearly stunned Maryland some 3 weeks earlier in College Park.

But what no Maryland fan (or ACC pundit) could have ever expected was the listless effort the Terrapins would give over the first 20 minutes en route to a 69-64 defeat at the hands of the Jackets on Friday night.

The Terps weren’t just outscored 41-25 over the first 20 minutes, they were out-rebounded 21-14, they shot just 9-31 (29%) from the floor and missed all 6 of their 3 point attempts. They trailed by as many as 19 before an Adrian Bowie 3 point play just before the halftime buzzer.

At times, it was ugly. Shots weren’t falling, but shots weren’t being taken with the type of determination you’d expect from a team that entered the game on a 7 game win streak. ACC Player of the Year Greivis Vasquez had just 5 points on 2-8 shooting, and ACC Rookie of the Year runner-up Jordan Williams had more personal fouls (2) than field goals made.

This wasn’t the Maryland team we had seen since a February 13th loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Gary Williams knew his team wasn’t ready for the task at hand. “I have to take the responsibility for the way we played the first half. Whatever we did getting ready for this – obviously we had plenty of time to get ready – we have to be ready emotionally.”

It’s hard to believe a Gary Williams-coached and Greivis Vasquez-lead team might not be ready “emotionally”, but you could see it on their faces.

Maybe splitting the ACC regular season championship left this Maryland team a bit overconfident. Maybe Georgia Tech got an emotional advantage by having to gut out a victory over North Carolina just 24 hours earlier.

Whatever it was, it was clear that it was something more than just being outplayed by a tough Georgia Tech team.

The emotion came back. After halftime, Maryland extended the last 3 points of the first half into a 24-7 run that got them back within two points-but no closer-before the Yellow Jackets finished off the victory.

The most frustrating part of the 2nd half was that Maryland had the ball nine times with the chance to tie the game or go ahead. Yet they never did. The emotion they dug up at intermission couldn’t carry them over that hump.

Senior guard Eric Hayes confirmed that failing to tie the game or pull ahead in those situations was “demoralizing”, and added “it’s a little frustrating when you use that much energy to get back into the game…and you can’t really get over the top.”

It’s about emotion.

This Maryland team may have put up some solid shooting percentage numbers this season, but they are by no means are perfect basketball team. They’ve struggled to shoot consistently away from College Park (they finished the Georgia Tech game just 25-67 from the field-37.3%, and just 4-21 from beyond the arc-19%), and they’ve been out-rebounded by teams (like the Jackets) that present matchup problems inside.

On paper, almost any team they’ll face in the NCAA Tournament might match-up favorably.

But where they’ve made up for their basketball imperfections is in emotion and intensity-at least until they got to Greensboro. They need 40 minutes (or more, as was the case when they traveled to Blacksburg) of intense, emotional effort. They put together about 12 in their loss to the Yellow Jackets.

Being eliminated from the ACC Tournament doesn’t end the season for the Terrapins. Some fans and analysts (who apparently don’t understand the significance of the ACC Tournament) have suggested that it might be a “good thing” for Maryland to lose before March Madness gets underway, as it would be difficult to extend a 10 game win streak into the NCAA Tournament.

They’ll gather Sunday night to watch the “Selection Sunday” show, and they’ll likely find out that they’re a Top 5 seed in the Tournament. Likely a 4, 5 or 6; they’ll be facing tough opponents again starting in Round 1.

Wherever they lost their emotional edge on the way to Greensboro, they’ll need to find it before they step on another floor.

If not, the remarkable run Gary Williams and his tremendous senior class has put together this season will be over as quickly as their appearance in the ACC Tournament was.

-G

Greensboro, NC
Greetings from the Greensboro Coliseum, where the #2 seeded Maryland Terrapins battle the #7 seeded Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals. The winner advances to face the winner of tonight’s Florida State-NC State game in tomorrow’s semifinals.

The Terps were 76-74 winners in the only meeting between the teams this season-back on February 20th at Comcast Center in College Park. You’ll remember that Maryland needed a miracle 3 from Cliff Tucker at the buzzer to pull out the victory.

This matchup includes all of the ACC awards winners this season; ACC Player of the Year Greivis Vasquez, Coach of the Year Gary Williams, and Rookie of the Year Derrick Favors.

I will be providing updates below throughout the evening.You can also follow us on Twitter (@WNST), where Luke Jones, Bob Haynie and others will check in as well.

-G

————————————————————————————-

9:19pm-Georgia Tech knocks Maryland out of the ACC Tournament and likely punches their own ticket to The Big Dance. Final score 69-64. I’ll be back with more shortly.

9:18pm-Short stay in Greensboro. Not what you’d expect from the ACC Player of the Year…

9:17pm-They’ll have a chance….

9:16pm-It isn’t over, but it will take a miracle….

9:15pm-I was afraid of that….

9:14pm-We all know how this possession is going to end. Just 7 seconds on the shot clock though…

9:12pm-Can’t waste any more of these types of chances….

9:10pm-HUGE shot from Vasquez after Favors appeared to dagger the Terps with the putback dunk. 15 for Vasquez.

For the record, that DEFINITELY appeared to be a shot clock violation, and I’m right under the rim. I’m reasonably certain that ball did NOT hit the rim….

9:06pm-How many shots can Maryland miss with the deficit a one possession difference??? Unreal. Both teams have one timeout remaining with 1:44 to play. Tech ball up 3. They’ll want to work clock and get the ball inside.

9:04pm-The Jackets have been DESPERATELY trying to help the Terps from the line in the 2nd half…letting Glen Rice come down with that ball there is a killer though. Terps fortunate to get it back.

9:01pm-Tech will be in the double bonus the rest of the way. How many chances has Maryland had to get over the hump? Unreal. 2:47 to play at the final official timeout of regulation, Terps trail 62-59.

9:00pm-I don’t even have to ask if you think Derrick Favors’ head is in this one. It clearly isn’t. He’s a tourist. On vacation until the NBA Draft…

8:58pm-There’s two stops, but a BADLY ill-advised long pass gives it right back to Georgia Tech with Maryland trailing 62-59. 4:19 to play. Can’t afford those types of mistakes at this point in the game.

8:56pm-Landon Milbourne has 15 points to lead all scorers. Trailing 62-57 with 5:08 to play, the Terps need some defensive stops.

8:55pm-That was the 2009 Adrian Bowie we just saw on that last possession. Too soft to the rim, then line-driving a 3 point attempt. He’s been much better than that in recent weeks.

8:54pm-Who wants to hire me as a color analyst? Jordan Williams back in. Tech will want to go at him-at least when Moe Miller isn’t hitting jumpers…

8:51pm-12 points now for Greivis Vasquez, and Maryland trails 59-55 with 7:08 to play in this one. Gary has to be thinking about when to re-insert Jordan Williams during this timeout.

8:49pm-Big shot there from Eric Hayes to cut the lead back down to 5. He has 10 now. But ANOTHER miss inside from Mosley turns into another 3 from Brian Oliver. Tech by 8 again.

8:46pm-Maryland had plenty of chances to tie this up or take the lead, but instead they again trail by 5 at 53-48. Tech is regaining confidence, and a Brian Oliver 3 makes the lead 56-48 now for Tech. Gary Williams is forced to call his 4th timeout with 8:50 to play. He’ll have to go back to the drawing board.

8:43pm-The Gani Lawal-Sean Mosley matchup does not favor Maryland.

8:39pm-And with that foul on Mosley, the Jackets will be in the bonus the rest of the way. 48-46 Georgia Tech with 11:39 to play in the 2nd half, we’re at our 2nd official timeout.

8:38pm-This place was ready to explode if Vasquez had managed to hit that 3 ball. Maryland fans are absolutely drowning out the Tech fans in the building.

8:37pm-Already 5 team fouls on Maryland here in the 2nd half, still nearly 13 minutes to play.

8:35pm-If this is going to continue to be a coaching contest, I know this much. I prefer the guy on the Maryland bench. 48-44 Jackets.

8:32pm-Interesting to see Gary Williams turn to a small lineup, especially without Greivis Vasquez on the floor. But it’s working early, and the Terps have cut the Tech lead to 46-42, the closest they have been since early in the game.

4 teams fouls early in the half for Maryland. Cliff Tucker is playing the 4, and Paul Hewitt is quick to get Derrick Favors back in the game.

What is an “elbow violation” anyway???

8:31pm-Boy is this going to be a big 2nd half for Dino Gregory. The Mt. St. Joe grad is going to have to tough up with Jordan Williams in major foul trouble.

8:29pm-The Jackets are “lost” in the words of my friend Bruce Posner (who is sitting next to me here in Greensboro). Paul Hewitt is forced to take his 3rd timeout.

A block on Jordan Williams might change everything. He tried to get set, but I’m not sure he did. That’s four on him with 15:33 to play. Trouble.

8:26pm-There’s still a long way to go tonight. Terps have to sustain this energy for the rest of the half, and hope the Jackets wear down after playing a tough game against the Tar Heels last night. But trailing by 6 at the 1st official timeout of the 2nd half isn’t what I thought we’d be talking about when Georgia Tech was about to extend their lead to 20 in the first half.

8:24pm-Maybe we’re going to have a game tonight after all. 5 straight from Hayes and Vasquez, and it’s just 44-38 with 16:11 to play. 10 points now for the senior from Venezuela.

8:20pm-The Terps won’t go a game without a 3 ball tonight, as Greivis Vasquez drains one falling down. BUT-D’Andre Bell has an answer, and GT re-extends their lead to 11 at 44-33 before Paul Hewitt takes his 2nd timeout with 17:08 to play.

8:18pm-And just like that, Jordan Williams picks up his 3rd personal. This will be tough down the stretch as Maryland tries to contain Derrick Favors (6 points and 6 boards in the first half).

8:17pm-Jordan Williams finally missed his first free throw, but the Terps have scored the first 3 points of the 2nd half. Hey, small victories….

8:15pm-Did anyone think there was ANY chance Maryland might try to take a page from “D2: The Mighty Ducks” and change jerseys at the half? You know, Ducks fly together….

8:10pm-Maurice “Moe” Miller and Iman Shumpert lead all scorers with 9 points each. Landon Milbourne has 7 to lead Maryland. Greivis Vasquez has 5 (2-8 from field), Eric Hayes has 2 (1-5). Maryland has not connected on a 3 point shot yet tonight.

8:00pm-First Half point totals for Maryland this season away from Comcast Center….

11/23 vs. Chaminade in Maui-36 (lead by 10)
11/24 vs. Cincinnati in Maui-18 (trailed by 13)
11/25 vs. Wisconsin in Maui-27 (trailed by 10)
12/1 at Indiana-35 (lead by 2)
12/6 vs. Villanova at Verizon Center-38 (trailed by 11)
1/3 @ UNC-Greensboro-52 (lead by 18)
1/12 @ Wake Forest-39 (trailed by 3)
1/16 @ Boston College-38 (lead by 10)
1/31 @ Clemson-22 (trailed by 7)
2/4 @ Florida State-25 (trailed by 4)
2/13 @ Duke-24 (trailed by 16)
2/17 @ NC State-27 (trailed by 10)
2/27 @ Virginia Tech-31 (trailed by 6)
3/6 @ Virginia-38 (lead by 11)
3/12 vs. Georgia Tech in Greensboro-25 (trailed by 16)

It isn’t a perfect science, but there’s certainly a trend there. There won’t be any more games in College Park this season, so they’ll need to do something to improve upon this…

7:56pm-That’s a big play to end the half; but it doesn’t mean the Terps are back in it. It’s 41-25 Georgia Tech at the half. I’ll be back shortly…

7:54pm-Maryland trying to show SOME signs of life before the half, and the Terrapin supporters in the crowd DESPERATELY want to come to life. But every time something good happens, they struggle to build on it. Moe Miller just buried a 3 right on top of Vasquez and Milbourne. Wow.

7:52pm-Greivis is trying to “get the bit between his teeth” as Drew Forrester likes to say…but he is being taken COMPLETELY out of his game by Paul Hewitt’s defense. 39-20 with under 2 minutes to play.

7:50pm-Throwing the ball in the direction of the hoop instead of putting the ball IN the hoop from the cylinder has been an issue for Maryland all season.

This is dreadful. I just shouldn’t ever take road trips to this state I guess. 38-19 Jackets now, and Gary is forced to call his 3rd timeout already. Unthinkable.

7:48pm-We knew this was a bad matchup for Maryland, but it is STUNNING to see them struggle like this. 34-19 with 3:29 to play in the half at the final official timeout. If they can’t get it back under 10 before the break, this trip to Greensboro could be over before it started.

7:45pm-With both Gregory and Williams in foul trouble, Peacock was able to get his own miss there. Unreal. They have 6 team fouls, but they’re much more spread out.

7:44pm-Big hoop for Eric Hayes, as the Terps desperately need SOMEONE to hit some shots from outside. Of course, they also can’t have a guy like Zachary Peacock hitting 3 pointers on the other end. 29-19 Jackets…

7:43pm-Didn’t take long-Jordan Williams and Dino Gregory came right back in. Tech will obiously aim to go right at them…

7:41pm-Padgett has shown some heart defensively, but the Jackets are absolutely having their way inside on both ends. Gary will have to risk further foul trouble, as Tech has extended their lead to 26-15 with 6:55 to play, and the Terps had to take their 2nd timeout. Maybe Gary should have dressed Jerome Burney for this one….

