With the outlook for NCAA Tournament for Maryland Basketball is looking grim, the Terps are going to Honor Greivis Vasquez prior to the game. Adding Vasquez’s name to all the other great Maryland Basketball players is well deserved, and hopefully he will give a shimmy to get the crowd going from the start. This is after all an important game if Maryland is to make an improbable run. If the Vasquez ceremony wasn’t enough, during halftime members of the 2001 Final Four team will be honored. The list of former players is expected to include Juan Dixon, Chris Wilcox, Byron Mouton, and Tahj Holden. If these two things aren’t enough to motivate the current players, well quite honestly they don’t belong in the Big Dance.
These events are a nice reminder of better times, but there is after all a game to be played today, and if Maryland wants to try and work its way back into tournament consideration, this is one they must get. The Wolfpack comes in on a modest two game winning streak (defeating Wake Forest and Clemson) following a 4 game losing streak. They are 14-11 and 4-7 in the ACC.
If you are like me when I scout the opponent, the first thing I look at is three point shooting. The Pack is hitting on 33% as a team and are led by Scott Wood (41%). Other than that no player has hit more than 17 three’s (Javier Gonzalez is hitting 30%). So the truth is they don’t have a lot of great shooters, but against Maryland, that doesn’t seem to matter. If you recall from the Virginia Tech game it was two late three’s by Erick Green (a 25% shooter) that were the killers. So just a note of caution, while NCST doesn’t have a ton of sharp shooters, it doesn’t mean you can be lax defending the three.
Overall the pack is led by Tracy Smith (14.3 and 5.8 rebounds) and C.J. Leslie (11.4 and 7.5 rebounds). Speaking of C.J. Leslie, did you know he was poet? Not unlike J.J. Reddick. It must be something with having the initial of J. in you name. I wonder if our part time contributor JJH is keeping a secret form us? Anyway if you want to be wowed by the musings of Leslie, you can read it on Deadspin. All I had to say is if only I worked for Hallmark, I would be sure to pay him to put that in a Valentines Day card! Dayum!
Enough joking, this game is huge, and if we want to keep a glimmer of tourney hopes this is a must win. There is no way around that fact. Tune in tonight at 5:30 to see if anyone is going to help out Jordan Williams. Can we rely on the Freshman guards to step up game in and game out? I don’t know, but it has become painfully obvious, the Senior guards can not be counted on every game. And that is what truly frustrates me. They have the talent, but have not been able to string it all together. My personal opinion is we are going to see more and more from Terrell Stoglin and Pe’Shon Howard, possibly on the court together. If nothing else we can start preparing for next year right?
I know this extra droppings thing is usually Bob’s big thing, but I thought it was worth noting that the Maryland Baseball team has one of three games so far at #6 Texas to open the season. They won the first game of the double header yesterday 10-1 and held a lead into the eighth inning before giving up 5 runs in the eight in the second game. The Terps can even the road trip out today at 1:00 pm. Congratulations to Erik Bakich and his team on the big early season win.