Posts Tagged ‘Adrian Bowie

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)

02
Nov
09

Know Your Rotation Guys: Cliff Tucker

(Hello, and welcome to “Know Your Rotation Guys.” It’s a hybrid offspring of our previous series “Know Your Benchwarmers,” which can be found here. No further explanation needed, I imagine.)

Tucker

I kind of think about Cliff Tucker as the invisible man in the Terps’ rotation. I also like to refer to him as the guy that was caught laughing on the sidelines with Braxbum Dupree at the end of a loss last year.

Tucker averaged 12 minutes a game last season in his sophomore campaign, and with Sean Mosely and Adrian Bowie (not to mention Vasquez et al) really coming on at the end of last season (and with Mosely emerging in the offseason as the Terps’ next offensive option behind the seniors), I don’t really see that number going up. He could get a little time in the post, but again, I don’t think Tucker, at 6’6″, would be in line for that over Milbourne, Jordan Williams, Gregory, and Padgett.  Gary Williams has hinted he’ll play three or even four guards at once.  So that’s my guess as to Tucker’s role this season.  He’s the “we’re gonna go small now” sub-in.

Tucker had some big games last season. He also had some bed-crappers. His two biggest games, both statistically and psychologically, were the 18 and 22 points he got against UNC last year. But in the Jan. 24 Duke debacle, he played 17 minutes but only scored two points on one shot. In the March 13 Wake Forest win, he played 12 minutes but only scored 2 points on 1-3 shooting. So yeah…he really was invisible at times.

And there are the character questions. Aside from the laughing incident, which caused a minor stir on the blogosphere, there was the DNP-coaches decision that he sustained against Miami, after which he (and his mother!) complained to the media about his utilization on the team. There were accusations that Tucker wasn’t giving it 100 percent, and wasn’t getting it when it came to the program and its objectives.

Throughout the season, his minutes were all over the place, ranging from 1 to 29. Obviously that’s not all his fault, but it does speak to the inconsistency of both his performance and his role last year.

As for this season, Tucker worked hard on his game over the summer. Along with Bowie and Gregory, Tucker attended a special camp to improve his ball-handling with Pro Hoops Founder Jay Hernandez. No word on whether they shared spiced meats in the hot TUB. (Sorry, archaic SNL reference.) They emphasized his ball control while running at full speed, as well as his “confidence” as it relates to “taking guys off the dribble.” This all hints at the way he anticipates being used — as part of a smaller, quicker, run-and-gun lineup.

In a way, Tucker mirrored the team last year. Capable of greatness and gret underacheivement. Gifted but tempermental. No floor, no ceiling. Roller coaster. And so on. But if he can get a more solid role within this small ball lineup, that should have a stabilizing force on him and the team. We shall see.

(Photo credit: MEAC/SWAC Sports Main Street)

11
Mar
09

I can’t wait for Maryland to beat N.C. State so we can all get our hopes up again for no reason

I can just feel it coming.  Terps are gonna come out fired up on Thursday and will play like gangbusters in the first half.  Then, N.C. State’s gonna make it close for a hot minute in the second half, until Vasquez and Some Other Player To Be Determined (I’m guessing Adrian Bowie) help the Terps pull away for good.  Maryland 78, N.C. State 68.

Then the real excitement starts.  “The Terps can still make the tournament!  They looked soooo awesome against N.C. State omg best game ever we’ve recaptured the magic they can totally still make it omg!”  After throwing up a 26-8-6, Vasquez will talk to reporters for two hours about how this team has tremendous heart and will never give up, and where are all the haters now, and nobody understands how hard he works, and he loves being the underdog and the bad guy, and Wake Forest better watch out.  Everyone will talk about how crisp the Terps’ offense looked, how stifling their defense, how great their hustle, how heroic their hearts and noble their fighting spirit. Then everyone will throw a huge collective “Terps Beating Wake And Getting Into the Tournament Party” at Comcast Center and a multitude of satellite locations.  In Gary We Trust! Vasquez I love you! <3 <3 <3

Then, to the surprise of a surprising number of people, in the next round, against a rested Wake team, Maryland’s dream will come crashing down. The Terp post players will remember they’re overmatched. The role players will sink back into their shells. Gary will bust capillaries in his eyes from screaming as the players check out girls in the stands. And everyone will realize, once again, that Vasquez has probably just seen Scarface too many times.  He’s not the bad guy–not the Tony Montana kind of bad guy anyway.  He’ll shoot 8-39, lead the rest of the Terps in a final collective midcourt bowel releasing, and skip the postgame news conference.  Wake 82, Maryland 74.  Mark it down. NIT, here we come.

