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When Good Enough Isn't The Point

In the print edition today, we featured Dino Gregory's recent rise in the Terps pecking order. The sophomore forward is playing more frequently and thus, with more confidence than ever before during his time in College Park. Most everyone -- from the fans, to the writers to Gregory's teammates and coaches -- can see the improvement in Gregory's game and in his approach to it.

But even though he has played a critical role for Maryland on the boards in recent outings, Gary Williams said that might not necessitate a shift for Gregory into the starting lineup.

"I think our starting lineup this year might have a lot to do with who we're playing against each time we play," Williams said. "But at the same time, we've played pretty well starting the way we have. Even though Dino's played well enough to be a starter, and there's no doubt about that, I don't worry about who starts. I worry about who we have on the court most of the time. And Dino's out there. So it will be that way for the foreseeable future."

Gregory has averaged 26.5 minutes and eight rebounds per game in reserve over the past two contests. He's not scoring, but the Terps don't need him to score. That's what their guards are for. They need someone who will provide a post presence and take some of the pressure to rebound off of Landon Milbourne.

For now, it seems Williams feels Gregory best serves the team in a reserve capacity. Like the coach said, Gregory most certainly will be on the court, just not for the opening tip-off.

I've heard many coaches say it doesn't matter who starts the games, but a certain amount of symbolism accompanies a spot in the starting lineup, no? From a player's perspective, it's a sign of recognition -- for hard work, for merit, for seniority -- if nothing else.

Does it matter that Gregory, by Williams's own admission, has played well enough to start, but isn't? And as for the flip-side, would you rather have an energetic player such as Gregory coming off the bench instead of residing in the starting lineup?

By Steve Yanda  |  December 12, 2008; 2:13 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Where Does This Leave Portis?


If Gregory can step up enough to play defense inside and rebound, I think that's all the Terps need. I am not concerned with scoring inside, the other players can score. What I am worried about teams scoring at will on us inside. Whether he starts or not is much less relevant than how he performs.

Posted by: CharlieF | December 12, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

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