Bloody Sunday.

12/6/2010 1:13:17 PM "I can't read the news today.  I can't close my eyes and make it go away." -Bono

That's how I felt this morning after witnessing my Ravens and our Terps both fall in gut-wrenching fashion.  Add to that the royal Eff-You that the ACC handed the football Terps with the Military Bowl and yesterday was monumental disaster.  I actually had trouble sleeping which hasn't happened as a result of a sporting event since Corie Lucious ripped our hearts out eight months ago.

To say that Cliff Tucker and Adrian Bowie (4 points on 1-5 shooting combined) came up "small" is an insult to all things dimunitive.  Where was the confident Cliff Tucker we all saw in Madison Square Garden two weeks ago? 

Somehow, Adrian Bowie only had two turnovers, so the statistics do not demonstrate accurately how thoroughly he ran the offense into the ground in the first half.

It does provide some solace that the Howard and Stoglin led Terps put up 40 points in the second half against a stout Temple defense; but results are results.  At this point, it is hard to deny that Stoglin offers Gary a much better option at the point than Bowie.  What Stoglin may lack in court vision (or a right hand for that matter), is more than made up for by his sharpshooting and fearless drives to the rack.  Bowie gives us nothing.

The Terps can not only survive, they will thrive with Bowie on the bench.  The same cannot be said for Cliff Tucker.  The Terps will not compete for a Tournament bid unless Tucker regains the confidence he had during the first quintile of the season.

When Tucker is on, he looks like the evolutionary Chris McCray.  His capable of going to the hole or spotting up for the deadly jumper.  When he gets discouraged, he might as well be Ersin Levant with mononucleosis.  Maryland desperately needs Tucker's scoring to open things up for Jordan Williams.  Otherwise  J Will will face persistent double or even triple teams the rest of the way.

Stoglin (and to a lesser degree, Howard) can take some of the pressure off of Williams; but Tucker is a senior and the Terps will need his leadership if we are to win some of these close games. While it's encouraging to see the freshman get better with each game; it cannot come at the expense of the seniors regressing. 

There were some other notable moments last night.  Here's a bulleted summary:
  • It nice to finally see some consistent production from James Padgett (8 points on 4-6 shooting). However, we need more than 3 boards and zero blocks in 14 minutes from him.
  • The Hawk got off the schnide with a nice three pointer from the top of the key.  If he starts to hit the open look, it will add a new dimension to the offense.
  • Mosley produced yet another stinker.  I know he does all the little things. Blah blah blah.  At the end of the day, he's a shooting guard who's first shot of the game missed the rim entirely and hit the side of the glass.  He was wide open.  Somewhere, Juan Dixon just vomited in is mouth while reading that.
In the final analysis, this team is demonstrably better with Terrell Stoglin in the starting lineup.  Adrian Bowie needs to start coming off the bench post haste.  Cliff Tucker can't turn into Cliff Tucker.  BC looms next weekend.  If we can pick up the win, I'll remain bullish on the season.  If not, it will be Bloody Sunday Part II.
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