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Terps Rebound In Win Over Michigan

In light of the beating they took Sunday night at the hands of Georgetown, the Terps' 75-70 victory Wednesday night over Michigan was impressive. To be honest, I think it was more impressive that they were able to win a close game than if they were to have come out and blown Michigan out of the water. That wouldn't have proven anything, and it would not have forced Maryland to grow like the game's actual outcome did.

Three Up

1) Landon Milbourne. Easily the most encouraging sign to come out of tonight's win was the resurgence of Milbourne. He has struggled often as he is learning how to handle himself in the post. But tonight, thanks to the help he received from several other big men (I'll get to that later, too.), Milbourne for perhaps the first time this season looked comfortable in his role. He scored 12 points, but more importantly, he asserted himself at both ends of the floor. If he can maintain the confidence he earned tonight, the Terps will be a much better team in the near future.

2) Greivis Vasquez. His performance tonight, I suppose, should be magnified by the fact he scored just two points and looked completely out of whack Sunday night. And while I would never take anything away from a guy who scores 23 points, grabs 12 rebounds and dishes out six assists, I guess I kind of figure this is what we should expect of him. Unfair? Absolutely. Taking his skills for granted? A fair claim. But that's how I feel. From hearing Greivis talk postgame, I'm not sure he would disagree with me in this regard.

3) Rebounding. The Terps outrebounded Michigan, 43-26. I'm going to go ahead and type that one more time. The Terps outrebounded Michigan, 43-26. Wow. Michigan doesnt have the tallest lineup, but for Maryland to own the boards like that definitely has to provide the Terps with a confidence boost.

Three Down

1) Braxton Dupree. He recorded a grand total of zero minutes Wednesday night. Gary Williams said Dupree sat out the game after missing class on Monday after the team had returned late the preceeding night from the Orlando trip. It was bad enough Dupree wasn't performing all that well on the court. Now, you have to wonder about his focus and dedication off it, as well.

2) Slow start. With two new guys in the starting lineup who had played well of late (Dave Neal and Adrian Bowie), Williams expected his team to start with a little more energy than it had in its previous two games. While energy might not have been an issue, effectiveness was. The Terps shot 41.9 percent from the field and made just 1 of 11 three-point attempts in the first half. Defensively, Maryland struggled to keep Michigan's shooters in check before the intermission. The Wolverines, who are not known as a hot-shooting team, hit 48.1 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from beyond the arc before the intermission.

3) Adrian Bowie. Perhaps Bowie is a weapon best utilized off the bench. In his first start of the season, Bowie made just 1 of 7 shots and finished with four points and four turnovers. The guy is dynamic coming off the bench, and while his play might make him derving of a starting spot, Bowie might better serve his team in a reserve role. To be fair, it was just one night and it was just one start. I most certainly could be wrong.

By Steve Yanda  |  December 3, 2008; 11:03 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Expected Star Returns To Form


Maybe not a huge win, but a win nevertheless, which should build back our confidence. I agree that if we going to be successful this season, we'll need more support from guys other than Vasquez and Milbourne. We also need to shoot better from 3-point range, which should help us overcome our lack of size in the paint. But I was pleased that we've beaten two quality teams (Michigan and Michigan State) so far this season, which should help when we get into the thick of conference play in January.

Posted by: ecglotfelty | December 4, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Steve Yanda's postings are most informative, he deserves our thanks for his writing. It was good to learn the Terps rebounded from two successive blowouts. I, for one, feared those games were predictive, but it now seems our lads are about as consistent as their football brethren. Maybe Gary can get them to perform well more consistently than heretofore. We can then look forward to a winning season. The forthcoming matches with AU and GW may tell us a good deal more about Terps' motivation and skills; both have beat our boys handily in earlier seasons.

Posted by: AncientTerp | December 4, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

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