Things were feeling so right in the CP on Saturday. The Terps got some good home cookin against Miami, and it seemed to be just the right medicine. It was chicken soup for their souls. It was a soothing balm. Could you feel the love, mama. Could you feel the healing. I sure hope that you could.
The team played well, the crowd was engaged and ultra-supportive, Gary did him some good coaching, and a top recruit (Lance Stephenson) looked on from the stands. I gotta say it was a good day.
The game was pretty close up to the end, but even so the Terps seemed to be in relative control throughout. Miami’s a better team than they generally get credit for, but beating them isn’t rocket science. You just lock up their shooters and get drives in the lane, and that’s what the Terps did. But most importantly, when it got down to crunch time, they kept their heads and kept their undies clean. Vasquez fell one assist shy of a triple-double in a signal that he’s getting off the schneid. Cult legend Jin Soo Kim furthered the feel-good atmosphere by scoring his first points in ACC play.
Perhaps the two biggest pieces of news, besides the victory itself, are that Sean Mosely started at the point (and played pretty decently) in place of the psychologically battered Eric Hayes, and Cliff Tucker was benched entirely. Tucker and his mother are upset about it. But whatever. Want more PT, Cliff? Stop scoring three points a game and yucking it up on the bench during losses.
I don’t know if any of these moves are a long-term solution, but it was good to see Gary doing something to spark the troops. At least for one day, it worked. But the Terps still have a long, rugged, twisting, turning, hellaciously steep path back into the light. No rest for the weary, either: Carolina’s up tomorrow night. Get the chicken soup ready.