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Maryland Looks For First Road Win Tuesday at Clemson

Posted on 07 February 2012 by WNST Staff

Maryland (13-9, 3-5) at Clemson (11-11, 3-5)
Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012 | 7 p.m. | Clemson, S.C. (Littlejohn Coliseum)
ESPNU | Terrapin Sports Radio Network

  • Maryland travels to Clemson on Tuesday night for a nationally televised contest to be shown on ESPNU. The Terrapins and Tigers are in a tie for seventh place in the Atlantic Coast Conference with 3-5 records. The Terps come into the game having dropped five of their last six, with four of those losses coming to teams receiving votes in the most recent polls. Clemson has lost five of its last seven, with four of those losses having come by four points or less. This meeting is the only one of the regular season between the Terps and Tigers.
  • Senior guard Sean Mosley is one point away from becoming the 50th Terrapin in history with 1,000 career points. He is the first to reach the plateau since Landon Milbourne in the 2009-10 season, when Milbourne and Eric Hayes each reached the mark. Mosley will be one of eight players in Maryland history to combine 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 200 assists and 120 steals, with the last being current New Orleans Hornets guard Greivis Vasquez.
  • Sophomore guard Terrell Stoglin is working on a string of 20 straight games with double figures in points, and a three-game string of games with at least 20 points. He’s hit the 20-point mark 16 times this season, with Maryland being 10-6 in those games. Stoglin is closing on 100 3-pointers in his two-year career and could become only the 16th Terrapin in history with triple figures in “triples.”
  • The Terrapins have six games on the road in the month of February, with the matchup Tuesday at Clemson being the second of those six. Maryland lost at Miami in double overtime on 2/1. The Terrapins are 0-4 this season in road games. Dating back to last season, the Terps have dropped eight straight on the road, with their last victory being a 74-63 win at Georgia Tech on 1/30/2011.

    Scouting the Tigers

  • Clemson is 11-11 and 3-5 in the ACC after a pair of close conference losses last week… The Tigers fell at No.16 Virginia 65-61 last Tuesday and at Virginia Tech 67-65 on Saturday.
  • Senior guard Andre Young leads the Tigers in scoring with a 13.6 points-per-game average, and ranks second in the ACC with a 3.1 assist-to-turnover ratio… Young is second on the team in assists (3.4 apg), with Tanner Smith leading the team and tying for third in the conference with 4.0 apg… Smith, a senior guard, is also contributing 11.1 ppg.
  • Devin Booker is the third Tiger scoring in double figures, coming into Tuesday’s game averaging 10.9 ppg… Booker is shooting 47.9 percent from the field and leads Clemson with 6.7 rebounds per game…
  • Freshman forward KJ McDaniels joins Booker in the frontcourt and is coming off a 14-point, 5-rebound, 5-block performance against Virginia Tech.

    Upcoming

    Maryland has back-to-back road games at Clemson (2/7) and Duke (2/11) before coming home to face Boston College on 2/16… Five of Maryland’s final eight games are on the road…

    Maryland has four games remaining against nationally ranked teams, including the 2/11 matchup with Duke, two games (away on 2/18 and home on 3/4) against Virginia and a 2/29 return match at North Carolina.

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Lights go out on Terps in 80-62 loss to Duke

Posted on 03 February 2011 by Luke Jones

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — As media waited for Gary Williams’ post-game press conference, the lights went out in the auxiliary gymnasium where the Maryland coach speaks to reporters after games.

It was an appropriate ending to a disappointing night for the Terps in an 80-62 loss to No. 5 Duke, a game in which Maryland tried to climb back in it at several points behind an electric atmosphere at Comcast Center.

Poor shooting, the surrendering of second-chance baskets, and lackadaisical perimeter defense spelled out what anyone who watched Wednesday night’s game could plainly see.

“It’s a team thing,” said Williams, questioning his team’s energy level much like he did after a home loss to Virginia Tech two weeks ago. “You have to be ready to play. You have to believe that you can win that game. That’s what we have to work on.”

To beat Duke, Maryland (14-8, 4-4 ACC) needed to play a near-perfect game to compensate for their deficiencies on the perimeter, using its size and playing tough defense (ranked ninth in the nation in opponent field-goal percentage entering Wednesday night’s game) to knock off the more-talented Blue Devils.

The Terps did neither as Duke (20-2, 7-1 ACC) scored 18 second-chance points and went 10-for-23 from 3-point range. Maryland was outrebounded 34 to 31 and allowed Duke to shoot 52.6 percent from the field.

Even when given opportunities to take control in the first half as three Duke starters battled foul trouble, Maryland fell behind by 15 points before a late run cut the deficit to seven at the half.

Offensively, Jordan Williams again led the way with 20 points and 10 rebounds despite being swarmed in the paint, as the Duke defense had no reason to respect any other options offensively for the Terps. Maryland shot just 40 percent from the field and went 2-for-9 from beyond the arc.

The Terps cut the Duke lead to five with 9:20 remaining, but the Blue Devils responded with a 10-3 run to push the deficit to 66-54 with 5:42 to play. Maryland would not challenge again.

“It’s hard coming back,” Williams said. “You have to really dig down deep against a good team, and then when you do, to get over the top that’s when it gets tough. I don’t know what happened to tell you the truth. I’d have to look at that and see exactly what happened.”

