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Duke Thrashes Maryland, 77-56

This game needs no big introduction. If you saw the game, you don't want to relive it. If you didn't see the game, trust me: you don't want the details.

For the sake of summary, Greivis Vasquez was nearly invisible until late the game, when he vainly tried to lead a comeback attempt, and ended up leading Maryland with 17 points. Other than that, it was a quiet game. Eric Hayes had 8 points early, but disappeared in the second half. Adrian Bowie, Landon Milbourne, Sean Mosley, and Jordan Williams combined for 20 points. That's it.

It shouldn't come as a big surprise, then, that Duke ended up with an easy win on Coach K's 63rd birthday and 1000th game, 77-56. After leading 6-5 with 17:17 remaining in the first half, Maryland disappeared and never made a game of it. Hey, at least it was better than last year's 40 point thrashing.

Not a lot went right for Maryland, offensively or defensively, but the biggest issues in the game were on the offensive end and were mostly controlled by Maryland. UMD shot just 36% from the floor and was a terrible 1-10 from beyond the stripe, and for a team that shoots well, that's crippling. Strangely, though, this wasn't a case of suffocating defense from Duke, although it was solid. No, Maryland got plenty of open looks at the basket and simply couldn't hit anything outside of 5 feet to save their lives. Any other day, Maryland would've shot at least 50% from the field and probably 50% from deep. Big difference.

The other major issue to me was turnovers, many of them unforced. Adrian Bowie simply dropped the ball on more than one occasion, and the normally steady Eric Hayes threw the ball away multiple times. Vasquez looked no better. Those empty possessions - there had to be almost 20, the stats aren't up yet - ended up in Duke points at the other end and presented no opportunity for Maryland to score. Won't win too many games doing that.

They were far from outstanding defensively, but they were certainly good enough. Allowing offensive rebounds was the biggest defensive culprit; it was Duke's 23 second chance points that hurt more than anything else they did. Brian Zoubek had nearly 20 boards all by himself; this game really exposed Maryland's rebounding struggles.

As for encouraging performances, Cliff Tucker wasn't bad and deserved to be on the floor for longer than he was. James Padgett was quietly solid; by no means was he great, but for whatever reason things ran much more smoothly when he was on the floor.

One quick note: a win in this game would've been gravy. Getting wins against top ten teams on the road is difficult to say the least. If Maryland goes 3-1 the rest of this four game stretch, they're 9-3 and everything's fine. That's what matters, much more than this game now. It'll be a quick turnaround, with Virginia on Monday.