Tag Archive | "Greivis Vasquez"

Hokies coach Seth Greenberg and Terps coach Gary Williams dissect Thursday matchup at Comcast Center, ACC struggles

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Hokies coach Seth Greenberg and Terps coach Gary Williams dissect Thursday matchup at Comcast Center, ACC struggles

Posted on 20 January 2011 by Ryan Chell

Tonight’s game between the Virginia Tech Hokies and the Maryland Terrapins at the Comcast Center features two teams in very similar situations.

Both have struggled at times to start the season, but ultimately both teams can’t say that they haven’t put together a stack of opponents ready to either increase their tournament resume or say that they aren’t a play or two away from making a run.

Four of Maryland’s six losses this year have come to ranked teams( Villanova, Duke, Illinois, Pittsburgh) with all of the games on the road or on neutral sites.

The Hokies meanwhile have lost three games by a total of nine points.

Seth Greenberg

Hokies basketball coach Seth Greenberg and Maryland Terps coach Gary Williams joined Thyrl Nelson of “The Mobtown Sports Beat” this week to not only shoot down the rumors that the ACC-at time of circulation has only one team-Duke-in the AP Top 25-is having a down year in basketball, but to also size their respective opponent up in Thursday’s game at the Comcast Center.

“It’s easy to take shots at the ACC because the ACC has been on top for so long,”  Greenberg told Thyrl Nelson. “We’ve got good basketball teams in our league, and it has teams capable of winning night in and night out. I’m not buying what everyone else is selling.”

Williams agreed.

Gary Williams

“The way you build up your tournament resume is you play a bunch of good teams and win, and that’s what’s got to happen here and everywhere else. I get tired of hearing about the Big 12 for instance-they’re talking about Colorado and Nebraska being really good this year.”

“Well, put them in the ACC and see how they do,” Williams said. “Everybody gets happy on certain leagues, and the ACC out there has won five national championships in the last ten years. There’s no league out there-the Big East isn’t even close to that-the ACC has won more NCAA tournament games the last twenty years than any other conference.”

And Thursday will pit Maryland(11-6, 1-2 ACC) versus the Virginia Tech Hokies(11-5, 2-2 ACC) to see how they stack up.

Both teams are in the middle of the pack when it comes to the ACC standings, and both teams feel like they are in desperate need of a win to avoid falling into the cellar of the division here in mid January.

And Greenberg knows that desire to win on the part of Gary Williams is going to be in full force tonight down at College Park. And he is not ready to write off either his team or Maryland just yet.

“You look at the Maryland team, they’ve lost some very close games to some real elite teams, and again it’s a make or miss game,” Greenberg said. “There’s a very small margin between winning and losing.”

Coach Williams said it’s all about fixing one or two issues to get his team-in spite of its youth-playing almost perfect basketball.

“We’ve played four teams ranked in the Top 20, but haven’t beat them. Until you beat them, they’re better than you. Against Duke-then the #1 team in the country last Sunday-we went down there at Cameron where they havent lost in forever and had a chance to get them. We didnt get them. I don’t know if anyone will get them in Cameron this year.”

“I like the way our guys competed and then we had to get back down there to play Wake Forest on Wednesday, and we did okay there and got the win. And then with Villanova in Philly-the seventh ranked team in the country-they were a very experienced team and you get up by 12 in the second half, you would like to win that thing. We missed some shots and some free-throws, and didn’t get the win. It really hurts to not get those wins, but we’re tough. We know we can play with those teams we’ve faced. We’ve proven that.  Now what we have to prove is we can beat those teams.”

Virginia Tech could be that team that might be the bearer of Williams’ effort to turn things around and get things back on a good note the same way the Terps rebounded after the loss to Duke by punishing Wake, 74-55.

“I know how we felt after the game in terms of getting beat up a little bit,  …It’s very difficult to come out and play the next game, and that’s why I was proud of the team,” Williams noted. ” We went down to Wake Forest and got them on their home court because we were both physically and mentally hurting going into that  game. I’m really proud of this team, and hopefully people understand what we’re doing here and we’re looking forward to getting started this week.

Greenberg is hoping Williams doesn’t take out his frustrations from Saturday’s disappointing collapse against #7 Villanova against his Hokies squad.

Gary’s best wins come when his back is against the wall, let’s face it,” Greenberg added.  “I think he lives in a cause. We’ve lost three games by a total of nine points…When you play a home game in league, you’ve really got to defend your home court. Maryland is as efficient an offensive team as we’ve played against all year.”

Greenberg likes what he sees out of Maryland’s youth, of course led by Wooden Award finalist Jordan Williams.

“They pass and catch, they cut extremely hard, and obviously Jordan is playing at an extremely high level. The development of Gregory, the development of Bowie, with Tucker-the way he’s carrying himself-he’s kind of their X-factor the way he’s playing. And with the two freshman point guards-with them being surrounded by the veteran players, they are playing with such confidence. We expect Maryland to play at a very high level like they have all year,” Greenberg said.

Williams had just as much respect for what the Hokies throw out on the court, most notably led by two former Maryland-area prep stars in Jeff Allen and Malcolm Delaney(18.6ppg, 4.3apg, .433% 3-pt range)-also a finalist for ACC Player of the Year in 2009.

Malcolm Delaney

Malcolm Delaney’s a great player,” Gary Williams said. “One of the things he has is a great release on his shot and he can shoot way behind the three-point line. He’s very comfortable with the NBA line. He’s a guy that looked at the draft last year, and decided to come back just like Greivis Vasquez did.

