And so it goes.
The hoops team put it all together in a monstrous win over no. 5 Michigan State. They got a balanced attacked from Hayes, Vasquez, Neal, and Bowie, they played to their strengths, and they out-hustled the Spartans on every loose ball.
But then, that broken Maryland record started skipping again.
In a butt-kicking the next night at the hands of no. 10 Gonzaga, the Terps’ lacking frontcourt was utterly exposed. The Terps were outrebounded by 11, and the two main Bulldog big men, Heytfelt and Daye, combined for 39 points. Dupree, Neal, Burney, and Dino Gregory answered with a combined 12.
Meanwhile, Vasquez seems to forget his lessons just as quickly as he learns them. He channeled his intensity into great hustle and determination against MSU, but against Gonzaga it reverted to sloppiness. Hayes disappeared entirely.
I agree completely with this quote from Steve Yanda in Terrapins Insider:
Last night seemed like a throw-back to last season, when Greivis Vasquez was asked to shoulder the scoring load while everyone else tried to figure out some way to be useful. That, clearly, will not fly…the Terps need (and I mean NEED) at least two or three players besides Vasquez to score in double digits in order for them to be successful. The guy is good, but not good enough to carry the team by himself.
We need other guys to step up — plain and simple. If they do, we win. If they don’t, we lose. That’s no news flash, but it bears repeating.
All in all, we’re still ahead. The Spartans upset will be a signature win, and definitely means more than the loss to Gonzaga, who played some serious ball last night. The Terps left it all out on the floor for MSU, and gassed pretty hard last night, so fatigue played a role here, too. So overall a good effort. It’s just frustrating that the team always seems to give back so quickly most or all of the momentum it ever gains.
Silver lining: Sunday we’ve got Georgetown. Huzzah! It’s a shame they need to go all the way to Orlando to renew that local rivalry, but I’ll take it. If we can win it, that is. Goterps.