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Maryland Q&A

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- This week, I exchanged emails again with Terps beat writer Patrick Stevens of The Washington Times, who shared my thoughts on tonight's showdown with his readers over on his blog D1SCOURSE

1. What on earth has been happening up there the last few weeks? Gary Williams is having a war of words with school officials, the team is struggling, blowing leads. Is this Maryland basketball team on the verge of falling apart? Or, is this just a hiccup?

PS: In two words, needless craziness. This week brought the bubbling over of some long-held tensions between Williams and higher-ups in his athletic department --- notably AD Debbie Yow.  

From a micro perspective, it all depends on how you define "on the verge of falling apart." If you mean enduring blowout after blowout, it's hard to see that coming. Maryland, for all of its talent deficiencies, has played hard. Of its five losses in the last seven games, it was only completely horrible once (a 41-point loss at Duke). This just doesn't seem like a team that will tank in the second half of the league schedule. Now, does it have the talent to get even a .500 league record? That's highly debatable. From a macro perspective, the program suffered some damage this week. Gary Williams has taken heat for his recruiting, and his ability to do so was further compromised with the in-fighting. It's tough to see things getting much better for the Terps until there is some demonstration of stability and unity --- and it sure doesn't look like that will come easy. 

2. The Terrapins have lost four straight to Miami, so there is obviously going to be extra motivation for them to win Saturday's game. But did the blown 17-point lead the last time around shake Maryland's confidence to the point where maybe some guys are believing they just can't beat Miami? 

PS: It sure does seem like the Hurricanes have Maryland's number, and the blown 17-point lead doesn't help matters. But the Terps have blown a 14-point lead to Morgan State and a 16-point lead to Boston College this month, so ugly second halves certainly aren't confined to games against The U. That said, no one on Maryland's roster has played in a victory over Miami (or Virginia Tech for that matter), and if any team might happen to have the Terps' heads, the Hurricanes certainly would rate as the best available candidate.  

3. Maryland did a great job forcing turnovers and pushing the ball up the floor last time against Miami. Any reason to believe there will be a change in philosophy this time? Or, are the Terps just going to try and do the same thing they did last time? 

PS: Maryland built that 17-point lead by remaining aggressive, pressing and making sure it collected plenty of points in transition. Then, as coach Gary Williams acknowledged that night, the Terps became tentative and the lead quickly vanished. Miami's absurd 3-point shooting had something to do with that, but until those closing minutes Maryland's defense (especially on the interior) was impressive. Maryland struggled to score in the halfcourt in the final 12 minutes that night, and it's been a common refrain for much of the month. If the Terps can get into transition, they would be wise to do so since points are so hard to come by elsewhere. I'd expect to see Maryland try to push things again Saturday night.

Comments

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Way to go Manny! Love the reporting!

Hey, Manny, fellow 'Cane fans, did anyone see Denny Clemente light up UT for 30+ points in single handedly taking down the #12 team in the country!? Boy we could use that at point this year. Funny, Rios is looking for a good defense attorney right now, and Clemente is fending off ESPN reporters about his performance.

Kentucky lands TE Terrell Mitchell.

http://www.kentucky.com/232/story/678954.html

Full court press on Richardson!!! The U needs a TE.

Mitchell Commited to KU cause he already knows Richardson is a smart kid and will pick THE U...

The basketball looks terrible again. I cannot understand what has happened to this team this year. They have more pieces, yet are producing less.

Did you hear that ringing at the end of the MD game? That was the sound of the NIT calling. What a disapointment, especially for the seniors.

The basketball looks terrible again. I cannot understand what has happened to this team this year. They have more pieces, yet are producing less.

Posted by: Optimus Cane | January 31, 2009 at 09:19 PM

Exactly, man. They look like they don't know what the hell they are doing. How can you not find a way to get the ball inside against a team that you have a considerable size advantage on? And why doesn't DeQuan Jones play more. The guy was productive every time he was on the floor. Bench that LOSER Brian Asbury. He's so freaking slow and worthless. I hate that bum.

Danny Clemente put up 44!

this team is in complete and utter dissarray!

How do they totally collapse like this?

Frank Haith has lost this group of kids. Lost them. They are not playing for him. Period. They have stopped playing. No way they should have lost to NC state, close one at VT lost, and this one. This team has become a tital joke. Blame can only be placed in one spot:


FRANK HAITH.

HAITH HAS TO GO. HE HAS LOST THE ABILITY TO LEAD AND MOTIVATE THIS TEAM FOR WHATEVER REASON.

TIME TO MOVE ON. THIS SEASON WAS ONE OF HOPES TO IMPROVE UPON LAST YEAR,WITH COLLINS AND MC. BACK, AND HURDLE, BUT THEY REGRESSED. THAT IS UNIMAGINABLE, AND UNACCEPTABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NIT? lol! This team still has to play NC, Wake, Duke, and FSU. They will be lucky to finish 500. This team may have a losing season. mark my words!

Most obvious sign of a clueless fan? Always calling for a coach's head when things don't as expected. Last year Haith was great...this year get rid of him, huh? Dumb@ss.

Hey Manny, do you think that the lack of a true PG is what is hurting Miami right now?

canes you are the dumba@@ and a pi$$ant. How else do you explain a team thathas as much or more talent than last year fold the way they have in the last 5 games? Simple answer for simple peopl like you: Bad coaching. Bad leadership. Bad motivation. Bad strategy. Bad planning. Bad conditioning. Translation for the simple of mind like you: Bad coaching. I saw ga Tech beat Wake at home. Ga tech should not even be close to UM this year. You think UM can pull a win like that? Have we taken advantage of our "home court"? Listen, if Um somehow miraculously pulls it together in the next 6 weeks, and beats:
Wake, Duke @FSU, NC

two or more of those wins,

I will personally come on here and apologize to you and Haith. Otherwise, you are the dumba$$ and Haith is a crappy coach. Last year? last year was Jack making 3s from all over the place. This year he is double teamed, and they are stillputting up crappy 3 pt attempts rather athan adjusting. Plus our pseudopost game is no wehere, Collins has regressed. Translation: Coaching.

Collins has not regressed, you @sshole. He is not getting the touches. Every time something goes wrong, just fire everybody. You are an @sshole, shut up.

Simple mind? Exactly. Simple minded idiots, like yourself, don't know where to go with blame, have short-term memory, and call for a coach to be fired. Bad leadership? Bad conditioning? Where do you get these things? And then you have the balls to call someone else simple minded? The stupidity of people simply amazes me every day.

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