7:38pm-Maryland finally breaks their offensive slump by getting Landon Milbourne behind the GT defense for a dunk. Unfortunately, Sean Mosley picked up his first foul (5th team foul) before the 3rd official timeout of the half. 22-15 Jackets with 7:37 to play.

7:35pm-As I guessed, James Padgett checked in for Maryland. He played good defense, but could only watch as Derrick Favors pulled down the board and threw home a 2nd chance dunk. Yikes.

Landon Milbourne especially looks tentative to shoot right now. Maryland trails 22-13 right now, they don’t want Tech to build this to double digits going towards the half.

7:33pm-That’s 2 personals now on Jordan Williams-which is PARTICULARLY bad news for Maryland. Gary Williams will call a timeout-he’ll need to come up with a new plan now with his big guys in foul trouble. Might need to steal a few minutes from James Padgett, who did not play in last Saturday’s win at Virginia.

7:30pm-Mfon Udofia checks in for Georgia Tech, Paul Hewitt is trying to keep his guys fresh after a hard fought win over UNC last night.

Shumpert’s dunk puts Tech up 19-13, Maryland badly needs one of their shooters to wake up. They came here in January to play UNC-Greensboro specifically hoping to get comfortable with the building.

7:29pm-I know that isn’t a great spot for Dino Gregory there at the top of the key-but you just can’t commit 3 shot fouls.

Of course, if you’re GT’s Brian Oliver, you can’t miss three free throws either. Wow.

7:24pm-Adrian Bowie into the game for Maryland-I can’t remember the last time he missed a shot. Of course, no long jumpers are falling for Maryland early on-which has often been the case away from College Park.

15-13 Tech at the 2nd official timeout of the half. 11:56 to play.

7:21pm-Maryland wants to see Tech take jumpers instead of working the ball inside, but they don’t want to see Iman Shumpert and Moe Miller hitting long ones like they just did. Landon Milbourne just hit the first long jumper of the game for Maryland.

Brian Oliver checks in and Gani Lawal checks back in for GT, Cliff Tucker and Dino Gregory get in for the first time for the Terps.

Worth noting that Jordan Williams has started the game 4-4 from the FT line.

7:17pm-Zachary Peacock checks in for GT, and Landon Milbourne gets a big 2nd chance hoop off a missed jumper by Mosley. We’re at our first official timeout, Maryland leads 7-4 with 15:41 to play in the half.

7:15pm-Given the types of layups Eric Hayes has made in recent weeks, it’s almost stunning to see him miss one.

Landon Milbourne makes just 1 of 2 at the line….you have to wonder if he’s going to get out of his funk at all before his career is over.

7:13pm-Odd decision for Paul Hewitt to call his first timeout so early, but he clearly didn’t like something after that Vasquez breakaway to put Maryland up 4-2. He’ll do a lot of coaching tonight, knowing the Ramblin’ Wreck might well need a win to get into the NCAA Tournament.

Moe Miller is the first Jacket off the bench.

7:06pm-As Luke Jones just Tweeted, the Terps are wearing white tonight, not the gold uniforms we’ve gotten accustomed to seeing them wearing in recent weeks at home. Our friend Patrick Stevens (@D1scourse on Twitter) let us know Wednesday night that the Terps DID bring the gold uniforms with them, who knows if we might see them at some point this weekend should the Terps advance.

7:10pm-A nice cut to Sean Mosley on the first possession, but he’s in amongst trees down there. What you saw on the Jackets’ first possession is EXACTLY what Maryland can’t have happen tonight. Three chances for a Wreck hoop, including Jordan Williams’ first personal.

7:01pm-No surprises in tonight’s starting lineups. Georgia Tech goes with Iman Shumpert, D’Andre Bell, Glen Rice Jr., Gani Lawal and Derrick Favors up top. The Terps counter with Eric Hayes, Greivis Vasquez, Sean Mosley, Landon Milbourne and Jordan Williams up top.

6:44pm-How did I miss the note that John Mayer was playing here at the Greensboro Coliseum Monday night? If Chris Bonetti is in with Drew Forrester again Monday on “The Comcast Morning Show”, you won’t need to even bother asking why.

Kudos to the meal planners here in Greensboro. Dinner tonight included fried catfish, mashed potatoes and glazed carrots. There was also sweet tea, and carrot cake after. That’s a WIN.

Also, I’ve been told I need to hit “Biscuitville” while I’m here. I’m guessing tomorrow morning would be my best bet, as Maryland would play the 2nd game tomorrow with a win tonight. Anyone know anything about Biscuitville? Anywhere else I need to stop by?

6:41pm-Well, the Maryland quarter of the arena is certainly packed, and there are a number of Maryland fans in other places here at the Coliseum. As I was walking in, I think 10 different Virginia Tech fans asked me if I was looking for tickets for tomorrow. For the record, I didn’t feel sorry for them. I just hope Terps fans aren’t in the same spot as Hokies fans later tonight….

6:33pm-I’m pleased with the league/Coliseum’s choice of pre-game entertainment, as they are showing the highlight video from the 2004 ACC Tournament currently. Good news there. If you’re looking for me on Raycom (WNUV 54 in Baltimore) or ESPN2 tonight-and I have NO IDEA why you would be-I’m directly under the north basket, wearing a black hat. The GTU cheerleaders are currently down on this end, couldn’t tell you if they’re staying here.

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Wednesday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 10 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a Happy Wednesday for me because there was a Chick-Fil-A platter delivered yesterday afternoon during Rex Snider & Ray Bachman’s show. There may have only been a few chicken nuggets left by the time I drove as fast as I could to get back to 1550 Hart Rd., but it was well worth it.

Oh and also, it’s a Happy Wednesday for me because I finally got around to watching Zach Galifianakis host Saturday Night Live. I had to watch it on Hulu because my roommate (thanks pal) forgot to record it on our brand new Comcast DVR. It wasn’t QUITE as good as Jon Hamm, but it certainly had some moments….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQDqH7l3Co4[/youtube]

Let’s see what everyone has to say….

1. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Greivis Vasquez named ACC Player of the Year, Gary Williams ACC Coach of the Year

Boy, this picture Luke included with his blog says a lot….

greivis

Hopefully this story isn’t the watershed moment in the Greivis Vasquez-Gary Williams story. But even if it is; the story will be a tremendous one to tell for Maryland fans to tell over the course of the next generation.

Both Greivis and Gary were OVERLY deserving of these honors, and the voting portrayed exactly that. Vasquez was a runaway victor-with his performance against Jon Scheyer and the Blue Devils last week at Comcast Center clearly fresh on the minds of voters. Gary also won with a big margin over Coach K, his 2nd such honor during his 21 seasons in College Park.

Jordan Williams was 2nd in ACC Rookie of the Year voting (behind a VERY deserving Derrick Favors from Georgia Tech), leaving the Terps just short of an ACC awards sweep.

2. Washington Post’s Michael Wilbon says having veteran players could help Terrapins make run in NCAA Tournament

And of course he’s right about that. The trio of seniors (Vasquez, Eric Hayes and even Landon Milbourne); as well as veterans Adrian Bowie, Cliff Tucker, and Dino Gregory off the bench will ABSOLUTELY help the Terps in the Big Dance.

BUT….other teams have good players too.

AND….other teams might be even more talented.

OR….other teams might go off for 60% shooting from beyond the arc in a strange atmosphere on a Saturday afternoon in Spokane.

Just having upperclassmen doesn’t guarantee great success in March. But it sure does help.

As a side note, Deadspin offered this yesterday…apparently from the Raycom broadcast of the Maryland/Georgia Tech game a few weeks ago. It humorously points out that the graphic looks similar to a certain part of the female anatomy. I wouldn’t giggle if it weren’t funny…

telestratorvag

3. The Sun says Terps, Texas given ‘reprieve’ from new rule limiting “coach in waiting” involvement in recruiting

The only thing I don’t understand in this whole process is why the NCAA would adopt a rule basically preventing teams from using the “coach in waiting” system, but not just ban the “coach in waiting” system altogether?

James Franklin (like the Longhorns’ Wil Muschamp) is an ASSISTANT coach. Ralph Friedgen is the head coach, like Mack Brown in Austin. Franklin and Muschamp should be allowed to recruit the same way every other ASSISTANT coach in the country is.

Nothing about this rule makes any sense to me. Giving these coaches ‘reprieve’ for one season isn’t the answer, either. Either ban the entire system, or let the coaches recruit the way they should be allowed to.

4. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens says Bruce Campbell, Nolan Carroll, Chris Turner, Cory Jackson to work out at Maryland’s Pro Day today in College Park

You know what’s a LITTLE bit weird? NFL Scouts are going to be looking at Bruce Campbell today the same way I look at “Big Bang Theory” star Kaley Cuoco…

Cuoco

…Okay, maybe not the SAME way, but you get the point.

Today is biggest for CB Nolan Carroll, who scouts like-but haven’t seen do anything on a football field after Week 2-when he broke his leg. He was in Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine, but only for the private meetings and medical checks, he didn’t actually work out.

It’s a big day for Chris Turner too. Not because he has any chance of reaching the NFL (I’m not sure he’s even really concerned about TRYING to reach the NFL-he has an idea about what he wants to do for the rest of his life), but because he would REALLY like for the scouts in the room to know him as something OTHER than the dude who looks like Napoleon Dynamite.

5. Morgan State Official Site previews tonight’s MEAC Tournament quarterfinal matchup with North Carolina A&T

I’m a LITTLE confused as to why the MEAC sets up their tournament to have some teams playing their first round games today and other teams playing quarterfinal games tonight, but it does appear as though it is set up to benefit the #1 seeded Bears. If they win tonight (as they should against an A&T team that had to play Howard last night), they’ll be off tomorrow night, and won’t have to play 3 games in 3 days to win the MEAC title and the automatic bid.

Instead, they’ll have to play Friday night and Saturday afternoon-which is still a difficult task, but not nearly as daunting as playing 3 times in 3 days.

6. Coppin State Official Site previews this afternoon’s MEAC Tournament opener against UMES

Fang Mitchell told me after the Eagles lost to Norfolk State last week that he was pretty sure he had never finished last in the MEAC until this season. The pain of that could be dulled a bit by getting a first round victory over the Hawks, although clearly not completely erased.

On the flip side, the job that Frankie Allen has done in Princess Anne cannot go unnoticed. That program struggled to win ANY games, but the former UMBC assistant has gone out there and brought a level of respectability to that program. I’m not sure it translates for long term success THERE-but hopefully it translates to long term success for Allen SOMEWHERE.

7. Inside Lacrosse says Steven Boyle, Kyle Wharton, Michael Kimmel and Zach Palmer all scored 3 goals as Johns Hopkins topped UMBC at Homewood Field

Good win for the Blue Jays-who needed a good win after their tough loss to Princeton Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium. They’re not going to get 4 hat tricks every time out, but if they can continue to get a more balanced effort from their attack unit, they’ll be in great shape.

They return to action Saturday night at Hofstra (expect a big crowd there on Long Island). Things get NO easier for the 1-3 Retrievers, as they visit Princeton Saturday afternoon.

8. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Chad Moeller homered, but Birds fell to Rays

Chris Tillman gave up 2 runs (1 earned) over 2 1/3 innings of work. As Brittany points out, no Orioles pitcher has managed to go 3 innings yet during Spring Training. That’s not overly concerning-but consider the fact that Jeff Niemann appeared to go an effortless 4 innings yesterday for Tampa. Also, the O’s committed 5 errors yesterday. That’s not good….at all.

What IS good? Well, as we first showed you yesterday on Twitter (follow us @WNST), Matt Wieters will grace the cover of next Monday’s issue of SI. Say what you want about a jinx, but having an Oriole on the cover of SI for the first time in 13 years is pretty cool…

wieters

Hell, there’s an argument that the picture is more attractive than even this picture of Trish Richardson that I found yesterday at Barstool Sports….

trishrichardson

9. Carroll County Times’ Rich Dubroff says Andy MacPhail ‘admitted concern’ regarding Brian Roberts injury

This whole situation with Brian Roberts has been weird since Day 1. ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that Brian was dealing with kidney stones, which was immediately shot down by Dave Trembley-who described it as a “lower back issue.” Almost immediately after that, it was diagnosed as a “herniated disc”, with a moderate level of concern.

Now, he’s having bad reactions to medication and the organization is concerned that he might not be ready even by Opening Day.

Does it make you wonder if maybe the initial report from Buster Olney was more accurate than the Orioles wanted us to think it was?

10. National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson says ‘no deal expected’ for Marlin Jackson after visit with Ravens

Not surprising. Marlin Jackson was in town yesterday (even though he apparently didn’t make it to Martin’s West), so it made sense for him to visit Owings Mills while he was in town. That being said, the Ravens would not be offering Marlin Jackson a money contract and a guaranteed spot to make the team. I doubt the Philadelphia Eagles will be doing that either. Frankly, I doubt any NFL will be doing that with a player who has been injured more over the last two seasons than he has been on the field.

That being said, I imagine (and I don’t have anyone reporting this to me) the conversation probably went something like “Look, we’re more than willing to let you come to Training Camp and prove you can be a part of this team-but we’re not going to promise you anything.”

11. USA Today’s Jim Corbett says Kurt Warner thinks Ravens got ‘another Ray Lewis’ with Anquan Boldin acquisition

And if there’s someone in that conversation who would know, it would be Kurt Warner. The same way that Boldin embodies the idea of “Play Like a Raven”, so does Kurt Warner. These guys are tough, they’re “warriors”, and they respect each other a great deal.

