Tag Archive | "Georgia Tech"

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Petty takes over at QB as Terps host Georgia Tech Saturday

Posted on 02 November 2012 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland returns to Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium for its second-to-last home game of the 2012 season when it plays host to Georgia Tech Saturday at 12:30 p.m. The Terps are coming off a pair of close losses and have played in close games throughout the year. Maryland’s average margin of victory is 5.5 and its average margin of defeat is just 4.5. The series with Georgia Tech has also been close in recent history – five of the last seven games in the series have been decided by five points or less. Last year, the Yellow Jackets claimed a 21-16 victory in Atlanta.

First-and-10

• The Terps are in what seems to be uncharted territory at the quarterback position. Four Maryland QBs have suffered season-ending injuries this year: C.J. Brown was lost in August with a torn ACL; Perry Hills was lost in the NC State game with a torn ACL;Devin Burns was lost after replacing Hills in the NC State game with a Lisfranc (foot); and Caleb Rowe was lost for the year after suffering a torn ACL in the Boston College game. An inquiry among FBS media relations contacts turned up no results of any school having a similar injury situation at quarterback this season or in the past.

• Against Georgia Tech, true freshman Shawn Petty will take the reins at QB. Petty starred on both sides of the ball and was an All-Met selection at Eleanor Roosevelt HS in Greenbelt, Md. As a quarterback, he threw for 1300 yards and 15 TDs, and ran for 550 yards and 10 TDs. Fellow true freshman Brian McMahon, a tight end, will back up Petty. McMahon also played QB in high school. When Petty starts, Maryland will become one of seven schools to have started three different players at quarterback this season (also Southern Miss – 4; and Colorado State, Kentucky, Minnesota, Tulane and Utah – 3).

• Despite the injuries and the fact that the Terps have relied on mostly young players – the 14 true freshmen Maryland has played are tied for the fifth most in the FBS – they are two wins away from bowl eligibility. That’s in large part due to a defense which has ranked among the nation’s best throughout the season.

• The Terps rank seventh nationally in total defense (289.3 ypg), fourth in rushing defense (77.6 ypg) and 40th in passing defense (211.6 ypg). Maryland has held its last two opponents under 50 rushing yards: NC State totaled just 40 yards on 26 attempts (1.5 yards per carry) and Boston College had just 8 yards on 27 attempts (0.3 yards per carry). Maryland has an experienced front seven highlighted by senior defensive linemen Joe Vellano and A.J. Francis, and senior linebackerDemetrius Hartsfield. Those three have played a big role in holding opponents to an average of just 2.31 yards per rush, which ranks third nationally behind Alabama and Stanford. Adding to Maryland’s strength up front are senior linebackersKenneth Tate and Darin Drakeford.

• Maryland’s 7.6 tackles for loss per game are tied for 10th in the FBS and its 3.0 sacks per game are tied for 12th. Vellano leads the ACC and is tied for ninth nationally with 1.75 tackles for loss per game. He was named ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week after recording five tackles and 2.5 sacks, along with a forced fumble against Boston College. Drakeford, meanwhile, has 8.0 TFLs and Hartsfield has 7.0.

• Offensively and on special teams, wide receiver Stefon Diggs continues to be Maryland’s most dynamic playmaker. Against Virginia, the freshman returned the game’s opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown and last week vs. BC he had a career-high 11 catches for 152 yards and a touchdown. Over the last five games he’s averaging 104.0 receiving yards per game, while his 169.3 all-purpose yards per game this season rank second in the ACC and ninth nationally. Diggs has earned ACC weekly honors four times this season: he received Rookie of the Week honors against West Virginia, Wake Forest and Boston College; and Specialist of the Week honors against Virginia.

Quick Hitters

• Maryland has lost seven players to season-ending injuries this year, four of which are quarterbacks. QB C.J. Brown (knee), QB Devin Burns (foot), QB Perry Hills (knee), PK/P Nick Ferrara (hip), WR Marcus Leak (toe), DL Andre Monroe (knee) and QB Caleb Rowe (knee) have all been lost for the year.

• Stefon Diggs has earned ACC Player of the Week honors four times this year. Diggs won Rookie of the Week for his play against West Virginia (9/22), Wake Forest (10/6) and Boston College (10/27), and Specialist of the Week against Virginia (10/13). Additionally, a defensive player has captured weekly honors in three of the past four weeks: Demetrius Hartsfieldearned Linebacker of the Week for his play against Wake Forest (10/6), and Darin Drakeford received the award against Virginia (10/13). Joe Vellano was named Defensive Lineman of the week for his play against Boston College (10/27).

• Diggs ranks fourth in the conference and first among freshmen with 83.2 receiving yards per game. Diggs, who has 38 catches for 666 yards, already ranks 16th on Maryland’s single-season receiving yards list (see list page 6).

• Diggs is the only Maryland freshman to record back-to-back 100-yard receiving games (vs. West Virginia and Wake Forest) since at least 1985, the earliest game-by-game statistics were recorded at the school.

• Maryland allowed Wake Forest to complete just 32.4 percent of its passes (13 of 38). That is the lowest percentage by an opponent with at least 30 passing attempts since Duke went 13 of 42 (30.9%) on Nov. 14, 1998.

• Joe Vellano’s father, Paul Vellano, was inducted into the Maryland Athletics Hall of Fame on Oct. 5. The elder Vellano was a first team All-American in 1973, while Joe was a second team All-American in 2011. The father-son combo represent one of four known father-son All-America combos to attend the same FBS school (also Lee and Travis McGriff at Florida; Kevin and Drew Butler at Georgia; Archie and Eli Manning at Ole Miss).

• Fourteen players saw their first career action for Maryland against William & Mary, and 25 players have seen their first career action for Maryland at some point this season (14 true freshmen, eight redshirt freshmen, two juniors, one senior).

• The Terps are holding opponents to 2.31 yards per carry, which ranks third nationally. Of the opponents’ 269 rushing attempts this season, 186 (69.1%) have been for three yards or less (28 of 41 vs. William & Mary; 28 of 39 vs. Temple; 25 of 40 vs. Connecticut; 20 of 25 vs. West Virginia; 21 of 29 vs. Wake Forest; 25 of 42 vs. Virginia; 18 of 26 vs. NC State; 21 of 27 vs. Boston College).

• Demetrius Hartsfield leads the team with 69 tackles and is just outside Maryland’s top 15 with 329 in his career. He needs two stops to pass Kevin Walker for 15th on Maryland’s career tackles chart.

• The Terps have done a good job controlling the clock. In seven games, Maryland has had the ball for an average of 31:43 to 28:17 for the opponent. That’s a major upgrade compared to 2011, when Maryland averaged just 25:16 a game to 34:44 for the opponent.

• Head coach Randy Edsall hands out game balls for each win. Most recently, Darin Drakeford received the defensive game ball and Stefon Diggs got the special teams game ball for the win over Virginia (see complete list, page 6).

• Against William & Mary, Perry Hills became the first true freshman starter at quarterback for Maryland since Latrez Harrison in 1999. He also became the first freshman to start a season opener since redshirt freshman Calvin McCall on Sept. 2, 1999, in a 6-0 win over Temple.