The Terps coach refrained from expressing what’s become painfully obvious about this team 22 games into the season.

Against the stiffest competition, Maryland doesn’t have enough to complement the fantastic play of Williams.

Not nearly enough.

Yes, Cliff Tucker has had his moments — he scored only seven points in Wednesday’s loss — in an up-and-down career as a role player. Adrian Bowie has played well since sliding to the off-guard position, chipping in 11 points against the Blue Devils, but lacks the size and perimeter game to be a consistent threat night in and night out.

And freshmen point guards Terrell Stoglin and Pe’Shon Howard have shown enough promise that they can be effective backcourt players in the ACC — one day.

But when the chips are down against the better teams, Williams is the only man the Terps can count on, a difficult proposition with a player who doesn’t handle the ball in the guard-dependent world of college basketball.

In contrast, Duke’s senior leadership — and overall ability — prevented the Terps from really challenging despite cutting the lead to five in the second half. Forward Kyle Singler had 22 points — 13 in the second half — while guard Nolan Smith scored 13 points after halftime to finish with 21. Even underclassmen Andre Dawkins (three 3-pointers) and Seth Curry (two triples) hit shots at opportune times for the Blue Devils, who avenged an embarrassing 15-point loss at St. John’s on Sunday in an emphatic way.

Maryland simply lacks the guard play necessary to beat good teams, at least with any kind of consistency. While it’s easy to say the Terps should give the ball to Williams every time down the floor, you need the players to get him the ball in the optimum position to score. And it certainly doesn’t help that defenses can collapse the lane at will, with no real trepidation of being burned by the perimeter shot.

“I felt like they couldn’t stop me without fouling me,” the Maryland sophomore said. “That’s why I tried to get the ball inside more. They did a good job of getting guys on me. We need to hit shots. I missed a couple of shots towards the end that I normally make. It’s an all-around team effort.”

An all-around team effort that has now produced the Terps’ two biggest margins of defeat (a 17-point defeat to Virginia Tech on January 20 being the second worst) in the nine-year history of Comcast Center.

To be fair, no one expected the Terps to be as good as they were last season after the departure of Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes, and Landon Milbourne, but two blowout ACC losses — at home — are tough pills to swallow.

Despite the disappointment of Wednesday’s loss to Duke, the Terps still have plenty to play for in terms of their postseason hopes. Whether they’re good enough is the real question as they continue deeper into February.

“We have to win games, that’s the bottom line,” Jordan Williams said. “We don’t have a quality win under our belt. We beat some tough teams, but we don’t have a win against a ranked opponent. … We just have to keep moving forward and trying to improve.”

The Terps should find few problems in their next two games as they host Wake Forest Saturday and Longwood next Wednesday night in what amounts to a pseudo bye week before back-to-back road games at Boston College and Virginia Tech in mid-February, critical contests indetermining their postseason fate. Gary Williams will undoubtedly use the next week to challenge his players’ intestinal fortitude and prepare them for the second half of the conference schedule.

Finding alternative options to Jordan Williams as well as the consistent, 40-minute effort will be the continued quest in determining the Terps’ destiny over the regular season’s final month.

“There comes a point in the season where you either do it or you don’t do it,” Gary Williams said. “There’s no magic answers to those situations. You have to get it done.”

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Terps beat Colgate in 95-40 laugher as sobering challenge awaits in Durham

Posted on 05 January 2011 by Luke Jones

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The game wasn’t over at tip-off, but it was pretty darn close.

After freshman Pat Moore’s opening bucket gave Colgate a 2-0 lead, Maryland’s 22-0 run led to a dominating 95-40 win at Comcast Center on Tuesday night. With the easy victory, the Terps closed out a month-long homestand with a three-game winning streak, albeit against less-than-stellar competition.

Forward Jordan Williams earned his eight straight double-double and 12th of the season, continuing his early-season dominance with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Senior Adrian Bowie led all scorers with 16 points, continuing his strong play since being shifted to the off-guard position late last month.

Earning his first career start at point guard, Terrell Stoglin added 12 points and four assists as coach Gary Williams continues to search for the right answer in the backcourt. Fellow freshman Pe’Shon Howard had started at the point the last two games following the loss to Boston College last month.

“I think [Stoglin] did a great job,” said Dino Gregory, one of five Terps scoring in double figures with 12 points. “He brought a lot of energy to the game. He brought a lot of defensive energy, a lot of offensive energy. For the first time — a freshman starting like that — I think he did a very good job.”

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A runaway win against the 1-12 Raiders — alley oops and all — won’t teach us much of anything about the unsettled backcourt with a sobering task awaiting Maryland on Sunday:

Cameron Indoor Stadium and No. 1 Duke.

If a road trip to take on the top-ranked team in the country isn’t intimidating enough, remember the Terps have lost by a combined 62 points in their last two trips to Durham, N.C.

And that was with Greivis Vasquez and Eric Hayes in the backcourt.

Yes, the unproven Terps will need to play a near-perfect basketball game on Sunday to have a chance against undefeated Duke, the only ACC team currently ranked in the top 25. Despite playing competitively with ranked teams such as Pittsburgh and Illinois, Maryland has been undone by poor free-throw shooting, occasional lapses in perimeter defense, and inconsistent play in the backcourt at critical times this season.

