Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Terps overwhelm Rams in 2nd half

After a long break due to exams Maryland was a little rusty coming out of the gate against Winston-Salem State and with a little over three minutes left in the game the Terps were only leading by four points, 33-29. The defense and rebounding were not very strong as the Rams shot 46% from the floor and held a 19:14 rebounding advantage. Then Maryland went on a 8-0 run to end the half, with Vasquez scoring or assisting on every basket, to head into halftime with a 12 point lead. The offense was humming for most of the half as Maryland shot 48% and hit on nine 3-point baskets but often hot jump shooting is fool's gold. In this particular game their shooting didn't cool off in the 2nd half but when ACC play starts that will probably be a different story. Gary Williams was very upset with the lack of effort on the defensive end and if a team is shooting well it is often the case that defensive effort and ball movement are the first to suffer.

At the start of the 2nd half the Terps blew the game open with a 23-5 run in the first five and a half minutes. The ball movement was much better and on defense they held the Rams to 27% shooting. Jordan Williams came off the bench to give the team a nice inside presence and finished with 12 points and 8 rebounds in only 18 minutes of play. His interior scoring is something that neither Landon Milbourne or Dino Gregory can duplicate. I hope that Williams will continue to have a large role going forward and I think he has already proven that he deserves to be a starter. Like his fellow frosh teammate James Padgett he needs to get better on defense but what he gives with rebounding and inside scoring is worth the minor downgrade. Gregory got another start but was all but invisible in the game. He failed to score a point and had more fouls (4) than rebounds (3) in 19 minutes of playing time.

One of more encouraging signs is that Cliff Tucker and Adrian Bowie had their best games of the season off the bench. Tucker was 5/5 from the floor and had a season high 13 points but also was able to stay on the floor for 17 minutes. Adrian Bowie had a very nice game and his shooting may be starting to come back as he went 3/5 from outside the arc for 9 points but added five assists, three rebounds and only one turnover in 21 minutes. If Tucker and Bowie can contribute at this level going forward Maryland's offense will be extremely hard to shut down. As always the key for this duo is consistency and they need to prove they can keep their play at a high level.

Landon Milbourne struggled a little and it still not rebounding very well as the Rams killed he and Gregory on the boards in the early going. Sean Mosley and Eric Hayes both had good games as they shot well and finished with 12 and 10 points respectively. Hayes' hot 3-point shooting continued as he hit 2/4 shots from deep and seems more confident than at any time in his career.

James Padgett got a nice run with 13 minutes of play and produced 7 points and 2 rebounds in mostly garbage time. He did hit 3/4 free throws so that is a good sign he is improving his weak free throw shooting as is Jordan Williams.

With the return of Gregory it looks like Jin Soo Choi won't be seeing to floor very much going forward as he only logged 3 minutes even though Gregory wasn't scoring and was committing a foul every few minutes.

Greivis Vasquez looked like his old self as he nearly got another triple-double with 27 points, 11 assists and 8 rebounds. The Rams had no hope of containing Vasquez who scored from inside and outside with equal ease. His floor game was the best it has been all season as he took good shots and distributed the ball to open teammates and created scoring opportunities on the fast break and with dribble penetrations. He also seemed to really being enjoying himself on the court which bodes well for the rest of the season.

David Pearman and Steve Goins missed the game with injuries.

While the 1st half was sloppy they played about as well as you could expect with a 57 point 2nd half in which they scored more than the Rams did in 40 minutes. Defense and rebounding are still areas that need improvement but this was a vastly better performance than they had against Eastern Kentucky.

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