• Nine bowl teams from last year appear on Maryland’s 2012 schedule: Temple (Gildan New Mexico Bowl), West Virginia (Discover Orange Bowl), Wake Forest (Franklin American Mortgage Music City), Virginia (Chick-fil-A Bowl), NC State (Belk Bowl), Georgia Tech (Hyundai Sun Bowl), Clemson (Discover Orange Bowl), Florida State (Champs Sports Bowl) and UNC (AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl).


Maryland-Georgia Tech Series History

• Georgia Tech owns a 14-6 advantage in the all-time series, and has taken four of the last five from Maryland.

• The Yellow Jackets joined the ACC in 1983 and the teams first met in 1988. They played each other for 17 straight seasons (1988-04) before league expansion necessitated a rotating schedule.

• Five of the last seven games in the series have been decided by five points or less. Last year, the Yellow Jackets claimed a 21-16 victory in Atlanta. C.J. Brown rallied the Terps from a 21-3 halftime deficit with a 77-yard touchdown run and Davin Meggett cut the lead to five with a 1-yard TD run, but the Terps would get no closer.

• Maryland’s win in 2007, the last meeting between the teams in College Park, snapped a three-game Georgia Tech winning streak. In his first career start, Chris Turner threw for 255 yards, and Lance Ball ran for three touchdowns as Maryland held on for a 28-26 victory over Georgia Tech. Travis Bell sent a 52-yard field goal attempt wide right with 54 seconds remaining.

• Georgia Tech edged Maryland 27-23 in a 2006 thriller in Atlanta. The Terps had the ball at the Yellow
Jacket 7-yard line with only seconds remaining, but were stopped shy of the winning score.

• Maryland’s Lance Ball and Tech’s Tashard Choice had 116 and 138 rushing yards, respectively, in that game, as the two dueled it out on the ground. The Yellow Jackets’ Calvin Johnson had 133 yards receiving and Terrapin wideout Darrius Heyward-Bey had 111 to provide Maryland’s yards through the air.

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Terps WR Boykins out again Saturday, likely out for season

Posted on 01 November 2012 by WNST Staff

University of Maryland Football Injury Report

vs. Georgia Tech

Position

Name

Injury

Status

QB C.J. Brown Knee Out for the season
QB Devin Burns Foot Out for the season
PK/P Nick Ferrara Hip Out for the season
QB Perry Hills Knee Out for the season
WR Marcus Leak Toe Out for the season
DL Andre Monroe Knee Out for the season
QB Caleb Rowe Knee Out for the season
WR Kerry Boykins Hip/Groin Out
OL Bennett Fulper Foot Questionable
DL Justin Anderson Ankle Probable
OL De’Onte Arnett Ankle Probable
RB Wes Brown Shoulder Probable
TE Devonte Campbell Knee Probable
OL Sal Conaboy Ankle Probable
DB Sean Davis Hip Probable
WR Kevin Dorsey Knee Probable
LB Cole Farrand Wrist Probable
DL A.J. Francis Shoulder Probable
OL Justin Gilbert Knee Probable
OL Nick Klemm Knee Probable
DB Matt Robinson Hip Probable
TE Ryan Schlothauer Knee Probable
TE David Stinebaugh Back Probable
LB Kenneth Tate Knee Probable
LB Alex Twine Neck Probable
DL Joe Vellano Foot Probable

Filed: 11/1/12

 

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Edsall says Terps identifying how much QB Petty capable of

Posted on 31 October 2012 by WNST Staff

Head Coach Randy Edsall

 

Opening statement:

“Another week, a different challenge for us as we get ready to play Georgia Tech. The option offense is something they’re very, very good at. It will be a tremendous challenge for our team and our defense to slow down Georgia Tech. [They average] 300 yards rushing, 35 points per game, so we’ve got a lot of work to do this week to make sure we know our assignments.

 

“In terms of option football, you’ve got to have someone who can take care of the back, someone to take care of the quarterback, take care of the pitch. With the different offense schemes you see, its zone blocks and cut blocks and all those things. It takes a lot of work during the week to get it down and be able to stop them and slow them down. We’re looking forward to getting out there today and working some more.

 

“Defensively, [Georgia Tech] has just gone through a coaching change. What they’ve done is simplify their defense from what they were doing before. The challenge we have is to put together a game plan that utilizes Shawn [Petty’s] abilities to the best we can but also incorporate that with all the other abilities we have with our players on offense. That’s something that will be ongoing as we continue to practice today and tomorrow, and we’ll take a look at some more things and narrow that plan down as we go into the game on Saturday.”

 

On limiting Georgia Tech’s option offense:

“We did a good job of limiting points last year. I think they still had 370 yards or whatever it was. Again, I think the biggest thing you always have to do regardless of the scheme you play, everybody has to do their job. That’s one thing: you can’t be staring at things you’re not supposed to be staring at. You cannot worry about someone else, you’ve got to make the proper read and make the block and take care of your responsibility.

 

“The toughest part from a defensive standpoint — and that’s why sometimes it takes a little bit of time — is you’re not used to the speed of the first drive. You’re not used to the speed and precision because it’s difficult if you don’t run that speed for the scout team to produce that in practice. As much as they try to do a good job, it’s just totally different. One thing that’s always concerning to me when you play an option team is that the first series is very critical because you want to get off on the right foot. You tell your guys, hey, it’s going to be a lot faster in the game than what we saw in practice, and you’ve got to get used to it from the beginning. You can’t wait, and that’s easier said than done.”

 

On if they had practiced defending the option prior to this week:

“You always have your option responsibilities when you install a defense. When you put a defense in, you’re always telling your guys, if you get the option, this is what you do. Again, our offense ran some of those things in the spring and preseason and even during the season. We see it, and it’s much different than what Georgia Tech does, but no, we hadn’t [practiced] it yet. We had too many other things to take care of.”

 

On Shawn Petty at quarterback:

“Last week, when we knew were moving him to quarterback, we developed a plan for him to be able to go in and play if he needed to and to get him comfortable with some things. This week, what we’ve been able to do is take a look at some more things, we’ll practice those and then take a look and see if he can absorb, digest and execute during practice. It’s going to be a combination of what he can do, but we’ve also got other guys on the team that realize their skill sets as well. It’s that balance we’ve got to find in terms of what’s the best way to move the ball and score points utilizing Shawn, utilizing the other parts of our offense.”

 

On how Shawn Petty is digesting the offense:

“That’s always the toughest part. He played quarterback in high school, and I think he really feels he’s a quarterback at heart. I think he’s really looking forward to the opportunity to go out there and play. He’s excited, and we’re excited for him. He wants to go out and play really, really well. It wasn’t like he’s never played the position before.

 

“The biggest thing is terminology. Depending on the style of offense he played in high school and what we’re doing, it’s just getting the numbers down, what we call plays, the reads. I’ve been impressed so far with what he’s been able to handle, and we’ll see where that leads us in practice today and tomorrow as we head into the game.”

 

On the timing of finding out quarterback Caleb Rowe’s injury:

“We got on [the injury] faster than we normally do, due to the impending hurricane. During the game at Boston College, in the second-to-last play, when he scrambled out of the pocket to the sideline, he went down and kind of felt his leg buckle. I saw as he rolled there and started to get up that he had a cut on his shin. As the true competitor that Caleb is, he just said there was nothing there and got up and was OK and went in for the last play.