It’s a scary formula that could lead to the Terps being on the opposite end of what fans witnessed against overwhelmed Colgate.

Well, maybe not that bad, but you get the point.

However unlikely a win might be, the competitiveness in Maryland’s four losses —  by a combined 20 points — is exactly what Gary Williams is looking for against his biggest rival.

“In terms of how we want to play, I don’t think you can back off,” Williams said. “You’re going to have to bring your game, and if it’s good enough, fine. If it’s not, at least you went down playing the way you [want to] play, so I’ve always believed in that. And hopefully we’ll prove that on the floor.”

If Maryland is to have a chance against Duke — whose last loss came in College Park on March 3, 2010 — the freshmen tandem of Stoglin and Howard will need to play beyond their years in arguably the most hostile environment in college basketball. Both have shown flashes — Howard’s game-winning shot against Charleston and Stoglin’s showy passing and scoring — but have been just as frustrating to watch at other times, looking like the inexperienced players that they are.

A freshman point guard going into Cameron has won before, but it takes a special performance that might be too much to ask of Stoglin or Howard. Just four years ago, it was a freshman Vasquez who narrowly missed a triple-double with 13 points, 12 assists, and nine rebounds in an 85-77 upset on Feb. 28, 2007.

However, the three subsequent years produced no more Cameron victories for one of the greatest players in school history, proving just how difficult it is to beat Mike Krzyzewski and the Devils on their home floor.

“It’s going to be a war,” said senior Adrian Bowie, who will have his final opportunity for a win in Durham. “Cameron Indoor Stadium is not for the weak. It’s going to be a war, and everybody needs to be ready to play.”

A war, indeed. One this Maryland team will have a tough time surviving.

NOTES: The 55-point win was Maryland’s largest margin of victory this season as 11 of the 12 Terps who played managed to score in the game. … Williams’ eighth straight double-double moved him past Joe Smith’s streak of seven set in 1995. He is only four away from tying Len Elmore’s school record of 12 straight in the 1973-74 season. The sophomore also had three blocks. … Over the last eight games, Bowie has 35 assists and only 11 turnovers. … The Terps matched a season high with nine 3-pointers made. … Colgate made its first shot of the game before missing the next 15. … Maryland had six runs of at least 6-0 in the game. … Maryland’s bench scored 37 points, only four shy of the Raiders’ 40 total for the game.

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Questions abundant as Terps tip off practice at Maryland Madness

Posted on 15 October 2010 by Luke Jones

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The lavish, smoky spectacle of Maryland Madness tipping off is always full of surprises, from the over-the-top dancing to the unpredictable entrance of coach Gary Williams, this year as a fighter pilot right out of “Top Gun.”

The event always provides conflicting feelings of optimism and uncertainty. The distinct absence of departing seniors and the premiere of freshman faces is an annual ritual in mid-October, but through all the smoke and pyro, Williams faces a much thicker cloud of questions this season.

The graduation of ACC Player of the Year Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes, and Landon Milbourne leaves behind a 43.6-point hole in the offense and an even bigger void in leadership after guiding the Terps to a share of the ACC regular season championship. You just don’t replace one of the more decorated senior classes in the Gary Williams era without significant doubt and tempered expectations.

“What we lose [in the three seniors] is guys who know how to play,” said Williams, beginning his 22nd season at Maryland.

Of course, Williams is not starting from scratch, returning five players who averaged more than 14 minutes per game a year ago. Junior guard Sean Mosley (10.1 points per game) and sophomore big man Jordan Williams (9.6) — the only returning starters — will feel the most pressure to help replace the 55 percent of the scoring pie vacated by the graduated trio.

Mosley has shown the ability to score at times, like in his 26-point effort in a loss to Villanova last December, but the Baltimore native must show more consistency from the perimeter and better ability to finish near the hoop to take his game to the next level where the Terps need it to be.

Williams, on the other hand, appears destined for stardom after a wildly successful freshman campaign in which he averaged nearly a double-double and often looked like one of the most dominant big men in the ACC. The 6-foot-10 center looks leaner and more muscular after providing a powerful presence in the paint as a frosh.

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In terms of leadership, Maryland will look to three seniors who have spent their entire careers as role players. Adrian Bowie, Cliff Tucker, and Dino Gregory have all had their moments in College Park, but none have provided enough consistency to instill confidence that they can fill the shoes left behind by Vasquez, Hayes, and Milbourne.

Among the three seniors, the wildcard who could potentially see the biggest scoring increase is Tucker (5.7 per game as a junior), an enigmatic player who admittedly has spent more time in Williams’ doghouse than in the spotlight of the hardwood. Of course, Tucker has had his moments of brilliance, with his 22-point performance in an overtime win over North Carolina two years ago and his electrifying game-winning three-pointer to top Georgia Tech last season, one of the most exciting moments in the history of the Comcast Center.

“That’s helped me out a lot,” said Tucker about his heroic shot in the 76-74 win on Feb. 20. “It gives coach [Williams] more confidence in me.”

While Maryland will initially lean on its experienced players to start the season, Maryland Madness and the start of fall practice is largely about the newcomers, which include five freshmen and a junior-college transfer.

Guard Pe’Shon Howard has made the bold decision to wear Vasquez’s No. 21 jersey and has already earned praise for the heart with which he plays. Early signs point to him being an emotional player and potential fan-favorite, but will that translate to freshman success?

