Know Thy Opponent: Maryland Terrapins

  • 11/30/2009 6:00 am in

vasquez

The best way to describe the tumultuous 2008-2009 season for the Maryland Terrapins is by the use of two words that are not often paired together: effectively inconsistent.

There were shining moments: A 84-71 first round NCAA Tournament win over California, an early season rout of national runner-up Michigan State and an 88-85 home overtime win on February 21 over national champion North Carolina.

And there were moments that were downright ugly: A war of words between school officials and Gary Williams, a home loss to Morgan State and a 85-44 beatdown at the hands of the Duke Blue Devils in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

If not for its wins over North Carolina and Michigan State, Maryland’s 7-9 ACC record probably wouldn’t have been enough to receive an at-large bid. But those victories, coupled with two conference tournament wins, pushed the Terps into the field of 64.

This year’s Maryland team enters Assembly Hall on Tuesday coming off of back-to-back losses in the Maui Invitational to Cincinnati and Wisconsin. And their four wins, much like Indiana’s three, are nothing to write home about: Charleston Southern, Fairfield, New Hampshire and Chaminade.

Senior guard Greivis Vasquez (pictured), who tested the NBA Draft waters following last season, is the top returnee for Williams. The 6-6 guard is struggling with his shot through six games (33 percent), but he’s picked up where he left off a season ago at the foul line (83 percent) and also with distributing the ball (5.3 apg).

Joining Vasquez in the backcourt are 6-4 sophomore Sean Mosley (13.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg and 3.8 apg) and 6-4 senior Eric Hayes, who hit 86 percent of his free throws a season ago. Adrian Bowie, a 6-2 junior who started last season, is now coming off the bench and is shooting just 31 percent thus far.

Up front, 6-7 senior Landon Milbourne returns as Maryland’s most dangerous threat on the block. Milbourne is leading the team with 13.7 ppg and is shooting 56 percent from the field. A pair of freshman, 6-9 Jordan Williams and 6-8 James Padgett, are leading the Terps in rebounding. Williams is averaging close to eight rebounds in 22 minutes and Padgett is pulling down 5.5 a game.

The strength of this team lies in taking care of the ball, experience and knocking down free throws. They’ve done remarkably well early with limiting turnovers — just 10.7 per game. But they’ve struggled from the foul line, hitting just 65 percent to this point, down from 76 percent a season ago. They’re relatively undersized, which should bode well for the Hoosiers, who have had trouble defending the post.

All in all, this game should be a good barometer for Indiana to measure its progress since Puerto Rico. Maryland is significantly more experienced than IU, but they’re also going to be playing in front of a crowd hungry for the first big win in the Tom Crean era.

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  • Kelin Blab

    Good article Alex didn't know the Terps had Frosh up front…..Which leads me to why IU will win.

    1. Playing at home, white out, and the Hall Monitors will be their in full force. This team will need an INSANE crowd and they will get one.

    2. IU matches up well with this team at about every position and their ability to get to the basket could help…get Greivis in some foul trouble. We could see the appearance of IU's inside game with TP, Wateford, and Elston playing against frosh and guys their own size.

    3. Those three games in PR taught IU alot about themselves and I saw some corrections made v NW state. A team that can correct themselves is a team that improves game to game.

    4. Crean NEEDS that signature big win and this one is served up on a platter. All the signs are there for it to happen tomorrow.

    5. Dakich said it so it must be true….Mo Creek is the real deal and will have the national audience as a stage tomorrow. I see alot of Etwan Moore in Creek and Moore is the real deal.

    IU 79 MD 71
    the court won't be rushed, tijan will make a big block, Elston will hit a three at a key point in the game, and we will see our first alley oop in three years by an IU player….VJ3 to Rivers.

  • JerryCT

    Stop in at Yogi's before the game and discuss w my MD buddies flying out for the game. They have a different view. I pray you are right becasue i will have to listen to these guys.

    I fear Creek will have to be guarding Mosely at some point and will get back doored in embarrassing fashion as last Saturday. Too bad the “click” does not adjust points for that.

  • Kelin Blab

    Jerry I very well may do that, never been to Yogi's, coming in to B'town straight from work in Indy…..
    Also I have every reason to believe you have coached basketball somewhere before….most of what you post comes from a 'coaches watchful eye” and I enjoy it…….

