Andy Katz: Terps Preseason Rank #17

6/16/2009 3:08:04 PM Can you believe that?

If I had seen that ranking 10 years ago, I'd be saying to myself  "that's it?".  Now, I feel like doing cartwheels.  But, to paraphrase Mark McGwire, I'm not here to talk about the past.

Katz cites the fact that 8 of Maryland's top 9 players are returning as the main reason for giving us such a lofty ranking.  Certainly, that is sound logic; but last year's glaring weakness (rebounding) is getting plugged by two freshman.  Not exactly a "set-it-and-forget-it"-problem-solved-type situation.

Sure, our backcourt will be experienced with all of the returning guards; but unless at least one of them can start hitting open jumpers with regularity, we will be looking at the same inconsistent offense as last year.

Eric Hayes must step up this year to provide consistent perimeter play.  With Greivis back in the fold, there should be plenty of open looks.  If Hayes can become a legitimate option on the outside and  our young bigs can hold their own in the rebounding department; then we will be just fine.

Landon Milbourne should no longer be burdened by having to constantly defend bigger guys and that will hopefully pave the way for a more consistent offensive performance from him.

There are just so many questions.

We are in the middle of the offseason, so now is a good time to discuss what I think each player should be working on this summer:

Landon Milbourne: the aforementioned, consistency.  Extending his range out to three point land wouldn't be a bad idea either.

Dino Gregory:  at least one post move and a 10-foot jumper

Sean Mosley:  a jump shot and learning to finish after contact

Eric Hayes:  assertiveness

Adrian Bowie: a jump shot and better decision making

Cliff Tucker:  putting it all together

Greivis Vasquez:  shot selection, becoming a true leader

Jin Soo Kim: 20 lbs and some confidence

If we start to see improvement in these areas; the Terps will be able to live up to Andy Katz's lofty expectations.  If not, it is back to grind. Unless of course, either Jordan Williams or James Padgett turn out to be the second coming of Joe Smith.
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