As I said yesterday, it really IS a “perfect fit.”

12. WNST.net’s Nestor Aparicio says in midst of controversy, Michael Vick did good at Ed Block Courage Awards

If you haven’t read this blog yet, PLEASE do so. And check out this video from WNSTv that accompanies it….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vmp-fMr31c0[/youtube]

I don’t think it would necessarily CHANGE your opinion about Michael Vick, especially if you were one of THESE people….

vickprotest

….but I still think it’s worth the time to read.

And finally, I leave you with this.

RIP Corey Haim. Lost Boys meant a lot to all of us….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-epc4kzkKF4[/youtube]

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983….

-G

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After Tumultuous Run, Terps Again Able to Call Themselves “Champs”

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After Tumultuous Run, Terps Again Able to Call Themselves “Champs”

Posted on 06 March 2010 by Glenn Clark

Charlottesville, VA It was a scene nearly 6 years in the making.

Following Maryland’s 74-68 victory over Virginia Saturday, the Cavaliers held a “meet and greet” event on the floor of John Paul Jones Arena with new football coach Mike London. Fans were invited to come to the floor to meet the new chief of the Wahoos, and the rest of the coaches who will make up his staff.

And while hundreds of Virginia fans stuck around to take the school up on the opportunity, there was a side effect that certainly was not intended.

With a few thousand Maryland fans having made the journey from the Baltimore and Washington areas to Charlottesville, there were also hundreds of Terps fans on the floor, waiting to celebrate with their team.

Despite the fact that the Terps nearly let a double-digit second half lead COMPLETELY slip away against Virginia, those fans couldn’t wait to enjoy the first celebration of a conference championship (either regular season or ACC Tournament) since the Terps were able to cut down the nets in 2004 in Greensboro. The celebration lasted some 30 mintues until the players were escorted from the floor so they could return to College Park.

The six years it took to reach that celebration may well have been the most trying for Maryland fans and those inside the program alike since Gary Williams took over in 1989.

Entering the 2004-2005 season, the Maryland program was coming off 11 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, and following a run to an ACC Tournament championship-there was a real feeling that the Terps were poised for a third run to the Final Four in five seasons. John Gilchrist was a preseason candidate to win both ACC Player of the Year and National Player of the Year.

It didn’t quite work out that way.

The 2004-2005 season was instead overshadowed by a troubling relationship between Gilchrist and Williams, one that would eventually end with a trip to the NIT Tournament and a departure from Gilchrist-who went unselected in the NBA Draft. The Terps lost 3 games to a dreadful Clemson team during the stretch, including an opening round loss in the ACC Tournament at Verizon Center.

The 2005-2006 season was even more troubling. Despite lowered expectations, the Terps showed signs of life early in the season, before losing Chris McCray for the second semester due to academic ineligibility. The season was also marked by great disappointment from junior Mike Jones, who failed to live up to the hype surrounding his McDonald’s All-American status. The season ended with a second straight trip to the NIT Tournament, where the Terps were eliminated at home in Round 1.

The 2006-2007 season included a return to the NCAA Tournament, but Maryland failed to advance past the first weekend of the Tournament for the 4th consecutive season. The season was highlighted by the tremendous development of guard DJ Strawberry and an upset win over North Carolina at Comcast Center, but ended when they were upset by an upstart Butler team.

The 2007-2008 season was expected to be a rebuilding campaign, but the Terps put themselves in position to return to the NCAA Tournament thanks to a stunning January win over North Carolina at the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill. Those dreams would again be dashed by the Clemson Tigers, who rallied from down 20 points in the 2nd half to win on a Terrence Oglesby 3 point jumper in the closing seconds. The Terps were forced to go on the road in the NIT Tournament, where they lost in Round 2. The season was also marked by very public signs of academic trouble, as a 0% graduation report and low academic progress report greeted the team as they reported for Midnight Madness.

The 2008-2009 season was served as a turning point for the program, but not before an unreal amount of tension and controversy surrounded Gary Williams and AD Debbie Yow. Debates over the recruitment of players like Bobby Maze, Tyree Evans, Gus Gilchrist and Lance Stephenson caused friction inside the athletic department, and lead to a number of fans calling for Gary Williams’ or Debbie Yow’s job. The troubles in the program were documented by high profile stories in the Washington Post, and forced Debbie Yow to give Gary an uncomfortable “vote of confidence” at a winter press conference.

But with everything swirling around the program, the team rallied late in the ACC season to defeat North Carolina again at Comcast Center. They defeated Wake Forest in the ACC Torunament, and were able to return to the NCAA Tournament. The season ended with a blowout loss to Memphis in the 2nd round of the Tournament, but the Terps laid the groundwork for a successful 2009-2010 campaign; and were given a boost when Greivis Vasquez decided to return for his final season of eligibility.

But as of Saturday afternoon, that troubling run ended. The trio of Vasquez, Eric Hayes and Landon Milbourne were not only finally able to win a game in Charlottesville, they also were able to finally call themselves champions; an honor that will be recognized with a banner that will hang in the rafters at Comcast Center for the entirety of Maryland basketball’s future.

The accomplishment wasn’t lost on Gary Williams following the game. “I thought about it, so I’m sure the players thought about it. It’s great for them, because we went through a lot of things to get to here. We had to survive some things last year, we did that.” He added “I was really pleased with the way the team came together, but I had a lot of help in terms of our seniors making that happen.”

Ultimately, that will be the mark of Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes and Landon Milbourne. Instead of being remembered like John Gilchrist, Nik Caner-Medley and Chris McCray who all fell short of expectations in their final season; this group willed their way to an ACC regular season title, with the chance to do even more than that.

But should this Maryland team not win another game this season, they’ll always be remembered as champions, which is exactly what they deserve to be remembered as.

-G

————————————————————————–

3:25-That’s it from Charlottesville. Maryland clinches at least a share of the ACC title with a 74-68 win over Virginia. Greivis Vasquez with a game high 23 to lead the way. I’ll be back with more shortly.

3:24-Really UNTHINKABLE for Tony Bennett to lose his cool like that. Maryland will take the gift. It’s an ACC title even if it isn’t pretty. Congratulations to Gary Williams and the Terps….

3:23-And just like that, this is a 2 possession game with 38.6 seconds to play. Talk about weathering the storm….

3:21-BOY the crowd in Charlottesville didn’t like that call. I’m on the opposite side of the arena and did NOT get a good look….

3:20-A GREAT play call, but an offensive foul, and Virginia has the chance to go ahead…

3:18-Boy, not what you’d expect from Vasquez in the games most important moments. Virginia cuts the Maryland lead to 66-65 with 1:36 to play, and Maryland has just one timeout remaining…

3:17-Williams makes just 1 of 2, but forces a big turnover with 2:36 to play. Time to work the clock I presume…

3:15-Virginia keeps it interesting by going to Meyinsse. Just…thank God for Greivis. Jordan Williams will be at the FT line in a big spot after the final media timeout of the first half.

3:13-He makes me eat my words quite a bit. Vasquez has come up huge here in the 2nd half….

3:12-The Virginia players are playing for pride, and have been gutty in doing so. A Will Sherrill 3 makes it 62-59 with 3:46 to play, and the Cavs call a timeout. Maryland is going to have to keep attacking, the Cavaliers are NOT going away.

3:11-Greivis Vasquez is just coming up HUGE in huge situations down the stretch. He has 16 now after that 3.

3:10-Eric Hayes can sure make a tough hoop. 59-54 Maryland with 5 minutes to play.

3:08-Jeff Jones (the former Maryland commit) with a BIG 3 to cut Maryland’s lead to 3, but Vasquez FINALLY breaks his scoring drought to answer with a 3.

Of course, there’s Jones again from outside. 57-54 Maryland. Gary Williams needs another timeout. Virginia playing with house money in the 2nd half, and Maryland has clearly gotten tense.

3:04-With 7:09 to play, this one is WAAAY too close. An Eric Hayes walk gives Virginia the ball back trailing just 53-48 in the second half. Maryland is going to have to go with their guys who are in foul trouble, as Virginia has gotten into a much too comfortable rhythm.

3:03-Yeah, I’m having Mamadi Diane flashbacks as I watch Jerome Meyinsse today. No doubt about that.

2:59-Gary Williams needs a timeout after a Will Sherrill hoop inside gets Virginia within 7 at 53-46. The crowd at JPJ Arena hasn’t been particularly spirited today, but they’re getting into it a bit right now.

2:58-3rd personal foul on Jordan Williams, 8th team foul on Maryland already here in the 2nd half. Cavs AGAIN cur the Maryland lead to 9, with under 9 minutes to play.

2:56-Greivis Vasquez isn’t exactly putting the ACC Player of the Year award on ice today….

2:48-8 points now for Sean Mosley, but he’s going to have to take a seat after picking up his 3rd personal foul. 5 team fouls after the most recent call against Adrian Bowie.

Maryland lead is back down to single digits after a 3 ball from Jeff Jones. Good defense from Jontel Evans on Vasquez, but ANOTHER big 3 from Bowie. Wow.

2:45-After Vasquez went off for 10 points to start today’s game, I said to our friend Patrick Stevens (@D1scourse on Twitter)…”he might go for 35 today.”

Wrong.

He hasn’t scored since then, and Virginia has clawed back within 10 of the Terps thanks to 11 from Zeglinski and 10 from Meyinsse.

2:42-Tonight’s North Carolina/Duke game will ultimately decide the OTHER half of the ACC regular season title picture (and the #1 seed for next week’s ACC Tournament in Greensboro), and there’s no doubt that the Terps will be pulling for North Carolina. That being said, even if Maryland and Duke win today, just the accomplishment of sharing a title is a remarkable accomplishment for this Maryland team. The Terps haven’t even shared a regular season title since their national championship year (2001-2002), and the ACC Tournament title in 2004 is their only significant championship since then.

2:37-Virginia showing a little bit of life in the 2nd half, they cut the lead down to 9 before a Hayes hoop re-extended the advantage to 11.

As Bob Haynie pointed out on Twitter (follow us @WNST), it didn’t appear to be a particularly inspired effort from Maryland in the first half. They were guilty of the same thing a season ago here, and it cost them as they lost their regular season finale.

First media timeout of the 2nd half: 44-31 Terps with 15:55 to play.

2:36-A putback for Jordan Williams to open the 2nd half, I’m surprised the ball hasn’t ended up in his hands more today. He already has as many boards in the 2nd half (2) as he did in the first.

2:33-Vasquez has a game high 10; Tucker, Bowie, Milbourne and Hayes all have 5 for the Terps. 6 each for Jerome Meyinsse and Sammy Zeglinski to lead the Hoos at the break. Terps hold a 22-10 rebounding edge.

2:25-Check out the Virginia student section in the endzone today….

uva

It might not be easy to tell, but the bulk of the sections on the left and the right are empty, and there are a number of Maryland fans who have infiltrated the section directly behind the band. An 8 game losing streak will hurt basketball excitement, there’s just no doubt about that. I guess you have to credit the fans in the upper deck, as the bulk of that level is actually full. A number of empty seats in the big money areas however.

2:19-After the over and back that gave Virginia the ball back, they couldn’t find a wide open Jontel Evans, and the score remains 38-27 at the half. I’ll be back shortly with more.

2:14-Mustapha Farrakhan was the beneficiary of Sylven Landesberg’s spot in the starting rotation, he has 4 points thus far. Tony Bennett also started some of his seniors to help celebrate Senior Day.

I don’t really love Dino Gregory continuing to step back for jumpers as much as he does, but I’d rather he hit them for sure. 4 for him already, 5 for Cliff Tucker, Eric Hayes and Landon Milbourne.

Sammy Zeglinski cans a 3, and Maryland’s lead is 38-27. Gary Williams calls his first timeout with 38.9 seconds to play to set up what he hopes to be the final possession of the half.

2:12-32-20 Maryland at the final official timeout of the first half. After Maryland jumped out to a 14-1 rebounding edge, Virginia has toughened up, it’s now a 19-8 advantage on the glass.

Vasquez hasn’t scored since posting his early 10 points, but has been distributing the ball just fine.

2:07-After 3 points early, Landon Milbourne has gone silent again. The lack of a natural position has really hurt him offensively this season.

2:04-5 points already for Adrian Bowie, who has played REALLY well over the last couple of weeks. Maybe the fans who were panicked over the idea of him starting next season after Eric Hayes graduates were being a bit overdramatic. 28-20 Terps with 6:15 to play in the half.

2:02-Obviously, this game took a dramatically different turn when it was announced that Cavs leading scorer Sylven Landesberg was suspended (academics) for today and the rest of the season. Virginia has struggled offensively in their hope to snap an 8 game losing streak.

2:00-The ‘Hoos have already tried a number of different defenders on Greivis Vasquez, they’ve all had an equal amount of success…..little to none.

Jeff Jones has 5 points for the Cavaliers….think he ever wonders why he chose UVa over the Terrapins?

1:58-Thanks to the Virginia IT staff for getting me online….today. Maryland is up 23-16 with 8:39 to play in the first half here at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville. Greivis Vasquez has 10, and the Terps are just killing the Wahoos on the glass.

-G

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Maryland topples Duke 79-72, grabs share of 1st place in ACC

Posted on 03 March 2010 by Luke Jones

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Gary Williams and his players have heard it loud and clear over the last couple years.

Undersized.

Not enough talent.

