Friday, October 29, 2010

Big pickup for basketball

Maryland landed a whopper yesterday as 2011 SG Nick Faust from Baltimore picked the Terps over FSU, Marquette, Oregon State and Villanova. The 6'6" 175lbs Baltimore junior is a do-it-all wing player. He can score in bunches by driving to the basket, from beyond the arc, in transition and mid-range pull up jumpers. He is a little on the thin side and will have to add strength and weight but he is a special player who is probably even better than his current rating among the best 40 players in the country. It is a big recruiting coup for Maryland to get such an elite player from Baltimore and assistant Bino Ranson has already upgraded Maryland's recruiting in Charm City. The last recruit that was this highly rated for the Terps was SG Mike Jones but Faust is already a more skilled player, if not the shooter, that Jones was coming to College Park. Faust, who put up almost 20 points and over 5 rebounds a game last season will play for Baltimore City College High School this season after an excellent AAU summer season.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Boston College game may decide season

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. Work has been hectic, blah, blah, blah. I know you probably are not interested in all the excuses. With a toddler and 3 month old I have less time than in the past. I still watch all the games but the time to research and write blog posts isn't as easy to come by these days. I'll try to post more regularly, even if it is not my normal level of analysis.

I have not commented on the Duke or Clemson games. Duke wasn't that big of a test for Maryland, even though the team tried to make it competitive. Danny O'Brien is playing well even if some of the hype has gotten ahead of where he really is at this point in his career. I think it is true that he has the chance to be the best QB of the Friedgen era, assuming that lasts beyond this year, but he has a long way to go. Leaving the friendly confines of Byrd Stadium exposed some of his flaws. Against a defense that really made him work for his completions and took away the big play he struggled and ended up throwing three interceptions. Clemson has impressive athletes in the secondary but with Florida State and Miami remaining on the schedule this wasn't the last aggressive and fast secondary he'll face. He isn't getting much help from the running game and with the offensive line struggles it appears this will be a lost year for RB Da'Rel Scott. That is a shame because he has far more talent than he's been able to show with a weak offensive line and incompetent coordinator.

With the terrible news that RT Pete DeSouza broke both his legs in a scooter meets car accident and is done for the year that makes the offensive line even more threadbare. Freshman Max Garcia might move into a starting spot if  he beats out LT Nick Klemm.

This Boston College game might become the turning point of the season. Another road loss and we might be seeing the sun set on the Fridge regime. With woeful Wake Forest and Virginia on the schedule six wins is still possible but a loss to BC (0-3 in the ACC) might signal another late season slide by this team.

Right now this team isn't very good. The record looks respectable at 4-2 but those four wins are rather flimsy. Two of them could have gone the other way and Maryland's two losses have been blowouts. I know people will say that the games were close fairly late but both West Virginia and Clemson thoroughly outplayed Maryland in those games. Maryland is 9th in the ACC in scoring offense, 11th in total offense, 8th in Red Zone efficiency on offense. That is where the real problems lie. The defense is mediocre: 5th in scoring defense and 7th in overall defence but has done enough to hold up its end. Without the big plays this offense struggles to move the ball and cannot sustain drives. The struggling running game is a large part of that but receivers are dropping too many passes. It was encouraging that O'Brien found his tight ends against Clemson. Maryland needs more of that to move the chains. O'Brien has been very good at not turning the ball over but these defense isn't good enough to bail out a poor offense.

Torrey Smith is still hobbled with a ankle sprain. If he is limited or cannot play against BC Maryland will have to get creative to move the ball. It is another opportunity for James Franklin to show that he has any skills to be an offensive coordinator at this level.