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New Look Terps?

Traditionally, Gary Williams teams run offenses that start from the inside and work their way out to the perimeter, but with the makeup of this year's squad, that might not be the best way to go. Tomorrow night, the Terps tip off their regular season against Bucknell, a team depleted by injuries in the backcourt and by inexperience in the frontcourt. That means you likely won't get a true sense of how effective (or ineffective, for that matter) this particular brand of Maryland basketball can be.

Still, the blueprint the Terps use against the Bison may prove telling. Williams was asked earlier today if this year's squad will have to rely on shooting more three-pointers than have previous Maryland teams. After all, the Terps' frontcourt, particularly from a scoring standpoint, remains highly suspect.

"I think that the best teams are the combination teams that can score inside and outside, but if you’re not going to score inside, then obviously you have to look at ways to get your best scorers points," Williams said. "If it turns out that it goes that way, then we will shoot more threes. We’ll shoot the ball quicker in transition maybe than look inside in transition every time. But that’s still to be decided. I’m still confident our big men can be there for us. They don’t have to score 16 points a game, you know, like a James Gist, for us to be effective. They have to hold us in there where if they do get a good pass inside, they have to be able to score in that particular situation. Rebounding and defense. You know, if you don’t have a good interior defense, you’re in trouble a lot of times because you can’t depend on outscoring people."

So it would seem, at least at the season's outset, that the team will attempt to limit the burdens placed on guys like Braxton Dupree by containing its expectations of them to the areas of defense and rebounding. Reasonable? I suppose, but there will come a time this season when the Terps will need either Dupree or another of their big men to supplement Maryland's perimeter scoring ability with some sort of consistent point production in the post. The Terps, I would imagine, are hoping to buy enough time for Dupree, or whoever that post player may be, to grow into that offensive complimentary role.

As a quick side note, I'm not implying that defense and rebounding are not important areas. Of course they are. I'm just pointing out that Maryland will not look to its big men for any significant portion of its scoring, at least not early in the season.

"I think you’ll see a lot of our scoring come from our perimeter people," Williams said. "We still want to take the ball to the basket and be aggressive. We’ve been shooting well from the free throw line, and I hate to even talk about it, but the only way you get to the line is to take the ball to the basket or get the ball inside. We just want to stay aggressive. I like the style of play that we played with against Northwood. I’d like to be able to play like that, but we’ll see."

So what do you all think? How long can Maryland go without needing at least one of their big men to emerge into some semblence of a scoring threat? Or do you think the Terps can get away with relying on its depth of guards to tally up the points all season long?

By Steve Yanda  |  November 13, 2008; 10:09 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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I think we'll need to see at least 15pts/15reb from our big men, combined. I think we'll have guys (Kim, Mosley, Vasquez, Bowie, Tucker) who can get the ball in the lane and draw the defense, then dish to a big man under the hoop for a layup. That seemed to work last year with Boom - he never shot more than a 5 footer, but scored on put backs and layups. If the bigs can work on getting position and work at offensive rebounding, I think the Terps will do just fine.

Posted by: eric_the_red | November 14, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

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