Thursday, December 09, 2010

Starting Five Hold the Line

After Maryland's 99-56 win over hapless UNC Greensboro it appears that the struggling starters, Adrian Bowie, Cliff Tucker, Sean Mosley and Dino Gregory will keep their jobs for now. It may take some losses due to the slow starts that the senior dominated starting lineup before Gary Williams will make a change. To Gary's credit he values loyalty and that is a quality that Maryland fans can take a certain pride in the fact that their coach doesn't throw players under the bus like other ACC coaches have done in past years. It is probably worth noting that the current starters were all on the team when Williams went through one of the more tumultuous season's in his time at Maryland a few years ago when the team struggled to a 7-9 record but was able to get to the NCAA tournament. After that season Williams had made comments that the team "had his back" in the face of the most pointed criticism that Williams had experienced since winning the national title in 2002.

He also mentioned "the internet" in his postgame comments and indicated he was going stick with his starters even though he had considered making a change after the abysmal showing they had against Temple. I respect Williams' reasons for keeping the lineup intact. I still think the current starting five has demonstrated weaknesses that will become more apparent when conference play starts. As with the Temple game if this group plays poorly early in games, especially on the road, it will be very difficult for the team to come back against an ACC opponent. 

UNC Greensboro is such a poor team it is hard to take much from the game. But there were some good things to be taken from the result.

Jordan Williams is putting together a sophomore campaign as a big man that no one has seen in College Park since Joe Smith. He has already recorded 7 double-double games and has been dominating in the early season. The sophomore is getting more help from James Padgett who had six points and 9 rebounds, mostly when the game was out of hand but has been elevating his play the last few weeks. Padgett still needs work on his defense and rebounding but he's getting better and better.

Terrell Stoglin is continuing his trip to stardom. He was unstoppable with 18 points off the bench in only 19 minutes. He can put a tremendous amount of pressure on a defense with his outside shooting and ability to dribble penetrate. He probably dominates the ball a little too much on offense and needs to work on his ability to orchestrate the flex but he can score and you can't really teach that. It looks as if Rob Ehsan and Gary Williams his another homerun with his recruitment.

Haukur Palsson also played well off the bench and Berend Weijs is slowly getting better on the offensive end. Both will be assets as the season progresses.

Mychal Parker also got some decent time and showed that he has some impressive physical skills. Parker needs a fair amount of seasoning but Gary Williams has stated on his radio show several times that fans will be seeing more of Parker as the year goes on.

Boston College is a big test for the Terps as they appear to be a fairly evenly matched squad, at least at the moment. Winning conference homes games will be essential for this group later in the season so it becomes a crucial game.

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