Maryland 2009 NCAA Tournament Preview
Maryland Terrapins - Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) (20-13, 7-9)
Seed: #10 - West Region
Big Wins: 11/27 vs Michigan State (80-62), 2/21 North Carolina (88-85), 3/13 vs Wake Forest (75-64)
Bad Losses: 11/30 vs Georgetown (48-75), 1/7 Morgan State (65-66), 3/7 at Virginia (63-68)
Last NCAA Appearance: 2007, Second Round loss to Butler
Coach: Gary Williams (27-14 in 15 NCAA appearances)
Probable Maryland Starters:
Greivis Vasquez, Junior, Guard, 17.2 ppg, 5.1 apg
Adrian Bowie, Sophomore, Guard, 8.9 ppg, 2.4 apg
Sean Mosley, Freshman, Guard, 5.3 ppg, 1.4 apg, 3.7 rpg
Landon Milbourne, Junior, Forward, 11.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.1 bpg
Dave Neal, Senior, Forward, 8.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg
Key Maryland Roleplayers:
Dino Gregory, Sophomore, Forward, 2.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.0 bpg
Eric Hayes, Junior, Guard, 10.2 ppg, 3.2 apg
Cliff Tucker, Sophomore, Forward, 4.6 ppg, 1.6 rpg
Why The Terrapins Can Surprise:
It is the Terrapin backcourt that has led this group to victory. It is also the backcourt that can be blamed for some bad losses to teams like Morgan State. Some days Greivis Vasquez is a superstar like when he tallied 35 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in an upset over North Carolina. Other days he shoots 5-21 from the floor like he did against Morgan State. The 6-6 junior has failed to reach double digits in the scoring column just three times this year and, not surprisingly, Maryland lost all three of those games. Vasquez can play out of control at times and he will occasionally make bad passes and take bad shots. That is less of an issue now than it was last year, but it is still an issue.
There is plenty of help in the backcourt for Vasquez. Eric Hayes is a long range shooting threat and Adrian Bowie is having a great sophomore year, although he has been slumping in February and March. Cliff Tucker can come in off the bench and hit some shots and freshman Sean Mosley has even cracked the starting lineup on occasion. Mosley, a 6-4 wing, will get to the basket, but more importantly he gives the team another rebounder on the perimeter.
Why The Terps Can Disappoint:
And Maryland needs all the help they can get on the glass. Landon Milbourne, a 6-7 forward, is more of a wing than a power forward. He is having a great year in the scoring department and is certainly a tough player, but he can get outrebounded by taller opponents. The same can be said for 6-7 forward Dave Neal. Neal, the usual starter at the five spot, can step outside and hit the three-point shot creating mismatches on the offensive side of the floor, but even with his 263 pound frame, Maryland will have trouble against taller opponents.
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Who To Watch:
Vasquez and Milbourne are the only two players who average more than 11 points per contest. Hayes or Bowie are usually the third scorer, but it is important that somebody step up and compliment Vasquez and Milbourne. The good news is that Maryland has options. Neal will rarely score a bunch of points because he just does not get the opportunities, but he can certainly score 15 points against the right competition. Tucker and Mosley are the more intriguing options that can take this team to the next level. Tucker is only averaging 4.6 points per game on the year, but he tallied 22 in the win over the Tar Heels and 18 in the loss at North Carolina. Mosley has also exploded for a big game against UNC and tallied 19 points in the first meeting between the two teams.
Maryland By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.6 (107th in nation, 8th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 68.6 (194, 5)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.1 (241, 11)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.3 (120, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.7 (219, 9)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.4 (224, 10)
Free-Throw Percentage: 76.8 (7, 1)
Rebound Margin: -1.8 (250, 12)
Assists Per Game: 14.8 (70, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.5 (55, 1)
Joel’s Bracket Says: First Round loss to California
By Joel Welser
CollegeSports-fans.com Senior Basketball Writer
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