Thursday, December 08, 2005

Terps Put on a Repeat Performance

Last night my friend, Bob, and I got out of my car and started the walk from our assigned parking lot to the Comcast Center. “Fill me in on this year’s team a bit,” Bob says. He is also a UM grad and although he is a pretty big Terp fan he has been busy and just hasn’t had a chance to catch the games so far this year.

“Well, its pretty much the same story every game this year,” I said. “With the exception of the two games that they have lost, the Terps seem to follow a script every game. They come out sloppy. Shoot poorly in the first half and play lousy defense. The little schools that they should be blowing away keep it close in the first half and Maryland looks like a very average team. They go into half time pretty even, maybe up a few points, but when the second half starts they are a different team. All of a sudden they turn up the pressure, start shooting better and then pull away. They’ll probably win by about 30 points.”

That is a true story. The funny part is that I nailed it. That is the exact thing that happened last night against Western Carolina. Am I a genius? No. Am I psychic? No. The fact of the matter is that for some reason this exact thing keeps happening. I’m not complaining about a 30 point win, but this just won’t work against ACC teams and it really won’t fly during the tourney at the end of the year.

I just don’t get it. They can’t shoot the ball at all in the first half of any game this year. They just stink in the opening period. They really need to do something about that. The defense is bad at the beginning as well. They let this Western Carolina team take it to the hole so easily it was pathetic and then they let the one guy on that team who could shoot the three pointer have a bunch of open looks. Do they watch any tape of these teams at all? Do they scout and make a game plan? It seems to me that they should be able to pick up the big shooters and have someone assigned to shadow those people all night. You lose your guy and give him easy looks and you come out and someone who can cover him goes in. Simple. No excuses. I didn’t have a scouting report or game tape of this team, but you can bet that after the skinny little white guy wearing #20 for W. Carolina hit two 3 pointers in a row that Gary certainly should have told someone to stay on him and stay in his face. How is it that this team can shut down JJ Redick, but can’t stop anyone else from getting open looks? They over commit on many plays and leave the guy they are assigned to guard all alone. I understand that pressure usually involves teaming up on defense, but against a team like this one you should be able to shut them down one on one. Maryland shouldn’t need to constantly double team to play good defense. Maryland better sort that out before Sunday when the ACC season starts for them against Boston College. If they find themselves in the hole in the fist half against a team like that they just might not be able to climb out of it. Good luck Terps. I hope you figure it out.


At 2:20 PM, Anonymous Rob said...

Great blog. I agree with everything you've said about Terps BBall. Thank god they came to the BC game wide awake and played hard for a full 40 minutes.


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