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December 16, 2009 12:23 PM

Landon Milbourne: B-

7498647_Florida_State_v_Maryland.jpgThanks to a beefed-up front line, Milbourne has had the luxury of playing the 3 -- his natural position -- more often this season; and he has responded by improving his scoring output from around 12 per game to 13.5. The problem with Landon is that, for whatever reason, he has taken on the demeanor of a freshman, whose confidence level ebbs and flows dramatically from game to game. When he makes a couple shots in the first few minutes, chances are he'll keep that sweet stroke all night, as well as his defensive tenacity. But if he gets benched early - which has happened a couple times because of foul trouble -- he returns to the court looking like a lost toddler in a grocery store. He misses a few shots and suddenly he's getting beat on back-screens and getting out-muscled on the glass. On a team that already has arguably the biggest risk-reward player in the nation -- Greivis Vasquez, of course -- Milbourne needs to be a model of stability, a go-to scorer/defender on any given night. Perhaps both he and Vasquez are worrying too much about getting drafted. Regardless, both need to step up their games come January, as the Terps probably need 9 or 10 to dance in March. 

December 13, 2009 10:52 AM

First quarter grades

I hate the Christmas lull -- the time during which the Terp basketball team rarely plays anyone of significance (although EKU gave us a world of problems last night). And this year's month-long respite is an especially bitter pill to swallow, as Maryland is 0-for-3 against NCAA Tournament-caliber teams thus far. The Terps probably need to win nine conference games to ensure an NCAA bid, a feat they have accomplished only once in the past six seasons. Fortunately, nine wins seems manageable for this team, especially considering how weak the ACC is this year. Here is the first installment of my first quarter grades for our 11-deep rotation.

Greivis Vasquez (C-): That grade might be generous, considering his 34.6% field goal percentage. But he does enough on the floor (4.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists) to save him -- barely -- from being considered a complete liability. It's kind of a tricky problem to deal with, because Vasquez needs to get his shots in order to regain his shooting touch. But that kind of "let me get into the action" mentality has at times fractured the team's chemistry, most notably against Villanova when he missed two consecutive shots to quell a 13-0 rally. The silver lining is that this drought is happening now instead of during conference/tournament play. No one can benefit more from the otherwise stale December schedule than "The Matador". His 20-point performance against EKU is an encouraging sign.20.vasquez.jpg

November 29, 2009 2:14 PM

D.C. area sports fans, where do we turn?

I apologize for the long period of inactivity. I'm placing a moratorium on Terp football talk until the spring or summer. The BC game was a classic display of ACC mediocrity -- boring, mistaken-ridden football in a dark, cold near-empty Byrd stadium. Let's just hope Fridge gets to coach one more year, that Jamarr Robinson improves with his pass accuracy and reads over the offseason -- he certainly has the physical tools -- and that we get dramatically better on the O and D-lines. 

The excitement of the upcoming basketball season helped me stomach this miserable football season. But all that optimism has dimmed after watching the Terps get completely outclassed at The Maui Invitational. Granted, it's still early. But the talent gap between us and Cincy was gaping; their defense made Vasquez look gangly and silly, and made our other supposedly talented guards look like mid-major talent. And, of course, we were dominated in the paint. 

Gary's teams typically start slow and pick up steam when their backs are against the wall. And the return of Dino Gregory in December will certainly help. But the sting from Maui won't go away any time soon. We will likely enter conference play having lost three of its four significant non-conference games --who expects us to beat Villanova Sunday? -- and needing to win at least nine games to dance in March. 

Terps, Redskins, Wizards, Orioles, Nats...for a D.C. area sports fan who hates hockey, where do I turn for my sports fix? 
November 22, 2009 7:27 PM

Goins will travel with team to Maui

Steve Goins will likely be eligible to play for this week's Maui Invitational, according to this Sun report. The oft-used, 6-foot-10 center was inactive Friday against New Hampshire for violating academic attendance policies. Even if he is eligible, there is no guarantee Goins will play in Maui, as lingering knee problems have plagued him since summer camps. I bet he'll get a few washup minutes against Chaminade. At this stage, Goins' expectation level can be considered both minimal and immense. Minimal, because the guy had little to no division-one interest out of high school. Immense, because our paper-thin frontcourt desperately needs another shot blocker/intimidator in the paint.  
November 22, 2009 2:50 PM

Yow will meet with team Monday

Is this inauspicious news for Coach Friedgen? Yow said she will attend Monday's team meeting, maintaining that she merely wants to thank the team for its hard work, and that she still plans to evaluate the Fridge's performance after the season. 

I still can't imagine that she'd pay the $4 million buyout to run him out of town. Then again, if Yow indeed wants to run him out of town, then it's better to do it sooner than later. Here's the Sun story.



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November 20, 2009 10:53 PM

And we thought the drama was over...

A day after dodging the Dino Gregory year-long suspension bullet, Terp Nation was greeted with a two-pack of precarious news.

Steve Goins was not present at tonight's win over New Hampshire "due to a violation of the Maryland athletic department's class attendance policy, according to a press release just issued by a team official." Here's the Post's blog entry. 

Then there was the conspicuous absence of a Terrence Ross signature during today's Signing Day festivities. The 6-foot-5 swingman, who is Gary Williams' most prized recruit in his four-man 2010 class, opted to sign in the spring, a decision that stinks of a re-opened recruitment. Don't be surprised if he sets an official visit somewhere else by the end of the year. 



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November 19, 2009 4:25 PM

Tobias Harris announces at 5:30 on ESPNU

Maryland is one of eight schools in the running for Harris's signature. The 6-foot-8 scoring machine is the number-five overall prospect in the 2010 class, according to Rivals.com, and would be the first one-and-done guy Maryland has ever signed. 


November 19, 2009 12:50 PM

Gregory will return Dec. 12

According to this story, Dino Gregory will be suspended until Dec. 12. Even though he'll miss the Maui Invitational and games against Indiana and Villanova, I still feel Maryland dodged a bullet with this case of "undisclosed violation of team rules".



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November 18, 2009 12:48 PM

Through the grapevine...

I hear Dino Gregory will be reinstated some time in December. This is great news, considering many (myself included) assumed he'd be ineligible for the whole season. Nothing is official, but the rumors are encouraging. 
November 17, 2009 4:53 PM

Terps may have rebounding issues against Fairfield

Maryland is 19-point favorite against Fairfield tonight. But if I was a betting man, I'd put at least 2-to-1 odds that Fairfield outrebounds us tonight. This team is pretty big, boasting six players taller than 6-foot-7. Maryland, meanwhile, will be without three of its forwards tonight on an already thin frontcourt. Steve Goins (knee) and Jin Soo Choo (ankle) are out with injuries, while Dino Gregory's status remains uncertain after allegedly engaging in academic dishonesty. Jeff Barker wrote a story today about how Gary Williams may go to a four-guard lineup (Vasquez, Hayes, Bowie, Mosley). 

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