 

“On Sunday morning when he woke up, he couldn’t get over here and we had to send someone over to get him. He was stiff and sore, and he came over and [head trainer Wes Robinson] took a look at him. He didn’t have real good news, and that’s when I said, we need to get him to a place now to see if we can get the MRI. We might not be able to do it Monday because there might not be any place open due to the hurricane. So Dr. [Craig] Bennett came in and took a look at him. He came to me and told me he thought it was a torn ACL. I mentioned something to the team, that it was a possibility that Caleb might not be ready to go. Once we got it confirmed on Monday from the MRI, I told Shawn, ‘Hey, you’re the guy, be ready to go.’

 

“You just feel bad for Caleb because he was playing well and getting better. He’s got talent, and now he’s got a little bit of a setback. He’ll be OK; he’ll work hard on his rehab and be back stronger. Now Shawn gets his opportunity, and we’re all behind Shawn. We’re going to go with Shawn, and he’s the best guy we’ve got to lead the team. I think he’ll do a good job.”

 

On Shawn Petty’s personality:

“He is very laid back. He is very similar to Devin [Burns] in terms of his personality. He never gets very high or low. He is a steady ship out there. He goes about his business. He is determined and focused. He is an athlete. He wants to do well. His personality with the situation we are going into is probably pretty good. He doesn’t get real excited or down in the dumps. He is just looking for the opportunity and looking forward to take advantage of it.”

 

On the team responding to the injuries at quarterback:

“This is only the third or fourth time that they have gone through it. Our guys know how to handle it. They understand what the issues are. They have gone through C.J.[Brown], Perry [Hills], Devin [Burns] and now Caleb [Rowe]. We know that Shawn [Petty] is our guy so everyone has to rally around him. They are going to do that. In their minds he is a guy who can do the things necessary to help us win the game. It’s not all on Shawn, he is just one part of this team. That’s what happens when you have the team concept and mentality. It helps you get through obstacles that you have to overcome like this.”

 

“Brian [McMahon] is a guy who will be ready to go. He is very smart, and picks things up very well. He would like to redshirt so he is hoping that Shawn can stay healthy. But it’s one of those things that I told him if something happens you have to be ready to go. He said if that’s what happens than he will be ready. It exemplifies his attitude towards being a team player and doing whatever he has to do to help our team be better.”

 

On if Shawn Petty will stay No. 31:

“Yes he is. Brian McMahon will stay No. 87 too. Doug Flutie wore No. 22. It’s an eligible number to play that position so we are going to keep them in those jerseys because we really don’t have any other numbers to put them in. All of the other numbers are taken. It will be a little bit different. It will give everyone something to talk about.”

 

On who would be the emergency quarterback:

“That’s to be determined. You are jinxing me by asking me that question.”

 

On A.J. Francis on and off the field:

“A.J. [Francis] is having a very good year on the field. He is doing a good job during practice and off the field. He is being a good leader even though he isn’t a captain. We expect all of our guys to do their parts in being leaders. Just because you aren’t a captain doesn’t mean you can’t speak up and say things. A.J is being vocal this year and I think that is helping us. He has been playing well. He has that personality that people will listen to. That is a big thing. What he is talking about and saying to the other guys he is backing up on the practice field with the work he is putting in and his production doing his job. We are pleased with what we are getting out of A.J. on the field as well as from a leadership standpoint.”

 

On how Brad Craddock reacted to Saturday and whether confidence is his biggest issue:

“I don’t think it is confidence that is his biggest issue. It’s the consistency of technique that is his issue. Brad [Craddock] understands that if you aren’t performing and other guys are than they are going to get an opportunity. The interesting thing is when we went out on Sunday and did PAT and field goal work he made all six or seven kicks he took right down the middle. That is what we have to see all the time. We will kick again today and again tomorrow. Right now the plan is Brendan [Magistro] will do everything through 35 or 40 yards and Brad will kick beyond that. “

 

“Brad is going to be a very good kicker. What we have to do as coaches is help and show him that. He has to perfect the technical side of kicking on a consistent basis. Just because you have someone else step up doesn’t mean I have lost confidence in them and I haven’t lost it in Brad. Right now he isn’t being as productive as he can and we have someone else who through practice has shown they were being more productive. Brendan has showed he can do it in the game as well.”

 

On how Brendan Magistro ended up at Maryland:

“He wanted to walk on. We had Nick [Ferrara] and at that point in time we didn’t have Brad [Craddock] yet so we were looking to add a walk on for camp. What we saw on film and at our camps we thought he would be the guy that we would bring in for that.”

 

On if Brian McMahon has a chance to play:

“I don’t think right now I would go to Brian [McMahon], I would rather stick with Shawn [Petty]. They both have run similar types of offense in high school. Right now Shawn is our quarterback and it’s not going to be a situation where we have a quick hook. I want him to stay healthy, go out and execute, have fun, and be a leader and the quarterback he can be.”

 

Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley

 

On if he’s ever seen a season like this in his coaching years:

“I can’t say that I have, going through what we’ve gone through at the quarterback situation. But, like we talk about here, it’s the next man up and we’re going to find a way to prepare a quarterback to go out and come up with a game plan that’s capable of executing and find a way to win.”

 

On the challenge of playing different quarterbacks:

“I’d say it’s been a little challenging, but each of the guys that have made the move to quarterback have come in with open mindsets, they both are football smart kids having played the position their whole life. Shawn grew up a quarterback as Brian did. It’s like riding a bike a little bit, in that you don’t forget some of the leadership intangibles. I’ve been really happy with how much they’ve been able to come in and just take the quarterback position and control the line of scrimmage. They’ve been very comfortable with doing those things, and I think that comes from their experience as quarterbacks.”

 

On how Shawn has picked up concepts:

“Well regardless of whether Shawn, Brian, or whoever the quarterback may be, we’re always going to find out what they can execute, it’s not about what we know. We’ve been very conscientious to make sure we figure out what they can execute, tailor it to what their skill set is, and find ways to get it called. We’ve always done that with whoever our quarterback has been. Again as I said before, I’ve been very pleased with Shawn and Brian both with just how much they’ve been able to understand football concepts. What we have to do now, today is a big day for us being able to get out and implement some of the game plan, some third-down stuff and red-zone stuff. Today we’ll see how it looks and come back in tonight and see what we can call, what we can’t, and what we need to change.”     

 

On the play of Caleb Rowe:

“I thought Caleb did a pretty good job from the standpoint of he gave us a chance to win. I think also when you go back and look at the tape, he made a lot of freshman mistakes, which is to be expected. Anytime you have three interceptions in a game as I told Caleb and as we talk about on offense, you’re not going to give yourself too many opportunities to win ball games. With two of the interceptions being plays that he’s been coached not to do those things I think he understands that. But, for a guy for his first start for some of the things we were able to do, you go in and throw the ball 42 times, with a true freshman, he had a pretty good grasp of the game plan. I was pleased with how he handled it, and we need to continue to work on it.”

 

On practicing despite the hurricane:

“We were able to get some work in yesterday, our base game plan stuff. We were able to get a lot of the run game stuff done.”

 

On how the team is handling the QB injuries:

“From the offensive standpoint, one of the things we talked about Sunday as an offensive unit was regardless of who our quarterback was as a coaching staff, we’re going to find a way to put a plan together to give us a chance to go into the game and win. We may have to have a few guys step up, maybe take a little more on their plate, but we’re going to give ourselves a chance, we’re going to put a plan together that best fits whoever our starter is at quarterback and we need to go and execute it. Our big thing this week is we have to be very productive on first and second down. It’s been very tough for us all year long to keep us out of third and long situations. We have to go out and find a way to get more yards on first and second down, and have manageable third-down situations.”

