A few years ago, when Maryland was making back-to-back final fours, there was
a lot of talk about how Gary Williams had improved as a coach, how he had
mellowed, and how he had improved tactically as a half-court coach.
So our question now and since then is why has the improvement not
continued? The Terps have had taletn and yet had to worry about whether or
not they would even make the field. So what gives?
We said then that our suspicion was that Steve Blake and Juan Dixon were
responsible for a lot of his sudden improvement, and nothing since then has
really changed our mind, and certainly
not the Gonzaga game.
Maryland often looked lost against their zone, making foolish turnovers and
hoisting up dumb, tentative shots.
Maryland is very athletic and is going to break a lot of teams this
year. But if teams can handle the press and be patient, they'll be there
at the end.
Before the Blake/Dixon era and after, Maryland has not handled late-game
pressure well. They have a vastly improved team this year, but that is and
has been their vulnerability, and our guess is that it will have something to do
with the end of their season.
In other ACC games Monday night, FSU beat Alcorn State 85-67, Wake beat
Asheville 79-63, Virginia Tech knocked off Marshall 71-54, and Clemson downed
Coppin State 102-71.
Tuesday's games see Buffalo at B.C., NC A&T at Miami, UVa at Richmond, Cleveland
State at UNC, and Maryland in an 8:30 matchup in Maui. Ugh.
Ol' Roy says he
wasn't surprised that the first game was so ragged. With so many new
players, it probably was bound to be.
wasn't a big challenge for Wake, but the big news is that the Justin Gray
experiment may be over.
Freshman Harvey Hale started at point, but Skip Prosser says Gray will still
see time there.