Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Terps close out 2008 in style

Maryland's football team won the Humanitarian Bowl yesterday and hours later the basketball team put away a pesky Elon team to close out 2008 with six wins in a row.

The bowl game didn't start out the way you'd like as a number of starters were benched for multiple curfew violations. It is unfortunate that seniors like Danny Oquendo, Moise Fokou and Trey Covington made those kinds of mistakes and highlighted the lack of player leadership in this squad. Covington never played in the game and it was a sad end to a disappointing career at Maryland.

It was a wild game with a kickoff return for a touchdown and turnovers aplenty. Maryland was lucky to hold on at the end and if Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick had not been hobbled by a severely sprained ankle during the game I think the outcome would have been different. I'll write more about the game over the next few days. It marked the forth bowl win for Ralph Friedgen and the second in three years. Still there is a sense that the program is approaching a cross roads of sorts. Friedgen is unlikely to remain as the coach at Maryland beyond his current contract and the possible coach in waiting in coordinator James Franklin had a very mixed season in his first year back at Maryland. Al Seamonson did an adequate job in his first game replacing Chris Cosh but there are still major questions about the defense and it isn't clear if Friedgen will resort to another outside hire for the defensive coordinator spot.

In basketball news Maryland floundered against Elon before finally overwhelming the inferior opponent. It was a sloppy game but the bench players did do better than they had in a few of the recent games. Landon Milbourne continued his emergence and seems to be doing a better job of playing with the requisite intensity and focus. Sean Mosley may be slowly coming out of a horrid shooting slump. It was nice to see Jin Soo Kim get some minutes at the end of a blowout finally. He made good use of the time with 5 points and a rebound in only five minutes. Greivis Vasquez continues to be Mister Everything for this team with 17 points, 8 assists and 3 rebounds. I still feel Vasquez and Hayes are playing too many minutes over the past six games but Gary Williams is sticking with his substitution patterns come hell or high water. Dave Neal shot the ball terribly but had 9 points and 10 rebounds, however anyone who thinks Neal can be this effective in ACC play is likely to be disappointed. Adrian Bowie and Dino Gregory have had a bit of a lull the last few games and both need to get back on track for Maryland to do well in ACC play.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Holiday Hiatus

I've been away on holiday vacation the last week or so as I suspect some of you may have noticed. Not much has been going on in regards to the Terps the last week or so. Maryland defeated American and Bryant in basketball and everyone is frantic that this team isn't rebounding well. I'm not very worried about a game that Maryland won by 20 even if they didn't dominate on the glass. Rebounding won't be a strong suit all season but I doubt if it will contribute significantly to the fortunes of the team. The shooting of this group is far more important in deciding if they win or lose. If they have a bad shooting night they'll likely lose, regardless of their rebounding stats.

The football team plays Nevada tonight and there are rumors that the team could be short a few players going into their bowl game. We'll have to see what happens tonight. A loss would really sour this roller coaster season.

Monday, December 22, 2008

ACC Notes

In the opening game of the 2008 ACC basketball season Clemson went into Miami, a trendy preseason pick, and came away with their best win of the season. The Tigers pummeled the Hurricanes 91-72 on the road. Oliver Purnell has to be one of the most underrated coaches in the country and some program is going to come calling very soon for him to take over their head coaching job. It is a little late to be making my ACC basketball picks but I think Clemson has a very good chance of finishing in the top 4 of the ACC this season. The Tigers only face Duke and North Carolina once each and get eight collective games against Virginia, Virginia Tech, Florida State and Georgia Tech, none of which figure to be top tier teams this season. I'd look for Clemson to finish with 10 wins and an NCAA birth this season.

Boston College gained a decent win over Providence and might not be as terrible as some may have thought. I think they may win a game or two more than last season but it is hard to tell since their early season schedule is so devoid of challenges.

Virginia lost a tough game to Auburn at home. Sylven Landesburg is going to be a great player for Virginia but he isn't suited to be a point guard. For the Cavaliers to be competitive they need Calvin Baker, Mike Scott and Jamel Tucker to improve their scoring and decision making.

Duke pounded a solid Xavier squad, 82-64. The Blue Devils have a tune up against Jimmy Patsos and Loyola before hosting a struggling Virginia Tech squad. That could get ugly in a hurry.