“But he’s not the only guy they have-a guy like Jeff Allen is a proven player-a very quick 6’8”, 6’9” strong guy who shoots it good. He is a very tough guy inside for them. They don’t play a lot of guys, but they’re well balanced and a very good basketball team.”

Greenberg had to agree with Williams.

“Malcolm’s had just a tremendous career, and he’s been the face of our program,” Greenberg said. “He’s as complete a guard as there is in the country. He can make shots, he plays hard, he’s a model student athlete. He’s helped maintain a winning culture here.”

“He’s been a huge part of this program, and we hope he comes in and relaxes and enjoys the experience tonight and makes some buckets.”

Like every game in and out of the the ACC this year that the Terps and the Hokies expect this one to be just like the double-overtime thriller last year on February 26th in Blacksburg-a game in which Greivis Vasquez finished with 41 points.

“It’s unfortunate we’re going to beat each other up, but you just try and get on a run. It’s very hard to win any game on the road, and it’s hard to string a whole bunch of wins together because there is such a fine line between winning and losing. I’m not worried about people’s perception. I’m only worried about the friendly confines of the Comcast Center right now.”

WNST has you covered tonight at the Comcast Center! Luke Jones has you covered in the Turtle Power chat starting at 9! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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Almost a Perfect Sports Sunday

Posted on 11 January 2011 by Tom Federline

The Ravens held up their end. The Terps Bball team almost pulled off the upset. Pleasantly surprised on both ends. Expected the Ravens win, but watching the Ravens this year has not been good for the blood pressure. What team is going to show up and why aren’t they dominating the offensive side of the ball? Expected a Terps trouncing by 14-0, #1 Duke. Hoped they would not be embarrassed. Well those Terpies not only held their own, but with a few more made free throws and some missed 3′s by that Singler cat, Terps could have pulled off first NCAA shock of the year. All in all, not a bad Sunday. Ravens roll in the second half, then the Terps almost  had the walls at Cameron come “Crumblin’ Down” – (John Cougar).

Ravens – it wasn’t pretty. Do you all remember the half time score? Yep, the Ravens dominated the stats in the first half. Score Ravens 10 – Chiefs 7. How did you all feel after that first drive of the game? First and goal from the 1/2 yard line = 3 points. Oh yeah, I’m sure 90% of you saw that second half domination coming. Yeah right. It was nice from the Ravens end, but that game turned ugly quick. The Chiefs resorted to a minor league, street league, cheap shot fest. Ravens survived and kicked their butt. 

Two big stops slowed the Chiefs down. 1. Ed Reeds best tackle in 3 years. Did you all hear that “crunch” from KC like I did? And second, the fourth and 1 drop for a loss, pretty much diminished whatever wind the Chiefs had managed to set sail on. Ravens won the turnover battle big time. Heck, Nakamura even had one and gave it back. HEEEEap saved the day and Boldin was finally used. Sure would be nice if they could keep that momentum going  through Pittsburgh. Throw the ball with Flacco running show = Ravens win. I cannot bring myself to root for the Jets. But it sure would be nice to have a home game for the AFC Championship.

Terps – did not win but they rocked Cameron and #1 ranked Duke. There were actual moments when the place was hushed. Did you all see Krzyzewski lose it at the start of the second half? Have you ever seen that before? Terps were beating them and were not going away easy. I was sitting there (well actually laying)  and the Terps would not let me go to sleep. I welcomed it! Jordan Williams and Cliff Tucker were in a refuse to lose mode. Another double/double for the big young man from Connecticut. Sure hope he stays, but this may be it for Jordan Williams. Catch him while you can.

The Terps performance was commendable. The Dukies were giving them the game, they just couldn’t get over the hump. Terps needed just needed one more scorer…………and there he was……… Greivis Vasquez! Greivis was sitting in the crowd behind the bench, amongst a sea of puke blue, while donning a red and white Maryland shirt. Greivis is playing on the Memphis Grizzlies and their next game was in Charlotte. That was just a cool move……going back into the “Blue Devils” Den, to support your alma mater, fellow teammates and coach. It was a game up until 3 minutes left. That seven point surge, gaining the lead at the beginning of the second half and then seeing Coach K lose it, was priceless.

Well, guess what happens this Saturday? We get a chance for a Perfect Sports Saturday. We have Terps first this time. Terps play at 1:00 vs. Villanova (ranked #7). Villanova, even at #7, just doesn’t have the same fervor as ACC rival Duke. Now, what hype may be lacking from the bball game is more than made up for with Ravens/Steelers at 4:30. That’s just a wow, with big-time potential. The potential of a Ravens blow-out, a Steelers blow-out, or more than likely, a 20-17 (pick ‘em). You may have to buckle the seat belts for this one. Who is going to survive, may be more in line, than who is going to win. Either way sports fans, I’d clear your Saturday afternoon/early evening and then late evening, if Ravens win. Go Terps. Go Ravens.

D.I.Y.

Fedman

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

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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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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 03 January 2011 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: National Field Hockey Coaches’ Association Convention (Thursday-Sunday, Baltimore Convention Center); Soccer: MISL-Milwaukee Wave @ Baltimore Blast (Saturday 7:35pm 1st Mariner Arena); High School Basketball: Perry Hall @ Patapsco (Wednesday 6:30pm), Woodlawn @ Perry Hall (Friday 7pm)

10. Lovin’ Spoonful (Tuesday 8pm Rams Head On Stage), Gregg Allman (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head On Stage); Pietasters (Saturday 8pm 9:30 Club); Sarah MacLachlan (Monday 8pm D.A.R. Constitution Hall); Dinner For Schmucks” and “Machete” available on DVD/Blu-Ray (Tuesday)

Yeah, that’s about it this week. Wish I could give you something better. Either way, this song is GREAT…

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

As is this song…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WGVW7byRCA[/youtube]

And this song…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxa0Kpgsgv8[/youtube]

And when she’s not forcing me to look at pictures of injured animals, Sarah MacLachlan can even be bearable…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3VrggQW7tk[/youtube]

But yeah, it’s disappointing…

9. Bull Riding-PBR Touring Pro Division (Friday-Saturday Patriot Center)

Apparently this event isn’t the event they show on TV, so it’s not that big of a deal.

