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Bench Talk

Greivis Vasquez held court in front of about a dozen media members yesterday at Comcast Center and among the many interesting things he had to say was a brief mention of the capabalities of Maryland's bench this season.

"Our bench is going to be ridiculous," he said. "It's going to be good."

The team's depth lies in its guards. Vasquez, Landon Milbourne and Eric Hayes are established veterans. Cliff Tucker and Adrian Bowie have demonstrated vast improvement since the end of last season. Sean Mosley and Jin Soo Kim appear to be ready to make an impact right away. Getting prodution off the bench at the three (sometimes four, depending on the look the Terps go with) guard positions does not appear to be a forseeable issue.

Depth in the frontcourt, however, could become a critical issue. Williams and many teammates have raved about the offseason development of Braxton Dupree. He's refined his skills. He's lost some weight. He's in better physical shape. All that is wonderful, especially if he develops into a consistent performer this season.

Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that Dupree does prove to be a capable post presence. Then what? Who spells Dupree? Where will the team's frontcout depth come from? Dave Neal is armed with experience. Dino Gregory, by many accounts, has performed well in practice, but questions remain as to whether he can transfer that level of play to the games. Jerome Burney has been mentioned very rarely whenever the subject of the team's post play has come up in discussions with Williams or other players. Steve Goins has a very raw brand of talent.

Who in that group will step up? Even if Dupree meets or excedes the team's expectations, he'll need some backup.

"People keep talking bad about us, but the last two days (at practice) I saw something that I've never saw since I'm here at Maryland, including my freshman year when we made it to the tournament and everything," Vasquez said. "But the last two days, I thought we can be a Final Four team."

Without some frontcourt depth, the Terps will have a difficult time reaching realistic goals -- much less Vasquez's prophecy -- this season.

What are your thoughts on the team's depth, both in the backcourt and in the post? How vital will the production level of Maryland's bench be to its success this season?

By Steve Yanda  |  November 14, 2008; 3:04 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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