What Went Wrong

3/7/2011 10:39:21 AM [Image flickrUrl="http://www.flickr.com/photos/insidemdsports/5501148744/" url="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5014/5501148744_15f30d3934.jpg" align="Left" caption="Cliff Tucker's ole` defense is one of the many things we won't miss next year" credit="Inside MD Sports"  width="428" height="500" ]After suffering through the embarrassment of Saturday's debacle (is there any other way to describe it?); it is clear that the Terps are going through a painful transition at the worst possible time.

Terrell Stoglin and Pe'Shon Howard have vaulted ahead of early season starters, Cliff Tucker, Adrian Bowie, and Sean Mosley.  The result has been a demoralized supporting cast as Tucker, Bowie, and Mosley have struggled mightily in their lesser roles. Also, Tucker et. al. just aren't talented enough to compete in the ACC at the level the Terps need.

Team chemistry has never been lower than it is right now.  Imagine the tension in the locker room as two seniors and a junior struggle with the reality of being passed by two freshman on the depth chart?  Whatever these guys were capable of giving for 40 minutes has been diminished by the role reversals.

Complicating matters is the fact that the freshman are capable but not quite ready for prime time.  Stoglin's emergence has been a revelation on the offensive end; but he's struggled defensively.  Howard too.  Neither guard seems to have mastered Gary's press (When was the last time our press worked? Longwood?). Also, the 3PT defense (never a strong suit) has also struggled during the transition as Stoglin and Howard don't rotate well to the open shooter. 

I don't think you will find many teams that have faltering upperclassmen like Maryland and have been successful.

The change in roles and effectiveness of the upperclassmen has thrown everyone's game off.  Jordan Williams is facing double and triple teams every time he touches the ball now.  Stoglin is the only dependable scorer from the perimeter and he has no one to pass to other than Williams.

I'm not sure if the Terps are capable of winning another game this season.  The team looks defeated.  Find me a coach who can run an effective game plan when 3 of the top 8 guys in the rotation are rotting corpses on the floor?

(Before we go down the rabbit hole of Gary's inept recruiting as the source for the current predicament; remember, this senior class was supposed to have Braxton Dupree patrolling the paint.  Both Dupree and Mosley were Top 60 recruits coming out of high school.  Each were ranked higher than Jordan Williams and Terrell Stoglin respectively.  We can rip on Gary Williams all we want; but the reality is that many people misjudged these guys.  I can't explain the string of misfires. It's not like the Terps were the only program to rate these guys highly.)

The bottom line is that this team is irrevocably broken.  Everyone needs a fresh start.  Assuming Jordan Williams returns (I think he'd be crazy to leave); the Terps will be MUCH better next year.  Look how much Jordan Williams improved from his Freshman to Sophomore year?  If we apply a similar lens to Stoglin, Howard, Parker, and Palsson; the Terps will be a contender in 2011-12.  And, depending on the what next year's freshman give us; we could be even better. 

Just remember that when we are down 12 points to NC State in the second half on Wednesday night.

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