Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Terps Survive UVA

The Maryland Terrapins barely survived against UVA on Tuesday night at The Comcast Center. I was stuck in traffic and didn't make the game until about 10 minutes of the game were already gone. Thank God. I walked in and almost couldn't believe it when I saw that the Terps were already down 23-10. I knew it was going to be a long night and wasn't until about 10 minutes left in the second half that I thought we would win.

Finally things started to drop in the hoop for the Terps and they started to get some defensive rebounds. Finally Ibeqwe woke up and dominated the boards. When the Terps control the boards and don't give easy second chance baskets away they seem to thrive. It's almost as if the offense is fueled by the defense (and I'm not talking about fast break points).

Several observations...The first is that if the Terps are scoring with either Strawberry or Parrish Brown at the point Gary should leave Sterling Ledbetter on the bench. Several times in the game, Gary substituted him in and both times the offense went from scoring well to dead in the water. That is no joke. It wasn't that he didn't pass well or turn the ball over. It was just for some reason when he was at the point no one seemed to be able to score. Shots that were working before just would rim out or the guys in the front court couldn't get enough space to make shots. Maybe having DJ's ability to drive the basket opens up the front court and makes everyting about the defense looser. I don't know.

Second observation is that Mike Jones needs to be smart. What was that pathetic attempt at a turnaround jam with only a two point lead? Gary had to be fuming. I think that if Mike Jones just used his head a bit more he would be outstanding. He make great shots, but for every shot he makes he seems to screw up 2 or 3 times.

The turnovers are way down over the last few games and that is huge heading into Saturday's matchup agains You-know-Who. This game will be critical. A win on Saturday would look great to the selection committee. The Terps are teetering on the edge of making the big dance and they could really use a marquee win.


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