Mychal Parker’s athleticism and Terrell Stoglin’s quickness appear promising, but how will they translate to the college game?

Can 6-foot-9 forward Ashton Pankey provide help in the frontcourt despite spending the spring and summer recovering from a stress fracture in his left leg?

Is Haukur Palsson — a forward from Iceland — an ACC-caliber player?

All remain question marks with answers we won’t begin to uncover for several more weeks. However,  Williams is eager to unwrap his new presents when practice officially begins on Saturday.

Within the group, perhaps there is a Joe Smith, Juan Dixon, or Vasquez who will shine from Day 1 and pacify concerns over the loss of so much scoring and leadership.

“That’s what’s fun about [starting practice Saturday],” Williams said. “You’ll get some surprises. … You want to stay open to everybody — no preconceived notions.”

Notes: Juan Dixon, Johnny Rhodes, Byron Mouton, Rodney Elliott, and Dave Neal were among the notables present for the annual alumni game. Dixon hit a myriad of three-pointers in his return to College Park. … The basketball team sported their new black uniforms while performing the annual team dance for Maryland Madness. However, it is unknown whether the Terps plan to wear the uniforms due to their lack of success wearing black uniforms in recent seasons. The basketball team’s uniforms have been tweaked this season and are still supplied by Under Armour.

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Monday's PM Crab Cakes and Light Beer

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Monday’s PM Crab Cakes and Light Beer

Posted on 22 March 2010 by Chris Bonetti

The Swinging Bunt

Terps terminated at the buzzer.  Twenty-four hours later… and still, wow.  Yesterday’s Maryland-Michigan State contest was truly a great game.  It featured two perennially successful programs; the regular season co-ACC Champs against the regular season co-Big Ten Champs, both armed with rabid fan-bases and, oh by the way, national title winning coaches.  Could we really have expected any less?  Expectations are a funny thing, aren’t they?  To be competitive in the NCAA Tournament and make ‘a run,’ different guys need to step up at different times.  But, before the moment comes, you never know who it’ll be.  It could be those you expect, like one of three seniors trying to will their team back from behind to play another day, like Maryland’s Eric Hayes, Landon Milbourne and most particularly Greivis Vasquez… or it could be a guard who himself never would’ve expected the ball to be in his hands for the big shot, like MSU’s Kori Lucious.  Sunday afternoon in Spokane, a spectacular second half was played between two teams ready for their respective moments, and thrilling drama ensued.  In the final four minutes, Maryland’s full court trap was carried out to a textbook equivalent level and Vasquez, playing his last game in a Maryland uniform, was simply incredible.  The only problem was that injured All-Big Ten point guard Kailin Lucas’ backup, Korie Lucious, a sophomore from Milwaukee, had the final opportunity to step up… and he did… as time inevitably expired on Maryland’s 2009-2010 season. Tournament heroes can emerge from anywhere, even Tom Izzo’s bench.  And who could’ve expected that?

Sweet Sixteen.  So how about that?  Absolutely phenomenal opening weekend, huh?  … And please, I really don’t care about how bad your bracket is, everyone’s is down the toilet; earlier today Ryan the Intern told me I stayed out of the “bottom quarter” and that I’m only in the “bottom third” of our WNST In-House Pool.  Yikes.  But anyways, it all started Thursday afternoon with the first three tips of the tourney – ODU over Notre Dame by a point, Richmond taking ‘Nova to OT, and Florida bowing to BYU in double-OT  – and the action hasn’t disappointed anyone since (except for you Terps fans, I guess).  When teams with double-digit little numbers next to their name, and we’ll throw No. 9 Northern Iowa in there too, move on to the Sweet 16 everyone goes nuts; we all love upsets, cheering on the ‘little engines that actually DO.’  That said, I tip my hat – figuratively, of course, I’m not actually wearing a hat – to you: Horizon League, Ivy League, Missouri Valley Conference, and West Coast Conference.  You are a collective 9-1 in this year’s Big Dance.  And that’s pretty awesome.

Tiger speaks to ESPN‘s Tom Rinaldi and the Golf Channel‘s Kelly Tilghman.  A few highlights from Ms. Tilghman’s interview…  On returning April 8th to the Masters: “I’m excited to get back in the game.  I miss playing.  I miss competing, … I’m starting to get my feel back.”  On therapy: “As far as my schedule going forward I don’t know what I’m going to do… I don’t know how it will affect my future.  What I know I have to do is become a better person and that starts with going to more treatment.” On his crash Thanksgiving night and how he crashed his car: “It’s all in the police report… I wasn’t going very fast, but ahhh… unfortunately I hit a few things.” On his father’s death and absence through his time of infidelities: “He’d be very disappointed in me, we’d have numerous long talks… I miss his guidance, I know he’d be able to straighten me up.”  On what he wants his legacy to be: “Just like I ever wanted before, golf is my vehicle to help other people.  My dad always said… ‘in order to help other people, you must first learn to help yourself.  And going into the treatment center for 45 days I’ve learned a lot.   I’ve learned how to help myself and that’s how I can help other people in the future.”

Scanning the Blogosphere

WNST.net:  Glenn Clark says, “Ravens agree to a 2-year deal with Cory Redding.”

WNST.net: Rex Snider says, “What a Weekend.”