But if Johnny Knoxville were to show up, it WOULD be a big deal…because it would be awesome…

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

8. Mixed Martial Arts: Strikeforce Challengers (Friday 11pm from Nashville live on Showtime)

So I sat down and watched some MMA for the first time in MONTHS Saturday, checking out UFC 125 after the Winter Classic.

I was reminded of how awesome the sport can sometimes be…

vera

Brandon Vera’s face was completely rearranged by Thiago Alves. His nose is now hanging out somewhere near his right ear.

Yet he was smiling.

Awesome.

7. NBA: Washington Wizards @ Philadelphia 76ers (Wednesday 7pm from Philadelphia live on Comcast SportsNet), New Jersey Nets @ Washington Wizards (Friday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Washington Wizards @ Charlotte Bobcats (Saturday 7pm from Charlotte live on Comcast SportsNet PLUS)

Did the ‘Zards know Gilbert Arenas could do THIS before they traded him to the Orlando Magic???

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZheMh7QS5QQ[/youtube]

6. Pro Wrestling: TNA Genesis (Sunday 8pm from Orlando live on Pay-Per-View)

As always, I like to try to provide compelling reasons to view PPV events when I include them on the list. This week’s compelling reason is named Taylor Wilde…

taylorwilde

She’s reportedly a wrestler. Like you care.

5. Golf: PGA Tour Hyundai Tournament of Champions (Thursday-Saturday 5:30pm, Sunday 6pm from Kapalua, HI live on Golf Channel)

Oh thank God golf is back. Absolutely no one* had missed it.

(*No one not named Drew Forrester that is.)

My pick to win the golf tour this year? Chi Chi Rodriguez.

Hey, why change now?

In other golf news, former Tiger Woods mistress Loredana Jolie did something recently. Unless it’s taking another picture with her clothes off, you wouldn’t care.

ljolie

4. NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning @ Washington Capitals (Tuesday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Florida Panthers @ Washington Capitals (Saturday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Comcast SportsNet)

Look, I’m not a fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins OR the Washington Capitals, so I don’t have a dog in the hunt. The Pens may have lost on the ice at Heinz Field Saturday; but there was one area where they DIDN’T lose…

bylsma

Bruce Boudreau won the game…but Dan Bylsma looked AMAZING.

Can’t win ‘em all, Caps fans.

3. College Basketball: Colgate @ Maryland (Tuesday 8pm from Comcast Center live on Comcast SportsNet), Maryland @ Duke (Sunday 8pm from Durham, NC live on Fox Sports Net nationally, CSN locally); Howard @ Morgan State (Saturday 4pm Hill Field House); Maine @ UMBC (Saturday 2pm RAC Arena); Hampton @ Coppin State (Saturday 4pm Coppin State Physical Education Complex), Howard @ Coppin State (Monday 7:30pm Coppin State Physical Education Complex); Women’s College Basketball: Maryland @ Duke (Thursday 7pm from Durham, NC live on Comcast SportsNet)

Eff Duke.

Does this picture ever get old?

cryingkid

And while we’re at it, how ’bout we throw this Greivis Vasquez classic in there too?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrajaO74m94[/youtube]

And since the women are playing this week too, here’s Kristi Toliver…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNpNRtFN1K0[/youtube]

Look, I don’t think the Terrapins are going to beat the Blue Devils Sunday at Cameron Indoor Stadium-but it doesn’t change how I feel. Just let me have this.

2. College Football: BCS Championship Game-Auburn vs. Oregon (Monday 8:30pm from Glendale, AZ live on ESPN), Sugar Bowl-Ohio State vs. Arkansas (Tuesday 8:30pm from New Orleans live on ESPN), Cotton Bowl-LSU vs. Texas A&M (Friday 8pm from Arlington, TX live on FOX), GoDaddy.com Bowl-Miami (Ohio) vs. Middle Tennessee (Thursday 8pm from Mobile, AL live on ESPN), BBVA Compass Bowl-Pitt vs. Kentucky (Saturday 12pm from Birmingham, AL live on ESPN), Fight Hunger Bowl-Boston College vs. Nevada (Sunday 9pm from San Francisco live on ESPN); NCAA FCS Championship Game: Delaware vs. Eastern Washington (Friday 7pm from Frisco, TX live on ESPN2)

Which Cam Newton joke do you want to go with?

I’ll admit this much. I’m going to be rooting AGAINST the Tigers on Monday night.

I think it’s just probably better for everyone if Newton DOESN’T win the National Championship. Of course, we said the same thing about the Heisman Trophy but that was already decided.

As far as the FCS title is concerned, I’m assuming Delaware wins-right? I mean, there’s NO WAY a team that plays on a field that looks like this can win……can they???

ewu

1. NFL Playoffs: AFC Wild Card Round-Baltimore Ravens @ Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday 1pm from Kansas City live on CBS), New York Jets @ Indianapolis Colts (Saturday 8pm from Indianapolis live on NBC); NFC Wild Card Round-New Orleans Saints @ Seattle Seahawks (Saturday 4:30pm from Seattle live on NBC), Green Bay Packers @ Philadelphia Eagles (Sunday 4:30pm from Philadelphia live on FOX)

The only issue I have here is that I don’t have quite the hate built up for KC that I did for Indy.

