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.