Terps Blocking Collectively
Without the imposing presences of James Gist and Bambale Osby to protect the post on defense, one category in which the Terps were not expected to produce high numbers this season was blocked shots. And while the team's total number of blocks and average per game are down so far, the dropoff might not have been as severe as some observers originally thought.
Maryland currently ranks sixth in the ACC with an average of 5.0 blocks per game*. The Terrapins have totalled 65 blocks to date, led by sophomore forward Dino Gregory (16) and junior forward Landon Milbourne (14). Granted, these blocks have come mostly against inferior nonconference foes who make for easier prey, but a little recognition for decent production in an area of expected weakness is not without warrant.
* For some perspective, note that Clemson ranks first in the ACC with 6.9 blocks per game and North Carolina State ranks last with 4.0 per contest.
The difference this season seems to be that a wider range of players is contributing to the team's block total. That could be due to development of certain players' skills. That could be due to sheer necessity. Either way, the Terps are finding a way -- at least, as of now -- to keep opponents from believing there to be an open invitation into the lane for easy baskets.
In addition to the efforts of Gregory and Milbourne, sophomore forward Braxton Dupree and junior guard Greivis Vasquez both have six blocks, while sophomore guard Cliff Tucker and freshman guard Sean Mosley each have five.
Last season, Gist (77) and Osby (69) tallied most of the blocks. Milbourne (24) and Tucker (11) were the only other Terps to record double digit block totals on the season.
So, as they have done in many areas, the Terps are taking a collective route when it comes to blocked shots this season. Whether that is an effective method -- and how much Maryland truly misses Gist's and Osby's post presence -- will become evident once the Terps get into the thick of ACC play.
Posted by: eric_the_red | January 7, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse
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