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Tag:Maryland Terrapins
Posted on: November 18, 2009 4:08 am
 

The First Week of Maryland Basketball

Maryland has started of the season with two tune-up games.  Although, I wouldn't dare call them that in front of Coach Gary Williams.  He hates the term.  It makes the game seem insignificant, and the opponent inferior.  As we saw Monday night with the Kentucky-Miami (OH), no game should be taken lightly. 

Last Friday, Maryland took on Charleston Southern, a team picked to finish 9th in the Big South.  Not exactly the ACC.  The 89-51 win should come as no surprise.  The terrible shooting night by Greivis Vasquez should come as no surprise, as he is a streaky shooter, but the way the rest of the team stepped up is something we rarely saw last year.  Senior Forward Landon Milbourne was an underrated player last year but is primed to break out of Vasquez' shadow.  He scored 16 points, 7 rebounds, 4 blocks and 2 steals.  He played great on the defensive end covering up to 4 positions on defense.  Sophomore Guard Sean Mosley also filled up the stat sheet with 15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 steal.

Tonight, Maryland took on Fairfield, a team that was a step up from Charleston Southern.  Their size provided a challenge for the Terps tonight.  The freshmen big men were tested more tonight, and while they didn't put up the numbers they did against CSU, where they combined for 22 points, 17 boards and 2 blocks, tonight they held their own against better competition.  They combined for 12 points and 12 boards, but you could see glimpses of potential tonight.  Milbourne and Mosley both had solid games again.  Shockingly Vasquez had another terrible shooting night.  The team didn't shoot as well, as Anthony Johnson and Ryan Olander combined for 11 blocks. 

Moving forward, Vasquez has been most efficient as a distributor.  However, it will be a constant battle all season to keep him in this role.  He isn't the only option this year, and he needs to realize that.  He also needs to make himself aware, that one of the big knocks against him in the draft process was his inconsistency and that he needs to play under control.  Milbourne and Mosley should see expanded roles as the season continues.  Hayes is a steady ball-handler who is the most consistent 3-point shooter on the team.  Cliff Tucker is a solid role player off the bench, he's an efficient shooter and can do little things to keep him in Gary's favor.  If Tucker cuts down on the turnovers he should see his minutes increase. 

Maryland should be undefeated headed into the later rounds of the Maui Invitational where a possible matchup with Gonzaga would be the first tough test of the season. 
Posted on: November 2, 2009 12:30 pm
 

The State of the ACC

Let's get this outta the way first, Duke, yes Duke, is in 2nd place in the ACC.  No, Steve Spurrier is not the coach.  No, this is not the late 80's.  No, this isn't basketball season.  Now, Georgia Tech has yet to play Duke, and they play them in 2 weeks in Durham, if the Blue Devils somehow pull off a win, you could be looking at Duke in the ACC title game.  Raise your hand if you thought that would happen.  If you raise your hand, and aren't a Duke student, you are lying to yourself.  Shame on you. 

However, that's a tall task as Georgia Tech has proven they are the one team impervious to a let down.  Georgia Tech has Wake at home and Duke on the road left in conference and Georgia at home the final week of the season.  Tech should be looking at an 11-1 record and 7-1 in conference.  They won't be playing for a national championship with that record, but they are a dangerous team come Orange Bowl time, and if Cincinnati stays undefeated we could be looking at a great matchup. 

Then there is the rest of the ACC.  In the Atlantic no team is out of the division race.  Sure 0-4 NC State and 1-3 Maryland look terrible, and they are, but if either wins out, they could win the division.  I'm sure some people would like to argue this is the "strength" of the ACC shining through.  A tough league where every week no team is safe.  That's just simply false.  The ACC Atlantic is so muddled, you can flip a coin to determine the winner every week.  If they ACC gets 10 teams into bowl games again, it will be a travesty.  Fortunately, they should only get 9 this year barring some major collapses down the stretch (i'm looking at you Jim Grobe). 

I would say Boston College has the easier path in the ACC Atlantic, but the loss to Clemson means should they finish tied, Clemson would hold the advantage. 

