Cavs Smother Terps, 76-65. Man, I Still Hate The Cavs.

Sports and Bets — December 4, 2014 at 12:35 am by

With all the Oriole baloney that’s been going on around here, a Terps upset over Virginia would have been just what the doctor ordered.  Unfortunately, the Virginia Cavaliers didn’t feel like helping the Terps write us a prescription.  Maryland, playing without star senior Dez Wells and senior power forward Evan Smotyycz, simply didn’t have enough tonight against a smothering Virginia defense.  Maryland, who had averaged 78 points a game this season with an up-tempo motion offense that relied on penetration and jump shooting, was stymied on the outside by some of the best perimeter defense you or I will see all season.  Virginia didn’t allow a lot of open looks for Maryland’s deadly jump shooters and the Cavaliers were content to beat up on Terps that came into the lane.  Maryland kept taking it to the rack, but the lack of perimeter shooting is what ultimately buried the Terps. Maryland was 6-18 from 3-ball range, but three of those buckets came late in the second half with Virginia up by double digits.  This was a defensive show by the Cavs and Maryland, without its best player in Wells, didn’t have the firepower, or the inside presence, to overcome the more physical and more polished Virginia squad.

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But all was not lost this evening, my turtle friends.  Maryland couldn’t get over that 8-10 point hump and seriously threaten the Cavs’ lead, but the Terps showed a lot of positives tonight.  Melo Trimble proved that he’s a tough son of a bitch, for one.  Trimble kept driving to the basket, despite getting repeatedly mugged by the Virginia defenders.  Trimble led the Terps with 16 points and 12 of those were from the foul line.  He did miss a few open three’s, but there’s no doubting that this kid has major game.

Jake Layman, who in his first two years had a habit of disappearing in some big games, has had no such issue this season.  The slashing forward had 14 point and five big rebounds tonight. Layman almost took the game over in the beginning of the second half with two big dunks and some defensive stops.  Unfortunately his three wasn’t falling tonight and my dreams of a Layman fueled Maryland run to take the lead died almost as quickly as they started.  But it’s just a matter of time before that happens.  Jake is playing with big confidence and he’s showing leadership on the floor.  I like his game and the screaming ducks are pretty beast as well.

Dion Wiley scored 12 and played well again.  As the season progresses I think we’ll see more and more of this kid out of Potomac High School.  His defense needs to get better, but man his shot is pure and he showed some quicks getting to the hoop a few times tonight against some quality defense.

When Michal Cekovsky gets some bulk from the weight room he’s going to be really good.  He can face the basket and he’s got some grit to him- he’s definitely not afraid to mix it up down low.  Right now he’s gets the short end of things a bit because he doesn’t yet have the bulk.  It will come and when it does, look out.

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The refs were too involved tonight and they made a few real egregious calls.  It was an evenly called game because they freakin’ called everything on damn everybody.  Gotta let the kids play and let the game flow, babes.

The Maryland crowd was in mid-season form.  For most of the game I could barely hear Mike Patrick an Len Elmore. (Which is a shame, they are two of the best in the biz.) I really enjoyed the, “Virginia Sucks,” chant and the, “Ref you suck.” chant.  Someone also threw something on the floor, which drew a warning from the officials, but hey, we were the rudest fans in the ACC and now we’ve got to stake our claim in the Big 10.

I literally hate everything about the University of Virginia and I hate losing to Virginia in anything, but in the long run, this really isn’t that bad of a loss.  The Terps were without Wells and Smotrycz and the Cavs are a top five caliber team.  Wells will be back for conference play- that’s what really matters. Plus, this was a good experience for the youngsters. Put it in the vault, learn from it, get healthy, and win in the Big 10.  After that, everything will fall into place.

Let’s Go Terps!

 

stats: ESPN

cover pic: usatoday

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