More Attention For Milbourne
How unfair, most Maryland observers thought during the season's early stages, that a talent such as Landon Milbourne had to be relegated to a position for which he seemed ill suited. At 6-foot-7, 207 lbs., Milbourne does not appear built to play power forward. And it certainly took him a while to adapt to the switch. He's got the body of a swingman, someone who operates on the perimeter, yet has the dynamic athleticism to slash to the hole at will.
But when your primary responsibility is ensuring your team doesn't get pasted on the boards, there's little time for lingering out where open shots are easier to find because the space is not so crowded.
Milbourne has demonstrated a willingness and -- just as importantly -- an ability since the beginning of conference play to maneuver his way around the post effectively by using his agility and leverage to make up for his lack of height and brawn. Last night, Boston College paid Milbourne a high compliment, one that signalled other teams are starting to acknowledge his legitimacy as an interior threat.
With 14:32 remaining in the game, Milbourne committed his third foul and was subbed out. At that point, he had tallied 14 points on 6-for-12 shooting, and Maryland led by seven. His efforts on the offensive end had played a significant role in Maryland building a lead in the first half that at one point extended to 16 points.
When Milbourne returned just more than six minutes later, Maryland's lead had shriveled to one. And the Eagles were prepared to devote the attention to Milbourne necessary to shut him down. Frequently drawing help defense whenever he caught the ball, Milbourne attempted just one more shot the rest of the night. He did not score again.
"When he came back in (after his third foul), I thought they did a better job of not leaving him open," Gary Williams said. "He made shots in the first half and did a great job for us. Landon's played great for us the whole conference season. In the second half, he just wasn't as good, but we have to figure out a way to get him the ball, because he has been pretty consistent scoring and he's averaging quite a few points in conference games, so we have to continue to make sure he gets the ball."
On the season, Milbourne is averaging 13.0 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. He is shooting 51.7 percent from the field and has tallied 26 steals and 24 blocks.
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