Meanwhile, Maryland's season is starting to spin out of control.  Sitting at 2-6 (1-3) with FSU, VT and BC on the schedule is no easy task.  Maryland could be looking at it's first ten-loss season in school history.  Maryland has had some bad teams, but never has the team lost 10 games, and this could be the first.  Not good.  One more loss will mark the most losses since the Vanderlinden era (3-8 in 1998, 2-9 in 1997). 


Posted on: September 29, 2009 6:27 pm
 

What Happened to the ACC?

 Seriously, the ACC is maybe 7th in your conference power rankings right now.  They just look pathetic week in and week out.  Virginia Tech is the top team by default.  Miami looks like they can be slowed down.  Florida State is the perfect example of the ACC, they can defeat BYU on the road big, but nearly lose to Jacksonville State and then lose to South Florida without their star quarterback.  Georgia Tech looks like their option has been figured out.  Clemson is Clemson, Dabo Swinney or Bowden, it doesn't matter.  UNC has no offense and can't seem to get Greg Little the ball enough.  I don't know what to think of both Boston College and Wake Forest, neither are impressive.  NC State has yet to play a road game, but are 3-1.  I guess Russell Wilson is starting to play well, and South Carolina's defense shut down Ole Miss, so it is more impressive now.  Then there is Duke, Maryland and UVA, and so far only Duke has a win against an FBS school. 

This conference is mired in a stretch of mediocrity, and somehow Virginia Tech keeps rising to the top.  You can't honestly say Virginia Tech has looked great in any of their games (i'm not including the Marshall beatdown), but they found ways to win, and I guess that's all that matters.  The conference has had some ups and downs in recruiting since the season started.  Maryland has lost a lot of local talent to the likes of Penn State, Pittsburgh and Rutgers recently, but Virginia Tech did just get a big commitment from the #6 S Nick Dew. 

Early Weekend Preview:
Clemson at Maryland - Clemson comes to College Park, and should be the heavy favorite.
#6 Virginia Tech at Duke - Pretty brutal early schedule for the Hokies, Duke is a nice break.
Virginia at North Carolina - UVA will be 0-4, count on it.
Florida State at Boston College - Interesting to see if Boston College is for real this year.
NC State at Wake Forest - This features the #2 and 3 QB's in the ACC statistically, I'd take NCSU.
#25 Georgia Tech at Mississippi State - MSU has a great defense, not sure if it's ready for the Triple Option.
#8 Oklahoma at #17 Miami (Fl.) - Could be game of the week if Sam Bradford is back. 

Heismna Watch:
1. QB Colt McCoy, Texas - 71% Comp. 1145 yds, 9 TD/5 INT, 61 rush yd 1 TD
2. QB Case Keenum, Houston - 69.4% Comp, 1160 yds, 8 TD/2 INT, 43 rush yd 3 TD
3. QB Tim Tebow, Florida - 64.7% Comp, 643 yds, 6 TD/1 INT, 271 rush yd 5 TD
4. QB Tony Pike, Cincinnati - 70.5% Comp, 1223 yds, 11 TD/2 INT, 38 rush yd 2 TD
5. QB Jimmy Claussen, Notre Dame - 65.8% Comp, 1122 yds, 10 TD/1 INT

Jahvid Best, RB Cal, fell off the face of the planet this week against Oregon as he was completely shut down.  He still has to be in consideration, but he has some ground to make up.  Kansas QB Todd Reesing is quitely putting up great stats again in Lawrence.  Georgia WR A.J. Green has been impressive averaging 107 ypg and has 4 TD's so far.  So long Jonathan Dwyer, Max Hall and Jacory Harris, you have a ton of work to do to get back in the race
Posted on: September 16, 2009 5:17 pm
 

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Another Terrible weekend for the ACC.  Clearly the ACC"s mediocrity was not exaggerated after week one, in fact, it might have been understated. 

The Good - Ryan Williams. David Wilson.  Torrey Smith.  Anthony Allen.  C.J. Spiller.  Russell Wilson.  The 1st Half for Georgia Tech.  The 2nd half for Clemson.  Scott Blair's 3 FG's and a TD Pass.  Riley Skinner's 2nd half.  NC State and VaTech bouncing back.  Boston College being 2-0.

