March 14, 2008

Morgue Report: 2007-08 Maryland Men's Basketball

For yet another year, the Terps teased me, fooled me, deluded me into thinking we had a shot at greatness. After struggling early, Maryland mounted a 7-2 run in ACC play including a victory at fully healthy #1 UNC, the only team to beat a healthy UNC all year. The Terps were on track for a 3 seed in the ACC and a potential deep run in March Madness. But this year, we found new ways to lose.

"What were you thinking?!?" All year... (AP Photo)

Greivis Vasquez had moments of brilliance this year, including a Maryland record 15 assists in one game. He is probably the best player on the team. But he also had 8 games with 6 or more turnovers in the last 16 games. That's right, ignoring the early game throwaways, Vasquez averaged 5.1 turnovers/game in our last 16. Next year, we have to protect the ball better. I was practically sick last night listening to the radio announcers laugh about how many turnovers we had. I wasn't sick because they were laughing or because we had 21 turnovers, I was sick because I was so used to it that it didn't phase me. I actually expected it. The whole team for the season had a 1/1 assist to turnover ratio.

The result of the turnovers and at times poor rebounding was that we were outshot consistently. In the Wake game (our last win), the Deacons took 15 more shots from the field, and had more free throw attempts. Virginia took 21 more free throws than we did, and only five fewer FGs. We just did not muster enough productive possessions to overcome even a mediocre shooting performance.

Inside the numbers, I think we just got tired. After scoring in double figures for 10 of 11 games (9 pts in the other), Boom only hit double digits once in the last five games. Other than last night, Boom hasn't had more than 5 rebounds since the last Duke game. Milbourne struggled down the stretch, shooting poorly and spending extended periods in foul trouble. To close the regular season, Gist's shooting numbers were 3-8, 3-11, 7-16, and 3-13 in our last 4 losses.

I think we were tired because the bench contributed very little all year and didn't play much. Tucker and Bowie came on strong late in the year, but that's about it. Other than those two, no bench player other than Braxton Dupree (when was the last time he got serious minutes?) averaged 10 min/game. All five starters played more than 25 min/game.

And then there's my other gripe with Vasquez. The point guard took 193 3-pointers this year, compared to 225 by Hayes, Milbourne, Tucker, and Bowie combined, even though Vasquez has the worst percentage of the group. Essentially tied for the lowest overall shooting percentage on the team, Greivis took the most shots (437), outshooting everyone but Gist by 200 shots. What about distributing the ball? I understand there are times that the point guard just has to jack something up, but 200 more shots than anyone but Gist (74 more than Gist)? For comparison, let's look at the year after the championship, when it was basically just Blake, Drew, and Sleepy. Steve took 275 shots, less than both Sleepy (339) and Drew (414), and fewer 3's than Drew. The team also only averaged 14 turnovers that year.

So what about next year? The entire front line will be new and will probably struggle early. Will Vasquez play more under control? Maybe. We should have a lot of good guards next year (Vasquez, Hayes, Tucker, Bowie, Milbourne, Mosley). I expect a lot of three-guard offense, and I'm hoping Bowie plays the point. Unfortunately, I think the bubble is a likely result next year as well.

14 Responses:

J-Red said...

I stopped flinching when the announcers would point out that we were over 10 turnovers in the first half every single game.

Brien said...

The last time Dupree played more than 10 minutes was Holy Cross on January 8. He didn't play at all in the last 5 games. He scored 3 TOTAL points in the last 18 games of the season.

We really need him to improve over the off-season if we want to get back to the NCAA tournament.

"ben" said...

I just really want to point out that Michigan scored 18 points in the first half today.

By show of hands, who thinks they scored over 18 points in the second half?

Put your hands down. They scored 16.

Anonymous said...

Give me a "N"

Anonymous said...

Give me an "I"

Anonymous said...

Give me a "T"

Anonymous said...


J-Red said...

Kick 'em when they're down eh HIMMY?

Anonymous said...

Kick 'em when they're up, kick 'em when they're down

Kick 'em when they're up, kick 'em all around


ps - the NIT is not "down" for the Terps, is the best you can expect for a below average program that is fading fast. Once you land in the A-10 you'll start seeing some 20 win seasons again perhaps.

Jeremy said...

It's time for Gary to go. I actually believe this.

Tommy Amaker said...

Hire me. I am sick of this place already. But if you do, we have to move out of the ACC cause I can't face my buddy.

Anonymous said...

Gary can stay so long as Vasquez goes.

Anonymous said...

Looks like I was wrong, Maryland did get in the tournament.

oh, wait....

that's University of Maryland, BALTIMORE COUNTY.



"ben" said...

And once again, I find myself coming to the aid of Gary Williams. You cannot fire Gary from Garyland. Perhaps you simply want him to retire, but he has too much energy left.

There's no question, though, that this was a horrible coaching season for him.

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