We're Relevant!

11/26/2014 10:04:23 AM 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. 

It feels so good to be back!


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