The Sling Box Dream

11/23/2007 10:08:24 PM Ladies and Gentlemen, I am living the dream. That's right. The Sling Box Dream. I installed a sling box at my parent's house and I am now able to watch the Baltimore Comcast channels. That's right. Ravens, Wizards, Orioles, and of course, the Maryland Terrapins. To that end, I was able catch most of the Maryland-Lehigh game today. (By the way, the announcers were terrible. Anyone know who those clowns are? If my announcer is going to have an accent, I'd prefer it to be of the "bawlmer" variety. Who needs to hear some dude from the Bronx with NY accent?).

The really good news is that Maryland was able to significantly cut down on the turnovers. The team only committed 12 for the entire game as opposed to the 20+ they had been averaging. We hit some threes too, but somehow, we couldn't pull away until that big run midway through the second half. The reason that Lehigh was able to hang around was poor our three point defense and foul shooting. Now, those are bugaboos with which we are all too familiar. We lived with those for most Gary Williams' tenure (his teams never could defend the three). Frankly, I'd rather deal with poor 3PT defense and foul shooting. The turnovers were killing me.

Now, before we all get too excited, let's see the Terps play a low-turnover game against a quality opponent. They will get their chance on Wednesday when the Illini come to town. The Illini are struggling (at least I hope they are. If Duke is blowing out good teams, then I am not ready to handle the ACC season).

There was definitely progress today. Vasquez and Hayes took care of the ball. Braxton Dupree was a force inside. Gist made some nice defensive plays.

I still don't see anyone who can consistently not knock down a jumper (three or otherwise), but I hope it is just a mix of the freshman getting used to the college game and Vasquez and Gist mired in a shooting slump. Hayes is still too tentative with his jump shot. I saw him pass on open looks a couple of times. As a natural PG, that is the correct instinct. However, he is supposedly the best shooter. Gary needs to switch his orientation to that of a spot up shooter. As long as Gary is going to have Vasquez bring up the ball, Hayes needs to be running off screens or spotting up from three. The concern (as was pointed out by a comment from an earlier post) is that Hayes has a slow release. The ball just takes too long to get out of his hands. Still, if he works to get open he will have the opportunities to knock them down.

I feel much better after today's game. If Maryland could have just taken care of the ball in Kansas City, I think we would have escaped with at least one win. Today, felt different. The team made a concerted effort to take better care of the ball in the halfcourt. The careless passes were mostly gone. Clearly, Gary has them focused on running the offense and focusing on the task at hand. The fact that it came against a cupcake Patriot League opponent matters little. The Terps had been their own worst enemy. Not today. Let's hope they are cured. We get to find out on Wednesday.
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