Dino, Dino, Dino...At this point, predicting Dino Gregory's season is nearly impossible.
Throughout the offseason, we were told that Gregory had gotten better, improved his mid-range jump shot, and was a contender for the "Most Improved Terp" title. Then, the news came last week that Dino was out indefinitely (academically ineligible, we think) and since then, neither Gregory nor the administration has been saying much.
There have been rumors speculating that Dino may only miss a few games, one semester, or even the entire season. It's hard to separate those who know what they are talking about, from those who don't.
Regardless, we should have our answer sometime this week. A couple reliable Terp sources have said that a Dino decision will come down early in the week and others have said that the public will know by Friday. We can only hold our breath and hope...
Click below the jump to see how the potential addition/loss of the 6-7 junior will impact the team this season...
What Gregory brings to the table is exactly what this Terrapin team needs: a hard working, scrappy, big man, who can get rebounds and be a presence defensively. Is he 6-10, 235? No. But the guy plays with a motor and by all accounts from his teammates and from Gary, he was slated to have a breakout year.
When I think of what Dino can bring, I think of one specific play from last season. The Terps were taking on Carolina and Ty Lawson was driving to the hoop on a fast break. Everybody and their mama thought it was an easy two for the Tarheels. Out of nowhere, Dino Gregory chases down the All-ACC point guard and pins the ball against the backboard. No easy buckets. It was a Sportcenter Top 10 play and one of the best plays of the Terps' season.
That's the kind of player Gary needs in the front court if this team is seriously going to contend for the ACC crown. Having only three bigs to plug in down low (two of which are freshmen,) may not cut it in this conference. Add Dino Gregory to the mix and our front-court doesn't look quite as dismal.
Cautious Projection for 2009-2010:
Last season, Dino logged 16.3 minutes per game and contributed 2.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg, and 1 block per game. His 1 block per game was tied for best on the team. Those numbers were expected to increase this year as Gary had all but announced Gregory as the starter at the 5 spot.
I'm going to assume that Dino will be back at some point and when he does return, he's going to make an impact. His numbers will go up across the board and he should contend for the "Most Improved Terp" title with Mr. Sean Mosley. I'm thinking...
Pts Rbs Blocks
8.2 4.8 1.6
What do you guys think? Would losing Dino really be that significant? Can the Terps contend for the ACC title without him?