The ACC Sports Journal has an article on Jin Soo Kim and his role on Maryland. I think they are underrating Kim who has the skill set to be an All-ACC performer before he is done at Maryland.

Maryland hosts American University tonight and hopefully a little payback for last season's embarrassing December loss to the Eagles. My guess is the starting lineup of Vasquez, Hayes, Bowie, Milbourne and Neal continues but you could see Dino Gregory sneak into the lineup.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Terps win title

First off congratulations to the men's soccer team who won their second national title in the last four years. The Terps beat North Carolina to capture the title and finish the season 23-3 with an ACC championship to boot. Head coach Sasho Cirovski has done a fantastic job in building an emerging powerhouse with the soccer program.

Let me not forget the women's field hockey team as they also captured a national championship, the third since 2005, and an ACC championship.

Maryland's current ranking of 13th in the Director's Cup should go up with the men's soccer title. The updated standings will be released on December 18th.

The basketball team learned that Jerome Burney suffered a stress fracture in his foot, not the foot that required him to redshirt as a freshman, and will miss 3 to 6 weeks. It is certainly a loss as I think this team needs Burney to continue to emerge as a physical inside presence. Dino Gregory has filled in very well but there is some concern that he won't be as effective against ACC caliber forwards.

It didn't matter that the Terps were missing Burney as they blew out a totally over matched Delaware State squad, 86-58. The Hornets could barely get out of their own way at times so there wasn't much to learn from this game. Landon Milbourne had a second straight career night with 23 points and 7 rebounds and is playing much better basketball the last few games. It remains to be seen how Milbourne will do against more credible front lines but he seems more comfortable and is using his athleticism to make plays around the rim. His jump shot is starting to fall too as he is too good a shooter to keep shooting at a 33% clip from 3-point range. To his credit he is trying to get to the rim as often as possible and has the third most free throw attempts on the team.

Cliff Tucker had a good performance after being MIA for most of the last two weeks. Hopefully Tucker can come around because, while the team is stacked in the backcourt, they will likely need his minutes to spell some of the guards over the next month. Tucker still has a ways to go but he showed some life, unlike Braxton Dupree. Dupree's decent into irrelevancy is sobering. The only way he may get minutes is by default with Burney injured. The fact that Dave Neal is getting 20+ minutes a game should make Dupree ashamed.

Adrian Bowie had a very solid night and is providing some consistent and reliable scoring as the third guard. Until Sean Mosley can defrost his ice cold shooting Maryland will need that from Bowie.

Nice to see Jin Soo Kim get some limited minutes. I still feel like Maryland will need him at times this season. In six minutes he grabbed four rebounds and scored two points. I hope he gets more minutes over the next few home games.

No sighting of Steve Goins.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Early ACC report

Now that the basketball season has matured just a bit it is worth looking at how the ACC stands in regards to the NCAA Tournament. You would have to assume that North Carolina and Duke are assured high seeds in the NCAA Tournament but after that the league post season picture is very hazy.

Outside of the two powers at the top it is oddly Maryland that probably has the best non-conference resume of any team in the league. The Terps have wins over Michigan State and Michigan and have gotten the attention of NCAA prognosticators. Over at Buster Sports Andrew Jones claims Maryland has set itself up nicely with their out of conference play. Michigan State still figures to be one of the top two or three in the Big Ten and Michigan may make some noise this year after upsetting UCLA and Duke in the last few weeks.

Wake Forest certainly looks good at the moment but they haven't played a credible team yet outside of Baylor. The Deacons non-conference slate is lacking a marquee opponent though a win at BYU may look good from the perspective of RPI. Wake Forest will have to do damage in the ACC because none of their current wins are worth noting.

Florida State may have the second best resume with road wins at Jacksonville and La Salle with neutral court wins over California and Cincinnati. The best looking win is over Florida but the Gators are probably a more marginal squad than the preseason raking would suggest. The Seminoles lost to Northwestern but have two big opportunities against Pittsburgh and Western Kentucky left before ACC play.

Clemson is 9-0 so far with road wins against Illinois and Charlotte, who isn't very good this season, but has little opportunity for any notable wins the rest of the out of conference schedule.

Miami stands at 5-2 with losses to Connecticut and Ohio State but even if they win the rest of their non-conference games they won't have a single impressive out of conference win, unless you consider beating a Kentucky team that lost its opener to VMI impressive.

