Thanks to all for chatting this week about Maryland and snow:
Q: What was a fun thing or two that you did to pass the time during the "Snowpocalypse"?
Todd Carton: Because I had Damonte Dodd on my mind, I renamed it "Snowzilla". I watched a number of episodes of two of my favorite tv shows - Sports Night and Rocky & Bullwinkle and I did little things to ridicule my neighbors as they struggled to shovel nearly two feet of snow.
Andrew Kramer: Scotch and a cracklin' fire.
Brian Bohrer: I watched some movies I had always meant to, but never go around to. For those three readers that may be curious, the movies were Bladerunner, Mad Max (the original), Tron (the original), The Imitation Game and a few others. Other than that I drank and ate too much.
Thomas Kendziora: I read a lot of Testudo Times stories. They're great.
Noah Niederhoffer: I can't say that I ate too much, but I'm right there with you Brian B.! I watched The Verdict, Roman Holiday, Basic Instinct and a couple of others.
Q: Now to basketball! What were your initial thoughts on the Michigan State game?
Todd: Literally? My first thought was, "Okay, lets see if the Terps can surprise KenPom. Watching Maryland jack up three three pointers as their first three shots, that was quickly followed by, "Maryland's going to be in for a long night."
Andrew K.: How can we consistently get beat on the boards? This is not the first game we've seen opponents get two, maybe three chances to score.
Brian B: I turned the game on and MSU's jerseys gave me a headache. The Terps ability, or inability to rebound gave me a migraine.
Thomas: Those neon jerseys would've looked a lot better if the Terps were in black. With Maryland wearing red, the game looked like a bizarro Christmas. Neither team was good at shooting presents into the chimney, but the Spartans won because they could get the gift back once it rolled back down the roof.
Noah: The reaction on twitter was almost 50-50 between the uniforms and the game itself. I was also very surprised how consistently Maryland was getting beat on the offensive glass. Despite the fact that they didn't play well as a team, the Terps still had a chance down the stretch.
Q: Which team does the Michigan State loss tell you more about: Maryland or Michigan State?
Todd: Neither. Michigan State played with the intensity of a team that had lost three straight and Maryland didn't. I had anticipatory concerns about Maryland's rebounding and that hasn't changed. Purdue could be truly ugly.
Andrew K.: Maryland. I thought Maryland had better talent on the floor than MSU and could have won that game. They were up by four midway through the second half, then the wheels came off. I would like to see Maryland press more often, as they're fairly good at it.
Brian B: Not sure, really. Michigan State had ‘more to play for' from a certain standpoint, and the game was played in their house. I am not particularly shocked that they played with a little more grit and hustle than the Terps did. Does that make me feel any better about the Terps effort on the glass...not particularly.
Thomas: I expected Michigan State to play as though they were going to get burned alive in those jerseys should they lose. But I also expected Maryland to play with more energy. I learned that rebounding is a problem against big teams, and that Turgeon still doesn't know what to do with his backup point guards.
Noah: I think the game told me more about Maryland. They answered Michigan State's initial charge by tying it up in the second half, but they lacked the killer instinct to put the game away. Their rebounding problems were exposed, and the Terps struggled to match the Spartans' energy and effort. Once again, Maryland failed to make a statement in front of a national audience.
Q: Maryland has struggled rebounding the ball. Should we resign ourselves to this fact, or is this a problem that you think can and will be fixed relatively soon?
Todd: I guess that depends on your definition of "relatively soon." I don't think Maryland will become a great rebounding team between now and the end of the season. I don't think that's the makeup of this team and I don't think you can have that sort of dramatic turnaround mid season. I think they can become more competitive in that area.
Andrew K.: It can be addressed, not fixed. Players have to position themselves better, block out, and play with more intensity.
Brian B: One would hope, with the talent at their disposal, that they could at least begin to improve in the rebounding department.
Thomas: It's difficult to resign oneself to the fact that a team boasting three centers, Robert Carter AND Jake Layman has rebounding problems. Size can't be taught, but the technique involved in rebounding can.
Noah: I think the Terps are lacking in the effort department. They don't want the rebound as badly as the other team. That NEEDS to be addressed. I don't see this team advancing past the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament if they don't fix their issues on the boards.
Q: Fill in the blanks: Maryland will have to ________ and _________ in order to beat Iowa.
Todd: limit Jared Uthoff...score more points than Iowa (or maybe poke Adam Woodberry in the eye).
Andrew K.: Have Melo drive to the bucket more often and play with a fire in its belly.
Brian B: Box out; Rebound.
Thomas: Play good offense; play good defense.
Noah: Play with intensity for the entirety of the game; rebound well.
Q: Which Maryland player NEEDS to have a great game in order for the Terrapins to beat the Hawkeyes?
Todd: Varun Ram. (Sorry. Snowzilla has me punchy.)
Andrew K.: Sulaimon. When he's hitting treys it opens up things for the Terps.
Brian B: Jake Layman, the X-factor baby!
Thomas: Whoever guards Uthoff. Probably Layman or Carter.
Noah: Carter Jr. might have to spend part of his night chasing Uthoff around, and also has to contribute on the other end by scoring and rebounding the ball. I think he will have to have a great game.
Q: Maryland women's basketball notched their 900th win in program history with a 25-point rout of Wisconsin. The Terps are now the 14th Division I program to reach the 900-win plateau. Is this something or nothing?
Todd: Well, considering that seven women's coaches have 900 wins and probably three more will reach that level in the next few years and that at 30 wins a year the Maryland program needs about six years just to catch Pat Summitt, I'll have to say not much.
Brian B: Nothing. I guess you can read a little bit into the fact that they are the fourteenth quickest team to reach this ‘milestone', but ultimately if you play the game long enough, you're going to accumulate wins.
Thomas: It is 900 somethings. However, in the grand scheme of life, they are all very small things (although not all wins are equally sized in this metaphor).
Noah: I think it a small something. It means that Maryland is a historically great program in terms of wins, but in context, the Terps have maintained that consistency under Brenda Frese. A third consecutive trip to the Final Four is a definite possibility this year, and I have them penciled in for next year's national championship.
Q: Prediction time! Maryland and Iowa will clash in the first-ever top-10 matchup in Xfinity Center history. Maryland has yet to lose a conference game at home since joining the Big Ten. Will the Terps win on Thursday night and keep that streak alive?
Todd: Come on, Noah. You asked for one prediction and I gave it to you last week!
Andrew K.: Yes. I think the loss to MSU and the near-loss to Northwestern has to be sobering. Turgeon and the players realize they will need to bring their "A" game against Iowa. I think you'll see a Terrapin team come out like they did against Connecticut and Ohio State.
Brian B: It'll be close, it'll be stressful, and it'll be yet another game that comes down to the wire for the Terps. I'm too nervous to provide a prediction.
Thomas: Yeah, sure, why not?
Noah: It pains me to say this, but I think Iowa is hungrier than Maryland is. I don't see this game unfolding like Ohio State and UConn. I see Maryland turning the ball over early and getting beat on the boards by an Iowa team with something to prove. It'll be a close game, but I think that the Hawkeyes edge the Terps.