Bring On Duke

Well, I'm hunkered down in the Soup Lair while the city of Chicago gets pelted with "Thundersnow" and 20ft waves from Lake Michigan. Instead of trying to come up with useless euphemisms for major snowstorms (Snowmegeddon, Snowpocalypse, or my favorite, Snowlocaust); I thought I'd pen a little preview of tomorrow's tilt.

The Terps have made it to a crossroads in the 2010-11 season.  We've seen the Terps play extremely well against some of the best competition that the NCAA has to offer; yet they've come up short every time.

That lack of finishing effort can be expected from a team that relies heavily on a freshman backcourt and an "uneven" group of seniors.  We knew there would be missed opportunities and disappointing "should-have-beens". 

That is all in the past now.  The Terps are coming together.  They've won three straight road games, including two on the road.  For the most part, the freshman have played much better and all of the Terps are playing much smarter.  To wit, when UVA double-teamed Jordan Williams at every turn last week; he scored only four points and the Terps blew the Cavaliers out of their own gym anyway by making them pay for the double team.

That performance demonstrates the growth we've seen this month.  I truly believe that the Terps are ready for the next step.  Duke comes to town at the perfect time.  The Terps are firing on all cylinders and Duke should be questioning themselves a bit after getting blown out by St. Johns. 

Maryland proved in Durham that they match up well with the Blue Devils.  Now, the Terps need to show they learned from that game.  The matchup is surprisingly even.  The Terps and Blue Devils split every major statistical category as evidenced by this handy chart:

Duke DUKE 85.3 47.8 75.9 39.0 38.2 12.1 26.1 15.5 12.7 8.6 4.9 17.8
Maryland MARY 76.6 47.8 64.1 33.7 40.0 13.1 27.0 16.7 14.1 7.2 5.1 16.3
Duke DUKE Opponents 65.3 40.6 64.9 34.4 34.6 12.3 22.2 12.0 16.5 6.6 2.9 20.4
Maryland MARY Opponents 63.1 38.2 67.7 30.3 35.3 12.1 23.1 11.9 16.5 5.9 3.8 20.0

Maryland is quicker than Duke.  Duke has better shooters.  Maryland has better interior scoring.  The Terps will win if they control the defensive glass (not easy when the opponent shoots a ton of threes) and play good perimeter defense. 

Offensively, Maryland will need to adjust to the way Duke plays them.  If they opt to cover Jordan Williams with just one of the Plumlee's; then J Will will have a big night.  If they double Jordan, then the other guys will need to step up and knock down the open look.

I believe in these Terps.   A win tomorrow, and the Terps are on their way.  They would have the inside track on double digit ACC wins and could really go on a run through the month of February. 

Sometimes, great (or good) teams don't become great (or good) until halfway through the season.  Is that what will happen with this team?  We will find out tomorrow night.
Author: Jeremy | 2/1/2011 6:56:51 PM |

Terps Hold Off GT For Big Road Win

It was not pretty; but the Terps got the job done in a game that they desperately needed.  Jordan had his patented 21 points and 12 boards stat line. Sean Mosley woke up from his season-long shooting slump to deliver 15 big points, and Terrell Stoglin was fantastic from the FT line. IT wasn't all peanuts and balloons for the freshman backco [...] Read More »

Author: Jeremy | 1/30/2011 8:22:30 PM |

Georgia Tech Thread

The Terps face another must-win game tonight if they hope to continue their climb back into the NCAA Tournament. Georgia Tech is a bit of an enigma.  We've seen perplexing home losses to teams like Kennesaw State and Charlotte; followed by uplifting wins against the likes of UNC and Virginia Tech. So who are the Yellowjackets? It seem [...] Read More »

Author: Jeremy | 1/30/2011 4:15:29 PM |

Terps Rout UVa in Charlottesville 66-42

Maryland recorded it largest margin of victory in Charlottesville since 1930. The most impressive part was the defensive effort. UVA scored a meager 42 points.  Of course, UVA missed open shots; but the Terps didn't give them many.  If the Terps can sustain this effort; they will win in Atlanta on Sunday. Another important piece of ton [...] Read More »

Author: Jeremy | 1/27/2011 7:43:35 PM |

UVA Thread. Let The String Of Must-Win Games Begin

The season has little room for error.  The Terps are mired in the middle of the pack in the ACC and, as we all know, the ACC stinks this year.  The Terps need to get to 10 conference wins at a minimum.  With two home losses already, the Terps will need to finish 4-4 on the road- at a minimum to get to the 10-win plateau.  [...] Read More »

Author: Jeremy | 1/27/2011 3:44:32 PM |

Terps Finally Win A Close One

[Image flickrUrl="" url="" align="Left" caption="Stoglin rediscovered his defense as well as his offense in the Terps big win over Clemson" credit="Inside Maryland Sports"  width= [...] Read More »

Author: Jeremy | 1/22/2011 6:41:16 PM |

Lay Off Gary Williams and Clemson Thread

[Image flickrUrl="" url="" align="Left" caption="Gary calmly explains to Terrell Stoglin that he will retire from Maryland when he is good and ready" credit="Inside Maryland Sports"&nb [...] Read More »

Author: Jeremy | 1/21/2011 9:33:00 PM |

Bring on the Panic!

Wowser  Gregg, You're a broken record...GW rules! These kids are trying! Wait till next year! Try expressing one legitamate opinion. Okay.  Bring it on.  I am so glad that I'm not like you Wow [...] Read More »

Author: Gregg | 1/20/2011 8:53:31 PM |

Terps-Va.Tech Thread

Welcome to the first day of the rest of the season. What's done is done.  We are a good team, could be a very good team.  But we are going to have to prove ourselves in the conference now. We have already put ourselves behind the 8-ball with the home loss to BC, so that makes tonight a MUST WIN.  There is no excuse not to come [...] Read More »

Author: Gregg | 1/20/2011 12:10:08 PM |

The Plan To Get The Terps Into The Dance

The season is just over half over.  The Terps sit at 11-6 and without a well-documented signature win; are likely on the outside of the NCAAs looking in.  What needs to happen in order for the Terps to get on to the right side of the bubble?  There is only one team on the calendar that is definitely better than the Terps (Duke).& [...] Read More »

Author: Jeremy | 1/17/2011 8:54:34 PM |
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