Boston College doesn't have any remaining opportunities for impressive wins after losing to Purdue.

NC State does have opportunities remaining against Marquette and Florida but is a long shot to make the NCAA Tournament.

Georgia Tech lost a crushing game to Penn State but has road opportunities remaining against USC and Alabama. The Yellow Jackets can probably only afford one more loss before the ACC season starts.

Virginia and Virginia Tech may have both played their way out of the NCAA Tournament already. The Cavaliers were unlikely to even make the NIT this season but do play Xavier. Another couple of losses would likely have the Wahoos looking towards 2009. The Hokies already have four losses and even though there are no "bad" losses in the group the numbers are already stacked against them. Assuming they win all four remaining out of conference game that would place Seth Greenberg's squad at 9-4 going into ACC play. Even with a 9-7 ACC record, which is a long shot, they would then only have a 18-11 overall record going into the ACC Tournament. That probably won't be enough to earn an NCAA bid unless they can score wins against Duke or UNC. It is unlikely Greenberg will have to lobby for his team this March as they'll likely be NIT bound by then.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Terps roll over Colonials

Maryland won for the first time at Verizon Center since 2004 and beat George Washington for the first time since 2002. It has certainly been a house of horrors for the Terps recently regardless of whether the season was a success or disappointment. Maryland removed the suspense early in the game the other night as Eric Hayes and Landon Milbourne hit four 3-point shots in the first six minutes to push the Terps' lead to nine points. The Colonials never really challenged Maryland after that and the lead swelled to close to 30 points at times in the 2nd half finishing with 23 point win at 76-53. It was probably the most dominant performance of the season.

Eric Hayes came out and hit his first two 3-point attempts which really gave the offense a boost and take some of the pressure off of other players like Greivis Vasquez and Landon Milbourne. Hayes only made two of his next eight field goal attempts but is much more active on defense lately. He still struggles with quick guards who can dribble penetrate but Hayes is certainly playing much better on both ends of the floor the last two games.

Landon Milbourne looked more like the player Maryland was hoping he would be in the preseason. He scored 20 points on 8 out of 13 shooting and grabbed 8 rebounds (4 of them offensive rebounds) while playing decent defense and blocking four shots. With Dino Gregory doing most of the dirty work on the interior, and being a revelation the last couple of games, Milbourne has more freedom to do the things he is better at instead of trying to be the interior presence on the boards and on defense that he really isn't capable of being. His inside-outside offensive game and weak side shot blocking  were on display against the Colonials. The Terps desperately need Milbourne to continue some decent production on offense and hit those perimeter shots he is capable of making.

Adrian Bowie is showing the kinds of skills that I felt he would if given a chance. His defense hasn't been as great as I would have hoped but he adds an element of athleticism to the backcourt and an ability to break down opponents off the dribble that Hayes and Vasquez don't possess. He led the team with 12 points at halftime and GW had no answer for Bowie on defense. I think Bowie, Hayes and Vasquez are clearly the starting backcourt going forward.

As I mentioned Dino Gregory has came out of nowhere to claim a major role, if not a starting spot, with his play the last two games. Gregory is still a work in progress on offense but this team doesn't need anything more from him right now than his energetic rebounding and defense. He is far more effective on offense or defense than Dave Neal and is clearly a better athlete. Neal has been a nice story early this year but he is essentially a small forward with little inside presence on either end of the floor. This team needs a rebounding and defensive presence that neither Neal nor Milbourne are offering this season. Gregory, at least for now, appears to be able to fill this role. It remains to be seen if he'll be as effective in ACC play.

Sean Mosley is certainly in a shooting slump but you have to assume he'll start hitting more of those shots when he gets them. This team needs his gritty play off the bench and he is filling an important role in rebounding and playing defense. Until or unless Cliff Tucker really steps up Mosley is going to get the majority of the bench minutes going forward.

Greivis Vasquez earned another ACC Player of the Week after recording another double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. He still had five turnovers but is making better decisions in shooting the ball and playing a higher level of defense. Teams have been very aggressive in double teaming Vasquez when he drives to the basket and it would make things much easier for him if his teammates were able to take the load like they did on Sunday. He'll be more effective and less mistake prone when he doesn't feel like the only scoring option.

