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Duke vs. Maryland – a tale of two halves

Posted on 28 January 2008 by stevehennessey

After defeating then #1 UNC last Saturday, a lot of Terps fans were wondering aloud if it was a one time thing (like when the Ravens played their best game of the season against New England then got blown out the next game vs. Indy) or if Maryland can compete night in and night out against elite teams.  

 That question was answered pretty quickly on Sunday night at a sold out Comcast Center, when a well pre-prepared and aggressive Terps team had the Duke Blue Devils on the ropes early. This is definitely not the same teams that lost to Ohio U. and American U. in December. 

Tonight’s 93-84 loss to Duke was truly a tale of two halves.

Maryland came out of the gates strong, repeatedly pounding the ball inside to Bambale “boom” Osby for easy baskets. After a slow start offensively, James Gist was a force. In the first half, Duke had no answer for Maryland’s inside play. Osby & Gist combined for 26 points and 12 boards in the first twenty minutes. Duke’s front court of Kyle Singler and Lance Thomas were overmatched and outplayed.

Maryland owned the glass (+8 in rebounds) and continually pushed the ball up the court in transition. Greivis Vasquez had ZERO turnovers as the Terps went to the locker room with a 51-42 halftime lead.

The second half belonged to the Blue Devils. They started off with a 6-0 run which wiped out most of Maryland’s halftime lead, quieted the raucous crowd, and gave Duke much needed momentum.

Duke’s talented trio of guards (Gerald Henderson, DeMarcus Nelson and Nolan Smith) was too quick and much too physical for the Terps backcourt of Eric Hayes, Landon Milbourne and Greivis Vasquez, and scored a combined 64 of the Blue Devils’ 93 points.

Duke had a +7 rebounding advantage in the second half and also did a much better job with their transition defense.

Maryland continued to turn the ball over (22 for the game vs. only 10 for Duke) and missed the front end of consecutive one and ones at a crucial juncture of the game, when they were behind.

The tough loss leaves the Terps with a 12-8 record (2-3 in the ACC) with a home game on Wednesday night against a suddenly struggling Virginia squad.

On the plus side, Maryland shot a season high 54.4% from the field. James Gist had 26 points and 5 rebounds, Bambale “boom” Osby came up huge again with a career high 20 points and 15 boards.  Greivis Vasquez, who takes a lot of heat for his sloppy ball handling, chipped in with 15 points, 7 assists and only 2 turnovers. The Terps shared the ball well, with 24 assists.

On the minus side, Duke scored 93 points with only 9 assists. This is not a misprint.  Duke only had 9 assists, which means there were an awful lot of points scored out of one-on-one matchups, mostly by their guards.  Maryland’s 24 turnovers, lead to 29 Duke points, which more than negated the Terps advantage in the paint.

Former Terps including Johnny Rhodes, Byron Mouton, Walt “the Wizard” Williams and Ernie Graham were in the house.  Gene Shue was an honorary game captain.

Help is on the way next year for the Terps backcourt. St. Frances Academy’s Sean Mosley (physical) and Hutchinson JC’s Bobby Maze (quick), guards who will both play in College Park next year were also in attendance.

Calvert Hall’s Braxton Dupree got a DNP tonight and his minutes have been diminishing as the ACC season progresses. Shane Walker and Dave Neal are now ahead of him in the rotation. That’s not a good sign.       




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Terps get a much needed win

Posted on 16 January 2008 by stevehennessey

After leaving Blacksburg, VA on Saturday afternoon with a heartbreaking one point loss, the Terps men’s hoops team needed to come out of the gates strong last night at the Comcast Center vs. Wake Forest. They didn’t.
Wake opened the game with a13-4 lead and things weren’t looking so rosy in Garyland.

Freshman PG Adrian Bowie came off the bench, played inspired defense, forced Wake turnovers, hit some tough shots and helped the Terps erase a nine point deficit as the Terps took a 31-26 lead into halftime.
The fact that Wake Forest went ice cold from the field, including an abysmal 2-15 from the three point line didn’t hurt either.

Bambale “boom’ Osby, who was benched at the start of the game and second half for the dreaded “violation of team rules”, had a monster game with 16 points, 10 rebounds, 4 blocked shots and was a perfect 4-4 from the charity stripe. 

