Friday, January 04, 2008

Terps march through Savannah

I didn't see the game against Savannah State so I won't try to analyze it much. Maryland was in control early in the game and I think placing Bambale Osby back in the starting lineup has helped get this team in the right mindset to start games. Freshman Braxton Dupree is not ready to be a starter this season and has not scored in double figured since November. Overall the team has a losing record when he is in the starting lineup. Maybe that isn't fair to lay completely on Dupree but it is a fact. Head coach Gary Williams indicated that Osby will likely start the rest of the season.

Landon Milbourne returned to the starting lineup though Cliff Tucker played more minutes. It will be worth watching the rest of the season how Gary Williams handles this position. I think the Terps are better off if Tucker can reclaim the starting spot with his play. Part of Gary Williams' thinking may be that with Tucker on the bench it gives him a little more potential for scoring if the starters are struggling. On his radio show Williams said that the starting spot will be up for grabs between Milbourne and Tucker the rest of the year.

One notable difference that Tucker and fellow freshman Adrian Bowie bring to the backcourt is the ability to put pressure on opposing ball handlers. Against Savannah State the duo combined for 7 steals in 37 minutes of play. If Bowie can continue improving his floor game his addition on the defensive end will be very valuable. Eric Hayes and Greivis Vasquez are not great defenders and are not going to notch many steals. One factor that has hurt the offense has been the lack of fast break opportunities off of steals that would lead to easy baskets. The void left by DJ Strawberry and his 69 steals has been a major factor as no current player has more than 20 through 14 games this year.

The shooting was fairly good until Williams emptied the bench and the replacements missed a bunch of shots. There is still a lack of long distance threats on the team as they only went 2/9 from 3-point range.

The defense continues to be good as the Tigers only made 15 field goals the entire game. The bench players gave up some late baskets but 32% from the floor is good against any opponent.

The rebounding was better but still not great.

Around the ACC
Injuries have started to take their toll on some other ACC squads. North Carolina has lost reserve point guard Bobby Frasor for the season with a knee injury. NC State lost a point guard in Farnold Degand for the season, also from a knee injury. Degand was the starter for the Wolfpack. NC State has been one of the bigger flops of the season so far and losing their point guard won't help them in league play.

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