Monday, January 31, 2011

Road warriors

Maryland gathered two important wins on the road against Virginia and Georgia Tech. That gives the Terps three wins on the road this season in their first four road games. Playing at Virginia, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech this season isn't the most intimidating slate but Virginia Tech and North Carolina lost convincingly to the Yellow Jackets recently. There are signs that this team is getting better game by game since the debacle against Virginia Tech. Clemson is a better squad that they had been given credit for as their demolition of Florida State demonstrated over the weekend. Maryland dismantled an over matched Wahoo squad last Thursday amidst the weather catastrophe in the Washington area. Virginia looked lifeless and did a poor job executing on offense. They did a decent job of containing Jordan Williams with the help of 7 foot Assane Sene though Williams had a very poor game in his own right. Perhaps the pressure of his double-double streak was getting to Jordan, as Gary Williams suggested in his post game remarks, because he looked lost at times and his effort on offense to work for position was poor.

Adrian Bowie made the best of a good matchup with Virginia and torched them for 22 points on 8/13 shooting. At the start of the 2nd half Bowie took over the game and almost put Virginia away single handed. Against a bigger and more athletic Yellow Jacket backcourt Bowie struggled badly and only scored 3 points on 1/10 shooting.

It was a good time for Sean Mosley, who didn't score a point against Virginia, to come up with his best game of the season. The sophomore scored 16 points on 6/13 shooting, his 13 field goal attempts paced the team, and added four rebounds and three assists. It was a tantalizing glimpse of what Mosley could have been all year but it is unlikely that he will be able to sustain those kinds of efforts.

Freshmen Terrell Stoglin and Pe'Shon Howard played well even though they combined for 8 turnovers. The duo has combined for 35 points the last two games and is showing progress in adjusting to the pace of conference games. Each was able to get into the lane against Georgia Tech and either score or dish to an open shooter. If the freshmen can keep up this level of play Maryland may not need major contributions from Bowie or Cliff Tucker every night to win.

Jordan Williams shook off a dreadful performance against Virginia and dominated a depleted Yellow Jacket frontcourt. Freshman Daniel Miller didn't do a horrible job defending Williams but was over matched as Maryland's star scored 21 points and added 15 rebounds. Whatever malaise Jordan was in against Virginia was quickly dispelled with quick baskets against Georgia Tech.

The road slate gets more difficult in the second half of the schedule with trips to Boston College, Virginia Tech and North Carolina but this group is getting to be a seasoned bunch as the freshmen ripen the the seniors become more consistent. Three straight home games coming up will serve as a spring board to a stretch of four road tests in six games that follow. This group seems to be maturing and finding a way to win, even if it isn't pretty at times.

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