Unable to hang with the ACC’s elite.

So on senior night, Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes, and Landon Milbourne had a final opportunity to silence the critics on their home floor at Comcast Center. They and the rest of their teammates did not disappoint.

In a back-and-forth battle that saw nine ties and six lead-changes in the second half, the Terps imposed their will and used a suffocating defense to outscore No. 4 Duke 10-3 in the final two minutes to secure a 79-72 victory, pulling into a first-place tie with the Blue Devils in the ACC standings with one regular season game remaining.

Despite losing a 14-point first-half lead and falling behind by four early in the second half, Maryland’s defense was relentless, holding the Blue Devils to 33 percent shooting after the intermission.

“Defensively, we won the game,” Williams said. “No one scores a lot of points against Duke, but what we did early, we were really hot and made some great plays. At halftime, we had to come out and fight, and for the first eight minutes [of the second half], no one was scoring and it was two really good teams fighting each other.”

As he has all season, Greivis Vasquez led the effort, scoring 13 of his 20 points in the second half including an acrobatic one-handed runner to put Maryland ahead 73-69 with 37 seconds to go. In addition to Vasquez’s customary heroics, the Terps (22-7, 12-3 ACC) again received contributions from different sources at pivotal moments in the game.

Reserve guard Adrian Bowie scored nine points in the second half, including two field goals that gave the Terps a lead and another that tied the game at 65-65 with 4:18 remaining. It was just another example of a role player stepping up at a critical time, a familiar pattern during Maryland’s current six-game winning streak.

“[Bowie] really saved us in the second half,” said Hayes, who finished with 13 points. “We were struggling to score and he came in there when Greivis and I were on the bench, and he provided us a nice spark of scoring, playing good defense, getting out on the break.”

Rebounding from what could politely be called a learning experience in his first meeting against Duke, Jordan Williams continued to show his maturation, standing his ground—and then some—against the tough Duke frontcourt, scoring 15 points and grabbing 11 rebounds to display just how much he learned from his first trip to Durham. It was just another example of the freshman’s dynamic impact this season.

“When you coach a freshman with the potential that Jordan has, that is really an encouraging sign,” Gary Williams said. “You want players to learn. You don’t mind that they get beat early in their careers; you want them to learn.”

And as we look ahead to Saturday’s regular season finale at Virginia and postseason play, it’s time to reflect on what we’ve learned from this team over the last three weeks:

It rebounded from a brutal first half in Raleigh and earned an ugly road win at NC State.

It won on a buzzer-beater against Georgia Tech to preserve a perfect home record in conference play.

The Terps endured a three-hour delay because of a water main break and won in double overtime against a Virginia Tech team that hadn’t lost a game in Blacksburg all season.

And now, the Terps have finally gained the signature win for which the critics have waited all season.

This is the type of victory that not only gives this team more confidence entering the postseason, but it causes us to reconsider our own expectations of how far it can advance into March.

Despite its perceived shortcomings, the Terps have answered every challenge thrown their way over the last three weeks and have done so in impressive—not to mention exciting—fashion.

Critics will continue to point to a lack of size as their biggest weakness and yet the Terps have knocked off Duke, Georgia Tech, and Clemson in the last three weeks, three of the biggest teams the ACC has to offer.

For a group of players that weren’t supposed to be this good, they’re doing a lot to convince us otherwise.

Maybe it’s time to start believing them. Perhaps a deep postseason run is far more likely than anyone thought.

“I’m really proud for our seniors and our team,” Gary Williams said. “They got dogged pretty good last year when they didn’t deserve it. They really picked it up this year and to do what they did, I’m happy that they stuck it to a few people who had some things to say.”

Needless to say, the doubts are falling more and more silent.

And the wins continue coming in loud and clear.

- Maryland snapped a six-game losing streak to Duke and finished the season 15-1 at Comcast Center.

“The crowds have been great,” Gary Williams said. “Hopefully that will continue as the years go on.”

- The Terps have now beaten a top-10 team at least once in 14 straight seasons.

- Vasquez has made 30 consecutive free throws with the streak dating back to the NC State game on Feb. 17.

- Maryland outscored Duke in the paint, 38-26, and held the advantage in fast-break points, 9-0.

Check out the final stats here and the live blog below.

________________________________________

11:03 p.m. — Scheyer misses the layup, and it looks like Maryland will have the opportunity to play for at least a share of the ACC regular season title.

Williams goes to the line and makes them both. Why not?

Andre Dawkins hits the 3-pointer, but it’s all over.

Maryland knocks off No. 4 Duke with a very convincing final few minutes and is now tied for first place in the Atlantic Coach Conference.

Final score: Maryland 79, Duke 72.

And the court is being absolutely mobbed.

11:02 p.m. — Vasquez with the one-handed shot! How did that go in?!

Just a tremendous shot from the best player in the history of Comcast Center.

Following the Duke miss, Mosley is fouled and the native Baltimorean drains a pair of free throws.

Maryland leads 75-69 with 26.2 seconds to play.

11:01 pm. — One minute to play and Maryland up two. Enough said.

11:00 p.m. — Just a HUGE offensive rebound and put-back by Jordan Williams.

Big-time play by the freshman.

10:59 p.m. — After Vasquez has it poked away by Scheyer, Smith’s jumper ties the game.

You get the impression that Hayes could throw the ball toward the rim blindfolded and it’d go in at this point.

10:55 p.m. — At the final media timeout, Maryland leads Duke, 67-65, with 3:26 to go.

What more could you ask for in this one?

10:54 p.m. — Vasquez scores with the running bank shot to give Maryland a 67-65 lead with 3:42 remaining. He now has a team-high 16 points and has absolutely come alive in the last few minutes.

Timeout on the floor.

10:53 p.m. — Despite a slow start, Scheyer now has 17 points after hitting the running left hand in the lane.

Bowie scores on the other end to tie the game.

The pace is just furious in the final four minutes.

10:52 p.m. — Scheyer hits a big triple to put Duke back in front.

And Vasquez answers with his own. His biggest shot of the night by far.

10:51 p.m. — Following another Maryland timeout, Singler goes to the line and makes 1-of-2 to give Duke a two-point advantage.

Mosley maintains his composure and finds a cutting Hayes for the layup. Very calm basketball play right there.

10:50 p.m. — Very quiet night from Vasquez thus far. Does he have one final act in him here at Comcast Center?

10:48 p.m. — Following the break, Vasquez goes to the line and drains a pair to tie the game at 56-56.

The Terps show the press, but Duke handles it.

Following the miss on the other end, Bowie hits the mid-range jumper off the dribble.

10:45 p.m. — We’ve reached the under-8 media timeout with Duke holding a 56-54 advantage over the Terps with 7:43 to go.

10:44 p.m. — Seven unanswered points by Nolan Smith causes Gary Williams to call timeout. He now has 18 for the game.

10:42 p.m. — Thomas just picked up his fourth foul. Bad news for the Blue Devils.

10:41 p.m. — Tough shot by Smith with Bowie right in his face.

Following a Mosley miss, Smith hits another bucket and is fouled by Mosley. He hits the freebie to complete the 3-point play and tie the game with 9:00 to go.

10:36 p.m. — Maryland and Duke go into the under-12 media timeout with the Terps in the midst of a 12-3 run.

The Terps lead 54-49 with 10:43 remaining.

10:35 p.m. — Bowie with ANOTHER huge shot from the perimeter as we’ve seen him do a handful of times over the last few weeks. Despite his shooting struggles this season, he’s really stepped up at some very key times for the Terrapins down the stretch.

10:34 p.m. — Adrian Bowie with the steal and the layup to give Maryland a 49-47 lead. The crowd is once again becoming a MAJOR factor for the first time in the second half.

And it gets even LOUDER as Milbourne throws down a monstrous, one-handed dunk on the next possession!

10:31 p.m. — Too much flare, not enough substance on the last two possessions.

10:30 p.m. — Mason Plumlee goes to the line and makes one of two as Gregory sits down after picking up his third foul.

Williams hits a HUGE jump hook and is fouled on the play. It also sends Zoubek to the bench with his third foul.

The frosh hits the freebie to tie the game as the Comcast crowd comes alive.

10:27 p.m. — The Terps have just four points in the first five minutes of the second half. Fortunately, the Blue Devils haven’t come out on fire either.

Zoubek and the Blue Devils, however, have completely changed the complexion of the game in the paint. They’re just dominating the glass.

10:24 p.m. — At the first media timeout with 15:55 to go, Duke leads Maryland, 46-44.

10:22 p.m. — Very nice to see Williams go to the line and drain two. As I’ve said all year, his form looks too good to be such a poor free-throw shooter.

10:20 p.m. — Scheyer goes to the line and makes two out of three freebies to give Duke a four-point lead.

Really need a bucket here if you’re Maryland.

10:18 p.m. — Not a good decision by Vasquez to try to fit that baseline pass into Hayes.

However, Mosley draws the player-control foul on Smith, Duke’s second team foul of the half.

10:16 p.m. — Vasquez hits the runner in the lane to tie the game. You get the feeling Maryland will need a HUGE second half from Vasquez to pull this one out.

Maybe not “Virginia Tech” big but you get my point.

10:13 p.m. — Scheyer hits a 3-pointer to start the half, and Duke leads 41-40, its first advantage of the night.

Let’s see how the Terps answer.

10:08 p.m. — The teams are back on the court, and we’re about three minutes away from the start of the second half. You have to be impressed with Maryland’s effort on the boards, outrebounding Duke 19-13.

As disappointing as it may have been to lose the comfortable lead, it’s important to keep in mind the Terps were without Milbourne—and to a lesser extent, Gregory— for a significant portion of the half.

9:56 p.m. — We’ve reached the end of the first half with Maryland now holding a very slim 40-38 lead over the Blue Devils.

Very disappointing outcome for a half in which the Terps held a 14-point lead with 6:14 remaining. It will be very interesting to see how Maryland responds after losing a comfortable advantage going into the intermission.

9:55 p.m. — Lots of dribbling on that final possession and Mosley comes up well short on the attempt from beyond the arc.

Duke takes a 30-second timeout with 0.8 seconds remaining

9:54 p.m. — After a week attempt by Milbourne matched up against Miles Plumlee, a Scheyer 3-pointer has cut the lead to two points. It was only a matter of time before he connected.

9:52 p.m. — And just like that, it’s a five-point game after a triple by Smith. Much closer than how this one has felt for most of the half, so you have to be concerned if you’re a Maryland fan.

9:50 p.m. — Singler hits the 3-pointer to cut the lead to nine points. His versatility is very impressive.

The Terps answer with a basket inside by Williams.

Tucker picks up his second foul on the other end as Single completes the three-point play. These are two big minutes for Maryland.

9:45 p.m. — Thomas has no problem inside against Padgett and scores inside.

We’ve reached the final media timeout of the first half with Maryland leading Duke, 36-26 with 3:23 to go.

9:43 p.m. — Gregory goes up to challenge Smith’s drive and earns the foul with the body. That’s Gregory’s second, so Padgett will come in to replace him.

Will be crucial for the two freshmen bigs to play well in the final five minutes before halftime.

Hayes scores inside on another fancy shot inside. He’d be a tough opponent in a game of HORSE right now.

9:41 p.m. — Mosley drains a 3-ball to give Maryland a 14-point lead. It’s safe to say his slump is a distant memory at this point.

Miles Plumlee attempts his first 3-pointer of the year and makes it. Go figure.

9:37 p.m. — Hayes hits the triple, but perhaps the even bigger story is the apparent hand injury to Zoubek. Losing him would be devastating for the Devils.

We’ve reached the under-8 media timeout with Maryland leading 30-19 with 6:42 to go before intermission.

9:34 p.m. — That one on Vasquez was very “questionable” to say the least, but I digress.

9:33 p.m. — Two fouls on Lance Thomas does not bode well for Duke’s defensive efforts. He’s a very effective and versatile member of the frontcourt.

Both teams now have five team fouls as Jordan Williams just picked up his first. Very physical game so far.

9:31 p.m. — Singler goes right inside against Tucker. Definitely not a favorable match-up there for the Terps, but Single presents a problem for just about anyone.

9:29 p.m. — Juan Dixon is here and just received a huge ovation. Despite the recent steroid-related news surrounding the Maryland legend, was there any question this place would go nuts anyway?

Padgett turns it over again, sending him to the bench. He’s getting a lecture from Keith Booth as we speak.

9:26 p.m. — James Padgett and Adrian Bowie are into the game. Padgett will probably see a couple more minutes than he normally would have given Milbourne’s foul trouble.

Vasquez scores on the runner to give him seven points.

Following a ticky-tack foul on Gregory, we’ve reached the under-12 media timeout with Maryland leading Duke, 21-8 with 11:43 to go in the first half.

9:24 p.m. — If Tucker’s going to hit THAT shot in the lane, I’m not sure the Blue Devils have a chance in this one.

9:23 p.m. — Nice job by Cliff Tucker to clean up the glass and secure the second-chance points for the Terps.

Maryland leads, 17-7. Cannot ask for much more at this point.

The Terps are also doing a very nice job fighting on the boards.

9:21 p.m. — Gregory with the offensive rebound to keep the possession alive, and Vasquez eventually finds a cutting Hayes for the fancy reverse layup. Hayes has really done a nice job with improving his short game.

On the next possession, Jordan Williams with a MONSTROUS dunk over Scheyer.

WOW.

For good measure, the big man completes the 3-point play.

