Friday, December 21, 2007

Change in the wind?

A few interesting notes worth mentioning from Gary Williams' radio show last night but first Maryland has signed another player for the class of 2008. Bobby Maze, who played for Suitland high school, has drawn obvious comparisons to Allen Iverson. The two have some physical similarities and have the same type of quick slashing style. There were some questions about Maze's grades before he chose Oklahoma over Wake Forest and his attitude. He left the Sooners after breaking his foot as a freshman and falling out with head coach Jeff Capel.

Maze currently plays at a junior college in Kansas where he is putting up 20 points and 7 assists per game. He will bring some athleticism and quickness to the backcourt which is lacking this season. He will have two years of eligibility and will finish with the current 2006 class of Vasquez, Hayes and Milbourne. I view this mostly as an insurance policy in case Mosely isn't ready to contribute right away. Playing Vasquez and Hayes together as Maryland will have to do this season has really exposed some of their defensive weaknesses and lack of quickness off the dribble. DJ Strawberry hid some of those issues with his superior defense last year. Maze has the kind of quickness that can put more pressure on offense and defense. You'll just have to put your faith in the staff to have done their homework on Maze like they did with Boom Osby. Another Sterling Ledbetter or Parrish Brown won't do this team any good.

On his radio show last night Gary Williams mentioned the obvious fact that Maryland's problems on offense stem mostly from an inability to hit outside shots. He admitted that if he was an opposing coach he would play zone against Maryland all the time. Williams claimed that there were plenty of open shots that players need to start making. Some of that is mental but you also need the ability to hit those kinds of looks in college basketball. It is a large part of the game and it has really hurt Maryland's scoring.

Williams also indicated that practice has been very good this week and that he felt the team would be ready for American tomorrow. They worked on different offensive sets to get some more scoring out of their lineups. I think this is a good move because right now this team is really struggling to score out of the basic offense. Some screens run for specific players might be needed until the team gets some confidence back. He also hinted that there could be some changes in playing time and the lineups. My guess is that we could see Cliff Tucker in the starting lineup again for the first time since the opening game. Gary did mention that some of the freshman can't be too worried about taking someone else's job or hurting feelings. The best players have to be on the floor.


Anonymous said...

Who would Tucker start ahead of (Milbourne). To be honest, granted he's had limited pt, but he might be the best scorer we have. He should be playing more.

Also, what does the signing of Maze do to the recruitment of Majok? Crowded backcourt with Mosely Maze Greivis and Hayes.

Esquire said...

I assumed he would replace Milbourne, who has been a huge disappointment.

I think the Majok recruitment is all but over. Don't count on him showing up at Maryland. I think the staff is already well into landing alternative recruits.

I see Hayes and Maze (hey, that rhymes) as backup players though Mosley may not be ready to start right away. I like some of the things that Hayes can do and on a loaded team he's be an okay point guard. With the talent on this year's team and the one we'll probably see next year he just doesn't bring enough to the table. It wouldn't surprise me to see a Maze and Vasquez starting backcourt next year with Tucker on the wing. I say that having never seen Maze with my own eyes (or not remembering him play for Oklahoma.)