FanHouse: Jay Mariotti says, “Tiger Fooling Nobody with 5-Minute Blips.”

Big League Stew: “Done Deal: Joe Mauer signs with Twins for $184 million.”

The Big Lead: They have their 64-subject, “2010 Culture Tournament” almost down to the Sweet 16.

Pro Football Talk:  NFL Draft hopefuls C.J. Spiller and Arrelius Benn may not be ‘smarter than a 5th grader.’

Peter King, SI: “MMQB” Mike Tomlin: “I’m highly concerned for our franchise and for Ben personally.”

SI.com: In photos, “Baseball’s 100 Million Men.”

With Leather:  Sorry Bill Self and all you ‘Rock Chalkers’, “Toto, we’re not in the Tourney anymore!”

SI.com: Extra Mustard alerts us that Pete Rose will host WWE’s Monday Night Raw this evening.

Video of the Day

Tim Brando: “Draymond Green finds Lucious, for the win… He got it!  Spartans move to the Sweet 16!”

Tweets of the Day

— WNST Ravens Analyst, Glenn Clark after he spoke with new Ravens DL Cory Redding – WNST

#Redding: “Love the program, love the facility, love the organization. Respect the men who play there.” #Ravens

— Baltimore Ravens Head Coach, John Harbaugh on the signing of Cory ReddingWNST

#Harbaugh “Sideline to sideline type of player. He’s excited to be a Raven. He fits us. Plays with a high motor, plays with great energy.”

— The Nasty One, Nestor Aparicio, from the NFL Owners’ Meetings in Orlando – WNST

Nestor: #Ravens denied compensatory picks in April draft. Guess when you don’t lose, you don’t gain?

— The Nasty One, Nestor Aparicio, from the NFL Owners’ Meetings in Orlando – WNST

Nestor: No word on #Ravens potential Thanksgiving nite game w/#Jets expected today. #NFL will leak nat’l game sked Tuesday here in #Orlando

— WNST NFL Correspondent, Chris Pika – BlogAndTackle

One anniversary of note today: 1989 – Pete Rozelle announced his retirement as #NFL commissioner after 29 years (via SI.com).

— ESPN NFL Insider, Adam Schefter – Adam_Schefter

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger: “At the appropriate time, I’ll be meeting with Ben.”

–ESPN AFC North Blogger, James Walker – espnafc_north

Last year Baltimore lost starters such as LB Bart Scott, S Jim Leonhard and C Jason Brown but got zero comp picks in return. Interesting.

— TheBigLead.com Editor, Jason McIntyre – TheBigLead

bad news, Gus Johnson fans: He’s going to have two more blowouts thursday: Syracuse>Butler, KState>Xavier. http://is.gd/aTpum

The Day’s Final Thought

So just who has been the 2010 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player thus far through the opening weekend of play?

I have three nominations:  Ali Farokhmanesh, G. Northern Iowa; Omar Samhan, C. Saint Mary’s; and Ryan Wittman, G. Cornell.

Ali Farokhmanesh had such a good weekend in Oklahoma City he went from someone I’ve never heard of before to someone whose last name I don’t need to double-check for spelling anymore.  Thursday night with the game tied 65-65 against UNLV, he nailed the game winning 3-ball from where seemed like Stillwater with 5-seconds left to knockout the Runnin’ Rebs… and that wasn’t even his most dramatic dagger of the weekend.  His ‘you take it, you better make it’ three pointer Saturday evening to push UNI up 4 over Kansas with 34 seconds to play sent shock-waves through college hoops and eliminated the No. 1 overall seeded Jayhawks.  In his pair of games, Farokhmanesh was in total 9-19 from beyond the arc and tallied 33 points in Northern Iowa’s unlikely run to the round of 16.

Omar Samhan from Saint Mary’s is not Blake Griffin, 2009 College Basketball Player of the Year.  However, if you just look at Samhan’s numbers from victories over No. 7 Richmond and No. 2 Villanova, you’d think he’s every bit the All-American Griffin was.  The brash 6’11, 260 pounder rang up 29 points and 12 rebounds in the first round and 32 points, on 13-16 shooting, and 7 boards against in the second.  His domination of Jay Wright’s Wildcat big men prompted Samhan to question why his opposition didn’t double team him, he said in the post-game presser, “I get it, I’m a slow white guy, and I’m overweight. So maybe you don’t respect me because I have good numbers. But after I kill you the first half, what are you waiting for. I don’t know what he [Coach Wright] wanted. Did he want me to have 40?”  I respect you Omar.

And last, but certainly not least,

I’ll bet Ryan Wittman knew a week ago his team would be headed to Syracuse for the East Regional Semifinals.  C’mon, he’s a smart guy; he goes to Cornell.  Wittman’s also a really good basketball player, surrounded at all times on the floor by four other really good basketball players.  Getting to see Cornell play against Temple and Wisconsin over the weekend you really begin to recognize why the 3-time defending Ivy League champs have been considered a threat since November.  Ryan Wittman is dangerous.  He’s a true triple-threat player playing in a system that complements his repertoire and with teammates who feed off his versatility.  He’s averaged 22 ppg in 36 mpg so far on basketball’s biggest stage.  Cornell and Ryan Wittman will have to throw everything they have at new field-favorite Kentucky in the next round… SAT scores and all.