9:18 p.m. — David Pearman has as many buckets as Duke right now. Let’s see how the delay impacts this one.

And as I type that, Singler drains a triple. Perfect.

9:16 p.m. — Could this have come at a worse time for the Terps? The last thing you want is a delay when you’re playing well, and Duke cannot buy a bucket.

9:13 p.m. — Milbourne picks up his second foul, sending him to the bench. That could spell major trouble for the Terps.

Dino Gregory needs to give them some huge minutes here in the first half.

We have a delay right now as they must fix a torn net. Haven’t seen that one happen very often.

9:11 p.m. — You think the Terps are looking for the long-range looks?

Milbourne rattles in a 3-ball, and it’s 10-2. Duke is just ice-cold to start this one.

9:09 p.m. — Maryland able to get into its press early, something the Terps were unable to do in Durham last month. Let’s see how Duke handles it.

Vasquez takes another 3-point shot in transition and drains it.

Maryland needs 7-0, and this place is a complete madhouse!

9:07 p.m. — Williams absolutely stuffs Kyle Singler, but the Terps fail to convert in transition on the other end. Mosley HAS to make that layup.

Duke still looking for its first points of the night.

9:06 p.m. — After controlling the opening tip, Eric Hayes hits a runner in the lane for the first points of the game. Just an explosive reaction from the crowd.

Wow.

9:04 p.m. — We’re almost ready for the tip. The student section is decked out in a “Gold Rush” as the school passed out t-shirts for students to sport.

Very cool scene here at Comcast.

9:00 p.m. — I’m going to go out on a limb here, but I’m guessing this crowd is not enamored with the Blue Devils. The loudest “SUCKS!” chants I’ve heard all year during the announcement of their starting lineup.

And it’s not even close.

8:55 p.m. — Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

Duke
G Jon Scheyer
G Nolan Smith
F Kyle Singler
F Lance Thomas
C Brian Zoubek

Maryland
G Eric Hayes
G Greivis Vasquez
G Sean Mosley
F Landon Milbourne
F Jordan Williams

8:51 p.m. — Greivis Vasquez and Gary Williams embrace in a very emotional moment as the flashbulbs pop, and the senior from Caracas, Venezuela receives the deafening ovation from the Maryland fans.

Just a brilliant career and the greatest player in the—albeit brief—history of Comcast Center.

8:50 p.m. — Milbourne receives another loud ovation. You know he’d love to have a huge night to break out of his recent slump.

8:48 p.m. — Jerome Burney was honored first to a nice hand. Nice to see him get some recognition despite his playing career already coming to an end.

HUGE ovation for Eric Hayes. Well-deserve and one of the best 3-point shooters in school history.

8:46 p.m. — With Maryland set to honor all three of its seniors (and assistant trainer/former player Jerome Burney who will graduate in the spring), it’s a good move to hold off on raising the jersey of Vasquez to the Comcast rafters. It’s clearly only a matter of when the school will do it, not if.

When you have two other seniors in Hayes and Milbourne who have been crucial pieces of the program for the last four years, it’s a smart move to refrain from singling out Vasquez. Everyone knows he will unquestionably go down as one of the finest players in school history, but Hayes and Milbourne deserve the spotlight tonight as well. All three will bask in the adoration before turning their attention to Duke.

I also cannot help but think back to 2001 when Maryland went into Durham and beat Duke on Shane Battier’s senior night, so waiting on the extra honor for Vasquez is probably a prudent move. No need to give the Blue Devils any extra motivation in a hostile environment.

8:37 p.m. — As they have throughout the conference home schedule, the Terps will wear gold againts Duke tonight. Maryland is undefeated in the gold duds this season. Is one more too much to ask?

Just an electric atmosphere at Comcast, and we’re still over 20 minutes away from tip-off.

8:30 p.m. — Greetings from Comcast Center as we await the start of arguably the biggest game in the brief eight-year history of the building. It’s a game that needs no build-up; the circumstances speak for themselves.

Senior Night and the final home game for a triumvirate of seniors in Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes, and Landon Milbourne.

A share of first place on the line.

Jon Scheyer and Vasquez facing off in a final grapple for ACC Player of the Year honors.

Mike Krzyzewski and Gary Williams matching wits to possibly determine ACC Coach of the Year.

And oh yeah, DUKE is here.

Need I say more?

There isn’t much more to be said as No. 4 Duke (25-4, 12-2 ACC) comes to Comcast Center to battle the No. 22 Maryland Terrapins (21-7, 11-3 ACC). A win catapults the Terps into a first-place tie with the Blue Devils with one regular season game remaining.

Maryland will try to avenge a humbling 77-56 defeat in Durham on Feb. 13 when the Terps shot only 37.7 percent and were beat up inside by big man Brian Zoubek (16 points, 17 rebounds). It continued a six-game losing streak against the Blue Devils, dating back to 2007 when Vasquez, Hayes, and Milbourne were freshmen and knocked bested Duke twice in the same season.

For Maryland to extract revenge and grab a share of first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference, it will need to find a way to generate more from its half-court offense than it did last month at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke is very tough defensively and does a tremendous job of limiting fast-break opportunities for the opposition—a strength of the Maryland offense.

The Devils also do a tremendous job guarding the 3-point shot, allowing ACC opponents to shoot only 23.5 percent from beyond the arc. Maryland is tops in the conference in 3-point shooting (42.5 percent), and it’s well-chronicled how much better this team shoots in the friendly confines of Comcast.

The Blue Devils hold the edge inside, so the Terps will need a strong effort on the glass to limit second-chance opportunities. Maryland will need big efforts from Jordan Williams, Milbourne, and reserve Dino Gregory to offset the presence of Zoubek and Kyle Singler in the paint.

All of the stars are out tonight on press row as ESPN’s Dan Shulman, Jay Bilas, and Erin Andrews will call the action (9:00 p.m.) on the Worldwide Leader. Terps fanatic Scott Van Pelt is here (wearing a gold Terps polo and looking fired up) as a spectator. I’ve even spotted a few recognizable Baltimore/Washington media members who I haven’t seen at Comcast Center all year.

Must be a big game, right?

Stay with us right here at WNST.net throughout the evening, and don’t forget to chime in with your thoughts in the Comments section at the bottom of the page. As always, don’t forget to track us on Twitter (@WNST) as Glenn Clark and other WNST personalities offer thoughts and analysis throughout the game.

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Vasquez’s 41 points lead Maryland past Virginia Tech, 104-100 in 2 OT thriller

Posted on 27 February 2010 by Luke Jones

It may have lacked the all-around brilliance of his triple-double against powerful North Carolina a season ago, but Greivis Vasquez’s performance in Blacksburg may have accomplished even more for himself and his team on Saturday night.

Maryland faced a desperate Virginia Tech team, losers of two in a row and sitting squarely on the NCAA tournament bubble. The Hokies had not lost a game at raucous Cassell Coliseum all season. And still, Vasquez nearly beat them by himself.

Behind a career-high 41 points—three shy of the school’s single-game record and the most by a Terrapin since Joe Smith’s 40 against Duke in 1995—Vasquez led Maryland to a 104-100 victory over Virginia Tech in a double-overtime thriller at Cassell Coliseum.

The performance not only locked up the No. 2 seed in the ACC Tournament for Maryland (21-7, 11-3 ACC) but likely catapulted Vasquez into the driver’s seat for ACC Player of the Year honors.

Amazingly, Vasquez’s night started out slowly as he struggled through 2-of-10 shooting and had only eight at the break as Maryland trailed 37-31. The hostile Virginia Tech crowd jeered him throughout the night, chanting “USA!” and other vicious barbs at the Venezuelan native, but Vasquez fed off the animosity in the second half and got better.

And better.

And even better.

Before Sean Mosley hit the final two free throws to seal the four-point victory in the final seconds of the second overtime, Vasquez had scored 33 points after the break, passing Albert King into third place on the Maryland all-time scoring list along the way.

The senior hit five 3-pointers, was a perfect 10-of-10 from the charity stripe, grabbed seven rebounds, and handed out six assists. He scored inside and out, making countless big shots to lead the second-half comeback.

While Vasquez was the star of the evening—besting fellow ACC Player of the Year candidate Malcolm Delaney who scored 27 points in a losing effort—perhaps the most encouraging sign for the Terps was his teammates’ ability to step up in the extra periods to seal the victory.

Feeling the effects of playing all but two minutes in the double-overtime battle, Vasquez missed a potential game-winning shot at the end of the first overtime and scored just five points in the 10 extra minutes. However, fellow senior Eric Hayes drained 5-of-6 free throws in the extra sessions, two of which tied the score late in the first overtime, and finished with 12 points.

Mosley continued his offensive resurrection with 17 points on 6-for-8 shooting. Six of Mosley’s points came in the second overtime to finally push the Terps to victory.

Maryland made its free throws (22-for-27) and got the defensive stops when needed despite strong efforts from Delaney, Jeff Allen (25), and Dorenzo Hudson (21).

The win improves Maryland’s ACC road record to 4-3 and likely catapults the Terrapins into the top 25 for the first time since November. It was Maryland’s fourth straight comeback win from a second-half deficit and fifth straight win overall.

As much as his teammates may have provided the support in the final 10 minutes, the night belonged to Vasquez and is just another example of what he’s meant to Maryland this season. No player means more to his team in the Atlantic Coast Conference than Vasquez.

If he’s not the best player in the ACC this year, I still haven’t seen who’s better. Not Delaney or Jon Scheyer or Sylven Landesberg.

No one.

Talk about his combustible personality, his tendency to say the wrong thing, or his occasionally suspect decision making all you want, but there’s a reason why his jersey’s going to be raised to the Comcast Center rafters on Senior Night this Wednesday.

Vasquez will go down as perhaps the most under-appreciated player in school history, but he will undoubtedly leave College Park as one of its greatest too.

He’ll have one final act in front of the home crowd on Wednesday night against his nemesis Duke. It’s the one school that’s gotten the best of him in his career, with much of it brought on himself with the claims of Cameron Indoor Stadium being “his house” the last two seasons before embarrassing losses.

Unlike those two contests, Vasquez will actually be in “his house” one last time against Duke on Wednesday, and he’ll desperately seek redemption against the Blue Devils.

And with the way he’s playing right now and knowing it’s his final game in “his house,” I wouldn’t bet against him.

Check out the final stats here and the live blog below.

____________________________________________

9:47 p.m. — Hayes gets the inbound pass and is fouled again. He goes to the line for two and misses the second.

Virginia Tech has it down by two, and Erick Green misses the 3-point attempt. Hard to believe Delaney gave that one up.

Mosley is fouled and goes to the line. He drains them both, and Maryland is going to win it.

Maryland defeats Virginia Tech in double overtime, 104-100.

An EPIC battle.

9:45 p.m. — Delaney gets to the basket with absolute ease with Vasquez offering little resistance and not wanting to give the three-point play opportunity.

Huge possession here for the Terps with 15.9 to go.

9:44 p.m. — Hayes goes to the stripe and drains them both. Who else would you want at the line in that situation? Steady.

Maryland leads, 101-98, with 21.3 seconds remaining.

9:41 p.m. — Allen completes the three-point play after Williams is called for the blocking foul.

One-point game and Hayes going to the line for two shots.

9:40 p.m. — Vasquez fouls Delaney on the shot, sending him to the line for two shots with 39.5 to play.

He misses both free throws. Wow.

Mosley is fouled and makes them both.

9:36 p.m. — Delaney hits the first and, following the timeout, drains the second to cut the lead to two points with 1:16 remaining.

Vasquez cannot hit the runner, but Hudson misses the layup on the other end. Unfortunately for Maryland, the ball goes off Gregory out of bounds and it stays with Virginia Tech.

9:32 p.m. — Critical misses by Allen on that trip to the line with Maryland up by four.

The Terps work some clock, but Vasquez cannot hit the shot off the glass.

Going the other way, Delaney is fouled by Vasquez.

9:30 p.m. — Did Gregory call that one? I don’t care if he didn’t, quite frankly.

9:29 p.m. — Gregory hits both free throws to give the Terps the early lead in the second overtime.

Delaney cannot score inside and Vasquez scores on the other end to give him 41 points.

9:26 p.m. — Having the clock fail to start matches up with everything else that’s gone wrong in this one at the Coliseum.

What a game though!

9:25 p.m. — Sorry for the lack of an update. Clearly we’ve gone to double overtime.

Let’s see what Vasquez and company have left for another five minutes.

9:21 p.m. — Hayes goes to the line for two and makes them both to tie the game.

41.1 seconds to go in this one.

9:20 p.m. — Bell hits the triple to put Tech up by two points with under a minute to go.

UGH.

9:18 p.m. — Gregory cannot hit the jumper, and the Hokies have the ball, down by one.

Great defense by the Terps to force the 35-second violation.

9:17 p.m. — Thompson goes inside and draws the foul on Milbourne, his fifth.

Nice early contribution from him in overtime but a very forgettable night for him.

9:14 p.m. — A vicious pick by Jordan Williams on Delaney gives Vasquez the room to drill the triple.

39 points for Vasquez!

9:12 p.m. — Milbourne hits a shot. He NEEDED that one on so many levels.

9:10 p.m. — Maryland is 0-1 in overtime games this year.

Hope it’s a better outcome than the Wake Forest game.

9:06 p.m. — Hard to tell if his foot was on the line. I’m not watching in high definition, so it’s hard to tell.

9:04 p.m. — How do you just give Thompson an open look like that?

