Pluses and Minuses in Terps Basketball
No Bigs Gives us Postseason Hope
For the first time I can remember, the Maryland Terrapins do not have a “Big”. A tall guy, a center, a man in the middle. Somehow, someway we managed to not have the middle covered.
There have been many who have questioned the recruiting prowess of Gary Williams, now in his 20th year of coaching the Terps. Not matter how one cuts it, the horses are not on hand for this year. Next year we have a bumper crop of young big men. Not this season.
In another post, I will cover my understanding of how this situation evolved.
What I see as the most interesting outcome of not having a center, or for that matter, a real power forward is how great we look with 4 guards on the floor at the same time. We have the look of the type of teams that used to give us fits. This years version of the Terps features the super-talented, 6’7″ guard from Caracas, Venezuala Greivis Vasquez.
He is joined by a sophomore point guard Adrian Bowie and combo point/shooting guard Eric Hayes. In addition, we have a 6’4″small forward, Landon Milborne who has the tough job of playing as a power forward. Rounding out the starting 5 is a 6’5″ forward , Dave Neal, who looks and plays like he is running pickup at the local YMCA.
The upside is that they play hard, can shoot the three, are solid defensively and look like they enjoy playing together. Is this better than having a center? No, but it is different in a refreshing manner that is born out of necessity.
It gives a exciting look to see a team that has five three point threats on the floor at the same time. The Terps have lost games to teams like that. You can count loses to American, Ohio, Manhattan, Butler (NCAA tournament) and too many close games to remember.
We may not be able to stop anyone over 6’8″ who can play, especially early in the game. As the game wears on, I will tell you this, we have the ability to pressure the ball and make the three. We are a dangerous gang of shooters who are equally comfortable running up and down the court with anyone.
Of the 16 conference games in the ACC, we may only win 8. In this case, like the old television show, 8 is enough to get us to the NCAA tournament.