James Gist was one of five Terps in double figures, reaching the 10 point mark in the closing seconds of the game. It wasn’t his best offensive performance, but he played a very good defensive game with 8 rebounds, 4 blocked shots and some tough defense on Wake’s freshmen James Johnson, who will be a very good ACC player. 

Landon Milbourne has a solid game with 11 points and 5 rebounds, but was plagued by foul trouble. Freshman Cliff Tucker had an off night which opened the door for senior walk-on Jason McAlpin to get eight minutes off the bench.
Greivis Vasquez had 22 points and 8 assists, but he also had 8 turnovers. Vasquez can be electrifying at times, maddening at others, sometimes in the same possession. If Adrian Bowie can continue to develop at point guard, the Terps will have another ball handler in the backcourt, which hopefully will lead to a lot less turnovers by Mr. Vasquez.

PG Eric Hayes missed his third straight game with a sprained ankle. I talked with him after the game and he hopes to be back this weekend for a very tough road game at #1 UNC on Saturday.

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My First Terrapin Basketball Blog

Posted on 03 December 2007 by stevehennessey

Let me start by saying that I don’t pay a lot to attention to college basketball until the conference season kicks into fill gear in January. The early season tournaments like the Maui Classic,  Coaches vs. Cancer, BB&T Classic etc… give you some interesting out of conference matchups, but they are forgotten by the time the New Year rolls around.
With that said, after 8 games, which is about a quarter of the season in the books, here’s my two cents about the Maryland Terps men’s hoops team.
Bambale “boom” Osby is their best player, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. Not to take anything away from Osby, who is my current favorite Terps player, but he is arguably the least talented of the five starters. He should not be Maryland’s best player. You can’t help but like Osby’s hustle, toughness and determination. He has overachieved and filled a void at the center position. Do you think that Maryland would have made the NCAA tournament last year with Osby’s work in the paint?

James Gist is too passive, plain and simple. For a senior player with NBA potential, his teammates don’t seem to get the ball in his hands enough, especially early in games. Gist needs to be more assertive and demand the ball in the paint. Whoever told him to shoot the three needs to tell him to stop!

Greivis Vazquez is a shooting guard, not a point guard. He isn’t particularly effective running the point, his shot isn’t falling and he’s not as quick or athletic as most of the point guards he’ll be called on to defend. At this point, his overall game isn’t as good as it was at the end of last season. 
Eric Hayes is a pass first point guard playing out of positions at shooting guard. You almost have to beg him to shoot the ball, which is not #1 on the list of attributes for a good shooting guard. He has a decent outside shot when his feet are set, but by no means is he a catch and shoot player like Mike Jones was for Maryland.
Landon Milbourne is ineffective in a set offense, period. He can’t seem to take his man off the dribble, isn’t particularly physical or a good finisher. To date, he hasn’t shown much.

Off the bench, freshman Braxton Dupree from Calvert Hall is a classic, Gary Williams back to the basket center. He shows a good understanding of how to use his body to seal off his defender and can finish with either hand. He shows a lot of upside and teamed with Bambale Osby makes a good combination at the center position for Maryland.
Freshman Cliff Tucker has given Maryland good minutes off the bench at both the shooting guard and small forward positions. He’s aggressive, can hit the three, take his man off the dribble, finish and defend. I’d be shocked if he didn’t steal minutes from Landon Milbourne at the small forward position as the season progresses.

Center/forward Jerome Burney is athletic and brings rebounding and shot blocking ability to the table. He won’t give you much in a set offense, but is aggressive on the offensive boards and will get you points on put backs and emphatic slam dunks.

Freshman point guard/shooting guard Adrian Bowie has been turnover prone so far.

The rest of Maryland’s bench hasn’t really played enough minutes for me to get a good feel for what, if anything they may offer this season.
One last note….it’s time for Maryland to say goodbye to playing in the BB&T classic in DC. The attendance is embarrassing, they don’t play very well, and the losses to the GW’s, Notre Dame’s and VCU’s of the world are not helping their NCAA Tournament chances in March.

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