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Live from College Park: No. 4 Maryland to play Houston in brutal Midwest

Posted on 14 March 2010 by Luke Jones

9:15 p.m. — The Terps and Cougars have played each other twice, including once in the NCAA tournament.

Top-seeded Houston defeated No. 8 Maryland in the second round of the 1983 tournament, 60-50. Of course, that was the Phi Slama Jama team that included Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler—and lost to N.C. State in the championship game in one of the biggest upsets in college basketball history.

In the schools’ first ever meeting, Maryland won 69-68 in the Sugar Bowl Tournament in 1965.

Again, the winner of the Maryland-Houston game will face either fifth-seeded Michigan State or No. 12 seed New Mexico State on Sunday in Spokane.

The Midwest Regional semifinals will be played the next weekend in St. Louis.

The postseason appearance will be the 17th straight for the Terrapins. Maryland has won nine straight NCAA first-round games, dating back to 1998 and has reached at least the Sweet 16 in four of its last nine NCAA appearances.

The Terps have now reached the NCAA tournament in three of the last four years after failing to earn bids in 2005, 2006, and 2008.

9:00 p.m. — This marks the fourth time the Terps have been designated as a No. 4 seed, the others coming in 1998 (losing in the Sweet 16 to Arizona), 2004 (falling in the second round to Syracuse), and most recently in 2007 (a second-round casualty to Butler).

Maryland will try to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2003.

8:55 p.m. — Williams clearly had kind words for Houston head coach Tom Penders who became the eighth coach to take four different schools to the NCAA tournament. Other notable names on the list include Rick Pitino, Lon Kruger, and Eddie Sutton.

Penders also took George Washington, Rhode Island, and Texas to the Big Dance.

8:30 p.m. — Gary Williams also spoke to the media following the news of Maryland being selected as the No. 4 seed in the Midwest.

Opening Statement:
“To make the NCAA tournament is always a great honor. It’s a great feeling as a team because you know you’ve worked very hard to get to the tournament. To be the 4th seed, which means the selection committee felt you were one of the top 16 teams in the country. That is something our players should be proud of.”

“We’re looking forward to playing, and it’s a great opportunity for us.”

On what he said to the team after learning their fate:
“I told them I was proud of the team for what they did. It’s so difficult now, as you see the teams that didn’t make the tournament. To make the tournament is significant.”

On his reaction compared to the seniors’ subdued reaction:
“It’s never subdued for me. . .In my first year (1989-90) during the week of the ACC tournament, we found out we couldn’t go to the NCAA tournament for the next two years and couldn’t play on live television [due to NCAA sanctions], so I’ve never forgotten that.”

On Tom Penders and Houston:
“I really haven’t seen them, but obviously we do a good job of taping games during the year. We have plenty of tape, and we’ll get more tape. Tom Penders has done a good job wherever he’s been. Obviously, he knows how to coach.”

Williams also explained his assistant coaches will focus on preparation for potential second-round match-ups with Michigan State or New Mexico State. He will be responsible for preparing for Houston.

On whether he’s been to Spokane:
“Yes, I have. Mark Few has a big Coaches vs. Cancer dinner. I was out there one year. It’s a beautiful place.”

On going out west:
“In 2001, we got to the Final Four going out west. The tough thing is for the parents of the players. It’s very expensive to get out there on short notice, and our fans. In terms of playing, we’ve done well out west before, so we’ll look forward to it.”

On the selection committee’s job:
“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever seen to do.”

On Virginia Tech being left out of the field of 65:
“Yeah, I was surprised. I don’t know the reason. I thought Virginia Tech was a good basketball team, but I’m not in [the room with the selection committee].”

Williams also attributed the struggles of defending champion North Carolina as the main reason for the perception of the ACC being a “down” conference. “That was the picture that was created.”

On Maryland’s chances in the tournament:
“Once you get into the tournament, those seeds don’t mean anything.”

“You go in there with a positive attitude, and [the momentum can] snowball very quickly.”

On where this rates compared to Maryland’s bids earlier in his career:
“As you get older, you appreciate it more. You don’t worry about where you’re being sent.”

On Houston star Aubrey Coleman:
“You get 25 [points] per game, you’re doing something right.”

8:05 p.m. — Here are some highlights from this evening’s press conference. Again, check out the WNST.net Audio Vault for the full press conference.

Greivis Vasquez

On whether there was a difference between this year and last year on Selection Sunday:
“Absolutely. It was fun. You don’t have to worry if you’re in or not.”

On this being his last trip to the Dance:
“It’s time to go. We want these types of games. We want to be on this stage. It’s going to be fun. It’s not going to be easy. We’re going to work extremely hard this week and get ready to win games.”

On moving on from the Georgia Tech game:
“In order for us to be a good team, we have to have a short memory.”

Eric Hayes

On the team’s demeanor during the Selection Show:
“We were definitely more relaxed this year. Last year, we were jumping up and down. We all know we were getting in; just anxious to see where and what seed we got.”

On the aftermath of losing in Greensboro:
“I’m sure we’ve probably already forgotten about Georgia Tech already. Seeing how we’re the 4th seed, one of the top 16 seeds, is a pretty good honor for us.”

On whether he’s ever been to Spokane:
“Never been. This is probably the only situation where I’d ever go also.” (This caused the media room to erupt in laughter. That Hayes is quite the dry comedian.)

