I'm not sure there's ever been a game that Maryland needed more than the one last night. After two straight really tough losses, the team could've folded - and nearly did - but pulled it out in the end. My thoughts:
- Why can't this team play with a lead? The way they play changes significantly. Against Miami, I thought it was how slow the offense was, but I've changed my mind - it's how passive they are. There's little movement off the ball, which is made worse by the fact that players on the ball don't seem to want to drive or shoot. No one took charge, and that led to a near loss.
- On that note, can we just start the game down by 7 with 6:30 left?
- I'm considering that maybe Sean Mosely should start in place of Eric Hayes. Or, I was, before Hayes' big game. EH might've saved his job with his double-double. Regardless, I think Hayes is a better "off-the-bench" guy than Mosely, whose game is a bit more well-rounded - it's something to toss around, especially after Mosely's big couple of games.
- Landon Milbourne has undergone a huge transformation. He's a small forward by nature, so I guess we should've expected the troubles early on, but he was terrible. The main problem was that he was soft - he shied away from contact and rebounds. He's grown into a true blue power forward, and all Terp fans should be proud of him and his transformation. He was so aggressive on the boards last night, made a few huge put-backs, and sank his free throws - wonderful all-around game.
- Vasquez had another supbar game, at least for his standards. I wonder when he'll break out of his funk. Hopefully it'll be on Saturday.
- Dave Neal is clearly a major part of this offense. He fought through the injury, and he made an impact late in the game. If Maryland wants to get in the tourney, he'll be a big part of it.
- As soon as I'm about to chanage my mind about Braxton Dupree - he made a shot, played aggresively, grabbed a rebound - he drops a pass and misses a wide-open layup. I'm still in favor of Goins. Dupree just looks lost sometimes.
- Again, very few minutes for Cliff Tucker. He can certainly help the team - I don't know why he's riding the bench so much. Perhaps he really is transferring, and Gary doesn't want to risk a subpar effort?
More coming tonight.