Landon Milbourne's last seven games: 2, 14, 8, 5, 8, 8, and 5.
For someone at his position, those numbers might be expected for rebounding totals. The problem is, those are his POINT TOTALS for each of the past seven games. For you math-challenged folks out there, thats an average of about 7 PPG.
Even more perplexing than Milbourne's recent offensive performance is the fact that the Terps have still been able to win six of those seven games, with the sole loss coming in the first meeting vs. Duke.
Even though his scoring has diminished, Landon has still found ways to contribute, specifically on the defensive end. As he has drawn more attention from opposing defenses, Landon has opened up opportunities for many of his teammates, and he has definitely asserted himself as a shot-blocking force.
Throughout UMD's six game winning streak, the Terps have grown quite dependent on balanced-scoring efforts. As a result, Landon's disappearance from the offense has gone largely unnoticed. In the March 3rd Duke game, for example, his baskets consisted of a three-pointer early in the first half, and an emphatic dunk in the second half. Although they were memorable baskets, they were his only ones.
Sure, Landon's recent offensive output might appear ominous for the future of this team, but there are several positives that can be taken from the team's performance in the midst of Landon's struggles. Other guys have been able to step up, most notably Sean Mosley, Jordan Williams, and the Bowie-Tucker combo off the bench.
Hopefully Landon will get his game turned around. If everyone else continues their solid play, the team will be hitting on all cylinders, primed for an ACC championship performance and elite eight tourney run.
More on that Bowie-Tucker combo now.
I was quite enthused by the play of the Williams-Milbourne-Mosley-Tucker-Bowie lineup in the middle of the second half. For a few minutes there, they were connecting some great passes, getting out and running the fast break, and playing solid defense. And the best part was that Landon played a VERY minimal role, save the monster dunk. After a while, the guard play started to fall apart, but I was still very encouraged by their entire body of work. Their play for those several minutes definitely bodes well for next year...I can really see a JDub-Dino-Sean-Cliff-Adrian starting lineup, with My-Park as the sixth man. With a lot of practice together, those guys could make for a really successful season.