Thursday, January 13, 2011

Get on the bus

Maryland's 74-55 win over hapless Wake Forest was the kind you run to get on the team bus and head home. Gary Williams was even a little testy when Maryland analyst Chris Knoche referred to the Terp's performance, charitably, as "uneven." Williams called him "unbelievable", commented how he was always looking for a negative and called it a great win on the road. With all due respect to Gary, who knew this was a trap game between Duke and a trip to Villanova, this was probably the worst offensive performance all season by Maryland. The 38.2% shooting was the worst all season and given how terrible Wake is this year, and they are truly awful, it made this shooting performance even worse. When Wake Forest went to a zone Maryland was flummoxed and couldn't do much damage even though they got good looks from the 3-point line (5/18, 28%) much of the night. In the end Wake Forest's carelessness with the ball, poor shooting and shot selection were enough for Maryland to escape with a loss.

Cliff Tucker had a great night on his birthday breaking out with his best game of the season filling up the stat sheet with 21 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists. Tucker has always been a streaky player but the last three games had been very encouraging scoring 12 against Colgate, 14 against Duke and 21 points last night. He has shot 46% from the floor or better in six of the last seven games and is hitting a torrid 50% of his 3-point shots since the BC game. You'd have to think Tucker may have played his way back into the starting lineup. With freshman Terrell Stoglin struggling the last few games some would assume he would replace Stoglin but I think the more likely candidate is Sean Mosley. Maryland needs Tucker (or another guard) to provide the balance to Jordan Williams in the low post.

Jordan Williams had another double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds but didn't play a very good game. His free throw shooting was better, 9/14 or 64%, but he was slow footed on defense and didn't work enough to get open on offense. His lack of focus was reflected in his 2/13 shooting from the floor and his early foul trouble. Fortunately Williams is such a special player he still dominated at times.

Adrian Bowie had a nice game with 12 points, hit a couple of threes, got two assists and didn't turn the ball over. Sean Mosley and Dino Gregory had decent contributions with 8 points a piece but they committed too many fouls (7 combined) and the resulting free throws by Wake (8 of their 19 free throws) helped keep them in the game.

Terrell Stoglin is clearly in a funk going 2/19 (0/10 from 3-point range) in the last two games with 8 assists and 6 turnovers. I'm not sure two games is enough of a run to justify putting him back on the bench given that Pe'Shon Howard has struggled to be consistent in recent game as well. Howard had several bad passes last night that he was lucky did not result in turnovers and he was coming off a 4 turnover in 10 minutes of play game against Duke.

Hawk Palsson had a very nice game off the bench for foul plagued Dino Gregory. He played a very solid 20 minutes scoring just four points but also grabbed 5 rebounds and dished 2 assists. Hawk did a good job in the middle of Wake's zone defense. He did have some freshman moments with turnovers and blocked shots but his feel for the game is an asset. James Padgett also gave some solid bench play in 11 minutes with 4 points and 5 rebounds. He had several cringe worthy free throw attempts going 0/4 from the line including an air ball but I think he is getting better.

Berend Weijs and Mychal Parker both had brief appearances in the game.

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