That's the best thing you can say about last night's resounding victory at the CBE Classic over #13 Iowa State. The Maryland Terrapins basketball team matters on the national scene again. Barring an utter collapse against the minnows Monmouth and VMI, the Terps should be ranked in the Top 25 come Monday, December 1st.
Who could have thought that coming into the season? Sure, I think we all hoped that the freshman would show promise, the subtraction of cancers like Chuck Mitchell and Nick Faust would improve things; but to see the dividends this early and so resoundingly is nothing short of astonishing.
Melo Trimble has been amazing. He beat Arizona State with his scoring and beat Iowa State by taking care of the ball and stewarding the offense. He's totally unselfish and understands how the team needs to play to be effective. He's my favorite Terp since Greivis and his career is five games old.
And how about those other freshman? Jared Nickens came off the bench with ice water in his veins. Iowa State cuts it to five? No problem. Nickens just drops a three on them. Clock shot winding down? No problem. Nickens just beats his man off the dribble for a runner in the lane. That kind of clutch fire power off the bench is impossible to ignore. I see you Jared Nickens. Samson from the Bible had his hair, I think Nickens's power is in his pencil-thin mustache but that is a topic for another time.
Mikael Cekovsky simply gets better every game. He's a rim protector and rebounder with enough offense that you have to respect him. Coupled with the vastly improved Damonte Dodd and Jon Graham, the Terps suddenly have a frontcourt that you have to scheme for. Sure, points will be difficult for that trio, but defensively they will get after it with the best of them.
Jake Layman's been doing a little bit of everything. He still get's muscled around a bit on the low blocks but he is so much tougher this year. He goes at the rim with wanton abandon and he still possesses that sharpshooter's touch. He emerging into a star.
As for Dez Wells, the Terps best player, well he's been pretty bad AND YET we are undefeated. I think Dez will realize that this team is different and he can't nor does he need to "take over" possessions when the Terps need a bucket. Running the offense is our best chance to score. Isolating Dez was the answer last year (with mixed results) but it is definitely not the case this year. He'll learn. He's saying all the right things about trusting his teammates and I think we will start to see that on the court once the "fog of war" lifts a bit.
We've finally answered the question about Turgeon's system. It wasn't him, it was them. Turgeon never had the players who could run his sets and play as a team. He does now and we are seeing the results.
UVA comes to the Xfinity Center (The "X Center"?) in about a week. They are a top 10 team and a defensive juggernaut. I have to believe that the X Center will be rocking. I'm not guaranteeing a win but I think we can take down Tony Bennett's squad. A win there and the Terps will be in the Top 10 and the fans will be on Cloud 9.
If Terp fans wanted any indication of how beaten down we've been over the last few years, one need only look to the last five minutes of last night's game against Arizona State. I think we all felt that after giving up the lead, the Terps would just collapse as they always do and we'd lose another close game. It didn't happen. The combination of [...] Read More »
Today is when the rubber meets the road. Today is when the bullets start flying for real. Use whatever cliche you wish. The young Terps will fast their first real competition of the season when they tip-off against Arizona State in Kansas City this evening. I think this Tournament used to be sponsored by O'Reilly Auto Parts but who really knows [...] Read More »
After an absence of lord knows how many years, I will be attending a Maryland football game tomorrow. That's right, I'm headed to the Big House to see which of these two teams is the least mediocre. The winner will be declared the best-worst team in the Big Ten. Can you feel the excitement?
In all seriousness, the Terps have a chance to cap of [...] Read More »
Maryland tips off its third game tonight at 730ET. It's hard not to be encouraged from the first two games. The Terps didn't beat anyone by 30+ points last year and already, we have two 30+ point wins.
Fordham is a step up but it should still be a blow out win. A solid performance, and we'll all be feeling good heading into next week's tour [...] Read More »
The Terps kicked off the season with a resounding win. The victory against Wagner represented the largest margin of victory since....wait for it....2010. Yep, that's right. It's the largest margin of victory of the Turgeon era.
Before we start booking our travel for March, we need to see a little more. Dez Wells, despite the ankle scare, lo [...] Read More »
The Terps welcome Sparty to the friendly confines of Byrd Stadium this evening. Both teams are bowl eligible although the respective national profiles are quite different. Michigan State was in the national championship discussion up until last weekend, while our Terps have been on the cusp of relevance all year.
The quest for relevance is in [...] Read More »
The Maryland Men's Basketbal season begins in earnest tonight against Wagner. My feeling as we begin the season are not particularly strong. This team has many question marks and all of them need to be answered in the affirmative if Maryland is going to have a good year.
The biggest ones are:
1. Is Melo Trimble able to lead the offense? Ear [...] Read More »
2-35-1 never felt so good, huh? We all know that Penn State is turrible but yesterday the Terps did something that had never happened before. They won a football game in State College, PA.
I felt like my old self watching this game. I was yelling at the TV, pacing back and forth. All the old hatreds for Penn State came flowing back. I rem [...] Read More »
Maryland hasn't beaten Penn State since the early sixties. The Terps record against the Nittany Lions all-time 1-35-1. Maryland has never won in Happy Valley. It's an awful history. One that can't be wiped clean with a victory today, but a win today will certainly feel like a new start.
Penn State is not good. Maryland might not be much bet [...] Read More »