 

On Shawn’s personality:

“Well I know this, this is about as big as a smile I’ve seen on his face all year long. I’ve seen him on the other side on the scout team when you’re yelling at him for not giving you the look you need. Every time he comes in the meeting room and every time we’ve had a chance to sit down and meet, he’s got a big smile on his face and he’s taking great notes. He’s into being a quarterback, and I think for him and for us it’s probably a benefit, because I know and I’m sure Coach [Edsall] has talked to you about it, this is something he really wants. He wants to prove he can play quarterback at this level even though we recruited him to be a linebacker. I love that, because now I know he’s going to put everything into being prepared and put everything to going out an executing. You can work a guy that wants to.”

 

On the run game:

“Again, we’re going to do whatever it takes to win the game. With the run game, I think some of the reasons we’ve been able to run the ball is we’ve been able to make some plays out on the perimeter with our screen game that come off of the run. That’s something we weren’t necessarily efficient at earlier in the year. It’s always great when you can count on having a guy back there that has the ability to make something out of nothing and be able to win the one-on-one battle. Our running backs when they load the box up, they have unblocked guys. Wes [Brown] has shown the ability to make that guy miss or run over a guy. I think Wes has been a benefit of some of the change at the quarterback position that has given us different skill sets to allow us to do some things.”

 

On the offensive line:

“It’s a work in progress getting some guys healthy up front, but I’ve been pleased with the guys that have been here that have played the last couple of weeks. I think we’ve kind of settled in a little bit. The big thing with a guy like [Evan] Mulrooney is when you have a young quarterback like last week with Caleb, a lot was put on his plate in terms of getting him protected and all the identifications we have to make from a communications stand point. He’s a smart guy that understands it and he did a great job last week from keeping Caleb from taking too many shots. I’ve been pleased with the way it’s coming, but we still have a lot of work to go up front. Those guys know it, and we need to continue to be creative in how we do things offensively to take advantage or help us find ways to move the ball.”

 

Defensive Coordinator Brian Stewart

 

On how Georgia Tech will attack Maryland’s defense:

“It’s not necessarily the Maryland game per se, as it is their plan of attack. They have a plan if you’re at an odd front, and they have a plan if you’re an even front. They want to run certain plays to the shade, and they want to run certain plays to the three technique, so they have a very distinct plan, and if you overplay certain things they have a counter for it. They run their offense very well, it’s a very efficient offense.”

 

On slowing down Georgia Tech’s offense early in the game:

“I think that’s the most important thing. The very first 12 plays versus anybody is tough, because those are scripted plays as you know. Against an offense that you’re going to see once a year, the speed is incredible. There’s no way you’re going to catch up to that speed until game time. You can’t get your scout teams to do it, you can’t get your offense to do it unless they run it at that same speed. The motions, the wingbacks and all that stuff… The speed, it takes you a second or two to get caught up.”

 

On how the defense played on Boston College’s game-winning drive:

“I think when you look at a game, and obviously that last part I’ve looked over many times, I think that the main thing is you have to do what you’re supposed to do all across the board. We run our best coverages, our best run stunts and our best pass stunts. Man-to-man we have to do what we’re supposed to do, do our job.”

 

On what impresses him the most about Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington:

“What impresses me the most is his vision before the snap. I think he does a good job of having a pretty clean idea of where he wants to run at. Whether it’s the option, the dive, or the mid-line, he has a pretty good idea. He looks at our leverage and knows whether he wants to pitch it, or whether he wants to keep it. So I think he’s done a good job for them in that stance.”

 

On senior defensive lineman A.J. Francis:

“You know A.J. has done a great job for me, so I can’t speak for how he was before. But I think he’s done a good job of buying in, playing hard, and playing big. I think he’s done a good job of just playing to his size. I think that’s a testament to him and him wanting to be a good player, and doing the little things like watching the tape and knowing his opponent.”

 

On if the 3-4 gives the defense a better opportunity to get to the points of exchange:

“It’s one of those, ‘I’ll find out Saturday.’ I like to think so, but Paul Johnson has seen so much and you know all the [military] academies are 3-4, so it’s not like I’m a surprise. I know he’s going to be well prepared, and he’s going to have his play selection.”

 

 

– Terps –

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Maryland to visit Northwestern in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Posted on 14 May 2012 by WNST Staff

The 14th annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods on Nov. 27-28 will be highlighted by North Carolina at Indiana, Ohio State at Duke and North Carolina State at Michigan, six programs expected to be highly ranked entering the 2012-13 season. ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to televise all 12 games of the two-day event matching top college basketball programs playing for conference supremacy and the Commissioners Cup.

All 12 games will also be available via WatchESPN, which delivers live access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3 on PCs, smartphones and tablets to fans who receive ESPN’s linear networks as part of their video subscription from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks or Verizon FiOS TV.

The 2012 Challenge involves nine teams ranked in an ESPN.com early preseason top 25, including five of the top nine: No. 1 Indiana, No. 5 Michigan, No. 6 NC State, No. 8 Ohio State and No. 9 Michigan State.

The ACC won the first 10 Challenges while the Big Ten captured the Commissioner Cup for the third consecutive event, including an eight to four win advantage over the ACC last year. In the event of a 6-6 tie, the Commissioner’s Cup will remain with the conference that won the previous year. 2012 Challenge highlights:

  • Off a Ratings High: ESPN’s telecast of Ohio State’s 85-63 victory over Duke last year was the highest-rated and most-viewed Challenge game ever, averaging a 2.6 rating and 2,618,000 households. The telecast propelled ESPN to its most-viewed Challenge, averaging 1,555,000 households, based on a 1.6 rating.
  • One more Shot at the Dozen: Duke, which has won 11 of its 13 Challenge games, will host Ohio State in its quest for an event-record 12th victory. Duke lost to Ohio State last year and to Wisconsin in 2009.
  • First Challenge Matchups: Four of the telecasts will feature first-time Challenge matchups: Virginia at No. 22 Wisconsin, Maryland at Northwestern, No. 9 Michigan State at Miami and Georgia Tech at Illinois.
    • In addition to first-time Challenge games, several of the teams are infrequent opponents: Michigan State and Miami have never met; Northwestern and Maryland played one other time, a Northwestern victory in 1958; Virginia and Wisconsin split its two games, Virginia in 1975 and Wisconsin in 1999; and Illinois has defeated Georgia Tech in six of its seven games, including the last one in 2001.
  • Tourney Teams: Eleven teams between the two conferences played in the 2012 NCAA Tournament: Duke, Florida State, North Carolina, NC State and Virginia from the ACC, and Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin from the Big Ten.
  • Following a First with a Rematch: Boston College and Penn State and Nebraska and Wake Forest will follow first-time Challenge meetings with a second consecutive showdown in the event.
    • Boston College, which won its first five games, lost to Penn State last year, while Nebraska lost its Challenge debut to Wake Forest.
  • Threepeat: Five of the games will mark three-time Challenge matchups: North Carolina at Indiana (Indiana win in 2001 and North Carolina in 2004), NC State at Michigan (Michigan win in 2003 and NC State in 2006), Ohio State at Duke (Duke win in 2002 and Ohio State in 2011), Iowa at Virginia Tech (won by Virginia Tech in 2006 and 2009) and Purdue at Clemson (Purdue win in 2003 and Clemson in 2007).
  • Three and one more: Minnesota and Florida State will meet for the fourth time (Minnesota won in 2000 and Florida State in 2004 and 2007).

