Terps v Cornell Preview and Thread

The Terps final tune-up before the ACC season gets underway tomorrow night when Cornell comes to town.  The Ivy League has given the ACC trouble this season.  Harvard's beaten BC (then again, who hasn't beaten BC?) and Florida State now sports two losses to Ivy League squads. Both Harvard and Princeton have downed the 'Noles this season.

I don't care.  The Terps aren't losing to Cornell.  The Big Red (as they are called) sport a 4-8 record; but they've played teams relatively tough.  The only like-opponent they share with the Terps is Illinois.  The Illini escaped with a 4 point victory.

Maryland is better than the Illini.  Yes, I realize the final score stated otherwise, but the Terps clearly ran out of gas in that game and the Illini went on their big run while 3 walk-ons were on the court.  I think the current Terps squad with Len and Howard would beat Illinois. (For that matter, I think we would have had a shot at Iona.  It was 37-34 at halftime after all).

This brings me to a larger point.  The Terps record up until now, although respectable, is completely irrelevant.  Maryland's tournament resume will be evaluated through the Len/Howard additions.  The losses incurred up until now, will have an asterisk next to them.

What this means is that the Terps are dancing if they conjure up 9-10 wins between now and the ACC Tourney (including Temple later this month).  Of course, the make up of those wins is important, but I think we are in regardless of what our RPI says.

Our current RPI is laden with pre-Len-Howard losses and the selection committee will remember that when the evaluation process takes place.  Now, it's entirely possible that the Terps aren't good enough to compete in the ACC this year.  Certainly, the pundits think so.  I Don't believe them. 

Personally, I think the Terps are better in the backcourt with Stoglin/Howard/Faust then last year's version with Bowie and Tucker thrown in the mix.  As for the frontcourt, Len's ultimate value remains to be seen, but I think he's more complete than Jordan Williams ever was. Williams was an elite rebounder and scorer.  He's better than Len at this point in Len's development.  Defensively, it's a different story.  Len is MUCH better. 

Basically, what I'm getting at is that I think this Terps squad might be better than last year's.  Now, the ACC is currently experiencing a period of softness the conference hasn't seen in decades, so why can't the Terps finish third?  Who's in our way, UVA? VT?  NCST?  All these teams are beatable and none of them have a scorer as good as Stoglin.

OK.  I'm getting ahead of myself.  The Terps play Cornell tomorrow.  Look for a 15 point win.
Author: Jeremy | 1/2/2012 8:17:07 PM | Tags: cornell, thread, basketball, acc preview |