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Thoughts On The Frontcourt

As the rain continues to fall here at Byrd Stadium, I thought I'd chime in with some thoughts lingering from last night's men's basketball season opener. For those of you who saw or have read about the win over Bucknell, it should already be clear that the contest was not as straight forward as the 29-point Terps win would indicate.

Let's start with the frontcourt, where the performance was less than inspiring (I have a feeling I'll be writing that a lot this season). Braxton Dupree started but struggled throughout the first half and briefly drew Coach Gary Williams's ire early in the second. He finished with six points and six rebounds in 16 minutes of action. He shot 3 of 6 from the field and did not often hold his ground well on defense. When asked for an assessment of Dupree's play, Williams was brief and quickly moved on to different subjects.

"It was alright; he’s got a great opportunity," Williams said. "Jerome Burney’s got a great opportunity. Steve Goins’s got a great opportunity. Dino Gregory. Dave Neal, you know, he played the best of our inside players tonight."

Neal did not play for an extended period of time until the second half. He also finished with six points and six rebounds in 16 minutes. Burney and Gregory combined for two points and seven rebounds. Goins played two minutes and registered one point and one rebound.

On Thursday, Greivis Vasquez was asked if the team's post play remained a mystery heading into the start of the season.

"Um, kind of, you know? Just to be realistic, we've got to improve our inside game. But we need to play with what we have. I have no doubt in my mind that Braxton can wake up in maybe three or four games and start being a monster."

After last night's win, several players repeated a similar wait-and-see mantra regarding the play of the frontcourt.

What were you're thoughts on the play of the big men last night? How much rope do you think they deserve?

By Steve Yanda  |  November 15, 2008; 2:42 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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