Thursday, January 26, 2006

Terps Okay Without McCray

Everyone, including me, wanted to see how Maryland would hold up without senior Chris McCray last night at Georgia Tech. It was the first game that the Terps played since finding out that Chris was suspended for the rest of the semester. Finding a way to replace their leading scorer and defender is going to be a test for the rest of the season.

Last night the Terps proved that they have enough fire power to win some games. Georgia Tech is a bit down this year, but any road win in the ACC is a good win and it is just what the doctor ordered for Maryland.

Nik Caner-Medley was a beast in the game and carried the Terps offense in the second half. I know there are a lot of Nik nay sayers out there, but he has been great the last few games. If Nik can hold on to that level of play and Jones steps up to fill in the gaps for McCray, the Terrapins will be okay down the stretch.

I think Chris McCray was a good player and he was the team's leading scorer and defender, but losing him is not the end of the world. Let's look at the facts. The team's defense with him wasn't so terrific, so they may not lose a whole lot there. He was the leading scorer, but he was also playing a ton of minutes. I am willing to bet that if you gave Jones that many minutes he would outscore McCray. Jones supposedly isn't the defender that Chris was, but maybe if he is getting more minutes and he gets his confidence up we will see a different level of play out of him. In my humble opinion, Jones has been playig scared since the day he started playing for Gary. When he looks relaxed and just goes out and plays he does well. When he isn't playing well it always looks like he is nervous. I think he is scared that if he makes one bad play Gary will yank him out of the game. Guess what. I think he is right. Now that the team is going to have to play him, I think he will relax and step up.

We're sorry to see McCray's career at Maryland end this way, but it's his own fault and the team has to move forward without him. I've said it before, the Terps don't have a stud that they can count on to carry them game in and game out. Different people are going to have to step up and contribute. They have plenty of fire power. On any given night Caner-Medley, Gist, Ibekwe, or Jones could have a huge night. Garrison and Strawberry have had a few big games as well and could have one any time. This is going to be an interesting season going forward, but in the long run losing McCray may make the other guys better players.

Good luck Terps. We'll be watching you.


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