2012 ACC/Big Ten Challenge schedule (times and networks are to be determined):

Date Game
Tue, Nov 27 No. 13 North Carolina at No. 1 Indiana
  No. 6 NC State at No. 5 Michigan
  No. 25 Minnesota at Florida State
  Maryland at Northwestern
  Iowa at Virginia Tech
  Nebraska at Wake Forest
Wed, Nov 28 No. 8 Ohio State at No. 15 Duke
Virginia at No. 22 Wisconsin
No. 9 Michigan State at Miami
Purdue at Clemson
Georgia Tech at Illinois
Boston College at Penn State

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Greyhounds Meet With Media At NCAA Tournament in Pittsburgh

Posted on 14 March 2012 by WNST Staff

THE MODERATOR: We’re joined by Loyola student-athletes.

How are you liking Pittsburgh so far?

SHANE WALKER: Love it.

ERIK ETHERLY: Great city. I’m a Steelers fan.

DYLON CORMIER: Been a great trip so far.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for our student-athletes from Loyola.

Q. The nation has found out about your coach, how personable he is, is that the right way to put it? Can you give us your memory when he went off on some rant or tandem that you said, I don’t know what this guy is talking about?

SHANE WALKER: I feel like he can do that any day. Anytime somebody asks him a question, it’s a 15-minute answer. He goes off on a tandem, you have no idea where he’s going. He’s such a great guy, you just learn to accept it and love it.

ERIK ETHERLY: I think the most memorable one for me is halftime of the Fairfield game with Bobby Steele and the Black Panthers. Nobody saw that one coming. He got his message across.

DYLON CORMIER: I think for me is him, the inch-by-inch statement he just came out with. He said, To win, we got to block and tackle, same thing in basketball.

Q. Dylon, he said earlier this week where you have a special relationship, he’ll challenge you, you’ll challenge him right back.

DYLON CORMIER: It’s kind of like he want me to do better, so he’ll yell me and tell me I’m not doing something better, just so I can do it even better.

Q. You’re known for your man-to-man defense. Also explain to us what your flex offense is like.

SHANE WALKER: I feel like our defense is so, so good because everybody has bought in. Years past, not necessarily everybody has bought in. Me being a senior leader, I demanded that from the rest of the team, and we all bought in. It wasn’t a problem.

ERIK ETHERLY: We also help each other out a lot. We have a great team in terms of being able to switch a lot of stuff so we don’t get caught up on a lot of screens and we always help on all of our screens.

DYLON CORMIER: I think we have a great inside presence with Shane and Erik, and also J’hared and Julius coming off the bench. So the two players has been effective for us this year.

Q. Shane, can you talk about the matchup with Ohio State. Has Jimmy brought up any history of No. 15 seeds beating No. 2 seeds?

SHANE WALKER: Yeah, he’s talked about Coppin State in the past. Was it South Carolina? Yeah, it was maybe 15 years ago, he brought that up.

He’s not really concerned about years past, he’s concerned about the team now and doing the best we can. He’s not really focused about other teams.

Q. Were you the Steelers fan?

ERIK ETHERLY: I was at the opening game when the Steelers played the Ravens. I took  a lot of heat for it, but I wore it at the stadium.

Q. When you break down Ohio State, what stands out offensively in terms of what you need to stop?

DYLON CORMIER: Their inside presence in Jared Sullinger and Thomas, their four-man, they got a great inside presence and a couple shooters where they kick it out. I think we have to prevent the ball from getting in the post as much as we can.

SHANE WALKER: When I look at them, they’re not very deep. They only play six or seven guys. I feel like we can run them. They try to slow the game down. We try to speed it up. Hopefully that will work in our advantage.

Q. You talked about coach. Were you tournament fans, seeing power teams getting beaten?

DYLON CORMIER: Not at a very young age. I remember George Mason went on a run and beat a lot of good teams.

ERIK ETHERLY: And VCU. That’s a local team, so we look up to them, as well.

THE MODERATOR: Guys, thank you.

We have Coach Patsos from Loyola. Make a few opening comments.

COACH PASTOS: Great to be in Pittsburgh, what a great town. My wife is from here. What a great sports town, what a great building. Other than the fact the Steelers play here, I really like it. We’re Ravens fans in Baltimore. A lot of the Ravens, Jim Harbaugh, people like that are following this game. But everybody loves Pittsburgh. Everybody says the same thing, what a great place it is.

I see my commissioner out there. We’re from the MAAC. Really have a lot of pride in our basketball league. We have two teams in the NCAA, which is great for us this year.

I was out with Dave Dickerson, Matt Roe, and Billy Hahn last night for about an hour, because we’re all family friends from Maryland. It’s a really interesting, happy time for me in my life.

I’m really proud of what the kids have done. This is about Loyola, what a great university it is. You don’t get here without the support of Jim Paquette, my AD, the president Father Linnane, things like that. So it’s a happy time for Loyola. Now we’re excited to play Ohio State, one of the great programs in the country.

Unfortunately Dave Dickerson knows me really well, so they don’t have to scout us because I run everything that we ran at Maryland together. They should know everything we’re running.

I’m happy to take questions.

Q. Obviously you know what it’s like to cut down the nets. Can you contrast emotionally the difference between being in the first chair here with a program like Loyola and having it done at Maryland?

COACH PASTOS: That’s a good question because both programs were the same when I got there. Obviously the depths of 1 and 27 is different from what happened at Maryland. However our climb at Maryland were when Duke and Carolina were winning NCAA tournaments. Georgia Tech had gone to the Final Four. So, in other words, I feel the same.

I feel great when we cut down the nets at Maryland even though I was the assistant, and I feel great cutting down the nets at Loyola as head coach. The climb was not always easy. You can always climb the first few runnings. You can be a beat writer, but you can’t be Lenn Robbins and have your own column in the widest circulated paper in the country. It takes a while to get there. It’s the last part that’s hard. You know that. It’s the last part of the journey that’s difficult.

Whether it’s at Loyola or the University of Maryland, I feel good we were lucky enough to make that last climb. I’m not sure I ever thought that would happen, at either place by the way.

THE MODERATOR: The 24-win season, what did that mean to the program? It was the first since you went to Division I 30 years ago.

COACH PASTOS: It was great because the last time we went to NCAA, Skip Prosser, who is a fantastic coach and great person, was here. They were like the 6 seed and won it. We’re in a great basketball league. To win 24 games in the MAAC, we have NBA players, we have coaches that have left to go on and be successful at a higher level. Kind of puts a signature on your program. When you win 20, it says something. When you win the MAAC, which like I said, I’m not joking about the New York thing, we love being in the New York league because you get a lot of attention media-wise. It’s a great basketball city with a lot of tradition.

Len Elmore and I were joking today, he played at Powell Memorial and I know that because New York is where the best players come from and everybody is a tough critic. If you’re successful there, you’re really happy.

