Terps Choke Away Victory Against BC

12/12/2010 8:56:36 PM [Image flickrUrl="http://www.flickr.com/photos/insidemdsports/5256288178/in/photostream/" url="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5045/5256288178_e724c5964c.jpg" align="Left" caption="The choke in mid-flight" credit="Inside MD Sports"  width="333" height="500" ]

The Terps had this one in the bag until it happened.  Cliff Tucker stepped to the line with the Terps leading 75-73 and 1:47 left in the game.  He missed both free throws.  The Terps never recovered.  BC scored the final six points and that was it.

The Terps have displayed tantalizing moments of ability.  What they lack is senior leadership.  Cliff Tucker is definitely who we thought he was.  He's the most maddeningly inconsistent player of recent memory.  He's blessed with athleticism but does not seem to be able to harness it.  He has given us flashes over the years; but today's game proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that he cannot be trusted.  Sure, he's come through in big moments (see Ga Tech last year); but Tucker is unable to consistently deliver the little things that is required of a true leader.  Those were the biggest free throws of the game and he failed to deliver.

It's not all Tucker's fault.  There is plenty of blame to go around.  The perimeter defense (never one of Gary's strong points) was atrocious.  The Eagles nailed 13 threes.  The defensive rotation wasn't there and BC got an open three every time they wanted one.

Sean Mosley is just not good enough.  The quintessential Sean Mosley sequence occurred before the first TV timeout of the game.  The Terps were running a delayed break; and they reversed the ball to the open man in the corner for the open three.  It was the right pass.  It was in the flow of the offense.  The problem was the man who caught it.  Mosley clanked it off the rim.  We can talk about all of the little things that Mosley does; but in the final analysis, he is a shooting guard who can't shoot.  I'm still waiting for the 3000 point high school scorer to walk through tunnel.  After 2+ years, it safe to say, he ain't coming.

Stoglin is a captivating talent.  He's a bit of black hole right now; but he is the only guy on the team right now capable of hitting a long range jumper with any kind of regularity.  We thought Tucker could be that guy; but see the first part of this post.  Tucker is like a rookie QB on the road in the playoffs - not to be trusted.

So where are we?  Four losses before the end of December is a bitter pill to swallow.  The Terps have been in every game; but that is little solace when we still lack a quality win.   We knew that this season would be a transitional year with a less than stellar senior class running things.  Unfortunately, things are now tougher because we have yet to break through on any of our big games.

Yes, we are young. Yes we will be better later in the year.  It is just so tough to make the Dance when you dig yourself a big hole in December.   The Terps will enter January in desperate need of signature win.  Road games at Duke and Villanova will provide those opportunities. Gary will need to find a way to keep the team under composure. Jordan Williams won't be able to do it alone and it doesn't look like the senior class will be able to provide much stability.
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