Friday, January 11, 2008

Terps Nation #2 - Maybe They Don't Stink?

Hey, guess what? I have a blog. Still have to put in a lot of content from past years and published articles, but I'm working on it and at least now I don't have to send out my ramblings through mass email. Please post a quick comment if you read this so I can get a sense of who is checking it out.

On to more important matters.

What have we learned so far about he 2007-2008 edition of the Maryland men's basketball team:

If they don't play with intensity, they can play as poorly as any team in the past 30 years of the program, suffering unbelievably embarrassing home losses to mediocre teams.

As Gist and Vasquez go, so goes Maryland. Those two are the only seriously talented guys on the squad. The rest are OK, but not one of them is an impact player. Gist and Vasquez are impact players and when they are down, Maryland stinks. When they are up, however, the Terps can be, I think, pretty good. How good? Time will tell. 8-8 in the league might be possible if those guys keep it turned on. If they don't? Uh oh. Could get embarrassing.

Of the freshmen, I like Cliff Tucker the best. He seems to have the most "pop" to his game, where he makes an impact with energy and athleticism. The rest of them? Who are they? Braxton Dupree is OK, he's a big body, but seems pretty raw. Then you have Shane Walker, Dino Gregory, and Adrian Bowie. I get more excited when Dave Neal takes the court. Seriously.

No one seems to care all that much. You hear any buzz at all about this team or program? I don't. The seats aren't filled, even in the student sections, even before the ridiculous losses to American and Ohio. People just aren't that into it. Shame of it is that we are only one season removed from a really good year. Terps were 10-6 in the ACC last year, but the momentum was killed by that opening round loss in the ACC tourney to Miami and then getting beat by Butler in the round of 32 made it one loss shy of a great year.

But here we are at 10-6 heading into the teeth of the ACC schedule. That's the good and bad news. Actually it's only good news. You get a chance to play against the best and see if you're any good. You can redeem yourself from a home loss to American with a win at Duke or Carolina. It's a longshot but at least it's out there.

Maybe the losses to American and Ohio (and don't forget, Terps needed OT to beat Northeastern) were just a funk? That's the theory put forth by BMag editor and Turtle devotee M. Weiss. More like a really big funk, like a funkity, funky, funk. But the good news is that Terps are playing better ball of late, with four wins in a row, including one that almost qualifies as impressive with a blowout of a decent Holy Cross team.

What's next? At Va. Tech on Saturday -- don't forget to vote in my first poll up top -- and a chance to keep some momentum going. I have no idea who plays for Va. Tech other than that wiry forward with the longish dreads whose mom goes to every game and gets all kinds of camera time. OK, I just looked it up, his name is Deron Washington. And they have a point guard from Baltimore, Malcolm Delaney.

Tip is 2 p.m. and at least the game is on Raycom and not ESPNU, which I don't have. After the game, please ignore the NFL playoffs going on and tune into espn 1300 in Baltimore for the first ever GA radio show, which will air 5-7 this week, and perhaps never again if I put my foot in it enough times.

Until next time Turtle nation,



Gabetrain said...

what is the dial in number to call the radio show? We will taunt you a second time.

Terrapintom said...

I haven't seen many games so far, but I kind of like the young talent. I know Gist & Osby will be gone next year, but I think with the addition of an outside force, this team could be very tough next year and the year after that. But they need that deep threat.

Unknown said...

they better do better than miami in the standings or terpnation blogger owes me one for my awful pick

Terrapintom said...

Please, for the love of god, please tell me that Gary didn't draw up that final play for Vasquez to take the final shot. He was so cold today he couldn't toss the ball into the ocean. Why didn't they get Gist or Osby in the lane, post up and take a shot inside? It was working all day, at the least, they would have gotten a foul. A game they should have won, no doubts about it. Actually a must win, because it looks like Va Tech is down with a lot of youth. Frustrating, very frustrating.