Q. Talk about the concerns you have about Ohio State.

COACH PASTOS: I have major concerns about Ohio State. I just ran into Sullinger in the hallway. The guy is a monster. Thomas, the left-handed 6’8″ guy. Remember, Gary Williams does the Big Ten Network. Not that he would give me any inside information. I know what a great team Ohio State it. It’s an honor to play them. We probably have little chance of winning the game. Four minutes at a time, we’ll see what we can do.

We’ll still run and press against them. Ohio State wants to play their way. If you play their way, you’re not going to beat them. I think they can win the national championship this year, especially with Fab Melo being out. I’m talking as a fan. This has nothing to do with coaching. I see Ohio State have a chance to get to the Final Four because of their size. I like the kid Ravenel that comes off the bench.

But Craft is scary because he reminds me of Steve Blake. The Steve Blake, nobody ever thought he was that good until you played against him. He made shots, steals the ball, he’s quicker, smarter, you find out that he was the quarterback on his high school team, which scares me because you find out he’s a leader. Thomas is much better than I thought. He’s going to cause problems for us. Sullinger, you can put down 20-10, I just hope it’s not 35-18.

Q. Is there a hope with what you do defensively, Ohio State plays their starters a lot of minutes, that maybe you can try to wear them down?

COACH PASTOS: I mean, I can. But they’re four sophomores. Buford knows what he’s doing. We will try and press them. We simulated at little 20-minute scrimmage on Monday night. We took two-and-a-half-minute timeouts and my guys couldn’t believe how long they were. What you find out is they can rest. They can rest those two and a half minutes.

They’re used to playing minutes. It’s like one thing if you lose a couple guys and all of a sudden you have to play six and you’re not used to it. They’ve done it. He’s a great coach.

We will try and press ’em, not as much to wear ’em down, but probably to speed the game up. We need the game to go fast. You saw Iona, but they didn’t score at the end. Our league is a scoring league. We’re going to have to keep scoring. I want the pace of the game more than wearing them down. Is that fair to say? That’s what we’re looking to do.

Q. What you mentioned with Dave Dickerson, is there some element of surprise because a staff member knows you?

COACH PASTOS: Well, Dave, we just got together for like an hour. It was really nice to see everybody. But Dave really quickly says, I saw you’ve reverted back to the original Gary Williams, pressing on the make. He loved his time at St. John Arena. His daughter still lives in Columbus. He saw the pressing. He saw the 2 play, which is our version of the flex.

Gary Williams has had assistants like Rick Barnes, Fran Fraschilla, all these guys. I shouldn’t say this, but they’re probably more successful because they didn’t run all his stuff so much. But no (laughter).

Dave goes, You’re the only dummy that runs everything Gary did. Didn’t you learn? I’m like, Okay. Because Fran Fraschilla and Fran Dunphy and all those guys. I run like Gary’s stuff and I’ve kind of reverted back to it because I thought we could press a lot with eight guys this year.

We have an older team and they get used to the terminology, like 55’s, full-court press, and they all know it. Dave said, I just watched a half and I don’t have to scout anymore. He’s doing exactly what we thought he would do.

We probably play a little more zone, but we play Gary’s zone action, a 3-2, not a 2-3. It will be interesting. Got him 600 some wins and his name on the court, so I stuck with it.

Q. When you got together last night, what was that like? Did you devise a plan to get Gary off of Congressional this weekend?

COACH PASTOS: He’s doing Big Ten games. He’s part of the media now. Preparing to tear some coach apart. No, I’m just kidding.

Gary is going to Chicago to do the Big Ten. No, it was impromptu. Billy Hahn actually led us. Gary was the dad. Billy was the big brother. Dave was the middle. Actually Dave was probably more like Robert Duvall in The Godfather. He was really like sane. I was more like Michael. Billy was definitely like Sonny. I’m not Sonny. There’s no Fredo. Although Gary probably would have picked the same result for Fredo.

Billy kind of texted and said, Let’s get together and talk. Matt Roe was doing the radio for Syracuse. Matt Roe is one of the first guys that came to Gary when there was like nobody to play because they were on probation. It was fun. We talked about all the stuff, how much we accomplished. We laughed with everybody having a video guy, a weight guy. I said, My academic lady is with me, Colleen Campbell. I was the academic guy. Dave did the video. Billy went to weight lifting in the morning. It changed.

It was a good little time. It was nice to be with your family because in basketball that’s our family and we have a nice family.

Q. The guys that were up before said you mentioned the Coppin State win that happened across the street.

COACH PASTOS: I was over there checking it out. They’re taking it down.

Q. It’s a little sad.

COACH PASTOS: Not when you have this, it isn’t.

Q. What motivation have you used as a 15 seed going up against 2?

COACH PASTOS: That it can happen. 16-1 is not going to happen. 15-2 is going to happen once every three or four years. I actually think, my commissioner is here, he’s done a tremendous job with our league. We could have been a 14. They picked Iona as a 14. I don’t see us as a longshot 15. I can do the math. St. Bonnie wins, they pushed us down. That’s okay. Is Ohio a real 2? Unfortunately they could have been a 1 had they won Sunday.

It doesn’t matter. It’s 40 minutes. It’s 10 four-minute segments. We have to try to win six of those segments. We keep track of the segments, which we sole from Thad Matta when he was at Xavier. They have four-minute wars, 10 of them. We have to win six of them to win the game. That’s okay.

I think we have a chance, though, I do, because if we can get the game going fast, we have a chance. If they put us in the meat grinder and go slow, Sullinger goes to work, you can call me at 410, I’ll be in Baltimore Friday by noon.

Q. How much does the loss of Fab change the whole east region?

COACH PASTOS: The guy is a tremendous defensive player. I think in the  tournaments, like at Maryland we had Chris Wilcox. He scored the least. When he blocked Drew Gooden’s shots, Marcus traveled with us, a defensive guy like that can really change the game.

At Maryland I didn’t think we were ever going to win the title until we had a defensive guy like Chris Wilcox. I think they can make some plays. We don’t beat Fairfield if we don’t block some shots. You have to win a defensive game along the way.

Boeheim is a great coach. He’s setting everybody up because he has nine players. He still has eight good ones. That’s a tough one to lose because he’s a 7-footer, great player. It’s none of my concern. It’s an odd time for that to happen. I think that’s not good for a team. Like you can lose a guy three weeks ago and stuff. Like we have a guy, Anthony Winbush, who just had to have stitches Monday. I’ll tell you, he may play, he may not. He had 10 stitches. That’s a weird thing to have happen right now. But he’s not our best player.

Fab Melo is a big loss. Can Boeheim still win? Absolutely. He is one of the great coaches ever and a great golfer, a much better golfer than all the other coaches.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

 

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Maryland Womens NCAA Tournament Opener to Air on ESPN2

Posted on 12 March 2012 by WNST Staff

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Maryland women’s basketball team earned a No. 2 seed in the 2012 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. The Terrapins (28-4) will take on the Patriot League champion Navy (18-13) Saturday at 11:15 a.m. in Comcast Center. The game will be shown on ESPN2.

Maryland will make its 20th NCAA Tournament appearance and eighth under head coach Brenda Frese this weekend. Seventh-seeded Louisville (22-9) will take on 10th-seeded Michigan State (20-11) at approximately 1:30 Saturday. The winners of the Terps-Midshipmen and Cardinals-Spartans games will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in Comcast Center.

