Maryland Minute 2.28.13: On road loss at Georgia Tech and Terps' quarterback situation

"Hit the whole team." - USA TODAY Sports

Maryland's poor defense, Shaq Cleare's strong words, and Ricardo Young's opportunity.

We start with a few basketball links, but quickly transition to a, believe it or not, happier topic: Maryland's quarterback situation heading into spring practice.

Morning review: Defensive woes doomed Maryland
To a degree, certainly. It was one of the worst defensive showings of the season, something that's disappointing - after they were so good all year long defensively, a few ACC teams seem to have really found them out. Maryland's improved in a lot of regards over the year, but this is an area where they appear to actually have regressed. Rotation is poor, effort and intensity is poor, execution is poor. A team as bad offensively as Georgia Tech should in no way be putting up 1.1 points a possession, let alone on a team that prides itself on defense.

That said, the offense wasn't good enough to win, either. The inability to get stops hurt, but the inability to string together buckets was killer for momentum. This was an all-around loss.

Well, Shaq had some strong words post-GT
People seem to hate it when I say that Maryland's a young team on the road, but it's actually a legitimate explanation for (at least some of) the struggles this team's had. You don't want your players thinking that way, though, and Shaq thankfully doesn't:

"There’s not an excuse for losing," said Maryland’s Shaquille Cleare (seven points, six rebounds), who sounded offended that the Terps lost the rebounding battle.

Okay, cool. But then ... this. (Emphasis mine.)

"You’ve got to hit guys and get the basketball," Cleare said. "You leave it up to me, I’ll hit the whole team and try to get the rebound. I just think we played a little soft tonight. If you come all the way to Georgia to lose, you might as well stay in College Park."

Take 'em out, Shaq!

And yes, this sounds like a thinly-veiled jab at the rest of the team, or at least certain members. Who? Well, that's your guess. (Though if your guess is what I expect most of you to guess, it's being really harsh on the only guy who actually did have a productive day on the boards.)

C.J. Brown "pretty much ahead of schedule" in rehab effort
He'll partake in individual drills and potentially 7-on-7s in spring practice, which is an important step. But they're not going to rush him, and he'll still be limited. For someone who's been around for awhile, that's not the worst thing in the world.

With familiarity on his side, Ricardo Young enters spring as first-team QB
Young is the first team-er basically by default, given that Brown is limited and Perry Hills and Caleb Rowe are both sitting out. But it's a big opportunity for him; he'll get all the first team reps, which is big for continuity, and more importantly will be the only one who gets to give the staff a chance to see what he can do. It's been a long and winding road for him, but this is an opportunity to grab hold of a starting spot. He won't secure it entirely in spring practice, but he can turn it into a serious battle for the fall - and even maybe make it his to lose.

I'm a CJB fan, but I think it would be an unquestionably good thing if Young proved good enough to keep Brown off the field.

Dinich ranks the non-conference schedules, Maryland comes in at #11 in ACC
I'm alllllll for ridiculously easy non-con schedules in football. You don't get bonus points for strength of schedule unless you're gunning for a BCS bowl (or a playoff bid, now), and that sure as heck isn't Maryland right now. The difficulty is that you're planning schedules years in advance, so you don't want to get too cheap lest you miss your window, but this is a good set of opponents for a team of this year's quality.

Terps pursuing Goodluck Okonoboh
I liked Okonoboh a lot when he was a 2013 prospect, and I absolutely love him since he's reclassified. He's listed at only 6-9 or so, but he's ridiculously long and athletic, which makes him effectively much taller. His offense is still not ideal, but he's a gamechanger defensively and on the glass. He'll be a battle, but Maryland has northeast connections and some momentum on the trail.

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