Un-fricking-believable.

9:03 p.m. — 18 seconds to go.

Maryland by 3.

9:01 p.m. — That just CANNOT happen. Milbourne with a critical turnover.

Ugh.

8:59 p.m. — Vasquez draws the blocking foul on Allen, sending him to the line for a 1-and-1.

He hits both to give him 36 points and the Terps a three-point lead.

8:57 p.m. — Vasquez with his BIGGEST shot of the game, a 3-ball to give the Terps a one-point lead.

Unbelievable performance. 34 points.

8:55 p.m. — The Terps desperately need a stop down by two points, and they get it with the Allen miss.

Off the inbound pass, Vasquez finds Milbourne for the layup to tie the game.

Wow.

8:52 p.m. — We’ve reached the final media timeout with the game tied 73-73.

Vasquez with a new season-high of 31 points.

8:51 p.m. — That was a nice, composed possession after throwing up some off-balance shots over the last couple minutes.

8:49 p.m. — Maryland desperately needs someone else to step up on the offensive end as Vasquez is definitely cooling off.

Hudson draws the blocking foul on Gregory and scores the basket.

72-69 Virginia Tech with a timeout on the floor.

8:47 p.m. — Gregory with the nice look inside to Milbourne for the layup.

Vasquez steals the inbound pass but then takes the 3-pointer and misses. Wasn’t necessarily a bad shot, but it gave the Terps no chance at an offensive rebound.

8:41 p.m. — We’ve reached the under-8 timeout. Maryland leads Tech, 67-66.

8:40 p.m. — That shot from Vasquez worries me. He was facing a double team yet still chucked up the 3-ball attempt. Obviously he’s not getting a lot of help, but he cannot do it all by himself.

Allen is absolutely killing the Terps right now.

8:38 p.m. — You can just see Vasquez getting in that frame of mind where he’s looking to score every time down the floor. Virginia Tech has no answers either.

We’ve got a good one in Blacksburg.

8:36 p.m. — Vasquez takes it inside for the finger roll. Making it look easy.

8:32 p.m. — Virginia Tech leads 59-58 with 11:18 remaining at the second media timeout of the second half.

8:29 p.m. — Vasquez with a very ill-advised shot, but then gets the steal and scores on a 3-on-1 disadvantage. Maryland takes a timeout, trailing by one.

8:27 p.m. — Allen with a very smart play going right after Milbourne with three fouls.

The scoring pace has picked up considerably in the first eight minutes of this one.

8:25 p.m. — Vasquez is absolutely torching the Hokies. Maryland is now on an 11-2 run and has regained the lead.

The Tech fans might want to think about leaving the senior from Venezuela alone for a little while.

8:20 p.m. — Gregory with the offensive board and gets it out to Vasquez for ANOTHER three. You can tell he’s really feeding off a hostile Cassell Coliseum crowd.

Perhaps the Hokies fans should have passed out a cheer sheet like NC State did earlier in the year. The jeers may end up hurting the Hokies’ chances in this one.

8:19 p.m. — Hayes with the active hands and dishes back to Vasquez for the triple to cut the lead to three points. Nice to see Hayes so active on the defensive end.

8:17 p.m. — Hudson continuing to have a big night with 15 points already.

Milbourne misses inside, but Williams fights hard for the offensive board and draws the foul.

Air-balling free throws will not help the cause at all.

8:14 p.m. — Virginia Tech looked much better beating the press that time and has now scored three straight times off the press.

Vasquez looks like he’s starting to get it going and now has 12 points.

Unfortunately, Delaney is heating up as well.

8:12 p.m. — The second half is underway with Hayes hitting a triple right off the bat. Definitely need to get him going after a quiet first half.

7:56 p.m. — We’ve reached the intermission with Virginia Tech leading Maryland, 37-31.

7:54 p.m. — Maryland shows the press and gives the Hokies trouble, but didn’t finish the play. Not enough urgency in going after the loose ball.

7:52 p.m. — Hokies fans displaying their class in chanting “USA!” at Vasquez. I’m as patriotic as the next guy, but I’m not sure I like chanting that at a foreign-born player.

7:51 p.m. — Vasquez doesn’t get a lot of credit for his defense, but he’s doing an outstanding job on Delaney so far in this one.

Maryland is being very sloppy with the basketball over its last few possessions.

7:48 p.m. — Nice feed inside to Padgett from Hayes, and the freshman shows nice control in going up for the basket.

Maryland continues to struggle from the outside with only Mosley having any real success from the perimeter in the first half.

7:46 p.m. — Gregory just ERASED that shot. Unfortunately, Vasquez loses it on the other end.

7:45 p.m. — Two fouls apiece for Milbourne and Williams. Meanwhile, Allen has only one for the Hokies.

Not exactly what you envisioned heading into this one if you’re a Maryland fan.

7:42 p.m. — Think Jordan Williams was padding his stats there?

On the other end, J.T. Thompson scores and is fouled by Jordan Williams, his second.

We’ve reached the final media timeout of the first half with the Hokies leading the Terps, 28-25, with 3:50 remaining.

7:40 p.m. — Once again, Maryland is having serious issues rebounding the basketball. You can understand it against the Georgia Techs and the Clemsons of the conference, but there’s no excuse against Virginia Tech.

7:38 p.m. — Delaney drains the 3-pointer for his first field goal. Hopefully that doesn’t get him going.

The Terps fail to score on the other end, and Allen scores in the paint to take a 24-23 lead for Virginia Tech.

Timeout, Maryland.

7:34 p.m. — Why is Gregory shooting the ball two feet inside the 3-point line? Thankfully, Hayes scores on the second-chance opportunity.

We’ve reached the under-8 media timeout with Maryland leading Virginia Tech, 21-19.

7:32 p.m. — Despite Allen’s reputation, there was clearly no intent there. Good non-call by the officiating crew.

Cliff Tucker with some very questionable decision-making in the early going tonight. Not sure why he passed up an open opportunity in the lane to dish it out to Gregory 15 feet from the basket.

7:28 p.m. — Hopefully the stinger to the neck/shoulder of Mosley is just a minor thing. You’d hate to see something serious, especially when he’s shooting the ball so well.

7:23 p.m. — When asked about his shooting slump after the Clemson game, Mosley said he didn’t think he was in a slump.

Whatever you wanted to call it, it’s clear he’s looking much better offensively.

Jordan Williams scores inside, plus the foul.

We’ve reached the second media timeout with the Terps leading the Hokies, 15-11.

7:21 p.m. — Those are the types of things Mosley does that are so invaluable yet do not show up on the stat sheet. Yes, he’s struggled offensively in conference play, but don’t underestimate his impact.

7:18 p.m. — Seeing Mosley hit some outside shots HAS to excite you as a Terps fan. If he can regain his early-season form from the perimeter, this team becomes that much more dangerous.

7:16 p.m. — We’ve reached the first media timeout with Maryland and Virginia Tech tied 8-8 with 15:24 remaining.

7:13 p.m. — Very nice step-around move by Davila to get by Jordan Wiliams. Don’t see that happen too often to the Maryland frosh.

Allen scores inside against Milbourne to give the Hokies a two-point edge.

7:11 p.m. — You think the Hokies fans dislike Vasquez or something?

Neither teams doing very much offensively in the first few minutes. The energy level has been there for both teams, however. I was curious to see how fast these teams started after a three-hour wait.

7:09 p.m. — I like seeing the Terps take the ball inside on their first few possessions. This team has clearly struggled with its perimeter shooting on the road this season.

Hayes continues to show an improved ability to take the ball to the basket, only improving his chances for open looks from the perimeter.

7:05 p.m. — The match-up between Delaney and Mosley—two Baltimore products that are very familiar with each other—will definitely be one to watch. Mosley did a nice job against his Charm City counterpart a year ago as the Terps earned the victory at Comcast Center.

6:57 p.m. — Here are tonight’s starters:

Maryland
G Eric Hayes
G Greivis Vasquez
G Sean Mosley
F Landon Milbourne
F Jordan Williams

Virginia Tech
G Malcolm Delaney
G Dorenzo Hudson
F Terrell Bell
F Jeff Allen
C Victor Davila

6:55 p.m. — In a contest already being labeled the Outhouse Game, it appears Maryland will finally tip off against Virginia Tech in the next 15 minutes. A water main break earlier this afternoon delayed the game by three hours and has disabled running water in the Cassell Coliseum bathrooms, forcing fans to use nearby facilities (That’s where the outhouse reference comes in. Clever, isn’t it?)

With the delay, I’m sure the Terps (20-7, 10-3 ACC) were able to follow North Carolina’s upset victory over Wake Forest, giving Maryland an opportunity to clinch the No. 2 seed in the ACC with a victory over the Hokies tonight.

On the other side, Virginia Tech (21-6, 8-5 ACC) has lost two in a row and currently sits 47th in the projected RPI, leaving the Hokies with work to do to secure a bid between now and Selection Sunday. The Hokies’ most recent loss came on Wednesday night, an inexplicable 80-60 loss at Boston College.

The Hokies are of course led by Baltimore product Malcolm Delaney who leads the ACC in scoring at 20.2 points per game and is among the top candidates—Maryland’s Greivis Vasquez included—for ACC Player of the year.

In addition to Delaney’s scoring prowess, Virginia Tech has two other players averaging double-digit scoring with Dorenzo Hudson (14.0) and Jeff Allen (11.3). Allen is a formidable threat in the paint, but has been unable to avoid foul trouble, averaging 3.6 fouls per contest.

Virginia Tech does not possess an imposing frontcourt, so it’s critical for Allen to stay on the floor to counteract the presence of Maryland freshman Jordan Williams.

With a delay of this nature, it’s difficult to say who really has the advantage, but Virginia Tech is clearly feeling more pressure at this point in the season, so three extra hours to think about consecutive losses to Duke and Boston College probably didn’t help its mental psyche. On the other hand, the Hokies are undefeated at Cassell Coliseum this season (when the bathrooms actually worked), so it’s clearly a very intimidating atmosphere for the Terps.

Tonight’s game will be televised on WNUV-TV 54 in Baltimore despite concerns that it would not due to the delay.

Stay with WNST.net throughout the game, and feel free to chime in with your thoughts on the Comments section at the bottom of the page. As always, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for thoughts from various WNST personalities throughout the evening.

6:00 p.m. — I just received the OFFICIAL word from the University of Maryland the game would be televised on WNUV-TV 54 in Baltimore at 7:00 p.m.

The game will also be shown on WDCA-TV in Washington.

5:37 p.m. — Despite more reported issues at Cassell Coliseum, the game will tip off at 7:00 p.m. Apparently the restrooms inside the building are not functioning, and fans will be allowed to use surrounding restrooms.

It’s a good thing there are so many outhouses in Blacksburg.

5:05 p.m. — According to Patrick Stevens (D1scourse), the start of tonight’s game has now been moved to 7:00 p.m. The water issues have been fixed according to Virginia Tech officials.

5:00 p.m. — In an effort to keep this blog going until the start of the game at 6:30, I thought I’d pass along this witty comment from our good buddy Rich.

No truth to the rumor that Tiger Woods was driving the beer truck that hit the fire hydrant outside Cassell Coliseum and caused the water main break.

4:23 p.m. — With the news of North Carolina upsetting Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, Maryland is now in a position to clinch no worse than the No. 2 seed in the ACC Tournament with a win over Virginia Tech tonight.

A couple weeks ago, Dino Gaudio’s Demon Deacons were looking quite possibly like the second-best team in the ACC, but a three-game losing streak—with the last two coming against the two worst teams in the conference—has dropped them to 8-6 in the conference.

4:05 p.m. — I just got off the phone with WNUV-TV 54 in Baltimore, and the network still plans to air the Maryland game despite the start being moved from 4:00 to 6:30 p.m.

That should be a major relief to anyone in the Baltimore area.

3:45 p.m. — Good afternoon, and thanks for joining me here on WNST.net to watch the Terps (20-7, 10-3 ACC) take on the Virginia Tech Hokies (21-6, 8-5 ACC) at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg.

The game was scheduled to tip off at 4:00 p.m. on Raycom (locally on WNUV-TV 54 in Baltimore), but a water main break at Cassell Coliseum has pushed the start to 6:30 p.m.

A Raycom Sports official said the game will still be telecast on the network, but it will be up to each individual affiliate as to whether it will carry the broadcast, according to a University of Maryland official.

We’ll be following this story in the coming hours.

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

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Thursday Morning’s Crabs and Beer

Posted on 25 February 2010 by Glenn Clark

Happy Thursday!

It’s a Happy Thursday for me because Intern Super Jack said to me yesterday before we left the studios at 1550 Hart Rd. “Did you see the Vince Carter shot?”

Somehow, I had not. Now everyone will….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqxwUWw4ibE[/youtube]

I feel like if I tried long enough, I could throw the ball from that some spot and….get it to the opposite free throw line? Maybe?

Maybe not.

Let’s see what everyone has to say….

1. WNST.net’s Luke Jones says Terps fought back from 15 points down to beat Clemson at Comcast Center

In a word, “gutty.”

What was interesting about last night’s game was that despite falling behind by 15, I never got the sense that the crowd in College Park (or those of us there covering the game) thought that the Terrapins were out of it-despite the struggles (related to a stomach bug) that Greivis Vasquez was going through, scoring just 2 points in the first half.