The Bad - The 4th quarter comebacks by Maryland (vs. JMU), FSU (vs. Jacksonville State), Duke (vs. Army), and UNC (vs. UConn).  Boston College RB's taking a step back.  Christian Ponder not getting in the endzone.

The Ugly - UNC losing two starters for 4 weeks.  Nolan Carroll's broken leg.  Duke being outgained by 150 yards. Any and all things UVA.  The Maryland defense outside of Alex Wujciak and Adrian Moten.  Dustin Hopkins kicking game (0/1 FG's and 1/3 on XP's). 

Heisman Race (2009 Season Statistics) -

1. QB Colt McCoy, Texas - 67.1% Comp. % - 654 Yards - 5 TD/2 INT - 44 Rush Yards 1 TD
2. QB Tim Tebow, Florida - 64.1% Comp. % - 425 Yards - 5 TD - 72 Rush Yards 2 TD's
3. RB Jahvid Best, Cal - 27 Carries for 281 Yards 3 Td's - 4 Catches for 42 Yards 1 TD
4. QB Case Keenum, Houston - 72.4% Comp % - 725 Yards - 7 TD/1 INT - 16 Rush Yards 2 TD's
5. QB Max Hall, BYU - 71.4% Comp % - 638 Yards - 4 TD/3INT

Really, there are 2 candidates at the moment.  The next two are outside shots and Hall is just riding high off the Oklahoma win two weeks ago. 

Up Next in the ACC:

Middle Tennessee State at Maryland - A revenge game for Maryland.  "We owe them one" - Ralph Friedgen.
#19 Nebraska at #13 Virginia Tech - Virginia Tech needs a win to prove the ACC can compete with other power conferences.
Virginia at Southern Miss - Can UVA avoid starting 0-3? I think not.
Posted on: September 8, 2009 11:13 am
 

The Weekend That Was

So the first weekend of College Football has finally wrapped up and there were definitely some great games and performances.  There were also some embarrassing moments, some head-scratchers and some unfortunate losses. 

The ACC had a terrible weekend, but the Miami-FSU game was great.  It didn ’t make up for the pitiful weekend the ACC suffered, but it was classic nonetheless.  Both QB’s looked impressive, especially Jacory Harris from Miami. 

The Good: Miami vs. Florida State was an instant classic.  Randy Shannon made the right decision to stick with Jacory Harris over Robert Marve.  Florida State’s young defense made some plays. Paul Johnson's Triple Option looks better in year 2.  Demaryius Thomas is the best receiver no one has ever heard of.  Boston College has 3 good running backs.  Thaddeus Lewis the only bright spot from Duke, as was Ryan Williams for VT.  CJ Spiller returning the opening kick-off for a TD.

The Bad: Middle Tennessee State was the biggest win of the weekend.  North Carolina starting slow against the Citadel.  Jacoby Ford dropping 2 passes.  Spiller running for 12 yards.

The Ugly: Everything else.  Maryland dominated by Cal.  Don Brown's defense couldn't stop anyone.  Virginia lost to William & Mary by 12 after being up at the half.  Duke lost to Richmond, despite Lewis throwing for 350 yards. Richmond is the #1 team in the FCS , to be fair.  Virginia Tech can't rely only on Tyrod Taylor.  Riley Skinner, a senior, throwing 3 picks.  NC State only totaling 133 yards of offense.

Heisman Race

1.  QB Colt McCoy, Texas - 21/29 317 yds 2 TD's and 1 INT.
2.  QB Tim Tebow , Florida - 10/15 188 yds   2 TD's (1 Rush).
3.  RB Jahvid Best, Cal - 10 carries for 137 yds 2 TD's and 2 catches for 23 yds .
4.  QB Jimmy Clausen , Notre Dame – 15/18 315 yds 4 TD’s
5.  QB Sam Bradford, Oklahoma – 10/14 96 yds 1 TD

Bradford will be out 2-4 weeks, but if he returns on the short end and can put up big stats upon returning, he’ll be right back on the board.  The only two defensive players ever in the running Safties Taylor Mays (USC ) and Eric Berry (Tennessee) didn ’t play the whole game so they couldn ’t accumulate the stats.  The player off the radar is QB Case Keenum from Houston.  Keenum went 23/30 for 359 yards and 5 TD’s (1 rush). 

