It wasn't the best of opponents, but I don't think you could ask for a better response from the Maryland Terrapins after dropping a home contest against William & Mary. Greivis Vasquez carried his team over the UNC Greensboro Spartans with 24 points and 6 assists to spark a nice rebound win, 97-63.
This game was never in doubt; Maryland came out and blew through an inferior opponent from the start. At first it was shooting at a blistering percentage, then it was playing lock down defense, and then it was playing efficient offense. Throughout the game, they were better in almost every aspect than UNCG.
Before talking too much about the game, we should probably mention that UNCG isn't a great team. They aren't as bad as Winston-Salem State, but they're not close to good. On the good side, they only lost by 15 to Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. On the bad side, they got blown out by Akron and East Carolina. Make no mistake, Maryland did play better than they have been playing, but UNC-G is among the more inconsistent teams in the country and wasn't very good to start with.
Greivis Vasquez still needs to go up against an ACC opponent, but if tonight was any indication, the vivacious Venezualan is back. He shot the lights out, was confident, relatively error-free, and had good court vision. His game dropped in the second half, but his first half was great. This is the Greivis Maryland needs right now.
Landon Milbourne talked a lot about "fun" and dunking more in the wake of the William & Mary loss, and he came through with it. He had multiple big dunks and an all-around awesome game - he finished with 22 and 7, and was more active than any other game I can remember him so far this season. Reminded me of last year for him before he wore down.
Adrian Bowie had a really surprising resurgence. He hasn't looked good since the 40 point loss to Duke last year, but he looked downright ACC-level today. He had 11 points, 3 steals, and no turnovers. He probably overtook Cliff Tucker and looked very much like he did during the first half of last year. He even looked moderately confident running the show in the half court.
As Bowie rose, Eric Hayes and Cliff Tucker fell. Hayes has been quiet the past few games, and tonight was no difference. Other than a missed 3, I can't remember much of an impact Hayes had at all - he ended with 3 points and 4 fouls. Tucker looked good offensively but ended up with 3 turnovers and wasn't nearly as impressive as Bowie.
This was the first game all year that someone could make a case for Dino Gregory outplaying Jordan Williams. Dino had 11 points and 8 boards, and even made all 7 of his free throws. His defense was still average, but if that gets to where it was last year, Dino will be important come ACC time. Williams wasn't bad - 6 points and 11 boards - but he really had a chance to get to 10 and 15 today.
It won't tell Maryland much about their team, but it was a good, confidence-building win. The Terps have a week to practice, evaluate, and prepare for the start of the ACC against Florida State. They'll provide a very different opponent than any other team Maryland's seen thus far, so we'll probably spend a little more time evaluating them than usual.
More talk coming soon, but for now, enjoy nearly reaching triple digits.