Of course, Greivis Vasquez found other ways to contribute (Thanks Mr. Irrelevant!)….

vasquez

2. The Diamondback’s Greg Schimmel says Terps figuring out new ways to win games every time out

Which is the mark of a team that is built on senior leadership even if not overwhelming talent. I think it’s also the mark of good coaching, but then again-I’m just a Gary Williams apologist, right?

Maryland will have to keep figuring out new ways to win games down the stretch and into both the ACC and NCAA Tournaments. It might not be Cliff Tucker hitting a miraculous shot or Sean Mosley coming to life-it might be a game where Landon Milbourne has to go off for 28 points. It might be a game where James Padgett has to play 25 minutes due to foul trouble for Jordan Williams and Dino Gregory.

Just count on Maryland needing to find new ways to win the rest of the way.

3. WNST.net’s Glenn Clark says Sean Mosley’s slump over with 20 point output in win over Tigers

Nothing makes me happier than when the idiots who say “Maryland is a DC school” have to watch a Baltimore kid (St. Frances) lead the way for the Terps. I guess as a reporter/columnist I’m not supposed to root for individual players, but no one has EVER accused me of being either “ethical” or “good”, so why should I start now?

Maryland returns to action Saturday at Virginia Tech (4pm-Raycom Sports-WNUV 54 locally), which sets up the Catholic League showdown between Mosley and the Hokies’ Malcolm Delaney (Towson Catholic), who was somehow left off the Naismith Award candidates list yesterday (Greivis Vasquez remained on the list) despite the fact that he is a legitimate candidate for ACC Player of the Year.

And how the hell did Virginia Tech get worked at Boston College last night? I’m not sure if that means the Eagles exposed Va Tech as pretenders, or if Seth Greenberg’s team will be especially amped to prove themselves Saturday in Blacksburg.

4. CSN Washington’s Chris Knoche says win ‘went a long way’ to ensuring Terps first round bye in ACC Tournament

With a win Saturday at Cassell Coliseum, Maryland will clinch that off day in Greensboro. That’s good news for me, as I only got my hotel room for Friday and Saturday night-and I’m not sure the WNST expense account can cover another night at the Hilton. I of course only stay at the Hilton, as I am a VERY big deal.

Getting a first round bye is a big deal, too. It is almost IMPOSSIBLE to win 4 games in 4 days in an event like the ACC Tournament (although I believe Syracuse did it in the Big East Tournament recently), but with a first round bye the Terps would have to be considered a favorite to at least REACH the ACC Championship Game, where they might end up with a rematch of that 2004 Title Game…..

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MU6lXzsVXJo[/youtube]

5. The AP says Chris De La Rosa scored 23 as UMBC blew out New Hampshire on road

Well, don’t I feel dumb….

Congratulations to Randy Monroe and the Retrievers, as this was a great win for them last night. I’m not sure it means they can advance at all in the America East Tournament, but they’ll at least have some confidence. They’re off this weekend before getting things underway in Hartford next week.

6. Towson Official Site says Tigers stunned William & Mary in CAA action in Williamsburg

Once again…..I feel dumb.

A great win for Pat Kennedy’s Tigers, they now have a date with Delaware Saturday at Towson Center before they head to Richmond for the CAA Tournament.

Of course, this is a “good news bad news” situation for CAA fans in the area, as they got a stunning win from Towson last night-but the Tribe loss means they are COMPLETELY out of the discussion for an at large berth come Selection Sunday. If Old Dominion wins the Tournament, that will be a 1 bid league.

7. Maryland Official Site previews womens basketball’s visit to Boston College tonight

And as I’ve said before, Brenda Frese’s team absolutely MUST win out for any shot at an NCAA Tournament at large bid, and they’ll probably still need to make some noise in the ACC Tournament. The Terps were 72-65 winners when the teams first met, but BC has played MUCH better basketball since then, including wins over Duke and North Carolina. This will be tough for the Terps in Chestnut Hill…

8. Navy Official Site previews tonight’s lacrosse showdown in Annapolis with North Carolina on CBS College Sports

Some great lax action tonight at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, as the Midshipmen are trying to bounce back from their loss to Loyola Saturday against a Tar Heels team that has won their first 3 to open the season.

UNC of course has a bit of an unfair advantage due to this…..

nc

I bet she’s been watching a lot of the Olympics…

9. The Towerlight’s Kevin Hess says bill forcing Maryland to play Towson, Morgan State in football ‘unlikely to pass’ thanks to lack of support from Mike Hermann

Good for Mike Hermann. Not only is it silly for a government official to try to influence college football scheduling, but he deserves to be called out for the silliness. Maryland has both Morgan State and Towson on the schedule in the next 4 years, and they want to keep scheduling them (as well as Navy) for regional purposes. They also want to schedule West Virginia, Pitt, Rutgers, Villanova, Delaware, William & Mary and other teams in the region that they might be going up against for recruits.

No team should be pigeon-holed into HAVING to play certain schools. On the flip side, Towson and Morgan shouldn’t be FORCED to play Maryland either. Morgan can get more money from a trip to Rutgers than a trip to Maryland, and since the entire University system gets funding from Maryland athletics, all of the programs are actually making money no matter WHO Maryland plays.

And for Mike Hermann, should Rob Ambrose turn things around in the next couple years for the Tigers-they shouldn’t be forced to have to schedule a Maryland team (that we assume) would be an almost impossible victory every year-last season not withstanding. If the Tigers would prefer to play a D1 team they might have a better chance at beating (say….Kent State?), they should be able to do that.

10. The Sun’s Peter Schmuck says Chris Tillman had ‘very positive’ bullpen session yesterday

Which is a good sign. If Tillman is going to lock up the 5th spot in the rotation instead of heading back to Norfolk, he has to be able to actually pitch in Sarasota.

Of course, the next step is to pitch well. Hopefully that’s coming.

11. SI’s Jon Heyman says Orioles skipper Dave Trembley ‘on hot seat’

That’s obvious. Fair or not, the O’s HAVE to improve in the win-loss department for Trembley to feel comfortable about returning in 2011.

If he wants to make a splash, I say he channels “The Hangover” for his pre-game speech on Opening Day….

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAQiakC0HrY[/youtube]

(Edit from GMC: Was this just an excuse for me to work in a “How bout that ride in? I guess that’s why they call it Sin City” reference? Yes, yes it was. I also made it my Facebook status. And I think I said it to Intern Super Jack about 50 times this morning. I didn’t get much sleep last night…)

12. ESPN.com says former Browns GM Kokinis expected to rejoin Ravens’ personnel department

Sort of a no-brainer. Kokinis was very successful in Baltimore, and should be able to return without much of a power struggle. There is a real question as to whether Eric DeCosta is waiting for Ozzie Newsome to retire or whether he will pursue GM openings in the future, but having Kokinis back in the picture helps the Ravens with their personnel system entirely.

And finally, I leave you with this.

I received one of the most important e-mails of my entire life yesterday. How is it even a LITTLE BIT POSSIBLE that I didn’t know today….

IS NATIONAL CHILI DAY!!!!!

chili
chilicheese
turkeychili

As I said about the “HoagieFest” event a certain establishment held last year, this is more significant than Christmas!

My first thought is to drive down to College Park to stop by Hard Times Cafe (where I’ve heard a rumor they’re giving away free chili today to celebrate), and indulge in their Chili Mac-which helped me survive many tough nights in College Park….

HardTimes

I’ve also thought about driving all the way down to the District of Columbia, as there are few places to celebrate chili like you can at Ben’s Chili Bowl….

chilibowl

BUT…..I would like to celebrate this wonderful day here in Charm City if possible. SO….I put it to you….the fine reader (is there more than one? I think my dad pokes at this every now and then) of “Crabs and Beer” to direct me to the best chili in town.

This is a lot of responsibility for you guys. Frankly, I don’t think you can handle it. But I’m willing to give you a shot. Please don’t let me down.

As a note, I would prefer a place that both serves chili AND has great beer. Again, I’m not asking for much.

Talk to you later.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…..

-G

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Terps fight back in 2nd half to drop Clemson, 88-79

Posted on 24 February 2010 by Luke Jones

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — It looked like Maryland was on the verge of being run out of the gym halfway through the first half on Wednesday night.

With their top three rebounders stuck on the bench with two fouls apiece and Greivis Vasquez struggling through the effects of a stomach bug, the Terps’ perfect home record in ACC play looked to be in serious jeopardy, having already suffered a 15-0 Clemson run as the Tigers capitalized on second-chance opportunities and continued to hit shots from beyond the arc.

Instead of falling further behind (Maryland had trailed by 15 points with 9:29 remaining), a makeshift rotation that included freshman James Padgett weathered the final five minutes of the first half and actually cut the halftime deficit to nine, keeping the Terps within striking distance. Maryland responded with a 49-point explosion in the second half—and held Clemson to just 31—on its way to an 88-79 victory.

“That was one of those games where you find out a little bit more about yourself as you go through the year as a team,” coach Gary Williams said. “It was a good test for us, not that we wanted to be in that situation against a team as good as Clemson. But we were there, and we had to handle it. We did a good job in the second half.”

Receiving contributions from numerous players, Maryland shot a white-hot 60 percent from the field in the second half and made five of seven 3-pointers (8-for-13 overall). None was bigger than Vasquez’s triple to complete the second-half comeback and give the Terps a 70-67 lead with 7:26 remaining. It was a lead Maryland would not relinquish as it improved to 10-3 in the ACC and tightened its grip on second place, a game behind Duke in the loss column.

Four Maryland players reached double-digit scoring, but the most encouraging contribution came from sophomore Sean Mosley who scored 20 points, rebounding from an extended slump and flashing the form he showed in the first two months of the season. Mosley scored the first seven points of the game for the Terps and finished 6-for-8 from the field and 2-for-3 from beyond the arc.

“I got the feel for the game early,” he said. “Every time I touched the ball or got an open look, I let it go. Every time it left my hand it felt like it was going in. It was just me playing aggressive.”

After struggling against the Clemson press in the first half, Maryland settled down and ran the half-court offense efficiently with Vasquez dishing out 13 assists in addition to his 15 points—13 of which came in the second half. On a night when the senior captain was clearly not 100 percent, his vision was brilliant in finding open teammates for high-percentage shots.

Maryland also found the answer in stopping standout forward Trevor Booker who dominated the first half with 11 points and eight rebounds. A combination of Jordan Williams and Dino Gregory held the Clemson big man to just two points and one rebound in the second half.

“Booker’s a great player,” said Jordan Williams, who finished with 18 points and five rebounds despite dealing with foul trouble for much of the night. “He’s a great rebounder and he plays inside-out, so I was chasing him a little bit out to the 3-point line, so it was tough for me to get rebounds tonight.”

As they have throughout the conference schedule at Comcast Center, the Terps played the second half with a higher energy level and overwhelmed their opponent, transforming what looked like their biggest challenge at home to date into a second-half shellacking.

And unlike the way it wilted in the final five minutes after briefly taking a second-half lead in the teams’ first meeting (being outscored 12-3 and losing 62-53), Maryland tightened its grip instead of finding satisfaction with the lead.

“We just wanted to keep trying to push it until it was over,” Jordan Williams said. “We didn’t want to get too excited and lose what we’d done to get there. That’s a sign of a good team.”

Now 20-7 and 10-3 in the ACC, Maryland appears to be an absolute lock for the NCAA tournament and is in outstanding shape for a first-round bye in the ACC tournament in Greensboro. After the game, Gary Williams made it clear just how good of a win he thought it was for his team—and take a shot at the lack of respect the ACC has received this year.

“You can’t tell me that a team like Clemson is not good enough to be in the NCAA tournament,” he said. “It just seems like it’s okay for other conferences to play great games between two good basketball teams. I think Clemson will show down the stretch that they are a worthy basketball team.”

- Vasquez moved into fourth place on Maryland’s career scoring list, passing John Lucas (2,015) and Adrian Branch (2,017) and now has 2,028 points in his career. The basket that moved him past Branch and into fourth place was the same shot that gave Maryland a 70-67 lead with 7:26 to play, the team’s first lead since early in the first half.

The senior guard also matched a season-high with 13 assists, eight coming in the first half.

- Eric Hayes led the Terps with 12 first-half points on 5-for-8 shooting. The senior finished the game with 15 points and three assists.

- Four Terps scored in double figures, making it the 14th time this season that at least four Maryland players had reached double-digit scoring. Mosley led the way with 20, Williams scored 18, and Vasquez and Hayes each chipped in 15 points.

- Maryland improved its record to 3-7 when trailing at the half and 3-3 in ACC play.

Check out the final stats here and the live blog below.

______________________________________________

11:01 p.m. — Maryland leads 88-79 as the students begin to chant “We Want Duke!”

This one’s in the books. After a very rocky first half, the Terps come out and play an outstanding second half.

Final score: Maryland 88, Clemson 79.

Back shortly with the post-game wrap.

11:00 p.m. — Vasquez puts this one in the books with a fallaway jumper to make it a seven-point lead inside a minute to play.

10:59 p.m. — Jordan Williams goes to the bench with his fourth foul. He’s done a great job in the second half staying out of foul trouble after picking up two in the first half.

10:57 p.m. — Maryland absolutely got bailed out by Milton Jennings on that one. Would have been very difficult to create a decent look with the shot clock dwindling.

Vasquez goes to the line and drains both freebies, and Maryland leads 84-77.

10:55 p.m. — Stitt scores to cut the lead to five points, but the Terps beat the pressure across the timeline nicely. Maryland will call a timeout with 2:02 remaining.