  • JerryCT

    I would love to meet up with some ITH'ers that I chat with. I am coming from CT and if not Yogi's then stop by Section D, row 25, Seat 106 if you can. Remember, I donot look like my picture.

  • I love IU

    FYI,
    Creek played against Mosely at Maryland University in a AAU game in front of Gary Williams and made Mosely look silly. Mosely was running his mouth and trying to use his body on Creek. Creek used his body right back, without a problem. While Mosely was talking crap to Creek, Mo was filling it up with bucket after bucket. Creek would look at Gary Williams and Drisell after each basket. Mosely soon shut up. Mosely shut down; Creek 20 + points. Got to love this match up.

  • HoosierSmitty

    What? You've never been to Yogi's? That's a crime right there!

    Wish I could get to this game, but it's getting harder to drive the short 2+ hour trip from Lafayette on a weekday.

  • Kelin Blab

    THAT is a great story about Creek and Mosely. I surely hope like hell Dumes and Grives don't get into it, both of them are very testy players……

    This game probaly won't match the IU v Duke from a few years ago but there is enough 'drama' surrounding these two schools that it will be fun…..

  • oubache

    I am wondering if we could see a different starting line up for this game? After watching all the games so far, I am wondering if Jones might be better as the first guard off the bench. Presuming Crean tells him to be more aggressive offensively. I think with Dumas getting back close to 100%, he may be able to provide better on the ball defense so that we don't have to move to a zone right away. What do you think?

  • DavidC

    I like your optimism Kelin and most of your points. I just don't see how IU matches up down low with Maryland.

    I think Pritchard, Capo and Tijan/Bawa are going to have their hands full and then some against UM's bigs. I just think they're too athletic for our guys to match up against.

    All that being said I'm really looking forward to seeing the continued maturation of Elston, Watford and Creek. If those three can get rolling early and have monster games, IU may just pull this one out.

  • JerryCT

    Good thinking. I like Dumes in the game if he can play whether he starts or not because he is very very pesky on D and is no worse than Jones on offense. This might be a game to do this.

  • HoosierSmitty

    I really want to see Jones coming off the bench as well. I thin k he's playing well, but I want to do it to help give Watford better matchups.

    I would start Rivers, Creek, Watford, Elston, Pritchard

    1.) He can help Hulls or Moore handle the ball. He doesn't have to be the primary ball handler, but they need help more than Rivers does.

    2.) He has a nice midrange game and might have more scoring opportunities as an energetic sub.

    3.) Dumes and Jones have chemistry together from last year. Bring them in together.

    4.) Elston and Watford keep getting subbed in for each other. I want to see them on the court more together. Let Elston start over Jones and move Watford to the 3. Both of them will crash the boards like crazy and we'll have an offensive rebounding bonanza.

    5.) Let Pritchard keep starting – even though he's been less than stellar, Capo seems to try and do too much. Pritchard just needs to keep plugging away.

  • oubache

    Until Watford develops a little more consistent ball handling skills, he will not see extensive time at the three. I think you may be onto something for next year, but it is too early to make that move. Let Watford add another 20 pounds and work on his preimeter game. He will be a beast in the near future. Until then, he is regulated to share time with Elston at the 4 spot.

  • hoosierodi

    Here is a link to a video of Matt Carlino's first game. Not sure if it will work for everyone, but he looks pretty good considering who he was up against. He had 14 points. It's too bad we couldn't get Darwin Davis, ( he had 22)

    http://vmedia.rivals.com/uploads/942/882367.wmv

  • Kelin Blab

    Not that I will hear it but I believe one of my favorite announcers Bill Rafferty will be doing the game tomorrow….Now go ahead and tell me how annoyed you are by raff'

  • CreamandCrimson

    I am so pumped for the game tonight. This is an experienced team and talented team that IU is going to have to play well against to hang around. They need to get off to a good start and let the crowd get into it. If they can be in this game near the end, I think the crowd can help get them over the top. IU fans are itching for their first big win in about 18 months (seems like forever). A good performance tonight would go a long way in the restoration process.

  • BigShot

    Does that picture of Vasquez “shh-ing” make anyone else want to punch him in the face?