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Maryland 88, North Carolina 85: Impressions

The key word of the night, to me, was execution. Maryland made the open shots they had been missing, stayed on defenders who had been beating them, made rebounds they had been losing. Everything was clicking during that comeback. It was one of the most exhilarating games I've ever watched, but I think I've cooled down enough to be coherent.

  • Greivis Vasquez is a monster. A simply incredible performance that's bigger than I can describe.
  • Even though Vaz was the star of the day, everyone else did what they needed to. Obviously, Cliff Tucker was the biggie. His shooting was great, his defense was good, and he seems to have a great offensive sense. I hate to sit Mosley, but I feel it may be necessary if Tucker can continue to play like he did. It feels good for him to be back, and I don't think he'll transfer at the end of the year, unlike I thought a few weeks ago.
  • Eric Hayes also had a great game. After that horrible start by everyone involved (excluding, of course, Vasquez) Hayes' shot really started to fall. He was aggressive without being out of control, and he was the ying to GV's yang. I still think he'll come off the bench, simply because of the incredible depth at his position, but like Gary said, he's a "finisher", even if he's not a starter.
  • Maryland never let UNC getting going from outside, unlike the first game. They never doubled Hansbrough, so no one was able to get open on the perimeter. Despite being one-on-one most of the game against someone much smaller than he is, Hansbrough never made a big impact.
  • A lot of UNC fans are blaming the refs, which is a giant piece of BS. Did the refs impact the game? Of course they did. And yes, they missed some calls on Maryland, especially during The Comeback (it's capitalized now). But UNC was in the bonus within 7 minutes in the first half. I'm sure they all thought that UNC was getting jobbed then, too. Not to mention two elbows thrown by Hansbrough (one on Hayes, the other on Mosley) late in the game and in overtime that could've been called fouls. It was a horribly called game, but on both sides.
  • Sean Mosley is still looking for consistent offense, and he probably won't find it until next year at the earliest. But on the defensive and rebounding fronts, he's a stud. For a small guard (calling him 6-4 is generous), he gets a lot of rebounds, mostly through hustle. I don't think Gary will bench him for Cliff, even though I think he should (through no fault of Mosley's), simply because Mosley is Gary's type of guy. He's a shorter Byron Mouton with better potential on offense.
  • Jerome Burney needs more playing time. Yes, he missed two clutch free throws, but he's a big body and a good athlete. That brings the total of those types of players on the team
  • Anyone else see that Brax got a mohawk? Even if he never plays and isn't very good, at least he shows team spirit. I was thinking he'd be the one to transfer, but maybe not. No one else joined Landon and Bowie, after all.
  • Speaking of Landon and Bowie, they came up a little bit short today. I don't think it was a big deal (not everyone can have a career day) but they'll be needed against Duke.
  • Everyone is flying high right now. I think that everyone on the team is great and I can't imagine that I was ever mad at any one of these guys. Of course, that'll last until Maryland loses again and we identify who should be blamed. It's terrible that this euphoric feeling can't last forever. A lot of people are probably thinking that Lance Stephenson isn't a big deal, Maryland is fine without him. Bu this game was an anomaly. There are still big, fundamental problems within this team, and they'll resurface. Big changes need to happen. But this game proved that, even though those changes haven't happened yet, Maryland can still be competitive and still win games.