I've often said that last season Gary Williams mismanaged the bench early in the year and it may have cost Maryland later in the year when they could have gotten an NCAA bid with just one extra win. Williams is a great game coach, still among the best in college basketball, but he tends to get wrapped up in the game and develops tunnel vision when it comes to his bench. With a 23 point win and a sizable lead the whole second half why would Greivis Vasquez and Eric Hayes play 34 and 33 minutes respectively? There is no reason for that. There was little threat for GW to come back with under seven minutes left in the game and instead of developing the bench by playing Braxton Dupree, Steve Goins, Jin Soo Kim or Cliff Tucker he stuck with the starters for most of the time.  These kinds of early season blowouts against athletes that are a step above the Bucknells of the world are golden opportunities to give players who you may need later in the season some game time, which cannot be made up by practice time. It was my only quibble coming out of this game.

ACC Awards

A few ACC bloggers have gotten together to vote for league awards in a few categories. Here is the ballot I submitted:

Offensive Player of the Year: Jonathan Dwyer RB Georgia Tech
Defensive Player of the Year: Clint Sintim LB Virginia
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Darren Evans RB Virginia Tech
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Brandon Maye LB Clemson
Coach of the Year: Paul Johnson Georgia Tech

I'll post a link to the results of the voting when it is available.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Early Christmas

Breaking news that defensive coordinator Chris Cosh will leave Maryland to take over the same position at Kansas State where he coached under Bill Snyder. I'm not tooting my own horn when I say I voiced scepticism of the Cosh hire three years ago. While Cosh was a decent recruiter the last few years that didn't make up for his abysmal game plans and inept schemes. In his three years as defensive coordinator Maryland finished 10th, 9th and 9th in total defense and had an average finish of 8th in scoring defense. It is possible that the Terps might lose a recruit or two over this move but in the long run it would be a trade off worth making. Now let's hope that Debbie Yow won't play it cheap like she did with Cosh and spend the money to hire a real defensive coordinator.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Terps overcome shaky start

There was certainly some carry over from the awful outing against Georgetown in the first half against Michigan last night. Michigan coach John Beilein runs a vaguely similar style offense to Georgetown and early on Maryland's defense looked as inept as they had on Sunday. The Wolverines shot 48% from the floor in the first half and hit six 3-point shots to take a six point lead at halftime. The defense was a step slow the entire half and allowed too many open looks to Michigan's collection of shooters. Beilein's offense really tests the patience of the defense and will work deep into the shot clock to get an good look at the basket. Too often the defense would break down after the fourth or fifth pass by Michigan. Forward DeShawn Sims did some real damage in the first half for Michigan with 10 points and 4 rebounds on 4/5 shooting. In the second half he was held to a mere two points mostly due to Dino Gregory who had without a doubt his best game at Maryland. Michigan probably should have had a bigger lead at the half but when cold on offense for a few minutes and had defensive breakdowns that allowed the Terps to hit five of the last eleven field goal attempts after hitting only 8 out of 20 shots to start the game.

Maryland had a flood of offense to start the 2nd half and hit six of their first nine attempts to take back the lead. The offense was certainly much better in the 2nd half as the team shot 46% but it was the ability to get to the foul line and the domination on the boards that kept Maryland ahead. Even excluding the end of game fouling by Michigan the Terps still shot 10 free throws in the 2nd half compared to only two in the 1st half. With the 1-3-1 zone that Beilein plays on defense his teams will be vulnerable to rebounding and Maryland sure exploited that with 17 offensive rebounds and a +17 rebound margin for the game.

Adrian Bowie got his first start and though he struggled shooting the ball and lead the team in turnovers for the game he adds an element of athleticism to the backcourt that is lacking with Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes or Sean Mosley. Michigan's zone made dribble penetrations and passing a little difficult and Bowie was not the only player to struggle on offense in the first half. He played much better in the 2nd half and deserves to keep his starting spot.

Dino Gregory had a great game. He was more of a force defensively and rebounding than any frontcourt player has been all season. If Maryland can get that kind of effort from him every night they may have found something for the rest of the season. Gregory had six points and seven rebounds to go along with very good interior defense. Michigan isn't a big team but Gregory played bigger than his listed height mostly due to great effort. His embrace of the dirty work of rebounding and defense is exactly what the Terps need from their forwards. Dave Neal is not much of a rebounder or interior defender and his offense is mostly outside jump shots so Gregory adds something very different to the lineup. Braxton Dupree sat out because he missed class but that may have been fortunate because he wouldn't match up well with Michigan's frontcourt that requires a defender to cover more ground.