If we had been headed out to LucasOil Stadium this weekend, I would have had PLENTY of hate stored up. I don’t know how much hate I can have stored up in a trip to Arrowhead Stadium.

Of course, there IS good news about a trip to Kansas City…

bbq

Yeah…if I were you, I’d think about getting on the bus.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Top 10 Local Sports Moments of 2010

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Top 10 Local Sports Moments of 2010

Posted on 28 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

These were selected by….Glenn Clark. Enjoy!

Honorable Mention: Orioles sign Miguel Tejada, Maryland names Kevin Anderson Athletic Director, Navy pounds Notre Dame at Meadowlands, Ravens beat Jets on Monday Night Football, Maryland field hockey wins National Championship, Shogun Fights II & III come to 1st Mariner Arena, John Tillman hired as Maryland lacrosse coach, Ravens sign T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Trice Capra reaches 3rd round of U.S. Open, Terrapins hold off Midshipmen in Labor Day thriller at M&T Bank Stadium, Cliff Tucker buries Georgia Tech with incredible buzzer beater

10. Danny O’Brien breaks out as Maryland tops NC State

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz6qO2a5nRI[/youtube]

Maybe the “moment” should be O’Brien getting his first start against Florida International. Unfortunately, no one was at Byrd Stadium that day and even fewer were watching on ESPN3.com.

Maybe the “moment” should be Maryland’s battle against Florida State in College Park where O’Brien nearly beat the Seminoles and gave the Terrapins a chance to play in the ACC Championship Game. But the Terps lost that game.

So I’ll stick with the season closer. It was an epic breakout performance from a freshman quarterback that offered hope to Maryland fans that change had come.

Of course, change was really STILL to come.

9. Ravens trade for Anquan Boldin

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itI56uxrbeU[/youtube]

If you actually go to the page for that YouTube video, you’ll find multiple Super Bowl related comments.

That was the immediate feeling when the Ravens traded two NFL Draft picks to the Arizona Cardinals for Boldin. Since that time, the Boldin deal has looked…well…not quite as overwhelming. But it doesn’t change the moment.

In that moment, the Ravens became the “Offseason Champs”, an honor the Washington Redskins had owned for years.

The difference? The Ravens till have a chance to be the REAL champs as well.

8. Baltimore Grand Prix officially announced

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ntu-FrV9ufY[/youtube]

Look, I’M not a fan of the IndyCar Series myself. Well, other than Danica Patrick anyway.

And I have NO IDEA how many folks in Baltimore could EVER tell you who Will Power or Dario Franchitti were.

But if the Baltimore Grand Prix raises as much money for the city as Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Governor Martin O’Malley say it will, this could be a MAJOR moment for this area.

7. The return of the Preakness infield

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHLL8YQmCoA[/youtube]

After the “miserable failure” (my own words, folks) that was the 2009 Preakness “Infieldfest” event, the Maryland Jockey Club hit a home run in 2010.

Pimlico’s infield was covered in people thanks to a $20 “All you can drink” ticket that replaced the previous BYOB experience and an awesome musical combination or O.A.R. and Zac Brown Band (which was LIGHT YEARS better than ZZ Top and Buckcherry the previous year).

It was an awesome event. Hopefully there will be another one.

By the way, does anyone remember who won the Preakness this year?

(Edit from GMC: It was Lookin at Lucky. I ALMOST had to go to Wikipedia to jog my memory.)

6. Duke beats Virginia in lacrosse Final Four

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3g2YHrYETk[/youtube]

Maybe Notre Dame’s improbable run to the National Championship Game or the Blue Devils’ thrilling Memorial Day win over the Fighting Irish were bigger stories; but the Saturday showdown between the Cavaliers and Devils was absolutely EPIC.

The impact of Yeardley Love’s murder added to the buildup surrounding the game, as Cavs coach Dom Starsia was reminded of George Huguely’s name throughout the NCAA Tournament. Also adding to the buildup was the presence of the final class of “Super Seniors” from Duke, as the NCAA granted all Duke players an extra year of eligibility following the scandal that rocked the Durham campus in 2006.

The game was even better than the incredible buildup. Max Quinzani’s game winner with 13 seconds left finished off what had been one of the more incredible quarters of lacrosse ever seen in Charm City.

This will be the only entry on the list that doesn’t involve a local team. It was good enough that it doesn’t matter.

5. Orioles hire Buck Showalter

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

When I gave my “Local Sports Person of the Year” vote to Buck Showalter, I said his hiring represented the first real “hope” Birds fans had experienced since the 2005 campaign, when the team reached the All-Star Game still leading the American League Wild Card race.

What happened with the O’s down the stretch (a 34-23 finish under Showalter) means little if the team does not build upon it. But the hope that came with the incredible finish was that the team COULD build upon it.

We’ll see.

But it certainly doesn’t change the level of excitement that came with Showalter’s hiring and incredible two month run. If things truly turn around for the Orioles, it will be marked as the actual moment of change.

4. Joe Flacco finds TJ Houshmandzadeh to beat Steelers in Pittsburgh

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

I’m pretty sure my column that day said it all.

The Ravens were ABSOLUTELY on their way to another crushing loss at Heinz Field; and I wasn’t going to believe it wouldn’t end that way until the moment Houshmandzadeh hauled in the Flacco TD toss.

The Ravens QB had never lead his team from behind to win in the final two minutes of regulation.

That changed.