Posted on: September 3, 2009 1:42 am
 

Weekend Preview

So it's about midnight on Wednesday night/Thursday Morning.  I spent my night watching Leverage (an underrated show) and Top Chef: Las Vegas.  As you can imagine, I'm ready for meaningful football.  Thursday marks the kickoff of the 2009 season and the first weekend should be very entertaining with some rare early top-25 non-conference matchups .

Thursday:

The game that kicks them all off is South Carolina at NC State at 7pm.  NC State was already without star linebacker Nate Irving, but will also be missing starting Cornerback DeAndre Morgan with an ankle injury.  South Carolina will be led by Sophomore QB Stephen Garcia, who played in 8 games last year as a freshman.  USC will be without starting defensive end Clifton Geathers due to injury and academic issues.  Prediction: NC State 27, USC 24

The game of night, and possibly the weekend, is #16 Oregon at #14 Boise State on the smurf turf at 10:15 pm.  Personally, If Boise State wins this, they are headed to a BCS bowl game because they will almost certainly be undefeated.  Boise State is led by QB Kellen Moore and a solid, but reshuffled, O-Line.  Oregon has a new coach and only returns 9 starters, but should be out looking for a 37-32 loss at Autzen Stadium last year.  Boise State 41, Oregon 31

Other Games of Note: Troy at Bowling Green, North Texas at Ball State and Utah State at Utah.

Friday:

Only one 1-A/FBS game on tap for Friday with Tulsa visiting Tulane.  Not a lot to say here.  Tulsa had the #1 offense in the country last year, but lost a lot of starters, but return 4 of their top 6 receivers.  Prediction: Tulsa 49, Tulane 13

Saturday:

Navy at #6 Ohio State at Noon kicks off the action on Saturday.  Ricky Dobbs is one of the best passing Quarterbacks Navy has had in a while, but it will be tough for an undersized Navy defense to keep this game close for more than a quarter or two.  QB Terrelle Pryor starts off what should be an excellent season.  My only question is:  Losing as much as Ohio State did on defense, could their possibly be a few mistakes in covering an offense most of the players haven't seen before.  Prediction: OSU 35, Navy 21

Appalachian State at East Carolina, can the giant killers do it again?  I know ECU isn't Michigan, and ASU will probably be without superstar QB Armanti Edwards, but they are a very, very talented team.  ECU returns QB Patrick Pinkney and two of their top three rushers from last year.  Prediction: ECU 24, ASU 17  *An Odd Note about ECU - They have 17 listed WR's , but only 1 Safety and 2 Defensive Ends

#13 Georgia at #9 Oklahoma State at 3:30 pm.  This is another game i'm looking forward too, for obvious reasons.  Georgia was one of the more overrated teams of last season and lost their starting QB, RB and Top WR .  Meanwhile, Oklahoma State showed signs of breaking out last year, and returns their top players.  It will be an interesting head-to-head matchup at WR as Dez Bryant is the top WR in the country for OSU , but Georgia has a stud in A.J. Green.  Oklahoma State did get some bad news yesterday as they lost their starting TE Jamal Mosley (personal reasons) and Middle Linebacker Orie Lemon (Torn ACL ).  Prediction: OSU 42, Georgia 30

Jackson State at Mississippi State at 3:30 pm.  This game is interesting for one reason, and one reason only: It's the first time an SEC team is playing a SWAC team.  In the history of both conferences, the nations best known conference and the best-known historically black college.  Both are located in the southeast.  Crazy.    I'm sure MSU will win this game, but it means a lot to both conferences.

