Archive for March, 2009



19
Mar
09

Tick…tock…..tick…………….tock……..

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18
Mar
09

Terp ladies get Dartmouth in first round, beer bust possible later

So as you know, the Lady Terps got the 1 seed in the female incarnation of March Madness. This Sunday, they take on the Dartmouth Whatever Their Mascot Is (the Fighting Executives? The Demon Hangovers? Wait, no…it’s this guy) in the friendly confines of Comcast Center.

The Dartmouth ladies put in their reps.

The Dartmouth ladies put in their reps.

Too bad for Dahtmath that they can’t play the game in New Hampshah! Where people talk about respectable things. Like the economy! Ah, they economy. Who out theah wants to talk about the economy? Hey, wheah did Edwina put my scatch and sodaaaah!?!?

Sorry. I must be losing my mind waiting for the tourney to start. They don’t call it March Madness for nothing. So yeah, good luck ladies goterps.

15
Mar
09

It’s official! Terps make the tourney, face interesting test in Cal

maryland

Well, they can’t take it back now. Tis a beautiful sight to see.   Is there any handsomer man than Greg Anthony?  Come here, you.  Everyone gets man hugs tonight!

I admit I may have, uh, had a couple of uncertain moments this season. And hey, let’s face it, there were some rough patches. But they shaped up when it mattered and did just enough to make the tournament. They proved the doubters (me among them) wrong.  Good for them. I tip my cap.

Now, about that matchup. A tenth seed, huh…I feel like they could have been higher. They face seventh-seed Cal on Thursday. Cal is a good team out of the Pac-10, but not exactly a world beater. Their biggest wins, over Arizona, Arizona State, and Washington, came in a four-game stretch of their schedule back in early January, and they have lost four of their last six, so they’re not exactly peaking at the right time. Still, they’re no creampuff. They’ve got size with a 6′ 8″ forward in Jamal Boykin and a seven-footer in Jordan Wilkes (son of former Lakers center Jamal Wilkes, if you remember him). They also have a 7’3″ center from China, Max Zhang, but he seems like more of a circus-style novelty. In addition to the size, they shot a Pac-10-best 43.4% from three-point range this year, so they could shoot over a zone if we played one. Jerome Randle is their leading scorer with 18.4 points per game.

So they could pose some matchup problems, but considering that the other seven seeds are Boston College, Texas, and Clemson, I’d say we got a pretty fair deal. And hey, if this game goes anything like the football team’s game against Cal, we could be in for a stomach-emptyingly good time. For the time being, I’m just going to forget that the Cal-Maryland winner will probably face Memphis, which could be a dark horse to win the whole thing.

So there you have it. Best of luck to the Terps this Thursday in Kansas City. Woo-hoo!

14
Mar
09

Why does Duke always have at least one player who looks like Boo Radley, redux

As the Terps prepare for one more shot at the Dookies this season, I thought it would be helpful to remind them what they’re up against. Watch out for the soap carvings, Terps! Those Duke rascals are liable to be stashing them  any old place.  Those fellas…I don’t know bout them.

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0101003P BOBBY HURLEY

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13
Mar
09

Yeeee-haaaaaa!!!!!!!!

With no regular player over 6′ 7″, the Maryland Terrapins beat Wake Forest 75-64 tonight to all but assure themselves a spot in the NCAA tournament.

That was a fun sentence to type.  THEY DID IT!  MARYLAND’S GOING TO THE DANCE BABYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had my doubts, but they got it done.  It was a solid 40-minute effort and they didn’t fold under pressure.  Vasquez that crazy guy I love to hate, he came through.  As did Sean freaking Mosely (his block to force that Wake shot clock violation in the early second half was my play of the game), Big Dave Neal, Dino Gregory, Eric Hayes, everybody.  And how about that zone?  They shut down Teague and frustrated the bigs.  Great win.  Great win.  THEY’RE GOING DANCING!!!!!!

I think I’ll let the pictures take over now.  I’M GOING STREAKIIINNNNG!!!!!!!!!!!

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13
Mar
09

Hero or goat…which one, Maryland?

So it ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL comes down to this.

Even in this part of the regular season, when “bubble” and “bracketology” pop up in every conversation, a real honest-to-God must-win game is rare. There’s usually an “if” or a “but” somewhere. But tonight, 7 p.m. against Wake, is different. The Terps’ situation could not be any clearer. Win and they’re in. Lose and they’re out.

It is slightly akin to looking through a window at a large Thanksgiving-style meal, replete with three kinds of dinner rolls and cranberry sauce, and not that kind with the can ribbing still visible along the sides either. I’m talking, like, fresh from the bog. Wouldn’t that hit the spot right about now? You’re damn right it would. And so would this victory tonight. To further my incredible food analogy, the Terps are “starving” for a “seat at the table” come March Madness time. You might even say they are at a “fork” in the road. Or perhaps that they are “hungry” for success. Oh, man. That was great.

