Terps Get Bitch-Slapped, Face Uphill Climb

Featured, Sports and Bets — March 6, 2013 at 11:39 pm by

The Maryland Terrapins knew they had to win against the North Carolina  Tarheels in order to keep any realistic hopes of March Madness alive.  Tonight’s game was an opportunity for the Terps to prove to the NCAA selection committee that they belonged in the big dance.  A win would have guaranteed Maryland  a .500 record in ACC conference play, and would  have given the Terps a much-needed third win against a quality opponent.  Granted, it was no guarantee that simply beating the Heels would have gotten  Maryland the golden ticket to the playoffs, but a win would have at least made the rest of the season interesting.  Unfortunately, Carolina didn’t give a shit about Maryland’s hopes and dreams of a return to the post-season.   Good Tarheel play, and a questionable Maryland game plan both contributed to UNC’s 11 point drubbing of the inconsistent  and sloppy Terps.

Carolina has had a lot of recent success.  They had reeled off 5 wins in a row coming into this game against Maryland.  The reason for this success can be attributed to the switch to small ball.  Carolina has gone to a four guard set (Though Reggie Bullock really is a G-F at 6′ 7″.) with James McAdoo as the only big man on the floor most of the time.  McAdoo is 6’9″ and no other big men see significant minutes for Carolina. This would seem to be in direct contrast to Maryland’s strengths.  The Terps have a great 7 footer in Alex Len, and two bruising young forwards in Shaq Cleare and Charles Mitchell.  Add Senior James Padgett into the rotation, and the Terps boast a formidable frontcourt.  Padgett has been playing very well of late, making the most of his minutes.  Mitchell and Cleare are wide, strong, and talented, if not a bit unpolished.  Len may be a lottery pick in this years NBA draft if he comes out.  The game promised to be an interesting matchup of contrasting styles, a game in which whoever was able to dictate tempo would win.

At the start it seemed as if that was how it was going to play out. Maryland working inside-out in the half-court, slowing the game down to get good inside shots.  Carolina looked to transition more and looked to the 3 ball.  The first half went back and forth this way until about 5 minutes remained.  Maryland trailing 24-23, went small and attempted to match up.  The result was a turnover, poor shooting clinic and the Heels closed the half with a 10-4 run.  They never looked back.  The Terps continued to  go small, and it killed ’em.  The Terps don’t have a point guard and the turnovers came in bunches.  Alex Len then disappeared, as he tends to do when not included in the game plan.  Cleare and Mitchell logged 4 and 14 minutes respectively, mysteriously buried on the bench as Carolina ran away with the ballgame. Padgett played well, but it was in vain.

I love Coach Turgeon, he is resurrecting our beloved basketball program, and has brought a lot of young talent to Maryland already.  But this loss can be placed squarely on his shoulders.  To continuously go away from your strength when it counts the most seems ludicrous.  Maryland wins on the boards and in the post.  Period.  Let Dez run point, and rotate Faust and Layman.  Keep your bigs fresh, and you got a shot against anybody.  I love Aronhalt, but he’s a specialist.  He would actually be more effective with the post game working, not running around as the third guard.  Seth Allen and P’Shonn Howard just get way too many minutes. 

The Terps dropped another turd when it counted the most.  Hopefully they can figure something out for the road game against Virginia. A win there and a deep ACC tourney run is the only way the Terps will be dancing next week. But we need a point guard, maybe this kid can suit up:

 

One Comment

  1. They just looked lost through the middle of the game. I don’t think they know how to get the ball down low. Man they threw up some ugly open 3 pointers too.

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