#20 BYU vs. #3 Oklahoma at 7 pm.  This is a another great top-20 matchup , both teams are hoping for a BCS bowl this year.  A loss here eliminates BYU from BCS bowl contention, but a win... look out.  Both teams will show off potent offenses in this shootout, but Oklahoma has too much firepower.  Returning Heisman winner QB Sam Bradford along with a 1-2 punch of Demarco Murray and Chris Brown at RB and the best TE in the country in Jermaine Gresham.  LB's Travis Lewis and Ryan Reynolds are back and will look to keep RB Harvey Unga and TE Dennis Pitta in check.  Prediction: Oklahoma 52, BYU 35.

#5 Alabama at #7 Virginia Tech at 8 pm in Atlanta, GA.  This game has two great masterminds going head-to-head in Frank Beamer and Nick Saban .  There are a lot of players to watch in this game and should be highly entertaining.  Watching Alabama WR Julio Jones play on primetime TV should be mandatory.  Matching up against Jones is Stephen Virgil, a talented CB in his own right, but gives up 5 inches to Jones.  The Alabama defense has elite players at every level of defense.  NT Terrence Cody, MLB Renaldo McClain and DB Javier Arenas.  QB Tyrod Taylor will have a lot on his shoulders in this game after RB Darren Evans went down for the season.  Even Special Teams should be incredibly intense as Beamer Ball will be in full effect.  Arenas is one of the best return men in the country and it will be interesting to see how he does against the VTech coverage units.  Prediction: Alabama 31, VT 27

Maryland at #12 Cal at 10 pm.  Obviously this game has a lot of interest for it's local ties.  But I think it's possible (assuming Maryland's offensive line can perform at a high level) that Maryland could pull the upset.  Cal is a 21.5 point favorite, but they return a mediocre quarterback who is terribly inconsistent, and going up against a very good Maryland Secondary.  RB Jahvid Best won't have to worry about Kevin Barnes, and should have a fantastic day.  New Defensive Coordinator Don Brown will have a tough time keeping Best in check.  Prediction: Cal 35, Maryland 21

#11 LSU at Washington at 10:30 pm.  This is going to be a completely one-sided game, but it will give east coasters probably their only chance to watch Washington's Great QB Jake Locker.  LSU has 3 great running backs in Charles Scott, Keiland Williams and Trindon Holliday .  Scott and Williams can bruise while Holliday brings world-class speed to the Bayou Bengals attack.   Prediction: LSU 31, Washington 7

Other Games of Note: Nevada at #23 Notre Dame, Missouri at Illinois, Florida Atlantic at #24 Nebraska (Upset Watch), Minnesota at Syracuse (Paulus ' Debut).

Sunday:

#8 Mississippi at Memphis at 3:30 pm.  QB Jevan Snead, RB/WR Dexter McCluster and one of the nations best defenses head to Memphis to defend their lofty status at #8, and while Memphis won't put up much of a fight, It's a top 10 team playing on Sunday with no NFL to distract you.  Prediction: Ole Miss 49, Memphis 7

Other Game of Note: Colorado State at Colorado

Monday:

Miami (Fl.) at #18 Florida State at 8 pm.  This once great rivalry has been reduced to.... wait... they couldn't even sell out the game.  Yikes.  I know Dolphins Stadium is bigger, I know the economy is down, but still this is considered a marquee matchup and they can't even sell it out. Both teams are trying to regain their national credibility and a win here will go a long way for both teams.  There have been rumblings that neither of these teams is the #2 team in the state behind Florida.  Personally, I think USF (who they both happen to play) has passed them.  Prediction: Miami 24, Florida State 17

Other Game of Note: Cincinnati at Rutgers (Big East Battle).

This should be a great weekend for College Football, including 4 games between top 20 teams.  Check them out on a variety of networks this weekend, and enjoy.  If you do take time away from the TV this weekend, join me in seeing the new Gerard Butler movie 'Gamer' .

Posted on: August 21, 2009 4:00 pm
Edited on: August 23, 2009 1:11 pm
 

Gary Does It Again, But Is That A Good Thing?