Had the Ravens held on to finish the sweep of the Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium; the win would have meant even more.

3. Maryland beats Duke to (essentially) clinch ACC regular season title

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiIW27uR56s[/youtube]

As I stated when he was voted “Local Sports Person of the Year”, this was the defining moment for Greivis Vasquez.

Beating good teams at Comcast Center has been somewhat commonplace for the Terps in the Gary Williams era. In fact, Maryland had knocked off North Carolina in College Park just a season earlier. (Both the 2009 Tar Heels and this year’s Blue Devils would go on to win the NCAA Championship.)

Yet somehow, this particular win over a good team was more satisfying. It probably had a lot to do with the fact that it was Senior Night for Vasquez, Eric Hayes and Landon Milbourne. It probably had a lot to do with the fact that the win would ultimately prove to be the difference as the Terps would split the ACC regular season title.

More than anything, it probably had everything to do with the fact that it was Duke.

Wins ALWAYS feel better when they come against Duke.

2. Ravens go to Foxborough, beat New England Patriots in AFC playoffs

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MwFU4xYzV4[/youtube]

If it had been a round (or definitely two rounds) later, this would have been a slam dunk #1 on the list. Unfortunately, the flat performance in a divisional round loss to the Indianapolis Colts a week later took some of the excitement out of the win at Gillette Stadium.

That being said, the emotions of a dominant win over a Bill Belichick/Tom Brady lead team on the road won’t be forgotten for some time.

It was even more emotional when the story of Matthew Costello (son of WMAR anchor Jamie Costello) giving Cam Cameron the play call for Ray Rice’s opening play TD came out.

It was a huge win and an awesome feeling. It’s just a shame it didn’t extend towards the Super Bowl.

1. Reggie Holmes breaks Morgan State’s all-time scoring record in win over Coppin State

I was there for #2, #3 and #4. This was better.

morgan

The emotions inside Hill Field House were incredible.

It was Senior Night, the final home game for star guard Reggie Holmes.

Holmes was announced as MEAC Player of the Year. Kevin Thompson was announced as MEAC Defensive Player of the Year. Dewayne Jackson was announced as MEAC Freshman of the Year. Todd Bozeman was announced as MEAC Coach of the Year.

Holmes’ entire neighborhood (Cherry Hill) was in the stands…and actually rushed the floor PREGAME. The game started more than an hour late.

Holmes needed 33 points to break Marvin “The Eraser” Webster’s Bears career scoring record. He scored 36 in a blowout win.

It was incredible.

It represented everything that makes college basketball in Baltimore great. It represented everything that makes Baltimore sports great.

It was the best moment of the year.

Flexing my mic muscles since 1983…

-G

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Huevos! Maryland’s Vasquez Named WNST Local Sports Person of the Year

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Huevos! Maryland’s Vasquez Named WNST Local Sports Person of the Year

Posted on 23 December 2010 by Glenn Clark

Had it simply been based on accolades, Greivis Vasquez would have won WNST’s 2010 Local Sports Person of the Year award going away.

In 2010, the former Maryland Terrapins guard was named first-team All-ACC, second-team All-American, ACC Player of the Year, and the Bob Cousy Award winner — given to the nation’s top point guard. He also helped the Terps clinch a share of the ACC regular season title. When the Memphis Grizzlies selected him with the 28th pick of the NBA Draft in June, Vasquez became the first Terrapin selected in the first round of the NBA Draft since Chris Wilcox and Juan Dixon were picked in 2002.

In terms of on-field (on in this case on-court) accomplishments, no athlete in the state of Maryland reached the heights that the “Vivacious Venezuelan” did in 2010. As Jason Jubb (WNST.net contributor and former “Sunday Morning Blitz” co-host) said, Vasquez “took over this year.”

However, Vasquez’s selection was about more than just on-court ability. There was something about watching Vasquez play in 2010 that made fans in Baltimore and throughout the state heap adoration at a level not seen since Dixon’s graduation.

Sometimes a picture explains just about everything.

vasquez

It was the passion displayed by Vasquez when he stepped foot on a basketball court that made fans fall in love.

WNST’s Ryan Chell said Vasquez in 2010 was “hated by every other ACC fan and adored by the Terps nation. He put the team on his shoulders.”

Never was it more evident than in the game pictured above.

On March 3, Maryland defeated then No. 4 Duke, 79-72. It was Senior Night at Comcast Center, and Vasquez’s final game was one of the more passionate displays in recent college basketball history.

Vasquez led the way for Maryland with 20 points and 5 assists in the victory, but it was one particular shot that was a total display of “huevos” (a term first labeled by ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt) in the final seconds.

With Maryland clinging to a 71-69 advantage over the Blue Devils in the final minute, there was no question Vasquez would take the shot. And despite the shot being an off-balanced, running 12-footer that looked more like a heave than an actual basketball shot, there was really no question whether or not the shot would go in…even if it had to find every piece of the rim before it would fall.

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

It wasn’t only the Duke game that stood out in 2010 for the young man from Caracas. In fact, Vasquez’s shining moment may well have occurred just one game earlier.

The Terrapins traveled to Blacksburg to face Virginia Tech February 27. The game was delayed more than three hours due to a water main break outside Cassell Coliseum. Maybe the anticipation built during the delay made the nature of the performance even greater.

Vasquez posted 41 points, seven rebounds, and six assists en route to 104-100 win over the Hokies in two overtimes.

The two wins would ultimately be the difference for the Terps in sharing the ACC crown.

Watching Vasquez play in 2010 was special.

