As far as easy rebound wins go, they don't get much better than the 99-56 drubbing that Maryland gave the UNC Greensboro Spartans. After a demoralizing loss to Temple that came this close to resulting in some lineup changes, Maryland could've used an easy win, and it's just what they got. The Terrapins shot 43% from 3 and 52% from the field, outrebounded the Spartans by 20, received yet another double-double from Jordan Williams, and generally dominated play en route to an easy 43-point victory.
I'm going to go into a few encouraging performances, but one thing really has to be said before anything else: this is UNC-Greensboro. They have a bottom-ten defensive efficiency. They're just very bad in general. Opponents really don't get much worse, and that means that you can only go so far in drawing conclusions. Yes, Maryland looked very good, downright great at times, but against UNC-Greensboro, should it be any other way?
Now, there still were several performances that deserve mentioning and were encouraging even when you factor in the competition. Jordan Williams had another stellar performance, including 23 points, 13 boards, and a ridiculous alley-oop slam (searching for a YouTube). It might've been Adrian Bowie, though, that had the most encouraging game. He looked like a legitimate outside scoring threat for the first time since the Delaware State game, scoring 13 points and shooting 3-6 from deep.
The biggest thing was that Tucker took outside shots, which was a welcome refresher from the combined 8 shots he took in Maryland's past two games; in this game alone, he took 10. His confidence was impressive, too, and will hopefully carry over into Sunday's matchup with Boston College. He forced a couple of shots later in the game, but I'll take that over not taking shots at all.
Adrian Bowie had perhaps the best game of his season after struggling mightily the past few weeks, racking up 16 points, 4 assists, and just 2 turnovers while shooting 4-5 from the field. He looked more confident and less hesitant as the game went on, even showing off some very good and very surprising court vision. I'll hold off on praising too much, because he's done this before against cupcakes, but it was good to see and should hopefully get his confidence rolling again. The highlight-worthy block of a UNC-G big man in transition didn't hurt, either.
Sean Mosley looked good after a so-so first half, Berend Weijs made an impact, and Terrell Stoglin was just as good as you would expect him to be after seeing his last few games - in fact, he was probably better and remains one of the best-playing guys on the team. The only players that didn't look absolutely great were Pe'Shon Howard and Dino Gregory, and even they were more invisible than bad.
As I said earlier, though, you have to take the entire game with a big grain of salt. Is Adrian Bowie once again a legitimate, confident point guard? Is Cliff Tucker back? We don't know and this type of performance, as encouraging as it might've been, can't tell us.
That said, the game was big for confidence reasons. If Bowie and Tucker are believing in their outside shots and playing with swagger, they have the potential be quite good. We saw it earlier in the year, too; remember when everyone loved Tucker? He's lost the confidence he was playing with then, and hopefully a few made shots will help him to recapture it. Maryland needs that to be a real contender in the ACC.
And there are other performances that are encouraging regardless of competition. For instance, seeing Jordan Williams hit 7-11 from the free throw line, including a perfect 5-5 in the second half, is pretty great. So, too, is seeing Terrell Stoglin slowly learning how to make better decisions, especially in end-clock situations. And Berend Weijs pitching in a few blocks and dunks is good regardless of competition.
But in the big picture, this was a reaffirmation that Maryland has potential to be a very good team, but nothing more. It was important to get that big of a win for confidence reasons and provides a nice morale-booster before ACC play, but it's ultimately a cupcake victory and nothing more.
Perhaps the best thing: we can all enjoy almost hitting triple digits.