Monday, January 02, 2006

New Year's party

It wasn't much of a game against VMI on Saturday. Maryland came out of the gate and blew it open in the first 5 minutes going up 17-2 and then 54-17 before the half. It really wasn't much of a contest as it seemed the Terps made every shot they took in the first half. They actually only shot 65% from the floor but to the Cadets it must have seemed like they were hitting everything. In the first half Nik Caner-Medley, DJ Strawberry and Chris McCray combined to go 14-16 from the field. It was a rout so there isn't a great deal to be made of any analysis. You only need the box score on this one. In the words of VMI coach Duggar Baucom: "They took our candy and we couldn't do anything about it." To VMI's credit they kept fighting throughout the game when the deficit was close to 30 points. They deserve credit for having the character to keep fighting.

In the 2nd half the starters played less than 10 minutes and it was time for the second team to get a chance. Parrish Brown showed some of the ability that made him a scoring point guard in junior college. He scored 13 points had 4 assists and hit 3-4 3-pointers. It was a nice game for Brown and his hustle in practice has been rewarded as he seems to have moved past Sterling Ledbetter.

Freshman Dave Neal had a season high in points and minutes, all in the 2nd half. He showed some decent shooting touch and his trademark hustle. It was the highlight of his season but let's hope not of his career at Maryland.

Will Bowers got a good stretch of minutes with 18 and although he didn't score he grabbed 5 rebounds and had 3 assists. Bowers has struggled this year and seems mystified himself as to why he hasn't progressed so far this year. He needs to find his role in the rotation just like all the other bench players.

Sterling Ledbetter dished out 5 assists to go along with 4 points but it seems Ledbetter will be buried on the bench for most of this season in the backcourt logjam.

Nik Caner-Medley had another nice all-around game. Ten points, four rebounds, six assists and no turnovers. Maryland fans should start to appreciate how he has been subverting personal glory for the team.

Around the ACC

Miami had an embarrassing weekend. Their football team was routed on the field by LSU, 40-3, and then literally knocked out in an ugly post game brawl in the stadium tunnel. A number of Hurricane players were reportedly injured in the melee. It was a public relations black eye for the ACC as another of the expansion schools reflected badly on the conference. The Miami basketball team was them abused by Louisville the next day. The fallout has been immediate for the football program as the assistant coach, offensive coordinator, running backs coach and linebacker coach were all fired. All-ACC kick returner Devin Hester announced he will enter the 2006 NFL draft as a junior. Hester was a Parade All-American out of high school but was never able to stick at either wideout or cornerback in three seasons at Miami.

NC State convincingly defeated George Washington on Friday night. The Colonials played an amazingly poor game and shot only 30% from the floor and allowed State to shoot 46%. It wasn't so much the Wolfpack defense as it was horrible shot selection by GW. Their reckless style killed them as the methodical and experienced State squad cut them to ribbons with back breaking 3-pointers at every critical juncture. I'm starting to think that NC State will be better than I anticipated with all the experience they have coming back, however they still lack an explosive player on offense and lost in their only tough road game of the season at Iowa.

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