See, this is good.  Because now I’m in a no-lose situation.  See what I did there?  If the Terps lose to Wake, I get to act all smug like I actually know what I’m talking about.  If the Terps beat Wake, well, the Terps beat Wake, and I was totally wrong but who cares because I wanted to be wrong from the start anyway because obviously I wanted the victory.  Although, if the Terps lose to N.C. State, well, nobody wins.  Unless, of course, you count N.C. State.  Which I do not. So yeah…go Terps.

09
Feb
09

georgia tech turns over another win to maryland

Lawal made the Terps look small.

Lawal made the Terps look small.

On January 10th, the first half of the Maryland vs. Georgia Tech game was some of the ugliest basketball I’ve ever seen.  I had just about blocked that out of my memory.  Then came the game in Atlanta Sunday night, and I felt like I had gone through regression therapy.  Memories of bad basketball came rushing back.  As was the case with the game in January, the Terps were lucky to outlast the Yellow Jackets last night in another “battle to see who screws-up the least”.

The Terps shot 36% from the field.  That is just plain old bad.  Landon Milbourne and Dave Neal were a combined 3/15 from the floor and were clearly outmatched under the basket by Gani Lawal and Zachary Peacock.  At times they just looked small, especially on a play in the second half when Lawal came soaring through the lane for a thunderous one-handed put-back off a Tech miss.  What the Terps lacked in size they did make-up for in hustle by crashing the boards and forcing mistakes out of the Yellow Jackets.

On the bright side, Maryland’s front court did what they could to contain Georgia Tech’s bigs.  Lawal and Peacock combined for 11 turnovers.  GreivisVasquez and Eric Hayes bothseemed to have the rhythm from outside, and Vasquez was able to take over offensively late in the second half in a way that he has not done in over a month.  The two guards combined for 34 of Maryland’s 57 points.  I didn’t remember hearing about this during the game, but Adrian Bowie was limited to 1min playing time due to a 102deg fever.  He’ll have five days rest before the Virginia Tech game on Saturday and should be fine.  It was great to see Hayes step-up in Bowie’s absence.  Those are about all the positives I have for this game.

After the final buzzer sounded, the Terps jumped around and celebrated as if they had just done something meaningful.  I guess a win against the worst team in the ACC is meaningful.  To celebrate a win like this is to reveal how low the team has it’s sights set.  The truth is they could have just as easily lost this game as they won it.  Yes, the team has been under a lot of pressure lately, but the most pressure filled part of the season is yet to come.  It would be good for this team to go home, forget this game entirely, and get ready for Virginia Tech.  I’m already working on forgetting it.

(Photo courtesy of The Washington Times)

23
Jan
09

Primetime Preview: A Maryland-Duke anaylsis from Dick Vitale

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Hey, lemme tell ya somethin right now, I wanna thank Shell Games for givin me this opportunity, it’s so rare that I get to share my opinions with people, I’m just kiddin heheheheh, I’m on TV, can you believe they gave an old bald guy like me a job on TV?  It’s unbuleebull! I’m the luckiest guy in the world, baby!

But now I wanna get serious for a moment, I wanna talk about the big game this Saturday, yes, Murland is coming down Tobacco Road, down to Cameron, it’s gonna be a great matchup. Why’s it gonna be great, because Duke is great, baby. Programmo numero uno. So special.  Such a special environment.  What a super-scintillating-sensational team Mike ShiShefSki has put together down there in Durham. You put them up against Carolina, I’m there. You put them up against Murland, I’m there. They go outside to throw out a bag of garbage, I’m there, hey, I’m rootin through it baby, I’m pullin out all the cans and food wrappers and I’m makin my own ShiShefSki-Ville in my basement out of their garbage! It’s gonna give me life force! I’m gonna retire there, baby!

So now let’s get down to the matchups, Duke, as always, is incredibly strong in every conceivable way, that’s all you need to know, but if you want particulars, they’ve got a future NBA player in Gerald Henderson and a Super Soph in Kyle Singler. Should be an interesting matchup down there in Cameron, the Terps are gonna put Landon Milbourne on Singler that’ll be super awesome meanwhile these teams actually seem fairly similar, heavy on the guard play, short on the big bodies. Want to talk about rebands? That’s what I call it when a shot misses and another player gets the ball. Murland is sixth in the ACC in rebanding margin while Duke is ninth. I’m gonna tell you right now, whoever wins the rebanding battle underneath, and is able to kick all those rebands out to the guards for a drive down the lane or a trifector, that team could be the winner.

