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Men's Basketball Scrimmage

Today's scrimmage lasted nearly two hours at the Comcast Center. As would be expected of an early showing, the performance was littered with positives and negatives.

Three Up

1. Cliff Tucker shines again.
Tucker had a solid showing in Saturday's scrimmage and backed it up with a repeat performance today. Tucker appeared smooth on offense, shooting well and cutting to the basket sharply. He scored 27 points on Wednesday. Several players had chances to guard Tucker, and none of them had much success at slowing him down. Maryland Coach Gary Williams acknowledged afterward that Tucker has played well Saturday and today, but tempered his praise by pointing out Tucker shot 1 for 13 at practice Tuesday.

2. Eric Hayes's ball-handling.
Hayes will be given more responsibility in terms of running the offense this season, and judging by early accounts, he seems well-suited for the role. He easily maneuvered around the court with the ball during Wednesday's scrimmage. For the most part, he made accurate passes and drove to the basket fairly well. He scored a scrimmage-high 28 points and recorded seven assists.

3. Adrian Bowie's overall improvement. Bowie ran the offense opposing Hayes's team and did a capable job. Bowie has displayed a more accurate shot during open workouts so far and has said his confidence is much higher now than it was at any point last season. Bowie scored 16 points and dished out nine assists Wednesday.

Three Down

1. Transition game needs some work.
Both offensively and defensively, the transition game was inconsistent throughout the scrimmage. When asked about how the transition game is developing, Williams said, "It's not smooth yet."

2. Finishing around the basket.
The frontcourt is the team's gigantic question mark, and in addition to rebounding, finishing baskets from short-range will be a revealing assignment for this squad. If they can find someone who can consistently perform both tasks, the team's outlook will improve dramatically. So far, the Terps have not found that player. Braxton Dupree shot 38 percent (7 of 18) from the field today, while Dino Gregory shot 20 percent (2 of 10). Jerome Burney (60 percent) and Dave Neal (71 percent) fared well, but they took a combined 12 shots. Dupree had a scrimmage-high 12 rebounds.

3. Passion needed. At the conclusion of the workout, Williams huddled his squad together and used a few choice words to make his point. He wanted to see more passion and more energy out on the court. In fact, at several points during the scrimmage, Williams implored his players to show more energy and to not simply walk through the motions. When it was pointed out by a reporter that he seemed displeased with his team's energy and tempo at times during the scrimmage, Williams said that was why he doesn't open team workouts to the media very often, because they make judgments based on observations, such as him raising his voice or using choice words to make his point. Williams said he simply was trying to motivate his team. Cliff Tucker said Williams' heated post-scrimmage pep talk was not unusual. "He just wants us to get a lot more vocal, more excited about playing," Tucker said. Greivis Vasquez said Williams was just concerned about the team and wanted players such as himself and Neal to lead the team in a better way.

By Steve Yanda  |  October 29, 2008; 6:45 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Did Cliff Tucker lead all scorers with 27? Or did Eric Hayes actually have 28, like it said?

-- The Big Texas

Posted by: thebigtexas | October 29, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse


-- The Big Texas

Posted by: thebigtexas | October 30, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

I truely believe that Maryland's success will be not to have Vasquez as the point guard. He tries too hard to do everyhing by himself. When he mentions the team the first word is "I". He needs to be told not to take shots that are ill advised or not good percentage ones especially since this year each possession will be a premiun.

Posted by: mwelsh | October 30, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

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