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Terps Struggle With Match-up Problems

Morgan State Coach Todd Bozeman made what turned out to be a savvy adjustment to his team's staring lineup last night. Rather than going with 6-foot-5 senior forward Marquise Kately*, Bozeman inserted 6-foot-10 sophomore Rodney Stokes into the Bears' starting five.

* Though Kately did not start, he did play 32 minutes off the bench and finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.

And why might he have done that, you ask? Well, because among Maryland's shortcomings, size and traditional post play near the top of the list. Stokes finished with just two points and five rebounds, but he also had three blocks and a steal. More importantly, he served as a significant obstruction in the lane for the Terps.

Maryland did win the rebounding battle, 51-46, but that may have been more a result of the Terps many errant shots (26-for-73; 35.6 percent from the field on the night).

With Stokes and 6-foot-8 Kevin Thompson (10 points, 13 rebounds) in the interior for Morgan State, Maryland did not venture into the post (either by choice or by necessity) as much as it had in previous games. Gary Williams said his players settled for jump shots, many of which were from beyond the three-point line. The Terps shot 1-for-14 from beyond the arc Wednesday night.

"I would have liked to have tried to get inside more against them, but we seemed to settle for jump shots before we really tried to probe the defense," Gary Williams said. "They stayed in front of us. I think that bothered us tonight."

Senior forward Dave Neal finished with 18 points and nine rebounds. Wiliams called Neal "probably our most consistent scorer out there" Wednesday night. The problem for the rest of the Terps was that they could not give Neal enough help and still perform their own tasks at the same time, specifically on defense.

"We had some matchup problems with their size," Williams said. "We didn't do a great job with in getting Dave help like we're supposed to. That last five minutes, the big thing was if we didn't get in there and give help (in the post on defense), there was no rotation. In other words, we didn't get out and rotate around when they kicked it out of the post. A couple of those jump shots they made were a result of that."

By Steve Yanda  |  January 8, 2009; 12:13 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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"Maryland did win the rebounding battle, 51-46, but that may have been more a result of the Terps many errant shots (26-for-73; 35.6 percent from the field on the night)."

Actually, it works the other way around since about 70% of missed shots are typically rebounded by the defense. Thus in all likelihood all those missed Terps shots helped Morgan State in terms of total rebounds, not the Terps.

But who cares - Morgan State's "inside presence" pales in comparison to half of the ACC. Terps will be facing big teams the rest of the way. We'll live and die by the outside shot.

Posted by: david-tclark | January 8, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

How pathetic is it that Maryland has matchup problems with Morgan State. Imaging what's going to happen to this sorry excuse for a team when the real big men are playing us. We suck!

Posted by: tonytroese | January 8, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Everyone needs to chill. Morgan State will win their league. They will dance in March. They aren't a TERRIBLE team. Terps couldn't buy a bucket and hit a team (really a player) who played the game of his life.

Most concerning thing from last night were all the senseless turnovers. Even with them the game was there to win. If this lights a fire under the Terps and they win 2 of the next 3 (or all 3) they are right back dancing again.

wooo saaaa

Posted by: Lee26 | January 8, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

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