Terps Lose Their Swag In The Meatgrinder That Is Virginia Basketball

Featured, Sports and Bets — February 11, 2014 at 2:09 pm by

It looked as though Maryland might have had something going early in the game last night at Virginia.  The Terps were coming off of a decisive home win versus Florida State on Saturday, and when the ball tipped off in Charlottesville, Maryland continued their hot shooting by racing out to a 17-13 lead in the games’ first 10 minutes.  The boys in red and white were playing smart and with confidence; maybe that swag had carried over from the Florida State win. But the Cavs slowed the game to a crawl, and despite the fact that Maryland led 26-25 at the half, there was a sense that Virginia had the Terps right where they wanted them.

Maryland was content to try and grind it out with the Cavs, and the Terps led for much of the game. But with the score tied at 35 with 11 minute remaining in the contest, the Cavs went on a killer 9-0 run.  In this kind of slowed down, defensive struggle, a 9-0 run felt like a 100-0 run.  The Terps, who looked tired after the 2 day, go on the road turn around, got back to within 4 before ultimately falling to the gritty Cavaliers 61-53.

No doubt about it, this was hard nosed, boring ass basketball.  I almost expected the Cavs to run the old UNC, Dean Smith four corner offense.  But, for all its slow pace, it was still a good basketball game and the Terps played well against a good basketball team.  I know that sounds lame as hell, but this team is making strides under Coach Turgeon and it’s good for these players to get tough road experience.  The stud class coming into Maryland is going to need upperclassmen to show them the way.  The better the Terps play down the stretch, the better it is for the seasons that are really going to matter in this program’s rebuilding, next year and 2015-2016.

But that is not now, and it’s obvious that the Terps suffer from plenty of deficiencies.  One issue being that they simply can’t win against quality teams on the road.  They are much more comfortable at the Comcast Center. There also is not a low post presence in the offense.  Charles Mitchell, for all his heart, tries to do to much when he’s out there instead of just letting the game come to him.  Shaq Cleare still isn’t there yet, and Jonathan Graham is a nice role player, but he’s not a go to guy on the low block.  Maybe Coach Turgeon should give Freshman Damonte Dodd some minutes;  it can’t hurt at this point to see what the kid’s got. But back to the positives. Seth Allen has solidified the point guard position and Dez Wells is still Dez Wells; though last night he didn’t look for his own shot enough.  Nick Faust has looked more explosive of late and he has done a better job of staying within the offense. The Terps have also been playing much better defense.  Unfortunately, all this good stuff wasn’t enough to upset a talented and defensive minded Virginia squad, and the road woes continued.  Now they will be hitting the pavement again to take on the dorky Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor, and frankly, and sadly, I don’t have much hope for a Terps victory.

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