Landon Milbourne

On the Terps’ familiarity with Houston:
“We don’t know much. Coach explained a little bit about their coach [Tom Penders], saying that they might shoot a lot of threes and play on the perimeter well. We just have to prepare like we normally do and work on our perimeter defense.”

On the need to start strongly:
“The focus has got to be there. Us three seniors have to take a big pride in that, coming on the court when the jump ball goes up everybody’s on the same page.”

7:50 p.m. — Go to the WNST.net Audio Vault right now to hear from Gary Williams, Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes, and Landon Milbourne. Hayes also checked in with Glenn Clark and Chris Bonetti during this evening’s live tournament selection show. It’s all there, so check it out now.

6:38 p.m. — All four regions have been revealed. The ACC sends six teams to the tournament with Duke (1), Maryland (4), Clemson (7), Florida State (9), Wake Forest (9), and Georgia Tech (10).

The Hokies can thank a MISERABLE out of conference SOS for being left out of the field of 65.

6:31 p.m. — Here is my quick reaction to Maryland being a No. 4 seed.

Clearly, a 13-3 record and share of the ACC regular season championship looked very impressive in the eyes of the committee. The quarterfinal loss to Georgia Tech could not have hurt the Terrapins too much in terms of seeding.

That being said, the Midwest is an absolutely BRUTAL region. Kansas, as the No. 1 seed overall, is rewarded by being placed in a region with the likes of Ohio State, Northern Iowa, Michigan State, Tennessee, Georgetown, Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, and Maryland.

Easily the toughest region in the field.

WOW.

6:27 p.m. — Morgan State is the No. 15 seed in the East and will take on No. 2 West Virginia.

6:20 p.m. — As the first two regions are in, it sure looks like Virginia Tech is going to be on the outside looking in. Minnesota and Florida were both on the bubble and received bids in the West region.

6:13 p.m. — Maryland will play as the No. 4 seed in the Midwest, taking on No. 13 Houston in Spokane on Friday. If the Terps can move to the second round, they will take on the winner of No. 5 Michigan State and No. 12 New Mexico State.

6:03 p.m. — Kentucky, Duke, and Syracuse are the other three. Very surprising to see Duke move ahead of Syracuse. I suppose the injury to Arinze Onuaku—and the loss in the quarterfinal—moved Syracuse down a spot.

6:01 p.m. — Kansas is the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament. No shock there.

_____________________________________

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Happy Selection Sunday from College Park as we’ve finally reached the day everyone has been waiting for over the last four months.

Most pundits have played the Terrapins in the No. 4 to 6 range for their tournament seeing, but all of the speculation will be over soon, and we’ll see where Maryland will travel later this week for the first round of the NCAA tournament.

We’ll have reaction from Gary Williams and the Terrapins immediately after they learn their NCAA fate. It’s certainly nice to be comfortably awaiting the news this season after sweating out the verdict over the past few seasons.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) and tune to AM 1570 WNST or live on the web at WNST.net as Glenn Clark and Chris Bonetti are currently hosting WNST’s tournament selection show. Coverage will run until 8 p.m.

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Following reality check in Greensboro, Terps await NCAA fortune

Posted on 13 March 2010 by Luke Jones

A share of the conference regular season title and a seven-game winning streak will make any team feel good about itself.

Coach Gary Williams, senior leader Greivis Vasquez, and the rest of the Maryland Terrapins were pleased with how they were playing and had every right to be.

Even the program’s biggest detractors from the last several years were acknowledging the possibility of an ACC tournament championship and a No. 3 seed or—if the right teams had lost over the weekend—the outside chance of grabbing the final No. 2 when the NCAA tournament brackets would be revealed Sunday evening.

A bye in the opening round of the ACC tournament appeared to be the perfect elixir for the Terps’ fatigue—both mental and physical—that was evident when they struggled past Virginia in the regular season finale last Saturday. Five days off was exactly what Maryland needed—or so we thought.

Whether it was a lack of emotion, losing its rhythm after a five-day layoff, a bad quarterfinal draw, or—most likely—a combination of the three, Maryland was humbled in a 69-64 defeat to Georgia Tech on Friday night, particularly in the first half when the Terps fell behind by 19 points and shot only 29 percent from the field.

To be turned away so quickly in Greensboro was a reality check that the Terps are not the type of team that can simply turn it on at a moment’s notice and overcome a significant deficit, even after having nine opportunities to tie or take the lead in the second half. Very few teams are able to do it, and the Terps fell short despite an admirable second-half effort.

But let’s be clear, the end result against Georgia Tech was disappointing, but hardly surprising. The Terps have struggled all season against teams with length inside, and the Yellow Jackets are as tough in the frontcourt as anyone in the country.

Friday’s loss may have been a missed opportunity to improve its seeding, but the loss should not discredit Maryland’s incredible season nor soil its odds for a solid run in the Big Dance.

Nevertheless, the talk of this being a “good” loss is simply that—talk. Vasquez and fellow seniors Eric Hayes and Landon Milbourne talked for weeks about the goal of winning the ACC tournament. Regardless of the Terps’ listless first-half effort, the tournament championship was far more important to these players than most think. The defeat was a painful one in the seniors’ last experience competing in the ACC.

