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James Padgett and Dino Gregory: The Debate

I just watched the Princess Bride, so I see no reason not to use the word "inconceivable" at some point today. And I will use the word when describing the James Padgett situation. Dino Gregory and Jordan Williams combined for 1 point and 7 rebounds in 49 minutes. Maryland won by nearly 20. But Padgett, despite having solid stats on the year, played only 4 minutes on the day.


Technically, it's not Padgett vs. Gregory in its fullest. But 6 of those 7 rebounds came from Williams; he's by far the best rebounder on the team (overall, not pound-for-pound - that's Sean Mosley) and will be key for Maryland the rest of ACC play. If Padgett ends up stealing minutes, quite a few of them will come from Gregory, who is receiving more minutes than Williams at this point anyway.

I am quickly losing the little faith that Gregory built up in me recently. Against Wake Forest, he was able to outrebound Williams for the first time all year, but wasn't more impressive outside of that. He's done little particularly well. At this point, I'm assuming he's fully shaken off the rust, and he's not the player we had expected him to be. In ACC play, he's had a total of 7 points in all three games and just 9 rebounds. He can hit the occasional mid-range jumper and plays good defense against quicker bigs, but not a lot more.

That said, I'm not giving up on Dino. He's a valuable role player that plays a major part on any successful ACC team. He's not, however, a 25 mpg player. Between 10 and 15 is more reasonable, closer to what he played against Wake Forest, instead of what he played today. I'm not saying Padgett is Blake Griffin, but he, like Dino, could play a very important role on a successful team.

Let's do a quick comparison of Dino and Padgett, shall we? Dino has played fewer games, but has just 10 fewer minutes. Despite just a 10 minute variation in minutes, Dino has half the points and just barely over half the rebounds of Padgett. Of course, Padge's main competition were teams like New Hampshire and Fairfield, but he had some important games without Dino, too: Villanova, Cincinnati, Wisconsin. There might be a slight differential, but it's just that: slight.

Padgett so far has gotten .33 points per minute and .288 rebounds per minute. Gregory gets half that on both counts - .17 points per minute, .16 rebounds per minute. In almost the same number of minutes, Padgett has outperformed Dino in the two most important statistical categories. Experience be damned, at some point you'd have to think that Padgett would get some more time. It's not like he completely looked awful in his time.

Of course, stats aren't everything: Padgett occasionally looks lost on both offense and defense, while Gregory does have more experience and slightly better defense. Still, the stats matter, and they rarely lie.

For the record, this isn't a criticism of Gary Williams. The man can flat out coach, and there could be another reason for the lack of PT. But the stats are plenty intriguing given that Gregory outminuted Padge by 23 minutes today despite the fact that it would've been a perfect chance for him to get some experience and grow.

I doubt too many people will vehemently disagree that Padgett could use more PT, but comments are always welcome.