The Young And The Restless
With just one senior and nine underclassmen, experience is not on Maryland's side. As with most everything else, that can be a good and bad thing. The obvious advantages of experience reveal themselves in ready-made leaders knowledgable in what works and what does not, in how to handle a wide range of situations and how mishandling those situations can impact the entire team.
But having a relatively young squad isn't necessarily a death knell, either. Just ask Gary Williams.
"If you have veterans, sometimes they think they can just turn it on, turn it off," Williams said. "It all depends on the team, more than who is old or young. Last year I thought we didn’t prepare well a couple times and we had some seniors who should have known better. So far this team has done a good job getting ready to play. I have always liked the way Greivis cares about winning. Adrian Bowie, a lot more quietly, feels the same way. Sean Mosely definitely does. He is used to winning, he is a competitor. He is just starting to get comfortable with the pace of the college game because it is so much quicker than the high school game. Guys like that, even though they are young, they bring that to the team. When they bust it every day in practice, that gets through."
As that statement reflects, Williams is, overall, pleased with how his team has progressed so far. And still, he feels the Terps remain in search of at least one crucial component.
"When you are young you don’t have last year to say, 'This is how we handled things,'" Williams said. "You have to get your own identity. A team like Gonzaga returns five starters, their identity has been set. They don’t change anything. We are not there yet. We have to make some adjustments and have to be ready to go. Gonzaga can go play some pretty good teams and not play well the first 10 minutes and still win the game. It doesn’t even bother them. If they are down 14-6, so what? We need to play consistently for the whole 40 minutes. But we’re better now than we were three weeks ago."
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