Greivis Vasquez had another MVP level game with 23 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists with only one turnover. Vasquez would be better served to take a few less 3-point shots but when the other team plays a zone you have to take open looks from the perimeter. He will have to carry this team all year until another reliable scoring threat emerges.

Sean Mosely had a nice game and may have found his shooting stroke again. He is looking more comfortable in the offense even though the team is asking him to play positions he isn't best suited for at the moment. His five points off the bench are the kind of production that is going to be needed going into conference play. His physical guard play will also help the frontcourt on both offense and defense.

Cliff Tucker barely played and is now slipping to third guard off the bench on the depth chart. If that continues we won't see much of the sophomore when ACC games roll around. His effort and intensity have been sadly lacking in the last few games and that is why he finds himself on the bench. This team is too deep in the backcourt to put up with a player who isn't putting forth enough effort.

I think Michigan will be competitive in the Big Ten and already has a nice win over UCLA this season in their pocket. The Wolverines could finish as high as fourth or fifth in their league and a win over them could help in March. With few remaining out of conference games against teams likely to finish with a decent RPI it was imperative to take advantage of this opportunity. After George Washington on Sunday in the ever perilous BB&T Maryland's next six opponents are a combined 11-32 currently, with a 4-3 American University the best of the bunch.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Trending down

The chart above clearly illustrates that the indicators are going in the wrong direction for both the offense and defense. After the offense improved every game up to and including against the Spartans it tanked against Gonzaga and Georgetown. What an ugly offense show those two games were with an effective field goal percentage in the the 35% range and efficiency ratings of 84 and 77 respectively. Turnovers didn't have much influence on the outcome of either loss as both Gonzaga and Georgetown had more turnovers than the Terps. It was poor shooting, simple as that. With a frontcourt that is going to offer little offensive output this year the other backcourt players are going to have to give Greivis Vasquez some help but besides Adrian Bowie no one is getting the job done. Eric Hayes shot 41% in the last four games against quality opponents and is averaging just over 10 points a game. It would have been worse if he had not scored a bunch against Georgetown in garbage time. Hayes is a pass first point guard who can't really create anything for himself on offense so you can't expect much from him in the way of scoring. Unfortunately for Maryland they don't have the talent at the other positions to prosper with a guard who is so marginal at scoring like when Steve Blake was running the point. His defensive limitations were shown again as he couldn't guard Chris Wright for most of the night.

Hayes' continued lack of production would not be as big a problem if the other guard position, shared by Cliff Tucker and Sean Mosley for the most part, wasn't even worse. Tucker's collapse in the last three games has been breathtaking. He and Mosley combined for 30% shooting and 6.8 points per game over the last four. That simply won't get it done when Maryland is getting nothing from the center position and little from Landon Milbourne's failed move to the power forward slot. Mosley is a freshman and I am confident he'll be one of the better players on the team by February but Maryland could be out of the post season discussion by then. Let's hope he gets out of his shooting slump soon. At the rate Cliff Tucker has declined you can't expect him to have much chance of picking up the slack.

At some point players have to start making shots but it would help if the squad had some confidence in the offense like they did against Michigan State. Getting to the free throw line like they did in the first three wins could also go a long way in helping a struggling offense.

We'll have to wait and see what the next week brings against Michigan and George Washington. If this group continues to struggle you may have to wonder if the team chemistry isn't all it has been made out to be in media reports. That will bear watching closely over the next few games. Hopefully the Georgetown loss hasn't created a fissure in the team's cohesion but the lack of effort and intensity in that blowout loss could be an ominous sign.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Thanksgiving Notes

It was a busy holiday for Maryland fans as the basketball team played three games against top 20 teams in four days and the football team faced Atlantic division leading Boston College on their home turf on Saturday. I was out of town for the whole weekend in the Mordor of college sports, commonly known as North Carolina. I did get a chance to watch the Gonzaga and Georgetown games but didn't see anything else yet though the other results are waiting on my DVR.

