Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Terps plow Silver Swords

The first 20 minutes of the game against Chaminade were as bad a strech of basketball as this team has played all season. Greivis Vasquez picked up two early fouls that limited him to 22 minutes and his shooting woes continued. The officials seemed to be getting paid by the offensive foul call with how often they calling them but Vasquez made some poor decisions in the first half and the team suffered. Greivis did look better in the 2nd half but Maryland will need him to shake off his early season funk if they are going to make any noise in Maui.

The entire squad looked lethargic on both offense and defense. On offense they were not running the offense well and were settling for jumpers that were not falling. They didn't get much in transition until the 2nd half when things opened up and Chaminade became exhausted. On defense the rotations were slow and the waterbug Steven Bennett gave Maryland guards, especially Eric Hayes, fits with his dribble penetrations. Lucky for Maryland Bennett had a hard time finishing and lacked the teammates to score off his penetrations.

As with the prior three games Sean Mosley was the Gibraltar for this team. Landon Milbourne had a good 1st half scoring but with Maryland down by two at 16-14 with over seven minutes to play Mosley scored 7 points and grabbed two rebounds over the next two and a half minutes to put Maryland ahead for good. The Maui Tournament may be Mosley's coming out party on a national stage. He is playing gritty defense, his shots are falling and his great floor game adds much to the team in addition to his hefty stats. He finished the game with 19 points on 8/13 shooting and 8 rebounds in 27 minutes. For the season Mosley is shooting 67% from the floor while playing every position from shooting guard to power forward. Mosley and Jordan Williams are the best players at drawing fouls and getting to the free throw line. That has been a real weak spot for this group for the last few seasons. Players who can get to the free throw line help take the pressure off your half court offense. Pay close attention to Mosley these next few weeks because I think you will realize he is the best player on the team with Vasquez in a slump.

Eric Hayes continues his torrid shooting from 3-point range. After going 3/6 from outside last night Hayes is shooting 55% from 3-point range for the season. He didn't commit a single turnover and helped to weather Vasquez's early foul trouble. Hayes did struggle with the quicker Bennett and couldn't seem to keep him out of the lane. Overall though Hayes is doing exactly what you would hope he would be given his skills.

Landon Milbourne didn't take a field goal or score a point in the 2nd half but his 10 points and 5/10 shooting also helped Maryland get through the early game milaise. I think he was settling for jump shots too much early on, like the rest of the team, but it was a minor issue.

Jordan Williams and James Padgett struggled with their help defense a little as Chaminade's structured offense challenged them a little more than in privious games. Williams free throw shooting was off in the first half but he stayed focused and game on strong in the 2nd half to finish with 9 points and 10 rebounds. Chaminade had no answer for him on the inside when he started asserting himself. Padgett also found his rythm in the 2nd half and finished with 8 points and 6 rebounds in 10 minutes of play after halftime.

It was also nice to see Jin Soo Choi and Steven Goins back in the game and both scored for the first time this year. Both may be needed against a much more physical and up tempo Cinncinati squad tonight.

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