December 4, 2008

Terps Beat Michigan - ACC Wins Challenge

The ACC improved to a perfect 10-0 in ACC/Big 10 challenges, but the result was a little closer than in past years.  The Big 10 managed 5 wins of the 11 matchups, mostly on the strength of the bottom half of their conference.

The Terps did their part to contribute to the ACC's victory, notching a win at home over Michigan.  The game was a bit closer than many Maryland fans would have preferred, but for this season, at least, the Terps will be happy with wins however they get them.  

It looks to be another up-and-down season for Maryland.  I'll be thrilled with an NCAA tournament berth, but a finish in the top half of the ACC would qualify as a successful season.  

We're likely to endure another round of "Fire Gary" sentiment at some point this season, but I'll say right now what I've said for years: it's his job until he quits.  Ignoring the fact that Gary has earned our loyalty through some rough years, there really isn't anyone waiting in the wings to take over.  I like our chances with Gary much more than starting a long-term rebuilding process with a new coach.

As for the Michigan game, here are some quick-hit thoughts:

Hey, at least I'm not as bad as Rodriguez
  • It must suck to live in the state of Michigan this year.  Look at what they've had to suffer through: the Lions don't have a win, the Wolverines football team is awful, the moribund state economy is getting even worse, their main industry is a laughingstock, the Spartans basketball team (which was supposed to be a Final Four contender) is plumeting through the standings.  I guess all I can say to our Michigan readers is this: maybe you should move.
  • Greivis put up another incredible performance, going for 23 and 12 with 6 assists.  He's clearly the go-to guy on the team, and when he's hot we'll be tough to beat.
  • The rest of the starters also looked good, with everyone except Adrian Bowie in double figures.
  • Bowie looked like he couldn't find his shot all night.  I don't know whether to credit the Michigan defense, or whether his breakout performances earlier in the season were flukes.  We really need him to be a reliable scorer this year.
  • Landon Milbourne played his best game of the year so far.  
  • Braxton Dupree didn't play, apparently for missing class.  The last thing that guy needs to do is get further on to Gary's bad side.
  • The bench only managed 11 points, which won't cut it against ACC competition.  Some of that is due to the fact that Dave Neal started, so his 12 points don't count towards the bench total, but Mosley and Gregory in particular had enough minutes to produce a lot more output.
  • I saw a lot of hustle.  The Terps (especially in the second half) fought for loose balls, jumped into passing lanes, and basically looked like they were trying hard (which they don't always do).  That's a good sign for the rest of the season.
  • The Terps ended the game with a 35-24 rebound advantage.  Historically, when Maryland teams rebound well, they win.
  • Eric Hayes is 16-16 from the free throw line this year.

8 Responses:

The Daily Breather said...

Argh! That Big 10/ACC tourny was hard to watch. After watching my Spartans get dominated by MD last week I had to watch them get taken apart by UNC (I hate UNC). And yes, it does suck to live in MI. What happened to my Big 10? Oh well. I still have my Red Wings. But the Lions are on their way to a perect season. Who's a more consistant team then the Lions? No one.

big tuna said...

Yeah it does kind of suck to live in Michigan right now no thanks to the morons in D.C. who don't understand the domino effect the failure of the Big 3 would bring. But I wouldn't live anywhere else.

It doesn't suck any worse to be a Lions fan than it did in years past. I know it is not the playoffs so you don't pay attention to hockey or basketball but real sports towns do and we are happy to enjoy the Wings and Pistons success.

It sucked losing to Maryland but Michigan basketball fans are encouraged by what we see. They have been horrific on the road during the last two eras so a strong showing on the road was encouraging. Also, they only turned the ball over 10 times which is far from what we have seen in the past. Remember, this is a 10-22 team from a year ago. It is incredible what a real coach can do.

The ACC/Big 10 Challenge showed us that the top of the ACC is a lot better than the top of the Big 10. After that, besides a huge Wake-Indiana mismatch, it is pretty even. The Big 10 wins could have gone either way and the other ACC wins could have gone either way. Even though Dickie V says otherwise, it was a really exciting couple of days. There were some great games.

Anonymous said...

I think what we really are missing out on here is how dominant Duke looked.

Won't be long until they are #1. Singler is a top 3 pick in next year's draft.


Anonymous said...

Also, who would have thought that out of Joe Smith, Steve Francis, Juan Dixon, Chris Wilcox, and Lonnie Baxter, that Steve Blake would be the best NBA player out of Maryland in the past 20 years?

That ogre-ish fellow is better than all of the overrated, overhyped players that always come out of Maryland.

Russell said...

The concerning stat moving forward is that Maryland's 3 starting guards were 3-18 from beyond the arc. Brien noted Hayes' success at the line, but 1-7 from outside is really going to make it tough when we play a good zone defense.

But I agree, a win is a win, and this season we need to appreciate each one.

Brien said...

Yeah, I meant to comment on the abysmal shooting from behind the arc. It's nice that we can win when we don't shoot the long ball well (unlike last year), but with our guard-heavy lineup we should really be shooting better.

big tuna said...

Congrats. You beat a team that beat Duke. That should help you out come tourney time if you can't take care of business yourselves.

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