Thursday, March 3, 2011

Maryland Loses at Miami; All too Familiar

It is now official. After the Terps' lackluster loss at Miami Wednesday night, they are now forced to have to win the ACC Tournament in order to dance in March. Coming into this season we all knew there would be tough times, but I don't think any of us could imagine it would play out this way. The Terps lost quite a bit. Their two best leaders and scorers, Hayes and Vasquez, were replaced by two freshman. Nothing about that is going to be easy. It's the veteran players that are so frustrating. The inconsistent play from Bowie and Gregory, the ineptitude of Mosley, and the disappearing act of Tucker. These guys logged significant minutes the past two years on decent tournament teams. Their role was to step up and be leaders, and they have failed tremendously at that. The one guy (besides Williams) that has stepped up is the freshman Stoglin. That bodes well for the future, but certainly not for the present.

What many of us Terps' fans may be forgetting is this season is eerily similar to the NIT campaigns of 2004, 2005, and 2007. In these seasons, the Terps have been unable to beat teams at their level or below it towards the end of the season. In particular that includes last night's Miami team, Virginia Tech, and Boston College. Since these teams have joined the ACC (in 2004), Maryland is an astonishing 10-21 against them, including 0-5 this season. No other ACC team has struggled with the conference's newcomers as much as the Terps.

Maryland is supposed to be a great college basketball tradition. Those teams are not. So why the struggles? In recent years, when the Terps are NIT bound, they just don't have the talent. Once again this season is rearing it's ugly head, and it all leads back to Gary Williams and his inability to recruit.

Gary has seemed untouchable because of his longevity, but if he continues to do half of his job, that will no longer be the case.

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