This week Gary Williams and the Maryland Terrapins (yes, it's never too early to talk college hoops) received their third commitment for the 2010 season.  SG Mychal Parker (#62 by MaxPreps , #42 by Scouts, Inc and #53 by Rivals).  Parker joins SF Terrence Ross (#30 by MaxPreps , #39 by Scouts, Inc and #43 by Rivals) and PG Terrell Stoglin (#43 by MaxPreps , #88 by Scouts, Inc and #122 by Rivals).

Maryland is also on the final top 5 lists of other highly touted prospects:
Tobias Harris - #3 ranked PF, #7 overall.  6'8" 210lbs.  Considering - UConn , Louisville, Georgia Tech, Maryland and Tennessee
C.J. Leslie - #4 ranked PF, #9 overall.  6'8" 205lbs.  Considering - Kentucky, UNC , Florida, Maryland and UConn
Roscoe Smith - #3 ranked SF, #16 overall.  6'8" 190lbs.  Considering - Duke, UConn , Florida, Louisville and Maryland
DaMontre Harris - #5 ranked C, #62 overall. 6'9" 200lbs.  Considering - South Carolina, Wake Forest, Maryland, VCU and Florida
Jonathan Graham - #21 ranked PF, #84 overall.  6'8 205lbs. Considering - Maryland and Florida State

Now, nothing is ever guaranteed until pen is put to paper, but as it appears now the Terps are in the running for all 5.  However, in order to sign one or more of these guys they will have to have a transfer from the current roster.  Considering a lot of the talent around the end of the bench, it may not be the worst thing in the world.

This is a far cry from the recruiting classes from 2006 and 2007.  In 2006 the highest ranked recruit was Cliff Tucker (his best ranking was #97 by Rivals), now Tucker has turned in to a solid role player and should see an even bigger role in 2009-10 as the first or second player off the bench.  Adrian Bowie was also in that class and he took over as the starting point guard last year and will be again this year.  In 2008, Sean Mosley was the top ranked player (highest ranking was #40) and like Tucker, Mosley has seen his role grow larger over the past season.  Mosley even saw some starts last year and will push for more playing time.

The last time Gary had this kind of recruiting class was after the 2002 National Championship.  Granted, that recruiting class really did nothing for the University.  The 2002 class consisted of F Nik Caner-Medley, F Travis Garrison, PG John Gilchrist, SG Chris McCray, PG Dominique Richmond, PF Jamar Smith.  Caner-Medley is struggling to make an NBA roster with the Clippers.  Garrison is currently playing for Dalaman A.S. Pamukkale Univ. in the Turkish 2nd division.  Gilchrist just signed for the Adelaide 36ers in the Australian A-League .  McCray plays for the Rimini Crabs in the Italian 2nd division and lost to Jamar Smith's team in the League Tournament. 

Clearly the highly touted recruits of the 2002 class never lived up to the hype, hopefully the 2010 class, assuming there aren't any de-commitments , will. 



Posted on: August 14, 2009 1:50 pm
 

Starting DT Leaves Terps

Starting DT Dion Armstrong has decided to leave the team and will transfer.  No decision on where he is headed has been made. 

"He came in this morning and thanked me and said he was sorry he disappointed me and said he was going to transfer," coach Ralph Friedgen said. "I said, 'Fine. It's time to move on,' " Friedgen said. "I don't want to get into the whole thing and make a big deal. We have to worry about kids who want to be here. That's where I'm going with that."

This means the Terps have lost all four starting defensive lineman from last season.  Redshirt Freshman A.J. Francis has been taking the 1st team snaps while Armstrong sat out while taking care of academic issues. 

The defensive line was already considered the weakest unit on this team and losing Armstrong doesn't help at all.  Thankfully, Maryland doesn't play Georgia Tech this year.  Unfortunately, Virginia Tech and Florida State are at the end of the year.  Virginia Tech will have time to get there three-headed attack figured out and Florida State will have time to replace Antone Smith.  Clemson and C.J. Spiller are early in the season and the offensive line that was a problem last year, should be much improved.  Let's not forget that Maryland has to face the nation's leading returning rusher in Cal's Jahvid Best.  Too bad Kevin Barnes is now a Redskin, maybe some of you remember that hit that knocked Best out last season.


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com