Here's a scene from last night's game, a little more than four minutes into the first half:
Adrian Bowie is running the point at the top of the key. On the wings are Sean Mosley and Cliff Tucker. Dave Neal is at the free throw line, and Landon Milbourne is on the block.
Bowie passed the ball to Mosley and Neal shuffled in a 90-degree arc to his left so as to provide Mosley with a target should Mosley decide to pass the ball into the interior. The only problem was that Neal was being shielded by a Georgetown defender. With Neal covered and no open shot of which to speak, Mosley tossed the ball back to Bowie at the top of the key. Neal, in turn, shuffled in a 90-degree arc back to his right and then 90 more degrees once Bowie immediately flipped the ball over to Tucker. Neal still was not open and Tucker, like Mosley, didn't have an open shot, so Tucker passed the ball back to Bowie at the top of the key. Neal dutifully shuffled back to his original starting point.
This bout of around-the-perimeter passing continued for two or three rounds before Bowie turned the ball over. It was just one ill-fated possession among many for the Terps last night, but it was indicative of a significant offensive struggle with which Maryland had to battle for most of the night: very rarely could they get the ball into the post.
There were ocassions where players would attempt to drive and either dish back out to the perimeter or take the ball to the hole, but those attempts were few and far in between. As for passing into the post, well, I'll let Coach Gary Williams take that one ...
"Well, I don’t know if we would have done anything if we did get the ball into the post," Williams said. "You have to be able to score. We did get it in there several times and we didn’t score; I think that does something to your confidence to pass the ball in there when you don’t score. That hurt us. But we missed enough open shots where, you know, if we could have hit a couple early, maybe it would have relaxed us a little offensively, but we didn’t."
December 1, 2008; 12:59 PM ET
Categories: Men's basketball
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