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A Time For Rediscovery

There were several positives to come from the Terps win over George Washington. Among the more surprising developments was the stellar play of Dino Gregory.

But when it comes to Maryland's bench, Gary Williams said he needed to see improvement from players he believes will be key reserves for his team this season. Jerome Burney, for instance, appears to have quite an opportunity in front of him seeing as Braxton Dupree currently isn't seeing a whole lot of minutes. Cliff Tucker also has been put in a position where he has to prove himself all over again. After being a member of the starting lineup early this season, his playing time has dwindled of late.

Tucker "has great athletic ability," Williams said Sunday night. "He can play, but he has to meet the challenge. We need him to give us some minutes; we really do. And I think he's learning some things. I thought he was better when he went in the game tonight, and hopefully he'll have a good week of practice."

After a breakout fall and impressive showings during preseason scrimmages, Tucker seems to have lost his way. He is shooting 39.0 percent from the field and has yet to convert on a three-point attempt. He's also struggling on the boards and only infrequently provides assists. Defensively, Tucker has been adequate (five steals, two blocks), but for a player with such tantalizing potential, one-way effectiveness just won't do.

The rest of Maryland's games this month should provide Tucker ample opportunity to gain back some confidence and perhaps increase his playing time. Tucker is a player that could be invaluable down the stretch for this team. The Terps need him to rediscover his touch.

By Steve Yanda  |  December 9, 2008; 4:05 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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