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08
Nov
09

terps lose game, turner, virginity to nc state

It’s one of those times when I hate being right, but in Maryland’s 38-31 loss to NC State this afternoon the game covered the over and State covered the spread.   I had a feeling this was coming given that both teams employ the Wet Paper Dag defense.  It’s an innovative variation on the 3-4 where the linemen use only their thumbs to tackle and the secondary covers the cheerleaders.

Even as turnovers mounted for the Wolf Pack, the Terps yielded 482 total yards to NC State.  Adding injury to insult, Chris Turner left the game in the first half with an injury to his MCL.  Backup Jamarr Robinson was ineffective in relief, going 5-11 passing with 27 yards in the second half.

Chris Turner could be lost for the rest of the year.  The Terps finish the season with three tough opponents, starting with Virginia Tech this weekend and continuing with games against Florida State and Boston College.  If you think the team looks ugly now, look for it to get uglier in the next three weeks.  There may be some competition for the starting QB job between Robinson and Danny O’Brien to keep you tuned in.  Either way, the Terps have a long November ahead of them.

06
Nov
09

maryland versus nc state in football: the failure will be palpable

The Lakers versus the Celtics in the 1984 NBA Finals at the Old Boston Garden

The Yankees versus the Dodgers in the 1963 World Series at Ebbitts Field

The Terps versus the Wolf Pack in 2009 at Carter-Finley Stadium

One of these games is not like the others.

The 2-6 Maryland Football Terps roll into Raleigh tomorrow to take on the 3-5 NC State Wolf Pack in a battle of ACC bottom feeders.  Eric Prisbell reports in the Post that this is one of two DI-A games that is not televised this weekend, the other being Baylor vs. Missouri.  While that nugget was the result of some cutting edge investigative reporting, the rest of Prisbell’s article leaves the impression that there is some reason to watch this game.  Even if this game was on terrestrial television rather than E-f’ing-SPN 360, there is zero chance I’d watch it, and even less of a chance that my co-blogger MASH would watch it given his newfound multimedia fame.

Both teams have suffered a number of injuries, including some to key underclassmen, which means that this game will do little to show progress and growth in either team.  Despite the fact that the winner of this game remains “bowl eligible”, neither team will win out, so eligibility is a moot (checking the spelling this time so I won’t be muted) point.  Neither team plays defense period.  Maryland ranks 104th in the country giving up about 32pts per game, while NC State ranks 89th at 29pts per game.  The saddest fact about this game is that both teams have lost to Duke this season.  Maybe this is how ESPN 360 should promote the game, “Both teams are looking for blood following embarrassing losses to Duke, the worst football program in the long history of the conference.”  Wait, nope, that still doesn’t make me care.

Vegas has NC State at a 6.5pt favorite and the over/under is 56.5.  I belive the Wolf Pack will cover.  One thing they can do is score, and Maryland’s depleted defense will not be able to keep them off the field.  Conversely, the Terps have not been able to get the ball in the end zone very much this year, scoring only 22pts per game against a schedule that has included some pretty weak opponents to this point.

Final Score: NC State 33 Maryland 26.  The Wolf Pack will cover and take the over.  If there is any defense played in this game it will be by the losing coach in the postgame press conference.

I have to go and take a shower now.  I feel dirty just writing about this terrible game.  Go Terps… blech.

05
Nov
09

On the radio tonight with Kirk Fraser, director of Len Bias documentary

Tonight’s episode of Terp Talk should be a good one.  Terp Talk host Bruce Posner is welcoming Kirk Fraser, director of the “Without Bias” documentary, to the show. Fellow blogger Chris Stoner is going to be on as well, along with yours truly. Hope you tune in. Those not in the Baltimore area can listen here.

05
Nov
09

Know your rotation guys: Adrian Bowie

(For the previous installment of Know Your Rotation Guys, click here.)

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If Gary Williams wants to start a small lineup, Adrian Bowie could be a starter. However, just for fun let’s slot him to the rotation area for now.

When I think about Adrian Bowie, I think about X factor. When he’s on, the team seems to fire on all cylinders. He’s got charisma out there on the court — when he’s got the ball, people seem to sit up a little straighter. Eric Hayes is great, but his game isn’t to score…any substantial points from him are gravy and that’s just the way it is. So to prevent Vasquez from trying (and, sorry to say, often failing) to go 1 on 2 every possession, we need another scoring option. Sean Mosely is emerging in this area, but Gosh willing, Adrian Bowie will provide that option for us as well.

With Bowie’s great quickness and athleticism, it’s relatively easy for him to slash to the hoop and to defend other guards in the conference. I’d go so far as to say he’s the only pure slasher on the team (with Vasquez being more of a “pure scorer”). His weakness has always been the shooting. In the team’s exhibition victory over IUP early this week, he had an efficient and encouraging effort, getting 8 points on 3-6 shooting to go with 6 assists, 2 boards, 3 steals, and no turnovers. That’s called stuffing the stat sheet. He missed both of his three attempts, though.

After training hard over the summer with Cliff Tucker and Dino Gregory, he feels his all-around game is more efficient and just better. To sweeten the deal even further, Bowie bleeds Maryland red, black, white, and gold. Seriously, it’s disgusting, I’ve seen it. Bowie literally grew up washing Walt Williams’ socks as a Terps ballboy.