The Terrapins are in the Raleigh region, in which Notre Dame is the No. 1 seed and the 2011 national champion Texas A&M is the No. 3 seed.

Frese and the Terps have won their last seven straight games and 10 of their last 11 heading into Saturday’s matchup. Most recently, they won the program’s 10th ACC title on March 4. They beat Georgia Tech, 68-65, behind 29 points from ACC Player of the Year Alyssa Thomas.

The Terrapins are 45-28 (.616) all-time in NCAA Tournament games. Frese owns an NCAA Tournament record of 17-7 (.708) and 16-6 (.727). Frese has led the Terps to three Elite Eights and the 2006 national championship.

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Terps Open ACC Tournament Thursday Against Wake

Posted on 08 March 2012 by WNST Staff

#8 Maryland (16-14, 6-9) vs. #9 Wake Forest (13-17, 4-12)
Thursday, March 8, 2012 | Noon | Atlanta, Ga. (Philips Arena)
ACC Network-WNUV 54 locally in Baltimore | Terrapin Sports Radio Network

Maryland opens play in the 2012 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament in a first-round matchup with Wake Forest. The Terrapins beat the Demon Deacons, 70-64, on Jan. 11 in the only regular-season meeting between the teams this year.Terrell Stoglin had 20 points, with James Padgett and Sean Mosley adding 15 each in the victory that marked the first league game of the year at Comcast Center.

Sophomore guard Terrell Stoglin earned second team All-ACC honors on Monday in balloting by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. Stoglin remains atop the list of scoring leaders in the league with a 21.2 points-per-game average. He had 25 points in the last game of the regular season on Sunday against Virginia, becoming only the third Terrapin in history to reach 1,000 career points in only his second season.

Nick Faust earned a spot on the 2012 ACC All-Freshman Team on Monday. Faust has averaged 13.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.4 steals in the seven games since he returned to the starting lineup after the season-ending injury to Pe’Shon Howard. It marked the third straight season the Terps have put a student-athlete on the league’s All-Freshman Team (Jordan Williams in 2010, Stoglin in 2011). Faust has six double-figure games in the last seven.

The Terrapins are the eighth seed in the ACC Tournament for the sixth time. Maryland is 5-3 in matchups with Wake Forest, including five straight victories. The Terps lost their first three tournament meetings with the Demon Deacons (1954, 1961, 1963), but turned things around with a win in the 1973 semifinals. The other wins have come in 1984, 2001, 2004 and 2009.

Scouting the Demon Deacons

Wake Forest finished the regular season 13-17 overall with a 4-12 mark in the ACC, getting its four conference wins over Virginia Tech, Boston College and Georgia Tech at home and also defeating BC in Chestnut Hill.

The Demon Deacons possess two of the top-six scorers in the conference in guard C.J. Harris and forward Travis McKie… Harris is fourth in the league with 16.8 ppg and is also the team’s top 3-point shooter, having connected on 48-of-111 attempts (.432) this season… McKie is sixth in the conference with 15.9 ppg and is averaging a team-high 6.9 rebounds per game.

Wake is the best free-throw shooting team in the league (.736), led by Harris (.856) and McKie (.730)… Sophomore guard Tony Chennault is third on the team in scoring (9.3 ppg) and has a team-high 85 assists… Fifth-year senior forward Nikita Mescheriakov is fourth on the team with 7.7 ppg.

Upcoming

The winner of the opening first-round game will face top-seeded North Carolina at noon in Friday’s quarterfinals.

The Terrapins are in the top half of the bracket, meaning they would play in the 1 p.m. semifinal, with the championship game also scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Follow the Entire Tournament

First-round coverage of all four games on Thursday will also be available on ESPNU nationally, with blackouts in the ACC geographic footprint.

Fans can also follow the tournament on Twitter: @ACCmbb, with hashtag #ACCTRNY

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Maryland Hopes For Stunner Wednesday at Carolina

Posted on 29 February 2012 by WNST Staff

Maryland (16-12, 6-8) at #6/6 North Carolina (25-4, 12-2)
Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012 | 7 p.m. | Chapel Hill, N.C. (Smith Center)
ESPN / ESPN3 | Terrapin Sports Radio Network

  • Maryland ends a busy February on the road in its rematch with league-leading North Carolina at 7 p.m. in a nationally televised game in Chapel Hill. Maryland lost 83-74 at Comcast Center on 2/4, but led by nine points early in the second half.
  • The Terrapins lost 63-61 at Georgia Tech in their last outing, falling to eighth place in the Atlantic Coast Conference standings with a 6-8 league mark. The Terps have lost seven of their eight road games this season, but are only one game out of a tie for sixth. The Tar Heels are tied atop the league standings with Duke at 12-2.
  • Currently at 16-12, Maryland is in line advance its string of consecutive winning seasons to 19. The last time a Terrapin team finished below .500 was 1992-93, when the Terps went 12-16 in the final year of crippling NCAA sanctions. Each school in the ACC has had a losing season since the Terps (including Duke 13-18 in 1995, UNC 8-20 in 2002).
  • Sophomore guard Terrell Stoglin continues to lead the ACC in scoring at 21.2 ppg and was 7th in the nation through last Sunday’s games. He is 6 points away from 600 for the season, which could be the 19th time a Terrapin player reached that plateau. He is 30 points away from becoming only the third Terrapin to reach 1,000 career points in only his second season at the school (Joe Smith, 1993-95; Tom McMillen, 1971-73).
  • Junior forward James Padgett has 97 offensive rebounds this season and is only a few away from becoming only the eighth Terp in history to grab 100 on the offensive glass in a single season. His 3.5 offensive rpg is second in the league only behind UNC’s Tyler Zeller (3.8 rpg).

    Scouting the Tar Heels

  • North Carolina is 25-4 and 12-2 in the ACC, having won 10 of its last 11 games… The Tar Heels are ranked sixth in the nation in both the Associated Press Poll and the Coaches Poll.
  • Averaging 45.9 rpg, North Carolina possesses the top rebounding team in the nation and the third-best scoring offense with an average of 81.9 points per game… The Tar Heels lead the conference in several statistical categories including scoring margin (15.8), rebounding margin (11.4), blocks per game (6.2), and assists per game (17.6), while ranking second in FG percentage (.462), FG percentage defense (.386), and defensive rebounding percentage (.722).
  • Sophomore forward Harrison Barnes leads the team and ranks second in the ACC in scoring at 17.7 ppg, while senior Tyler Zeller is contributing 15.7 ppg and 9.3 rpg… 6-foot-11 junior John Henson leads the ACC in rebounds per game with 10.4, while adding 14 points a game for the Tar Heels… Henson also leads the conference in blocks with 3.1 per game.
  • Sophomore Kendall Marshall is one of the top point guards in the nation, averaging 9.7 assists per game (second nationally) and supplying the nation’s best assists-turnover ratio at 3.6.

    Upcoming

    The Terps return home for Senior Day on Sunday, March 4, for a 2 p.m. matchup with Virginia…

    The Terrapins will leave Tuesday, March 6 for the 2012 ACC Tournament, to be played at Philips Arena in Atlanta, with its open practice day coming on Wednesday.

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Four Maryland Women Tabbed All-ACC

Posted on 28 February 2012 by WNST Staff

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Four members of the Maryland women’s basketball team were named to the 2011-12 Women’s Basketball All-ACC teams, as announced today by ACC Commissioner John Swofford.

