Thursday, November 02, 2006

Practice

There are some ominous articles in the paper regarding Maryland's 79-78 win in its exhibition game against California University of Pennsylvania. For the lazy or unimaginative it is easy to assume that this season will go much like the last two seasons. Maryland will continue to struggle defending the outside shot and fail to demonstrate the mental toughness needed to win close games. Then again there are dangers in reading too much into a glorified scrimmage that saw Maryland play shorthanded. Gary Williams is more interested in testing his reserves than in winning a meaningless game in early November. Some positives were that Bambale Osby, Landon Milbourne and Eric Hayes preformed well in their first test. Now Gary Williams has an example to reinforce his emphasis on defense. James Gist and Ekene Ibekwe need to demonstrate a firm determination to rebound and defend the paint. Their production in this game wasn't what you would expect given their talent. Both should be pushing for All-ACC honors this season. Before banging the drum about another crisis with this team lets wait and see how they improve over the next few games.

Say What?
Washington Post columnist Mike Wise was on a local sports radio show recently to discuss the turnaround in Maryland's football season. When he got around to the Virginia game he said that he was concerned at halftime he'd have to write another critical article about the football team and get killed on the Maryland message boards. You are a reporter Mr. Wise, you shouldn't be worried about offending some knee jerk Maryland fans who wouldn't be able to handle the truth about their football team. If everyone likes you as a columnist you probably are not doing your job. Ralph Friedgen doesn't need another cheerleader. To be concerned about what anonymous message board fools think of you is ridiculous.

Nice article in the Washington Post about running back Josh Allen and his struggles to come back from a devastating knee injury. Given the nature of the injury and the fact that Allen is now at the end of his eligibility the unfortunate truth is that his career was all but ended on that Saturday almost two years ago. A potential NFL career was dashed and a grueling physical challenge lay ahead for the junior running back. His determination and courage has brought him back as a minor contributor to Maryland's rushing attack this season. Friedgen clearly has a strong personal bond with Allen which is probably why he is getting some spot duty in a very crowded backfield. Hopefully Josh is using his time in school to prepare himself for his life after football.

No comments: