Maryland Basketball Update

By Ben Linton

After finishing the first couple warm-up games without a blemish (although one was too close for comfort) the Maryland Basketball team headed to New York City for the 2K Sports Classic. In the first game, the Terps took on the Number 4 Pittsburgh Panthers in Madison Square Garden. It was a tough matchup for the Terps, whose young guards had to go against two experienced veterans in Brad Wanamaker and Ashton Gibbs. The Panthers also had size inside to neutralize Maryland’s Jordan Williams, as the Panthers would out-rebound the Terps 59-28. Maryland shot only 14 of 23 from the free throw line, which ended up being their demise in a nine-point loss at 79-70. Cliff Tucker led the team with 17 points, while Jordan Williams scored 14 points while grabbing eight rebounds. Maryland would then face Number 16 Illinois in the Consolation game.

In game two of the 2K classic, Illinois used some good three-point shooting (10 for 19) to top the Terps 80-76. The Maryland defense was a bit shaky in this game, allowing a bunch of open shots to some capable shooters. The Terps were led by Freshman Terrell Stoglin with 17 points, and Jordan Williams (15 pts 13 reb) and Dino Gregory (10 pts 10 reb) both recorded double-doubles. With both losses, the Terps dropped to 3-2 on the year.

We learned a lot about this year’s team in the two games in Madison Square Garden. Although the Terps didn’t win any games in the tournament, they played well enough to win each one. They could have folded when they fell into some large defecits, (42-29 vs. Pitt, 69-57 vs. Illinois) but mounted comebacks in both instances. Free throw shooting and Three-point shooting have been a problem so far this year, but with time both of these will improve. We learned that Jordan Williams will be Maryland’s go-to-guy this season; not many teams in the ACC will be able to handle him inside. If the Terps can find more production around Williams, particularly from Cliff Tucker and Sean Mosely, the Terps will be a tough team to beat night in and night out. Stable point guard play will also be a key, whether it be from Senior Adrian Bowie, or Freshman Pe’Shon Howard and Terrell Stoglin. Although the Terps left New York without any wins, they left with confidence that they will be a good team that will compete this season.

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November 2010
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