The idea that losing a game early in the weekend will help spark a longer run in the NCAA tournament sounds great on paper for a team with serious NCAA championship aspirations—the 2002 Terps for example—but Maryland’s tournament fate will depend far more on the match-ups chosen by the selection committee than an early exit from the ACC tournament.

You probably wouldn’t expect the Terps to face a team with Georgia Tech’s size in the opening round next week, but if they do, they’ll struggle. And if Maryland manages to avoid teams with imposing frontcourts in the opening weekend, we’ll likely see the Terps in the round of 16.

The reality is championships aren’t won and tournament runs aren’t completed with previous win-loss trends and rhetoric for good talk radio. The cream rises to the top, and it remains to be seen where Maryland lies in that tournament mixture—probably somewhere in the middle. It all hedges on the ingredients lumped together in each region by the selection committee. A “good” or “bad” loss in the conference tournament has little—if anything—to do with it.

What the loss in Greensboro does provide is a higher sense of desperation this week when the Terps will travel to Providence or New Orleans or Spokane to the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row—and the final time for a very proud senior triumvirate.

As strange as it was to witness the Terps’ first-half sleepwalk against Georgia Tech, it’s even more implausible to think it could happen again on Thursday or Friday. And the fact that Maryland hasn’t lost consecutive games since playing in the Maui Invitational in late November only supports the theory.

While the Terps lack all of the necessary components to win a national championship, their impressive resiliency increases the likelihood for a Sweet 16 run. The Yellow Jackets provided a not-so-friendly lesson that postseason success isn’t guaranteed, regardless of whether you captured the regular season title or won seven games in a row or have the ACC player of the year leading the way.

If Maryland didn’t get the message on Friday, we’ll likely be talking about the end of the season a week from now.

We see it all the time when a No. 5 or 6 seed enters the NCAA tournament—already with an eye on the second-round opponent—only to find itself pitted against a formidable underdog capable of sending the favorite home early. Williams will undoubtedly remind his team of a few experiences he’s had over the years—both good (see below) and bad.

We’ll see if the ACC regular season co-champions can regroup and put together a strong tournament run. Questions surrounding this team remain, but we’re about to find out.

Can the Terps play a complete 40 minutes on the big stage?

Are both Milbourne and Sean Mosley capable of playing well offensively at the same time?

Will Vasquez take the Georgia Tech loss in stride or put more pressure on himself to do it all?

Is Maryland capable of getting back to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2003?

Plenty of questions, and plenty of opportunities for excitement—or disappointment.

We’ll soon find out how the Terps respond.

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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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Blooddevils

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Duke Week for Terps on Two Fronts

Posted on 03 March 2010 by Derek Arnold

A certain hated University down in North Carolina is sending two of their squads north to Maryland in the coming days. I don’t know about you, but I taste blood in the water.

Blooddevils

Wednesday night at the Comcast Center, the 22nd-ranked Maryland Men’s basketball team takes on the 4th-ranked Duke Blue Devils.

dukieV

On Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium, the #6 Terrapins’ Mens’ lacrosse squad takes on the Dukies, who fell to #9 this week after losing to Notre Dame.

This could be an extremely joyous, or an extremely excruciating, week in College Park.

scheyerface

On the hardwood, there is much at stake. It is Senior Night for the Terps’ Landon Milbourne, Eric Hayes, and Greivis Vasquez. This trio hasn’t tasted victory against Coach K’s squad since they were freshmen in 2007. A win on this night, in their final opportunity to do so in front of their home fans, would not only send them out on a high note, it also keeps their hopes alive for at least a share of the ACC regular-season title.

In the last meeting, as Dr. Pokrywka was quick to remind us, the Terps had no answer for Duke center Brian Zoubek. If they are to have any chance of getting even in the rematch, those aforementioned seniors will need a lot of help from their freshman down low, Jordan Williams. Williams, who has had a stellar first year, looked lost and intimidated in his first appearance in front of the “Cameron Crazies” (more like Cameron UGLIES, AMIRIGHT?!)

Ew2

The young big man should have better luck in his home arena. If (and hopefully when) he does, well Duke faithful…prepare to tell your ugly kid to stop crying before YOU GIVE HIM SOMETHING TO CRY ABOUT!

wahhhhh

(Note: WNST and the author do not endorse child abuse in any way. Unless…your kid wants to be a Duke fan. Or a Steelers fan. And…maybe Yankees or Red Sox too. If any of these are the case though, you are a failure as a parent, and its not like you could do that much more damage anyway.)

At the Purple Palace, there is far less at stake for the lax team. It is only early March, and the 2010 season is still in it’s infancy. However, beating Duke in anything, no matter the sport or time of year, should always be encouraged and heavily celebrated.

These two last met in last year’s Face-Off Classic, when the Terps prevailed 11-8.

While Duke just suffered an early-season setback, the Terps are riding high off a very impressive come-from-behind win over Georgetown last Saturday. Maryland trailed the Hoyas 11-7 in the third quarter, but stormed back, led by senior midfielder Will Yeatman, for a 15-13 win.

A victory over Duke on Saturday (11 AM faceoff)would give the Terps their first 3-0 start since 2006.

And, along with a win on Wednesday night, it would certainly lead to a lot of this in Durham.

Ewwww

That’s something we can all get behind.

hateduke

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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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