Terps Escape Disaster, Win By Six

11/12/2007 11:47:34 PM Dear Lord, was that an ugly second half. What was worse? Osby's free throw shooting or Vasquez' turnovers (all eight of them)? I don't care what anybody says about how good Hampton is or how athletic they are. The Terps beat them by 36 points last year.

Gary will likely treat this game as a loss in terms of the way he will conduct practice for the rest of the week. Most pressing is the turnover situation. Vazquez is out of control. He's like a drug. You want the ball in his hands because of what he is capable of doing; but you are equally afraid when the ball is in his hands because of what he is capable of doing. Tonight was no exception. A career high in points and turnovers. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Gist seems prepared to take it to another level this year. Before cramping, he turned in an efficient 16 points and 12 boards. He added a couple of threes in addition to his inside points. As the season progresses and he gets his legs under him; I expect him to make even more strides as the team leader.

Milbourne has a smooth jumper, and overall I like what I see; but it is impossible to tell if he is reliable. When the level of competition ratchets up next Monday, we will learn what he really can do. The same is true of the other freshman. I like Bowie's quickness, and Cliff Tucker has a full complement of skills.

The Terps have a "tune up" against Northeastern this Thursday (it better be a tune up) before heading to Kansas City for a shot at UCLA. In between now and then, the Terps have a great deal on which to work. I think we can play with UCLA, and frankly, that is all I we can hope for. I know it is early, but it is clear that this year's Terps have a long way to go. I hope that they can improve quickly.

If I were to give Gary a homework assignment, it would be this: make sure that Eric Hayes runs the half court offense and find a way to get Greivis Vasquez involved by having him move without the ball (think the Juan Dixon curl play that resulted in that short jumper in the paint that always went in). The offense will run smoother and both players will be happier. Oh and Boom Osby needs to shoot about 1000 free throws between now and Thursday night.
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