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Milbourne's Role on the Boards

Landon Milbourne strikes you as a slasher, mainly because that’s what he is. Or at least, what he should be. He’s listed at 6-foot-7, 207 lbs., not bulky by any means, but not wiry, either. He seems like he’d be a prototype college small forward.

If only the Terps had the luxury of playing him there.

This year’s squad, though, is made up of guards, more guards and extra bodies, which means a guy like Milbourne will have to spend a lot of time at the power forward position. He used to play some power forward in high school, so he at least has a background in the area. But he admitted yesterday the transition has been tough at times, especially for a player whose skills rank among the team’s best.

“It's just different; I can't move as much as I want to,” Milbourne said. “I have to take a bigger role rebounding, offensive and defensive rebounding and learning how to play post defense and running the court a little bit more. It's not much of a change; it's just more of a mental thing. You know you can't do certain things, and you know you have to stay in certain spots. It's not that big of a difference, but I'm getting used to it.”

The Terps have struggled on the boards in their first two games. True, they established a solid presence in the second half against Bucknell, but the Bison out-rebounded Maryland in the first half, and the Terps lost the rebounding edge to Youngstown State by 11.

“We want to out-rebound our opponent on both ends, and it's something that we have to work on as a team,” Milbourne said. “And I take responsibility upon myself to do that, as well, you know, being a leader on the team and being a guy that's on the inside now. You know, I'll take that role, and we just can't keep letting that happen cause it might bite us.”

Coach Gary Williams said Vermont will provide his team with its toughest challenge to date this season, and he made special mention of the Catamounts ability to grab offensive rebounds.

“They have veteran players that know how to rebound,” Williams said. “They know floor balance. They don't hesitate to go. They know the point guard's back or whatever. Once you get that game experience, I think you become a better rebounding team. They've got four guys that can go after the offensive glass pretty well.”

By Steve Yanda  |  November 21, 2008; 2:22 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Ball Handlers and Off-the-Ball Handlers

Comments

Milbourne shows flashes of greatness on ocassion but is very erratic.

Posted by: donmac1 | November 22, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

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