Friday, November 17, 2006

Who's your daddy?

That was the ill advised taunt that St. John's fans bellowed at DJ Strawberry in the early moments of last night's game. Strawberry gave them the answer, but it wasn't what they expected. You would think that after the stupid and profane taunts that helped fire up Maryland to defeat then #1 Florida on their home floor that fans would leave Strawberry alone. Strawberry contributed 19 points to an embarrassing rout of the Red Storm on their home floor. He sliced through the Red Storm defense and harassed the St. John's players with a vengeance. You would think that as a senior Strawberry wouldn't endure this crass and crude fan behavior but that is the current climate in the sports landscape.

The game itself was a masterful dissection of another middle-of-the-road power conference team. At times it looked like a replay of the high school shoot around in the movie Pleasantville in which every shot improbably goes in the basket. Gary Williams mentioned that he wanted the team to do a better job of hitting open shots and it seems like for one night he got his wish. The team got a little sloppy with a 30 point lead but there was little to criticize in the effort on offense or defense. Ekene Ibekwe and James Gist played their best game of the year, both racking up a double double on the night. Ibekwe had a career night with 22 points and 14 rebounds but still struggled with his foul shooting only hitting 6 out of 11 shots.

The most encouraging aspects were the rebounding domination with a 52-34 rebound advantage and that freshmen Greivis Vasquez and Eric Hayes played very well in their first game under the bright lights. Vasquez and Hayes combined for 13 assists and only 3 turnovers and did another impressive job running the offense.

Against a rugged Michigan State team the Terps need to shore up their defensive rebounding but the rest of the team is humming along nicely. After getting to rest most of the regulars in the laugher last night and Michigan State going down to the wire against Texas I think Maryland has an advantage tonight. A win tonight would be a signal to the rest of the ACC that Maryland will be a factor in the league this season.

Offense: 125.5
Defense: 83.8

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