Did someone mention trifectors? Yes, the Blue Devils are second in the conference in trifector shooting percentage with 37.7 percent but you know what Murland is second in the ACC in trifector defense they hold their opponents to 32.4 percent shooting so it’s gonna be showdown city beyond the arc.

Bottom line, Murland always comes to play against Duke and they need a win in the worst possible way I think their young guard Adrian Bowie could exploit whoever they put on him but of course it will all come down to Vasquez for Murland and he loves to antagonize the Crazies so if he keeps his head in the game and has success shooting the trifectors and if everything else comes together and they win the rebanding battle I like Murland, yeessss Murland, to pull the big upset over number two Duke, hey Coach K don’t hate me baby, I gotta be objective here, I call em like I see em hey Coach K I love you baby I’ll call you later I’ll come over I’ll bring my shine box!!!

Prediction: Murland 87, Duke 83

17
Jan
09

Florida not such a sunshine-y state after all

Remember just a few days back, when a trip to Florida seemed like just the ticket to cure what was ailing the Terps? Seems like a long time ago now, as that little jaunt through the land of sandy beaches and lackadaisical home crowds ultimately resulted in nothing more than a steaming mound of jumping jack squat, the second shovelful of which came today in Tallahassee.

Even during a late Terps comeback, a win just didn’t seem to be in the cards. The whole team seemed to lack energy, and had an atrocious  shooting night (38% overall, 27% from three). Maybe there was a Miami hangover effect.  As in that game, Adrian Bowie (14 points on 4-6 shooting, 4 assists, 4 boards) and Landon Milbourne (team-high 17 points on 7-13 shooting, 9 boards, 2 blocks) were the bright spots. Vasquez was awful…six points on 2-13 shooting, and an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1:1 (he had five of each).  In fact, his assist-to-personal fouls ratio was also 1:1.  These are not very good statistics.  (Although I will give him credit for giving up on his shot to try and create for others…it didn’t really work, but here, take some credit anyway.  Buy yourself some earmuffs.)

Gary Williams is nothing if not a fighter. It’s just that normally his teams need to hit rock bottom, get left for dead, back themselves into a corner, or whatever metaphor you want to use, before they really respond. Will this loss provide that wake-up call moment? Or will that come when they lose to Virginia next Tuesday and get booed off their home court? Or will it come when they lose by 20 at Cameron Indoor on the 24th? It’ll be interesting. Hopefully, the ship gets righted sooner rather than later, because right now she’s going down like an Airbus in the Hudson.  Boo-ya!

14
Jan
09

Another Maryland collapse for the highlight reel

Over the past few days, there has been a lot said about how Maryland basketball fans are a bunch of fair weather front-runners. Maybe. But you know what? So’s our team.

It’s a familiar script. Maryland takes a big lead, shows it’s the better team. They take their foot off the gas. The opponent makes a run. Momentum shifts. Maryland tries to get it back but overdoes it. Shots are forced. Needless fouls and turnovers ensue.  They scramble on defense. Panic sets in.  Finally, they lose control of their bodily functions. Ballgame. When the going gets tough, the Terps get poopy pants.

It was another one of these tonight, as Maryland gadfly Miami beat the Terps 62-60 in a game they never led until the final two minutes. That makes it 0-4 for the Terps in the hostile, hostile confines of whatever Miami’s basketball stadium is called. When the Hurricanes joined the ACC, did you ever figure they’d, how should I put this, own our souls in basketball?

I actually had a victory post half written in my brain. About how the Canes had no answer for Maryland’s guards, especially Adrian Bowie, who went for a career-high 23. How the Terps looked quicker, perhaps due to their revamped conditioning program. About how the bigs, especially Landon Milbourne, showed real grit around the basket. All true things. And all fairly meaningless after the loss.

And what a loss it was.  Spectacular, even.  Miami star Jack McClinton, who Vasquez did a great job guarding most of the night, hit a three to take the lead, 62-60, with 20 seconds left. Terps bring it up. Vasquez hoists a long three from the top of the key. It bounces off the front of the rim. Ball goes out to Maryland with 2.1 seconds left. Timeout. Gary draws up the play. The Terps inbound the ball.

Guess what play they ran.  Go ahead, take a minute.

Ready?

Vasquez hoists a long three from the top of the key. It bounces off the back of the rim.

Draw your own conclusion.

There are four ACC teams currently ranked in the top 10. The Terps will play those teams a combined six times, out of 14 remaining games. We probably need eight more wins to make the tourney.

I say again…draw your own conclusion. Ugh.




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