Last season, he averaged 18 mpg and 6 points. I see those and all his other numbers going up. He came on late last year and showed some poise under pressure, scoring in double figures in each of their last three games, including a 12 and 7 in the tournament win over Cal. The season is ultimately going to come down to Vasquez and the bigs. Everyone knows that. But every good team needs an X factor, a do-it-all guy. That’s Adrian Bowie.

(Photo credit: Christopher Blunck/Inside Maryland Sports)

04
Nov
09

Unstoppable Starts Here! Dino Gregory Could Be Latest Ineligible Terp

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Listening to the Terps’ 75-54 exhibition win last night over the mighty Crimson Hawks of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, you never would have guessed that Maryland had, or ever had, anyone on their roster named Dino Gregory.  And that’s noteworthy why, you ask?  Quit bothering you with this stupid exhibition bullcrap, you say? Well, hold on to your hats; this is curious because the Terps do have someone who goes by that name. Look, here he is. And what’s more, he was supposedly the team’s fifth starter entering the season.

So why did Gregory not only not play, but have his very existence expunged from the broadcast as if he were a “Fire Snyder” sign at a Redskins tailgate? Well, now we have our answer. Actually, some people were informed minutes before the game. But I was not. For I have no access, you see.

But now that I’m informed and fully awake, I’m going to be serious for a second here.  Gregory was suspended and barred from Comcast Center last night because of some previous team violations (alleged to be academic misconduct) that have yet to be resolved. The school isn’t commenting, citing privacy rules. This is not boding well. This could mean significant lost time for Dino.

If Gregory does miss real games, it would not be the first time for a Maryland athlete. Maryland QB Josh Portis was caught cheating, had to sit out the 2007 season, and never recovered. He transferred. And of course, in January 2006, Maryland guard Chris McCray was deemed ineligible for the rest of his senior season. This wasn’t some reserve who dropped off the radar; this was a big gaffe. He was the team’s leading scorer and they ended up missing the tournament. Earlier this year, the artist formerly known as Jin Soo Kim was declared academically ineligible before being reinstated a few days later.

This is to say nothing of the Tyree Evans or Gus Gilchrist eligibility fiascoes.

McCray, Kim/Choi, Evans, Gilchrist, Portis, and maybe Gregory. That’s a decent team right there.

I never had the feeling Maryland players and programs weren’t taking school seriously. (Although graduation stats are pretty poor, they’re improving and potentially misleading. But that’s another post.) But it seems fair to ask whether there is a disconnect somewhere. Isn’t someone accountable for making sure players know the rules and get their butts to class? It seems like someone keeps dropping the ball when it comes to making sure players understand expectations (and consequences). And it seems like this stuff happens at Maryland more than other schools. Is that just me? Either way, how many more times do players need to lose eligibility because of some ultimately silly mistake before we stop shooting ourselves in the foot?

04
Nov
09

Without Bias: A Terp fan’s take

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As you know, the documentary Without Bias debuted on ESPN last night.

I’m going to resist the urge to write a bunch of flowery prose about “Everyone Knows Where They Were When They Heard Len Bias Was Dead,” “He Could Have Been Better Than Jordan,” etc. It feels a little superfluous at this point.  I’ll just say that it was sad, is sad, and will continue to be sad. I think what will always grab people is the timing, happening just two days after the draft.  It’s a little like if someone won the lottery, decided to celebrate by going skydiving, and died in the air before they could cash the ticket. It was a promising life snuffed out as it passed through the doorway to greatness. 

Okay, I said I would resist. I didn’t say I would be successful.

As for the movie, I thought it was pretty good, even if it generally lacked fresh insight. The reporting was comprehensive, and included a lot of familiar faces for D.C. dwellars — John Thompson, Michael Wilbon, Jim Vance, Steve Buckhantz and, of course, one Charles “Lefty” Driesell. After reading countless column inches on Bias over the years, it was interesting to see the story told in pictures. Here are some of the pictures that will stay with me for a while:

– The game footage. If he had played baseball, he would have been a “five tool” player. He was ferocious around the rim on both ends, his legs were industrial springs, he played tough defense, and he was a good teammate.  And finally, the jump shot, which I had forgotten about.  That thing was pure sugar.

– The stoicism of Bias’s mother

– The wrenching, almost convulsive weeping of Len’s brother Jay at Len’s funeral

– The reminder that Jay was murdered in a local mall parking lot just a couple years after Len’s passing

As for the film itself, there is some commentary about the harsh, knee-jerk drug sentencing policies that came into place after Bias’s death. Many of these policies, often referred to as Len Bias Laws, remain on the books. But other than that, the movie didn’t really offer any new perspectives. On the other hand, I’m not sure a new perspective is necessary. The story and its characters are all as compelling as ever, and that’s probably, and rightfully, the way it will always be.

03
Nov
09

Shell Games appearing on Terp Talk radio show

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That’s right, I’m gonna be a guest on the always-entertaining, always-informative Terp Talk!

It’ll air Thursday at 6 p.m.

If you live in the Baltimore area, the show airs on ESPN Radio 1300 AM. All others can listen live by clicking this hyperlink. I’m gonna make a fool out of myself! Wheeeeee!!!!!




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