It was a strange night at Comcast Center on Saturday. Gary Williams had an exuberant fist pump that was more along the lines of a shadow boxing round house. Maryland had a 5-star recruit at the game that would be the best high school player the Terps have gotten in many years if they signed him. Jin Soo Kim became part "folk hero and rock star" according to Maryland radio commentator Chris Knoche with an impressive dunk and 3-point basket. Greivis Vasquez finished just one assist shy of a triple-double. Maryland took a double digit lead late into the 2nd half again that was whittled away to a two possession game only to hold on with tough defense and clutch shots. The game ended with some chants of "Gary, Gary, Gary" coming from the stands. Afterwards Miami coach Frank Haith gave Williams a special congratulation for the victory and you could tell he knew how tough a week Williams had and was acknowledging how important that win was in a way only another coach could.
It was a great team effort with many contributions on both ends of the floor. Vasquez and Milbourne were the leaders but Adrian Bowie, Sean Mosley and Eric Hayes all gave good contributions. Dave Neal did just enough for Maryland even though his shooting is still not very good at the moment (only 1/5 from 3-point range). Jin Soo Kim gave a few tantalizing glimpses of his ability with an aggressive dunk and a crafty pump and shoot 3-point attempt, both with the shot clock winding down. Dino Gregory also filled in well and gave a quality 21 minutes with 4 points and 4 rebounds.
Gary Williams may have had his best coaching performance of the year. His switches from full court pressing, to zone and back to man defenses all payed off and the Terps didn't fade in the 2nd half like they had in some recent games. Maryland's defense forced Miami into a host of poor shots in the 2nd half and they only went 13/35(37%) from the floor. The Terps only had seven turnovers while playing a more small ball style and did a better job of milking the shot clock in the 2nd half to preserve the lead over Miami. Williams' substitutions were much better than in some of the previous losses and he did a very good job of spreading out the minutes and putting players in positions to succeed. I'm not sure why Miami didn't try to exploit their advantage with post players like Dwayne Collins who only played 21 minutes and took five shots but post play turned out to not be much of a factor in the game.
It was a great win that Maryland really needed with road games against North Carolina and Georgia Tech coming up.
It is worth noting that Vasquez moved past Duane Simpkins for fifth place all time at Maryland with 491 career assists.