The accolades are voted on by the league’s “Blue Ribbon Panel,” which consists of national and local media members, as well as school representatives.  Alyssa Thomas earned First Team honors, Tianna Hawkins was named to the Second Team, while Lynetta Kizer and Laurin Mincy earned Honorable Mention Honors.

Kizer also earned the fifth annual ACC Sixth Player of the Year honor. The ACC Sixth Player of the Year accolade is nominated and selected by a vote of the league’s 12 head coaches among players that started fewer than 33% of their team’s games.

Thomas, the ACC’s leading scorer, averaged 17.0 points per game and 17.7 points per conference game. Her 8.5 rebounds per ACC game are fifth-best in the league. She earned her fourth ACC Player of the Week honor Monday for a total of four weekly honors this season – more than any other player in the league.

Thomas, who was named ACC Rookie of the Year last season, has scored in double figures in 25 of 28 games this season with eight double-doubles. The Terrapins won four straight to end the regular season. In that four-game span, Thomas averaged 17.0 points, 13.3 rebounds and four assists per game.

Hawkins, a junior forward, leads the nation with her field goal percentage of 64.4 and is the league’s best offensive rebounder with 4.7 per contest. She is No. 9 in the ACC in scoring with 14.0 points per league game and second in overall rebounding with 9.5 a contest.

Mincy proved to be one of the league’s best shooters with her three-point field goal percentage of .390, which was good for No. 2 in the conference. She finished 11th in the league in scoring with 13.4 points per game and seventh with her free throw percentage of 82 percent. Mincy was easily one of the ACC’s most improved players, after she averaged 4.9 points per game as a freshman, to 13.4 points per contest this year as a sophomore.

Kizer ranks 21st in the league with 11.6 points on 46.4% shooting this season after only starting one of the Terrapins’ 26 games. She added 5.8 rebounds per game, fourth-most on the Maryland roster.

A senior from Woodbridge, Va., Kizer posted three double-doubles and had eight consecutive games with double-figure points during conference play. She recorded 16 points and a season-high 12 rebounds, including the 900th of her career, against No. 6 Miami in mid-February.

The Terrapins (25-4, 11-4 ACC) will open play in the 35th Annual ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament Friday evening at approximately 8 p.m. as the No. 3 seed. They will play either sixth-seeded Virginia or 11th-seeded Boston College, depending on Thursday’s result.

All eight games on Thursday and Friday will be broadcast on the league’s regional sports network (RSN-Comcast SportsNet/Comcast SportsNet PLUS in Baltimore). The entire tournament can also be seen on ESPN3.

For more information, visit the official site of the 2012 ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament at www.theACC.com/SheCanPlay. Fans can also follow the upcoming Tournament games on Twitter at @ACCwbb.

Maryland is ranked No. 6 in both the latest Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Division I Top 25 Coaches’ polls.

All-ACC First Team
Chelsea Gray, Duke
Shenise Johnson, Miami
Alyssa Thomas, Maryland
Elizabeth Williams, Duke
Riquna Williams, Miami

All-ACC Second Team
Sasha Goodlett, Georgia Tech
Tianna Hawkins, Maryland
Tyaunna Marshall, Georgia Tech
Ariana Moorer, Virginia
Chay Shegog, North Carolina

All-ACC Third Team
Cierra Bravard, Florida State
Bonae Holston, NC State
Natasha Howard, Florida State
Haley Peters, Duke
Stefanie Yderstrom, Miami

All-ACC Honorable Mention (More than 15 points)
Laura Broomfield, North Carolina; Lakevia Boykin, Wake Forest; Ataira Franklin, Virginia; Marissa Kastanek, NC State; Lynetta Kizer, Maryland; Laurin Mincy, Maryland

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Ravens’ 2012 offensive line may not look as different as first thought

Posted on 27 February 2012 by Luke Jones

At the end-of-season press conference a few weeks ago, it looked like the Ravens’ offensive line would undergo significant changes in 2012.

That doesn’t appear to be a foregone conclusion anymore.

With general manager Ozzie Newsome expressing a more positive outlook on free-agent Pro Bowl guard Ben Grubbs on Friday and veteran center Matt Birk intending to come back for a 15th NFL season, the Ravens could ultimately field the same starting offensive line when it kicks off the 2012 season in September. Before that can happen, however, Newsome and the front office must make difficult decisions regarding each player.

Considered all but a foregone conclusion that Grubbs would depart via free agency when speaking about the 2007 first-round pick’s future a few weeks ago, Newsome and coach John Harbaugh revealed in Indianapolis that the Ravens have had contract discussions with Grubbs’ agent Pat Dye. The Ravens must still decide whether they can award another hefty contract to an interior lineman after signing Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda to a five-year, $32.5 million contract, a deal that would almost certainly need to be surpassed to keep Grubbs in Baltiimore.

Widely regarded as the Ravens’ best offensive lineman, Grubbs will be difficult to keep should he hit the open market on March 13, but the comments made by Newsome and Harbaugh suggest they may have enough salary cap room to keep the 2011 Pro Bowl selection. At the very least, the remarks served as a volley to Grubbs and Dye to show how serious they are about trying to reach an agreement before the start of free agency.

Meanwhile, the Ravens have different factors to weigh in deciding whether to re-sign Birk, who will be 36 years old next season. When asked about Birk on Friday before his agent Joe Linta revealed his client’s intentions to play again in 2012, Newsome was non-committal and previously said during the season-ending press conference the Ravens would add another center to the roster regardless of what happened with either Birk or fellow veteran Andre Gurode.

Working out a short-term contract for Birk that makes sense for both sides shouldn’t be an issue, but the veteran will want to know what the Ravens envision for his role next season. A cerebral player and a great teammate, Birk would be the ideal mentor for a potential draft pick such as Wisconsin’s Peter Konz, but he may not be as receptive should the Ravens ask him to be a reserve.

Speaking of Konz or a player of similar ability, he would be a valuable pick at the end of the first round if the Ravens elect to sign Birk but are unable to retain Grubb’s services. Considered physical enough to play guard in addition to center at the professional level, Konz could spend a season at left guard while learning from Birk at the center position before taking over the position full-time in 2013.

Regardless of what they ultimately decide with Grubbs and Birk, the Ravens will look to address the offensive line in April’s draft, especially when factoring in aging left tackle Bryant McKinnie and his contract that expires next season. Even if the Ravens decide against taking a guard or center in the early rounds, a talented but green left tackle such as Ohio State’s Mike Adams may be available at the end of the first round for Newsome and the front office to strongly consider.

Hill intriguing

One of the most pleasant surprises of the NFL Combine this weekend in Indianapolis was Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill, who joined WNST.net’s Glenn Clark last Friday, before showing impressive athleticism over the weekend.

Playing in Paul Johnson’s run-oriented triple-option offense, Hill’s stats (28 receptions and five touchdowns in 2011) don’t exactly scream premium talent, but his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame and 4.36-second 40 time turned more than a few heads in Indianapolis. Though teams should proceed with caution while trying to learn more about Hill’s ability as a receiver other than the limited passing tree he ran with the Yellow Jackets, he certainly looks like the prototype the Ravens could use as a red-zone target as well as another speedy option to complement Torrey Smith.

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