Preview Day: ESPN Basketball Preview, ACC Football Preview

Need some reading material? If so, it's a great day for you.

ESPN posted their Summer Buzz basketball preview for Maryland (never mind that it's really early - it's never too early for basketball season), and if you have Insider, it's a great read. Most of it you probably already know, but the analyis from Bilas, Gottlieb, and Lunardi is actually pretty good. From Bilas, who seemed almost as big a Terp homer as me:

I had the chance to work with Greivis Vazquez at the LeBron James Skills Academy, and he is terrific. Nobody competes harder or shows more emotion than Williams, and Vasquez is similar. He is a very good passer and he has a knack for getting by his man and getting into the lane. I think he will be among the best players in the country and having a senior with experience, fight and a sense of urgency is a great thing.

Lunardi, who was his complete opposite, had this:

It's highly unlikely that the Terps will advance from "mediocre" (7-9 ACC record, No. 10 NCAA seed) to "great." A turnaround of that nature is simply too hard to achieve in a conference like the ACC. It's one thing to maximize the talent on hand; it's quite another to reach the top of a great conference without enough great conference talent. I'm only modestly optimistic about the Terps. Let's say 9-7 in the ACC and a No. 7 NCAA seed.

Personally, I think it's a bit of a stretch to call Maryland mediocre - yes, there were a few rough spots, but the second round of the NCAA tournament is rarely a place mediocre teams end up.

There's a lot more good stuff in there, and if you don't have Insider, well, shame on you then.

Onward and upward, the ACC is in the middle of there "12 Days of Football" feature, highlighting each ACC team for twelve days. Today was Maryland's turn in the spotlight, and though we already know most of it, you can never read enough about Maryland, right?

Consistency proved the one characteristic that eluded Maryland's football team last season. In the shutout of Wake Forest and a victory over Cal, the Terps showed they could contend for the ACC title; with a loss to Middle Tennessee and a disappointing showing against Virginia, the team looked like one that could contend for last place.

The key for 2009 will be how much the Terps are able to establish some consistency. It will be a particular challenge after losing 30 seniors from a year ago and with only eight starters returning. This is still a team that could make some noise in the Atlantic Division, or finish fifth - where they were picked in the preseason poll.

"(Coach Friedgen uses the word consistency) almost every time he talks to us. Every day. If he keeps harping on it, we'll hopefully get the message," cornerback Nolan Carroll said at the ACC Football Kickoff.

Actually, my favorite part came in the Numbers and Notes section. Can't really beat this:

21 - The number of minutes TB Da’Rel Scott played in Maryland’s 45-38 win over Nevada in the Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl due to a disciplinary suspension. Scott totalled 174 yards in just 21 minutes, a rate that would extrapolate to 497 yards in 60 minutes of playing time.

Yes, almost 500 yards. Of course, he probably wouldn't be able to keep that pace up, but that's still nasty.

Oh, there's also a video in there for the lazy people who don't like reading.

So if you're looking for reading (or watching) material tonight, you have plenty of it.

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