So it’s a big game and everyone knows it. Lots of work to do with the program either way, and no one should forget or deny that, but for this season, this one little win would sponge out a lot of missteps. It would be like one of those extreme makeover shows where they give out free plastic surgery. In short order, the clubfooted Wal-Mart greeter with halitosis becomes Halle Berry.

I don’t want to put too fine of a point on it, but in a sense it really is like they’re playing for their lives. If they lose, they’re a band of undertalented undersized undercoached underacheiving undereverything choke artists. If they win, they’re The Little Team That Could. How would your life be affected if the public permanently relegated your college career to one of those two camps? It’s crazy how much the perception of this team will hinge on this one game.

Take for example, oh, I don’t know, Big Dave Neal. If they lose tonight, in the eyes of many he’ll just be an unathletic bum. Thanks for your service, happy graduation. If they win, he’ll be the team rock who overcame adversity to discover true leadership, or whatever.

And then, of course, there is Vasquez. He had a good night last night (17-10-4). Tonight he’ll need to take it up a notch. And he’ll have to do it amid yet another patented Greivis Vasquez Self-Inflicted Media Distraction. For some reason, he chose the day before the N.C. State game to announce that he would be testing the NBA draft waters, and the reaction was apparently strong enough to elicit a clarification about his focus. Hey, you know what would have been a better way to clarify that? Don’t say it in the first place.  But no matter.  If they win tonight, his antics are instantly forgiven.

So that’s it in a nutshell. I’m getting my hopes up a little bit, just like I feared I would, although I’m still doubtful they can pull it off. Wake’s frontcourt, plus the Terps’ consistent inability to perform under pressure, is not a very good combination, as Tim McCarver might say. And yet…they got close last time. The Thanksgiving-style meal is still sitting there, just as fragrant and succulent-looking as it can be. All the Terps have to do is muster the fortitude to go in there and get it. But there’s a huge difference between “can” and “will.” We shall see. Go Terps!

12
Mar
09

“vasquez three party” or “greivis to the rescue” or “will greivis vasquez have one shining moment?”

Greivis Vasquez will have to light it up from behind the arc.

Greivis Vasquez will have to light it up from behind the arc.

My parents were staying at my house a couple weekends ago and they used the snow as an excuse to stay a couple extra days, which we welcomed.  The family was huddled around the TV watching the Terps play NC State, and Greivis Vasquez put on an offensive display.  Greivis went 13/23 for 33pts, including 21 in the second half, in a 71-60 win against the Wolf Pack.  After the game my dad commented, “They should rename this team ‘Greivis and the Terps’, like a rock band.”

Love him or hate him (and I love him), there is little doubt that Greivis is the front man of the Terps.  This team goes as Greivis goes.  In the ACC tournament, it’s likely to come down to how well Greivis is shooting the three ball.

There were two stories in the Post that led me to this conclusion.  The first was yesterday’s column by Steve Yanda that Maryland is likely to face zone defense throughout the tournament.  Maryland is not known for having a stellar half court offense, and teams from the top to the bottom of the league (not to mention Morgan State) have used the zone effectively against the Terps.  Maryland is going to be forced to shoot over the zone in order to be effective, and Greivis is going to be taking the bulk of those shots.

The other story that led me to this conclusion was today’s column by Eric Prisbell stating that Greivis is going to declare himself NBA draft elligible at the end of this season.  I’m getting deja vu.  Wasn’t there a time roughly five years ago when Maryland had a volatile star with his sights on the NBA, and the Terps desperately needed him to have a superhuman performance in order to get an ACC Championship and a berth in the big dance?  What was that guy’s name?  I’ve erased it from my memory.  Anyway, I think I remember that guy shooting lights out from three in beating a #3, #2, and #1 seed that weekend in Greensboro.  With his sights set on life after college, Greivis is likely to try and duplicate that performance.

It’s obvious that Greivis has to put this team on his back.  Will he succeed?  Vasquez is shooting 32% from behind the arc this year, which is quite respectable.  When he’s tight, he misses.  When he’s loose and not forcing it he’s as good a shooter as anybody in college ball.  When he’s in the zone, Greivis can drop a triple-double on you, and Maryland hasn’t had that kind of threat since… well, some guy whose name I forget.

The Terps come into tonight’s game with five days rest and play an NC State team that is just not as good as Maryland.  In order to maintain the level of energy they need to get through the tournament, the Terps have got to put NC State away early.  Then, they’re likely to face Wake Forest, Duke, and UNC if they’re going to make a run at it.  In order to beat three of the best teams in the game, Maryland needs Vasquez to be in the zone between now and Sunday.

The Terps need a superhero in order to get through this bracket.  Put on your cape, Greivis.  Maryland needs you to save the season.




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