It’s unlikely that Vasquez could have won a 1-on-1 contest with some of the great all-around players in recent Maryland history. Vasquez’s game wasn’t nearly as polished as someone like Dixon, Steve Francis or even John Gilchrist.

Yet in terms of fortitude, only Dixon could match Vasquez. Vasquez cared deeply about representing the students, the University and the entire state.

“Every time I put on the jersey I did my best and cared about them,” said Vasquez after learning he had won the award. “Those four years at Maryland were a big part in my life, and I eventually want to raise my family around Maryland because it meant very much to me.”

It was the type of passion that rubbed off on everyone around him, including his teammates.

“He was a great teammate,” Maryland guard Adrian Bowie told WNST. “His passion was evident on and off the court. He loved us and we loved him.”

Perhaps that passion was no more evident than in his final act as a Terrapin, a devastating 85-83 defeat to Michigan State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Trailing by 16 late in the second half and seemingly limping out on a disappointing note, Vasquez took his team on his back a final time, scoring nine of Maryland’s 11 points in the final two minutes. His final basket with six seconds left to give the Terps a one-point lead looked to be another brilliant moment before the Spartans’ Korie Lucious broke the hearts of Terrapin Nation with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, ending Vasquez’s collegiate career and leaving fans wishing for one more chance to watch him.

“It’s a memory all Maryland fans want to forget, but his final game left you wanting more and epitomized what he meant to this program,” said WNST’s Luke Jones. “We throw around words like courage and heart all the time in the sports world, but his passion, his determination was authentic. In those final minutes when he nearly willed the Terps to victory when it seemed all but impossible, it summed him up perfectly. As disappointing as it was for the team, knowing Vasquez would never wear that uniform again was sobering. You didn’t want it to end.”

Vasquez truly was loved by fans both on campus in College Park and throughout the mid-Atlantic region. His talent as a basketball player was appreciated, but his incredible passion made watching him play a joyous experience for Terps fans.

For as much joy as Maryland fans (and WNST contributors) took from watching Vasquez on the court, Maryland Head Coach Gary Williams told WNST he took equally as much joy from coaching him.

“If you pay a lot of money for a ticket, I think you want that guy that you paid the money to see to really work as hard as (in your mind) you would if you were a player,” said Williams after learning Vasquez had won the honor. “And that’s what Greivis gave all those people that bought the tickets. He gave them that player that played they way they would play if they got the chance.”

“I’ve always felt a big part of college basketball is the passion in the game,” added Williams. “I talk to pro players that have played here, played other places, and they really miss that passion that you get at college basketball in big games. Greivis was a part of that. He was nationally known as one of those guys.”

In a fitting twist, the brilliant performance of Vasquez in 2010 came after what would have to be considered the last “low” moment in what had previously been a roller-coaster career.

On Dec. 30, 2009, Vasquez pulled up but missed an important three point shot in transition in the second half of Maryland’s 83-77 loss to William & Mary at Comcast Center. Trailing by seven points, the miss turned into a five-point swing in favor of the Tribe as they would go on to upset the Terps.

The tone for Vasquez in 2010 was set that night. Not by the miss, but by the support shown by Williams despite the crucial miss (and poor decision). When asked about the shot after the game, Williams responded:

“Greivis has won a lot of games for us pulling up for threes. He didn’t make that one. Sure, he missed it, so I wish he would have driven the ball. But if he would have driven the ball and gotten his shot blocked, I’d wished he would have taken the three. It’s the way it works. I want Greivis to keep playing like he’s playing. He’s working hard, he’s trying to help us win. As long as he does that-I’ve had a lot of great players here that take shots once in a while that take shots that you might not like as a coach but that’s part of what makes them great. They have that aggressiveness, they have that no fear of being out there playing which you try to put into a lot of players, but not everybody has that.”

With that support, Vasquez never looked back in 2010.

“I can’t say enough about coach,” Vasquez told WNST. “I think he made a big impact not only in my game but in my life. He mean so much to me not only as my coach, but as a father and a friend, everything I needed. He’s more than a good friend, he’s a mentor. That’s why he’s successful and wins championships and went to the Final Four. I can’t say enough about coach Williams and he will be a special person to me for the rest of my life.”

Vasquez’s personality wasn’t left on the floor. He was as engaging on the campus in College Park and in the community as well.

“Greivis always had time for people,” Williams said. “Sometimes I’d have to get on him because he was trying to do too many things to please too many people. The time he read books in elementary school to kids in Spanish-in a lot of Spanish areas around here-nobody even knew about that stuff. He was just always willing to show up. If they had a shoot-a-thon to raise money for charity on campus, Greivis would come in and try to make one from half court. That’s just the way he was. He was just always willing to be like the other students, which they really appreciated.”

“Greivis had a passion for both basketball and for life that was infectious,” Maryland associate Athletic Director Doug Dull told WNST as well. “He had a confidence and a personality that was magical and unforgettable.”

Watching Greivis Vasquez play basketball in 2010 was a special feeling for Terrapins fans and even those who support other schools but live in the area and found themselves glued to Maryland games.

There were two voting qualifications for the Local Sports Person of the Year honor.

The first was that the person had to play for a professional, college or high school team in the state of Maryland OR represent the state of Maryland in an individual sport.

The second was that the honor was year-specific. The honoree had to be someone for whom 2010 stood out not only in comparison to other sports figures, but also to things they had accomplished themselves in other years.

D1scourse.com writer (and regular contributor to “The Morning Reaction” on AM1570 WNST in 2010) Patrick Stevens offered a very well thought out explanation as to why Vasquez best met both qualifications.

