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March 9, 2005

ACC Tournament 2005: Maryland

by Pratik Bhandari, Page Editor
Team record: 16-11, 7-9 conference
Coach: Gary Willaims (538-303)

Maryland has had an extremely disappointing season. After winning the ACC Tournament last year and returning most of their starters, most fans thought that Maryland had a legitimate chance to go to the Sweet Sixteen and maybe even to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament. Now, the Terps'll be lucky just to get in after being swept by Clemson and NC State, not to mention losing their final regular season game to Virginia Tech, where a win would have almost guaranteed them a spot in the big dance.

Frankly, no one wants to look at their schedule and see Maryland. The Terps have a habit of playing at the level that their opponents play at and this means that if they happen to play Duke or North Carolina or any other top team, the Terps will definitely give them a tough time. Also, this is a team that is used to coming back from huge deficits (largely due to their lack of defensive intensity) and can suddenly pull a game close when minutes before it seemed out of reach.

The fact is that the Terrapins have little focus and porous defense. They have all the talent that Gary Williams could ask for and they returned most of the starters from last year's ACC Championship team, but throughout the season, Maryland has lost winnable games against the likes of Clemson, NC State and Virginia Tech; these teams are no basketball powerhouses. Another troubling aspect of all of Maryland's games seems to be the fact that they play as if they're in a daze for the first half, pretty much spotting every team a double digit lead before they come in the second half and start playing to their full potential. If Maryland expects to get deep in the tournament, they can't do that, or they may as well start spring break a couple of weeks early. Also, there is the John Gilchrist problem. After having an amazing tournament last year in which Gilchrist basically carried the Terps throughout, he's turned into William's worst nightmare: a point guard who won't trust his teammates; essentially, Gilchrist seems to believe that he has to do everything himself. Another important factor into Maryland's underwhelming season is the loss of D.J. Strawberry because of an ACL injury. Without Strawberry poking in and around the passing lanes and coming up with key defensive stops, Maryland is weak on defense.

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  • uyjjtyjftdyj on March 9, 2005 at 1:43 PM
    there is no way, mark my words NO WAY the terps will make it to the elite eight
  • HAHAHAHAH (View Email) on March 10, 2005 at 2:55 PM
  • danno (View Email) on March 14, 2005 at 3:25 PM
    very nice ACC section overall...impressive.... as for the Terps, you're exactlyy right. It's their defense which cost them a tourney bid. Clemson scored over 80 points in only 6 games this year. Three were against the Terps. I mean, Gary didn't get these guys to play defense, and you can't win when youre giving up 85 points a night...
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