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The Problem With A 20-Point Win

You couldn't really tell by Gary Williams's body language or the look on his face that the Terps had won Saturday night by a considerable margin. Should Maryland defeat Elon tonight by a similar margin but in the same, frequently-sloppy fashion in which it put away Bryant, don't expect Williams's disposition to appear much different afterward.

"There’s going to be games where there’s no transition either way," Williams said. "You get into a big game and there’s no transition cause you take each other’s transition away. The other team handles the ball where you don’t break balls loose, and then your half-court defense and offense come into play. So then you have to be able to run your half-court.

Maryland forced Bryant to commit 19 turnovers and held a 21-5 edge on fast break points, but its half-court offense often was inefficient. Junior guard Eric Hayes said yesterday that the transition offense was running so smoothly that the Terps devoted less concentration to operating their half-court sets.

"That’s the battle that you fight right now with the players is to make sure they understand that even though you might win a game, you might not necessarily be pleased with how well you run your half-court offense," Williams said. "And they look at you like, ‘Well, we won by 20. What’s the problem?’ The problem is we’re going to have to be able to run a half-court offense more and more effectively as time goes on."

The Terps are shooting 42.9 percent from the field this season. Take away the numerous easy baskets that the team racks up in transition each game and that percentage likely would drop a few points. Right now, a reliance on natural athletic supremacy -- being able to out-talent an opponent -- likely will not prove detrimental. But in less than two weeks, ACC play begins, which means the number of 20-point wins will decrease dramatically, if not disappear altogether.

"The last two minutes of a close game, if you can’t run your half-court offense, you’re going to lose," Williams said. "It’s as simple as that. That’s why it’s important."

By Steve Yanda  |  December 30, 2008; 10:36 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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I hope Gary continues to impress upon his kids the importance of working hard--no matter the opponent. As my late band instructor used to say, "Practice makes permanence!"

Posted by: Terptwin | December 30, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Maryland will finish with a 15-16 record and 4-12 in the ACC



How can any parent let their son - play for a program with a 10 % graduation rate.

Go Tar Heels !

Posted by: hclark1 | December 30, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

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