“Vasquez came to Maryland with maybe his biggest obstacle being the language barrier. That’s almost a bigger impediment for someone who sort of knows a second language and tries to fit in while learning on the fly than someone who just relies on a translator and stays in his comfort zone. The thing was, Vasquez was always supremely at ease on the court, where it was immensely easier for him to express himself than through his many, many words.”

Stevens added, “For as much as people latched onto Vasquez’s rhetoric throughout his college career, he was always better measured through his deeds. It didn’t matter if it was on the floor (a 41-point night at Virginia Tech or helping topple Duke in his last home game) or off (posing for picture after picture well after games ended or simple gestures like handing a pair of shoes to a security guard at the ACC Tournament). Vasquez was the most impactful University of Maryland athlete since Juan Dixon, and never more so than in 2010.”

Vasquez’s often hard-nosed head coach was emotional in summing up his feelings about his former star player.

“The person that he is…is really tremendous. I really miss him. Obviously, you miss his playing ability, but you miss him being around.”

He’s not the only one.

-G

(Vasquez joined Rex Snider, Luke Jones and Glenn Clark on “The Afternoon Drive” Thursday to accept the honor. That interview is available now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.)

Final Voting For WNST Local Sports Person of the Year-

1-Greivis Vasquez (20 points)
2-Buck Showalter (19 points)
3-Ray Lewis (10 points)
4-Joe Flacco (7 points)
4-Danny O’Brien (7 points)
6-Anquan Boldin (5 points)
7-John Rallo (4 points)
8-Gary Williams (3 points)
8-Jay Davidson (3 points)
8-John Harbaugh (3 points)
8-Forest Boyce (3 points)
8-Caitlyn McFadden (3 points)
8-Pam Shriver (3 points)
8-Cal Ripken (3 points)
15-Bill Ripken (2 points)
15-Ben’s Cat (horse) (2 points)
17-Pete Caringi (1 point)
17-Kevin Plank (1 point)
17-Reggie Holmes (1 point)

Panel of AM1570 & WNST.net contributors eligible to vote included: Glenn Clark, Drew Forrester, Thyrl Nelson, Rex Snider, Nestor Aparicio, Luke Jones, Ryan Chell, Ashley Bishoff, Pete Kerzel (CSNBaltimore.com writer/regular contributor to “The Mobtown Sports Beat”), Jon Schmidt (WNST Sales), Paul Kopelke (WNST General Manager), Christine Cortezi (WNST sales), Jason Jubb, Mark Suchy, Patrick Stevens (D1scourse.com/regular contributor to “The Morning Reaction”), Sam Angell (WNST.net contributor), Allen McCallum (regular contributor to “The Afternoon Drive), Ed Frankovic, Gary Quill, Derek Arnold (BMoreBirdsNest.com/WNST.net contributor), BJ Appel (WNST.net contributor), Chris Pika, Lawson Lambert (WNST.net contributor), John Rallo (“Shogun Fights”/regular contributor to “The Mobtown Sports Beat”), Jay Trucker (Examiner.com writer/WNST.net contributor), Todd Helmick (NationalChamps.net writer/regular contributor to “The Mobtown Sports Beat”) and Brian Billick (WNST part-owner). Not all contributors eligible submitted ballots.

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Terps flatten NJIT as Howard steps into starting role

Posted on 23 December 2010 by Luke Jones

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Rarely has the focus of Maryland athletics been solely on football so late in December during Gary Williams’ 22-year tenure in College Park, but the drastic changes of the last week would overshadow any top basketball program.

The lack of buzz is also due in part to the utter mystery surrounding Gary Williams’ young team as it plays out a string of three nondescript games before traveling to Durham to face Duke on January 9. The Terps have competed well with top-25 teams, but they haven’t beaten any either. Through the season’s first dozen games, Williams continues to search for the right combination in the backcourt to complement the dominating inside presence of sophomore Jordan Williams.

Returning to the hardwood Wednesday night after a nine-day layoff, the Terps cruised to a 89-50 victory over lowly NJIT that highlighted the shortcomings of the Highlanders more than any real potential of this Maryland team. In the final 3:54 of the first half, Maryland used a 20-1 run to turn a comfortable 16-point lead into a comical 53-18 halftime deficit.

However, the significant story to come from the blowout victory was a new lineup sent out by Gary Williams after weeks of speculation that change was coming to the backcourt. Freshman Pe’Shon Howard replaced Cliff Tucker in the starting lineup and ran the point as Adrian Bowie slid to the two-guard position against the Highlanders. Williams had used the same starting lineup in the team’s first 11 games, deferring to his senior backcourt with Howard and fellow freshman Terrell Stoglin coming off the bench.

In his starting debut, Howard finished with four points and four assists, at times looking hesitant running the halfcourt offense but earning praise from Williams and his teammates. Bowie scored 13 points, including three 3-pointers in an impressive shooting night by the senior.

“Everything depends on practice this year, and that is why Pe’Shon was out there tonight,” Williams said. “A lot of it is how we play different people on the court. He came in [in previous games] and Adrian was playing well at the off-guard, so it made sense to put [Howard] into the game.”

In contrast, Tucker responded well to the demotion, posting nine points, five assists, and four steals in only 12 first-half minutes. The senior looked comfortable in a similar role to the one he held for his three previous seasons as a collegian.

“You never know how subbing a player is going to affect them,” Williams said. “You may lose a player, or you may motivate them. I really thought bringing Cliff off the bench would help him.”

Whether the move results in a stabilization of the backcourt or is simply another blip on an already-inconsistent radar, a change hardly comes as a surprise. The Maryland coach has never hesitated to start freshmen guards, with Eric Hayes and Grevis Vasquez the most recent examples. It was only a matter of time before Howard or Stoglin broke into the starting lineup; the better question is whether both freshmen will be there at some point this season.