10:53 p.m. — Trevor Booker picks up his third foul to send Williams to the line. Despite a very strong night, the frosh continues to struggle at the line, missing two.

10:51 p.m. — At the final media timeout, Maryland leads Clemson 82-75 with 3:38 to play.

10:50 p.m. — Vasquez sinks a pair of free throws to give him 11 points for the game. The Terps now have four players in double figures.

Young hits a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to five points. Still plenty of time in this one.

10:47 p.m. — As much as he’s been beaten up lately for his offensive woes, Mosley is having an outstanding game with 18 points and several strong defensive plays. This team could do some special things if he can regain his early-season form from the offensive end of the floor.

10:46 p.m. — What a scene to watch Vasquez mop up the wet floor. What a team player!

10:44 p.m. — As dominant as Clemson looked during its 15-0 run in the first half, Maryland quite possibly looks even better right now.

Just an unbelievable run, and the Tigers are on life support with less than six minutes to play.

10:43 p.m. — This place is going berserk as Hayes hits a three to put the Terps up by eight. Unbelievable energy!

A Clemson turnover leads to a Vasquez dunk.

Timeout, Clemson.

Maryland leads 77-67 with 6:03 remaining.

10:40 p.m. — Not only did Vasquez just put the Terps up by 3 points, but he now sits in fourth place on the Terps’ all-time scoring list.

Talk about GREAT timing.

10:39 p.m. — Jordan Williams makes two freebies while Eric Hayes misses two?

And, oh yeah, the sky is green.

10:36 p.m. — We’ve reached another media timeout with Clemson holding a 67-65 advantage with 7:52 to go.

10:35 p.m. — Hayes continues to show aggression in going to the basket. If teams have to respect the drive, it will create so many more opportunities for the sharp-shooter on the perimeter.

However, are my eyes deceiving me or did Hayes just miss TWO free throws in a row?

Wow.

10:33 p.m. — Not resting on his laurels from Saturday, Tucker is having a very nice game with eight points after a very nice take.

Have to be impressed with the resiliency displayed by this team tonight after it looked like it could easily get blown out in the first half.

10:31 p.m. — Huge advantage for the Terps to be in the bonus already with 10:34 remaining. Of course, you still need to make your free throws.

Tucker misses the second, but Gregory grabs the offensive board. Mosley CONNECTS on the 3-pointer and we’re tied at 63!

10:28 p.m. — Jerai Grant fouls out with 11:18 to go. He still has time to make it home for the 11 p.m. Sportscenter.

Milbourne goes to the line and hits a pair to cut the lead to 2, the closest the Terps have been since Clemson went on a 15-0 run.

10:24 p.m. — Great second and third effort by Williams to get the tip-in. It’s a four-point game with 12 minutes to go.

Following a Clemson miss, Tucker dripples up the floor but loses it. With his great athleticism, Tucker would be such a dangerous player going to the basket—if only he had a handle.

We’ve reached the under-12 media timeout with Clemson leading Maryland, 61-57 with 11:46 remaining.

10:22 p.m. — Nice hands by Tucker force the steal, but Vasquez cannot hit the well-chronicled pull-up 3-pointer. That one would have been big.

10:20 p.m. — Noel Johnson misses the jumper, but Clemson grabs another offensive board, leading to a 3-pointer by Andre Young. Second-chance points have just killed the Terps this evening.

10:17 p.m. — Comcast has just ERUPTED after Tucker hits the triple to cut the lead to three points.

Timeout on the floor as Clemson continues to hold a much smaller lead, 56-53 with 15:14 to go.

10:16 p.m. — After Clemson comes right back with an answer, Tanner Smith fouls Jordan Williams, but the big man finishes the play.

The frosh goes to the line but cannot connect. He’s got 10 for the game.

10:15 p.m. — Mosley takes it all the way to the hole, drawing the foul on Devin Booker. Nice to see Mosley stay aggressive after the last failed attempt at the basket.

Crowd getting back into it as Mosley completes the three-point play.

10:14 p.m. — Big-time 3-pointer by Milbourne to cut the lead to seven points.

Perhaps that will get the Terps going. They need a jumpstart badly.

10:12 p.m. — Vasquez just picked up the foul on a push. Didn’t see much there, and neither did Jordan Williams who was very demonstrative in showing his displeasure.

10:09 p.m. — I’m not sure what that last take was by Mosley. Think I saw that one in a junior high game recently.

Maryland takes the timeout as Hayes gets into trouble against the Clemson D.

Not the way you wanted to start this half at all, even with Grant picking up four fouls for Clemson.

10:07 p.m. — Two turnovers in a row as Maryland is really struggling against the Clemson press.

10:06 p.m. — Four fouls on Grant. Maybe Oliver Purnell lost count.

10:05 p.m. — Great decision to go after Grant. The big man picks up his third foul in the first 10 seconds of the half.

Milbourne makes 1-of-2 from the line.

10:04 p.m. — Maryland will get the ball to begin the second half. Definitely need to start the half strongly.

10:02 p.m. — Vasquez has just two points at the break. So much for my prediction.

He looks VERY tired out there tonight after looking fatigued on Saturday.

Definitely something to watch in the second half.

9:59 p.m. — Both the Terps and Tigers shooting 50 percent from the field AND 3-point range at the break. Unfortunately, Clemson is 8-for-16 from beyond the arc while Maryland has made 3-of-6.

9:48 p.m. — We’ve reached the end of the first half with Clemson holding a 48-39 advantage over the Terps. With all of the foul trouble, things could be MUCH worse for Maryland.

9:46 p.m. — Having your top-3 rebounders on the bench with two fouls each is a very scary proposition.

If the Terps can keep the lead at single digits going into the half it has to be a huge moral victory.

9:40 p.m. — Lost in the Clemson dominance has been the struggles of Vasquez. He finally gets one to fall.

A possession later after Potter hits a triple, Padgett brings the crowd to its feet with the monster slam!

The pace has again picked up as we reach the final media timeout of the half. Clemson leads 39-33 with 3:07 remaining.

9:38 p.m. — A huge 3-ball from Hayes cuts the deficit to seven points, the closest the Terps have been in quite awhile.

It’s nice to see Maryland weather the storm after that crippling 15-0 run, but the Terps need to tread water until the intermission.

9:36 p.m. — A beautiful pass from Vasquez and an even better finish from Hayes, who’s really been finishing well at the bucket of late.

With Jordan Williams heading to the bench with his second foul, James Padgett checks into the game. That’s a MAJOR problem.

9:34 p.m. — Not that we needed to really see the numbers, but Clemson is outrebounding Maryland 14-7 and already has six offensive boards.

9:31 p.m. — Devin Booker jams in the missed 3-pointer now. Unbelievable.

We’ve reached the under-8 media timeout with Maryland trailing 33-20.

9:29 p.m. — Booker skies high for the tip-in. I’m at a loss for words right now. Clemson is just running the Terps out of the gym in every aspect of the game right now.

Following another Booker score, Mosley drives into the paint and finds Williams for the two-handed jam.

9:27 p.m. — Milbourne goes to the bench with his second foul. Not good at all.

9:26 p.m. — Milbourne with the blocked shot on the other end. The Terps need a couple more plays like that to get the crowd back in it

Other than the early scoring surge by Mosley in the first four minutes, Maryland is just searching for anything positive.

9:24 p.m. — Besides the obvious concern of a 13-point deficit, you have to be even more worried when you factor in the Clemson press. Maryland is in some serious danger right now, and it will have to handle the press to climb back into this one.

Milbourne hits a jumper right out of the timeout to end the run.

9:22 p.m. — The Terps have mercifully reached the second media timeout. It is not a pretty sight at Comcast Center right now.

Clemson leads 27-14 with 11:23 to go in the first half.

9:21 p.m. — Noel Johnson hits a triple to extend the run to 10-0.

Gregory looking like he did on Sunday with another blown layup.

Potter hits a triple and another Johnson bucket makes it a 15-0 run.

Wow.

9:18 p.m. — The Tigers have scored seven unanswered points and Gary Williams wants to talk it over.

Not sure the lineup on the floor right now will provide much of anything points-wise and as I type that, Vasquez walks to the score table.

9:17 p.m. — Dino Gregory is the first sub off the bench for the Terps. The reserve big man has played very well off the bench in recent weeks. I like seeing the Terps go with the bigger lineup against the tough tandem of Booker and Grant.

Tucker enters the game to a huge ovation. I wonder why?

9:12 p.m. — We’ve reached the first media timeout (I need to catch my breath!) with Clemson holding a slight 15-14 lead with 15:14 remaining.

9:11 p.m. — Nice fake by Mosley as he takes it to the basket and draws the foul. Hitting the two early jumpers could do WONDERS for his offensive game tonight.

He hits a pair of freebies, and he has nine points. The Baltimore sophomore is on pace for 90 points. That would probably be a record.

9:10 p.m. — Twenty points scored in the game’s first three minutes. The way this one is going, the teams will have more points at the half than they did in their first meeting (62-53 final score).

9:08 p.m. — Mosley with the first seven points of the game. I’m guessing anyone in Vegas that put money on that one is a rich man right now.

9:06 p.m. — Clemson controls the opening tip and finds Booker inside, but his shot is rejected by Milbourne. Going the other way Vasquez tries to find Milbourne, bu the Terps turn it over.

Potter hits a 3 for the first points of the game, but Mosley answers with a mid-range jumper and then hits a 3-pointer on the Terps’ next possession.

That’s quite the answer to the critics—myself included.

9:04 p.m. — We’re about ready for the tip. Clemson will wear purple with the Terps once again sporting the gold as they have throughout the conference home schedule.

9:00 p.m. — Maryland natives David Potter (Severn) and Jerai Grant (Bowie) earn some extra boos from the Comcast Crowd during starting lineups.

8:53 p.m. –Virginia Tech is just getting punked at Boston College tonight, losing 77-55 with four minutes to play. The Hokies will be a desperate team on Saturday afternoon.

I’m waiting for Rich to check in to say he called the Tech upset. Good work, buddy.

8:51 p.m. — The Terps just came back onto the floor to a video highlighting Cliff Tucker’s game-winning shot from Saturday to a huge ovation from the student section. No threat of an emotional letdown from the students thus far.

8:50 p.m. — Here are tonight’s starting lineups:

Clemson
G Demontez Stitt
G Tanner Smith
F David Potter
F Jerai Grant
F Trevor Booker

Maryland

G Eric Hayes
G Greivis Vasquez
G Sean Mosley
F Landon Milbourne
F Jordan Williams

8:48 p.m. — Duane Simpkins is the honorary captain for tonight’s game.

8:40 p.m. — Maryland will once again wear its gold uniforms for tonight’s game. The Terps are undefeated wearing them this season (6-0) and are 11-2 over the last three seasons since re-introducing them in the 2007-08 season. Thanks to Patrick Stevens (D1scourse) for passing along that note.

8:30 p.m. — Adding to the accolades, Vasquez was today named one of 30 mid-season candidates for the Naismith Trophy.

No real surprise there but just passing it along.

8:20 p.m. — Good evening from Comcast Center as we get set to watch the Clemson Tigers  (19-7, 7-5 ACC) take on the Maryland Terrapins (19-7, 9-3) at 9:00 p.m.

The teams met back on Jan. 31 when it was Clemson besting the Terps at Littlejohn Coliseum, 62-53. Maryland was haunted by a season-high 26 turnovers and was outscored 12-3 in the final 5:36 of the game after briefly taking a second-half lead. Despite an off night for Trevor Booker, Jerai Grant was the star for the Tigers, scoring 18 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in the victory.

Both teams currently enjoy three-game winning streaks with Maryland holding a two-game lead over the Tigers in the conference. Taking a closer look at the teams’ respective NCAA tournament resumes, Clemson and Maryland are neck-and-neck in the RPI (33rd and 34th respectively), so tonight’s game is pivotal not only in the ACC standings but also for jockeying for position in the eyes of the selection committee.

Clemson is of course led by Booker, averaging 15.3 points and 8.2 rebounds a contest, and Demontez Stitt (10.6 ppg) who did not play in the team’s first meeting. Stitt figures to provide a much tougher test to the Maryland backcourt than anyone the Terps encountered at Clemson.

The Terps will try to guard against an emotional letdown following Saturday’s incredible 76-74 win over Georgia Tech. Rumor has it that Cliff Tucker hasn’t slept in 72 hours while trying to keep up with his Facebook new friend requests. I kid, I kid.

These next three games (at Virginia Tech on Saturday, Duke next Wednesday) will determine a great deal in figuring out exactly where Maryland stands in both the ACC and NCAA tournaments. Standing alone in second place, the Terps are in great shape for a first-round bye in Greensboro but clearly need to hold serve at Comcast Center tonight before a tough road test in Blacksburg on Saturday.

Another story to watch during tonight’s game is the continued climb of Greivis Vasquez on the Maryland career scoring list. Currently standing at 2,013 points, the senior needs just two points to match John Lucas and four points to equal Adrian Branch. Needless to say, barring a freak injury or MAJOR struggles, Vasquez will be sitting fourth on the list behind Juan Dixon, Len Bias, and Albert King before the intermission. Impressive company to say the very least.

Tonight’s game will be televised on Raycom (WNUV-TV 54 in Baltimore) with Tim Brant and Dan Bonner on the call.

As always, stay right here at WNST.net throughout the game and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) where you’ll hear thoughts from Glenn Clark and other WNST personalities.

Tonight’s game

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