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A Nod to Dino and Dave

Sophomore forward Dino Gregory played 24 minutes off the bench last night, and while he didn't really make much of a mark in the scoring department (two points), he definitely made his presence felt on defense.

The knock on Gregory has been consistency, mainly that he lacks it. But last night, he put on his best performance of the season, and Coach Gary Williams took notice.

"He’s a different player this year," Williams said. "I don’t know what happened during the summer, but I think he missed the game last year. He didn’t play much, and I think he figured it out that he wanted to play. I had no hesitation to put him in when we couldn’t get anything going inside early. He gave us a spark there."

By "there," surely Williams meant on the defensive end, where Gregory contributed three blocks. Gregory did pull down just two rebounds, but another of the team's oft-questioned big men stepped up in that department. In addition to hitting two key three-pointers and tallying 10 points on the night, senior Dave Neal also recorded seven boards.

"The thing about Dave is you can’t shake him," Williams said. "In other words, you can really get on Dave to play harder, and he will. He just started to go, and he did a pretty good job on (Blakely)."

"Pretty good" must be a relative description, as Blakely scored 23 points and grabbed11 rebounds on the night. However, his impact was neutralized more in the second half when the Terps began double-teaming him on defense, and Neal certainly played a role in that regard.

By Steve Yanda  |  November 22, 2008; 4:49 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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