Desperate To Move Forward
In case you were curious, the last time Maryland got beat by 27 or more points was Jan. 8, 2005 at North Carolina when the Tar Heels prevailed, 109-75. The last time the Terps lost a non-conference game by at least as many points as they got beat last night? That would be March 18, 2000, when they lost to UCLA, 105-70, in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
So, as you can see, these kinds of losses don't happen often to the program at College Park. In fact, they happen so infrequently that they tend to catch Maryland Coach Gary Williams off-guard when they do occur.
The one thing Williams wanted to make clear after losing by 27 points to Georgetown was that the fact the Terps were playing a program that resides less than 15 miles from their campus had nothing to do with the off-kilter performance.
"I think we were tight, but I’m not sure it was because it was Georgetown," Williams said. "You know, at Maryland, we play a lot of big games against ranked teams. And we’ve done all right over the years with that, so I don’t know where it came from tonight."
What Williams did know was that the team had a lot of areas in which it needed to improve between the flight home Sunday night and Wednesday night's tip-off against Big Ten foe Michigan. Two of the bigger items on that list include:
- Taking better shots and hitting the shots that are open. Williams said once again last night that the players had several opportunities to hit open shots and simply could not do so. Maryland has shot poorly from the field in its past two games, though to be fair, those were its two toughest games of the season to date. Perhaps the shooting numbers are more a reflection of Maryland's ceiling than anything else.
- Fixing the typically stout defense. Not entirely sure who the imposters were that were defending against the Hoyas, but it certainly did not look like the usual Terps. Even against Gonzaga, a team that had superior size and talent, Maryland did not look out-classed on defense like it did last night. As Williams mentioned, the energy and effort that had come to define his team defensively simply was not present against Georgetown.
"I think nobody’s played a tougher schedule than us so far this year," Williams said. "I’m disappointed with the way we played tonight, but we did get a win over a top five team. That was good. Gonzaga, we played okay. And tonight we didn’t play. So, you’d like it to go the other way, obviously, but the thing with basketball is you don’t have a week to get ready. You have two days to get ready for a Michigan team that’s already beaten UCLA. So, we’re in a tough part of our schedule, there’s not doubt about it, but we’ll find a lot out about our team by the way we play Wednesday night."
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