If you had told me that the basketball team would play three top 20 teams in Orlando and come out with a win I think I would have taken that and been happy. Funny how the order and nature of those results can change the way you evaluate them. After beating a short handed Michigan State team it seemed the Terps were content to leave with that victory alone and not try for much else. They kept it close against Gonzaga for only a half and were never even competitive against Georgetown.

On a side not Georgetown is not a "rival" of Maryland's no matter how much the pimps at ESPN try to make them so. The two have only played three games in over 20 years and among the local programs that places Georgetown well behind other local "rivals" like American University, George Mason and George Washington. When Georgetown can't even draw more fans than Wichita State only a year removed from a Final Four apperence how big of a game would it be between Maryland and the Hoyas? Maryland has finished in the top 25 in attendance every year since 1994 and outdrew Georgetown in 2007 by about 140,000 fans even though Georgetown was a top 25 fixture all season and the Terps finished in the NIT. Since 2000 Maryland has outdrawn Georgetown by almost ONE MILLION fans even though the vagabond Hoyas play in an NBA arena. The Hoyas may be better than Maryland on the court for the last few years but have not been the most popular team in the Washington area for the vast majority of the last three decades. That position is firmly held by the Terrapins and that probably won't change anytime soon.

But I digress. Given the sound defeats the team suffered in the last two games you have to wonder where the psyche of this team sits going into what is now a critical game against Michigan. The Wolverines also have a big win over a top team, beating UCLA 55-52, but had to go to overtime to beat Savannah State on a last second shot. It is a team that Maryland should defeat at home if they have any designs of playing in the NCAA Tournament.

The last two losses certainly put some of the flaws of this squad in the spotlight. The weak frontcourt was exposed in a way it wasn't in any of the prior games. Gonzaga and Georgetown dominated the combinations of Braxton Dupree, Dave Neal, Landon Milbourne, Dino Gregory and Jerome Burney in the post. It as pathetic to watch Dave Neal trying to rebound against Josh Heytvelt and Greg Monroe. If the defense and rebounding doesn't improve by the beginning of the ACC schedule it will be very difficult to get on the right side of the NCAA bubble. Milbourne has been a failure as a power forward where he has not produced rebounds or scoring against top competition. He seems to have regressed over the course of the last three games. Braxton Dupree has showed terrible hands and a inexplicable lack of intensity. Why Jerome Burney continues to languish on the bench is flabbergasting. In eight minutes he had four rebounds against Georgetown, more than Dave Neal and Braxton Dupree had in 35 combined minutes, and two blocks. Admittedly Burney's minutes were in garbage time but I think it is time he is given a chance to see what he could do with a larger role. Neal relies on 15 foot jump shots to score and hasn't been able to rebound against power conference front court players this season.

The critics of Greivis Vasquez got a taste of what this team would be like without his contributions in a blowout loss to Georgetown. He had his worst game as a Terrapin as Georgetown decided to double Vasquez every time he drove into the lane. That he struggle so badly was surprising but it is clear that the Hoyas had scouted Maryland and determined that none of the other players could beat them if given the chance. Landon Milbourne and Eric Hayes proved that strategy correct with 14 combined points, most scored when Maryland was done by 20 points. Nothing about this loss was due to Vasquez's poor shot selection or turnovers. What was exposed in these losses was that Gary Williams has little alternative to the Venezuelan when it comes to scoring. When Vasquez is shut down or just having a bad night there is no one else to carry the scoring load. Milbourne and Tucker have been shockingly bad the last few games in making only six of their last 25 combined field goal attempts.

The only player who is making a case to be an alternative to Vasquez is Adrian Bowie. Why Bowie is not in the starting lineup is beyond my ability to fathom. He is currently the second leading scorer on the team and the only player averaging over 10 points a game besides Vasquez. He brings a dynamic quickness to the backcourt that is lacking among the starting three of Hayes, Vasquez and Tucker (or Mosley). In the Georgetown game he clearly gave the Hoyas problems and was often too quick for their collapsing defense. He is without a doubt the most efficient offensive player on the team and leads in field goal shooting. Let's hope that Gary starts giving Bowie more playing time in an attempt to jump start the offense. Sean Mosley has struggled recently even with an elevation to the starting lineup and could do better off the bench in making room for Bowie.

The sky isn't falling but it is clear that there are serious issues with this group and, as with last year, Gary Williams needs to do a much better job with his substitutions.