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)