Despite last year’s ACC regular season co-championship feeling like a distant memory and the early-season struggles of this season, the Terps find themselves in nearly an identical position to where they were at this point a year ago. The 2009-10 team’s only notable non-conference win came against Indiana, a team not much better than the dreadful Penn State team the Terps defeated a few weeks ago.

The ACC looks like a one-horse race with Duke blowing all competition out of the water, but how the rest of the conference standings will look is anyone’s guess as we approach January. Maryland could easily find itself fighting for one of the top four or five spots or languishing in mediocrity.

We know how dominant Jordan Williams can be — the sophomore posted his sixth straight double-double — but the fate of the Terps’ NCAA tournament hopes rests with their backcourt.

“A large part of the point guard’s deal is to get us to play well offensively, whether that is making the shot or the pass,” Williams said. “It is a tough position, and that is why a lot of coaches were point guards because you have to be so intelligent.”

Perhaps the Terps took a step forward with Howard sliding into the spot, but if not, Williams will continue rearranging the puzzle pieces.

“It was good to see if [Howard] could take that role, and I think as a freshman it’s kind of tough,” said junior Sean Mosley, who started 16 games as a freshman forward two years ago. “I think he came out and did a great job. And no matter if Cliff is starting or Pe’Shon, we’re a team, and that’s the thing coach is trying to see. He’s trying to see what’s the best five out there for him. He’ll probably switch it up next game.”

It’s an answer Gary Williams needs to find sooner rather than later.

NOTES: Maryland’s 39-point win was its largest margin of victory this season. The Terps’ 58.1 percent shooting from the field was also a season-best clip. … Dino Gregory has scored 14 points in back-to-back games, matching his career high. The senior also grabbed nine rebounds, narrowly missing a double-double. … The Terps set a season high with nine 3-pointers. … Six Maryland players scored in double figures, the first time since the Illinois game earlier this season. … The Terps will now have a week off for the holidays before hosting North Florida on December 29.

***Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear from Gary Williams, Adrian Bowie, Jordan Williams, and Sean Mosley about the Terps’ easy victory over NJIT.***

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Through Six Games, Maryland Unquestionably Better With Tucker on Floor

Posted on 23 November 2010 by Glenn Clark

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Don’t think I’m getting ahead of myself. In no way is this column going to suggest that there is anyone on the 2010-2011 Maryland Terrapins basketball roster who could somehow replace a player like Greivis Vasquez.

But something struck me Tuesday night as the Terps (4-2) polished off MEAC foe Delaware State (1-1) 72-54 at Comcast Center.

It seems as though Maryland is best when G/F Cliff Tucker is the most focal point of the offense.

Maybe this was to be expected. After all, Tucker is a senior, and his 6’6″, 200 pound frame with deceptive quickness make him a unique matchup problem on the wing for any team in the Atlantic Coast Conference or elsewhere in the country.

On Tuesday, Tucker was an effective 6-7 from the field, scoring a team high 15 points in just 24 minutes.

He hasn’t become an offensive “star” by any stretch of the imagination, but he’s clearly stood out as the team’s best wing.

“Cliff’s a very important part of our team, obviously” said Head Coach Gary Williams. “He’s one of our best shooters, he’s been a double figure scorer.”

Digging deeper into Tucker’s effectiveness; the senior played 14 minutes in the first half of Tuesday night’s game. He lead Maryland with 11 points on 4-5 shooting and added three rebounds. Maryland outscored Delaware State 40-21 in the half.

In the second half, Tucker played just 10 minutes, scoring only 4 points. Maryland was outscored by the Hornets 33-32 in the half.

It seems to be a bit of a trend.

D1scourse author Patrick Stevens keeps a running tally of the team’s performance when each player is on the floor during a given game. For the season, Stevens tallied a 64 point advantage for Maryland when Tucker has been on the floor. The “plus” 64 points matches center Jordan Williams (the team’s leading scorer) as the biggest differential of any player through the first six games.

He’s not Vasquez (nor should he be expected to be), but he’s certainly been the team’s best offensive wing early on the season. It’s also particularly evident that the team has been better with Tucker on the floor.

With all of that being said, it seemed a bit strange to see Tucker sitting on the bench in the second half Tuesday, especially after having sat for much of the second half in Maryland’s previous game against Illinois at Madison Square Garden.

“We’re just trying to find combinations right now” said Williams. “I thought the guys that were in there played great together.” Williams went on to add “we have a lot more guards than we have inside players too. I gotta get some guys on the court this time of the year. Cliff’s gonna be there in big games.”

For his part, Tucker seemed completely understanding of not seeing much of the second half in a game that wasn’t particularly in doubt.

“There’s time’s where I wanted to be in the game, but coach probably wants to rest me a little more” said the young man from El Paso. “We kinda had the game in hand. I’m not upset, I’m on the bench supporting my team.”

If Maryland is going to be a power in the ACC this season, it looks like they’re going to need Tucker on the floor in every stretch.

Tucker entered the season needing to prove himself as more than just the player who hit “the shot” against Georgia Tech (a buzzer-beating three pointer to stun the Yellow Jackets at Comcast Center) in his junior season.

He’s already shown himself to be capable of consistency during his senior campaign. As that continues, Maryland will have a much better chance to perform at a similarly consistent level as a team.

-G

Hear from Williams, Tucker, G Adrian Bowie and F Dino Gregory following Maryland’s win NOW in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault right here at WNST.net!

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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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Questions abundant as Terps tip off practice at Maryland Madness

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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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