Thursday, December 16, 2010

One of my pet peeves in this early se...

One of my pet peeves in this early season is when sports journalists or TV commentators make reference to Maryland’s “inexperience”.  On its face it is somewhat preposterous to call a team that starts, at least for now, three seniors and a junior as inexperienced. When Gary Williams himself trotted out this fatuous bit of nonsense after the loss to Boston College I felt I had to correct the record.

Boston College started three guards against Maryland on Sunday: Reggie Jackson, Biko Paris and Danny Rubin. Between the three of them going into this season they had 49 starts, 20 in ACC games. Sean Mosley himself has 47 starts, of which 25 are ACC regular season games. (Note these do not include ACC Tournament games) That stat alone should explode the myth that this team is inexperienced.

Indeed it is true that Maryland’s bench is young and inexperienced but that is true for virtually every team in the ACC.
MarylandAverage Min last two seasons (ACC Games)Career Starts (ACC games)Boston CollegeAvg Min last two seasons
(ACC Games)
Career Starts (ACC Games)
Adrian Bowie19.8 (19.1)31 (15)Reggie Jackson25.1 (24.6)20 (7)
Cliff Tucker13.5 (13.5)12 (3)Biko Paris18.9 (15.3)29 (13)
Sean Mosley23.7 (24.7)47 (25)Danny Rubin0.0 (0.0)0 (0)

I’m not sure how anyone could look at that table and claim that Boston College had an edge over Maryland in experience. Jackson and Paris may have a slight edge over Tucker and Bowie but seven starts and five minutes a game over two seasons is hardly a clear advantage. When you include Sean Mosley, as you should, it becomes preposterous to argue that Boston College was the more veteran group.

It is obvious that Bowie and Tucker have failed to take advantage of their opportunity to start as seniors and have failed to provide the steady hand that one would expect from seniors with their level of experience. Both have been erratic and are in some form of a crisis of confidence with their games. Stoglin seems to be taking a larger and larger share of Bowie’s playing time even though I think he has less of the blame for some of the recent losses. Tucker’s role is more problematic because the alternatives are not as attractive. Pe’shon Howard has struggled on offense the last few weeks and his shooting from outside and the free throw line has been abysmal. His turnover % is also a concerning 34.3 which limits his effectiveness.

Mosley could give playing time to Hawk Palsson, who is a true small forward, without a huge drop off on offense or rebounding. Tucker seems to offer the possibility of more offense than Mosley but neither are playing an efficient game on offense. Therein lies the dilemma. There are not a plethora of great options to replace the struggling Tucker and Mosley. I’m sure Gary Williams is hoping that if he sticks with those two that they will break out of their funks and become reliable scoring threats. It remains to be seen if that will happen. Mosley and Tucker both have a history of erratic scoring and persistent slumps.

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